Car Trouble

A Novel

by Robert Rorke

On Sale: 09/11/2018

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Car Trouble

A Novel

by Robert Rorke

On Sale: 09/11/2018

Format:

About the Book

From a bright new talent, a witty, moving, and inspirational coming-of-age debut novel set in 1970s Brooklyn about a teenager and his abusive father whose obsession with broken down vintage cars careens wildly out of control.

“Such a pleasure to read.... This is a coming of age story, but it is also so much more than that.”—Dominic Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

Nicky Flynn is coming-of-age in 1970s Brooklyn, riding into his sophomore year at St. Michaels, the last hurrah of the Diocesan school system. A budding young actor, Nicky is at once sensitive, resilient, exasperated, and keenly observant—especially when it comes to his father, Patrick. Undeniably enigmatic, and coasting on vanity, charm, and desperation, “Himself” as Nicky calls his father, is given to picking up old car junkers, for cheap at NYPD auctions—each sputtering, tail-finned treasure subsidized by poker games.

To Patrick, these chrome glamour tanks are his obsessions, repairable reminders of the past when he was young, and everything seemed new and gleaming and possible—before he had a family. For Nicky, each one is a milestone. Whether it’s a harrowing joy ride or a driving lesson, they’re unforgettable markers on his path toward an unpredictable future. But as Patrick’s compulsions slide into alcoholism and abuse, Nicky, his mother, and sisters brace themselves for an inevitable sharp turn in their addled lives.

Narrated with humor and a rueful awareness, Car Trouble is an exhilarating novel about acceptance, regret, compassion, and finding your authentic adult self amid the rubble and rumble of growing up.

 

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Car Trouble was such a pleasure to read! [Rorke] has managed to create a character in Patrick Flynn who is nuanced and complicated, a man who is by turns savage and kind, vengeful and worried, vain and defeated but also striving and proud. Bravo! This is a coming of age story, but it is also so much more than that.” - Dominic Smith, New York Times Bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos 

“What readers learn in Rorke’s moving, bittersweet story is that hard realizations are often necessary on the road to discovering one’s true self.” - Kirkus Reviews

“With a vividly realized setting—Brooklyn in the 1970s the story is sharply written, inviting deep empathy from readers, who will find universal truths in this compelling tale of a single family.” - Booklist

A poignant coming-of-age story….Much like Colm Tóibín‘s  Brooklyn, Car Trouble is an impressive novel that captures the essence of an era without fanfare or sacrificing the craftsmanship of a good story. It is refreshing, cathartic, and thoroughly readable.” - Paperback Paris

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062848499
  • ISBN 10: 0062848496
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 09/11/2018
  • Pages: 416
  • List Price:19.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Family Life
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC3 : FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Dysfunctional Families

Car Trouble by Robert Rorke

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