EBOOK [Cherry author Nico Walker] author Nico Walker
I don t care for addiction fiction I pretty much hated this book Repetitive Nothing particularly new There are indeed some ood lines and some humor The ending is interesting in what it doesn t offer The misogyny is so thick it s almost funny Almost People are terrible and it s reat when they are free to be terrible in fiction so I am not saying the men in this book have to be not sexist But I am saying I don t enjoy reading about men who hate women for hundreds of pages These sentences come at you like rapid fire and it took several pages for me to fall into the cadence This is a story of love war drug addiction and crime A fictionalized account of the author s life written while in prison it is deeply depressing although not without flashes of humor The author s back story makes me wonder how he survived to write this novel Walker took part in over 250 missions as a combat medic and is highly decorated The publicist has a lot to work with hereThe war scenes are ruesome and the agonizing PTSD inevitable The unnamed main character is unable to find his footing as a civilian and turns to drugs to ease his anguish The life of a drug addict is a never ending cycle of scrounging for money buying drugs administering drugs rinse and repeat Robbing banks became a way of procuring money as well as placing himself in the comforting and familiar situation of heightened risk and insecurity This novel is fearless I thank you Mr Walker for writing it and thank you for your service Nico Walker isn t your typical novelist For one he wrote his debut novel Cherry in prison Not only that but he remains in prison to this day In his expletive ridden Hunter S Thompson esue Ernest Hemingway ish autobiographical novel he tells us the story of how he ot there In this starkly honest middle American romp Walker truly impresses with his ability to put words to the images of his memory The prose is not sophisticated flowery or complex it s better than all that Reading this book feels like the underbelly of my childhood adolescence and young adulthood All the twisted characters and uestionable motives and justifications ring true I knew people like Nico and I still know people like NicoNico hails from Cleveland and ets involved in drugs at a very early age in other words a very typical Midwestern young man of the late 90s and early 00s The novel takes a detour to Ira where Walker served as an Army Medic He continued his drug habit to the best of his ability while overseas and returns home to become a full blown opiate addict As his life devolves into a never ending search for heroin OxyContin and virtually anything else he can Wife in Exchange get his hands on he has to come up with increasingly risky ways to finance his habit He also makes friends with increasingly shady people of which he is among the shadiest and eventually begins brazenly robbing banks all over the Cleveland area The novel stops short of his apprehension and eventual conviction because this novel is about the crime not the punishmentI can confidently recommend Nico Walker s debut novel When I set out to read the advanced copy I received from Knopf I hoped it would deliver because I very much wanted to support Walker s post prison life he has two years too
by helping him sell a few copies because convicted Felons are treated like arbage people in our society helping him sell a few copies because convicted Felons are treated like arbage people in our society you re
Martha Stewart I Commend Knopf Stewart I commend Knopf taking a chance on this brilliant young writer He has the life experience and the talent to tell his truth Many will find fellowship with him We ve heard these war stories before in superb fiction and nonfiction by other soldiers But Nico Walker 33 brings a raw and casual brutality to the narrative of battle His rambling collection of chaotic anecdotes involve drugs and porn acts of cruelty and kindness unending boredom pierced by spikes of terror These juxtapositions convey the fundamental disorder of the American mission and its deleterious effect on the young people forced to implement it His language relentlessly profane but never angry simmers at the level of morose disappointment something like Holden Caulfield Goes to War I m Night And Day glad I missed the battle because it was probably bullshit and the Army just murdered your dog anyway But Walker also channels an even older novelist who saw the carnage of war His prose echoes Ernest Hemingway s cadences to powerful effect like To read the rest of this reviewo to The Washington Posthttpswwwwashingtonpostcomentert 35 An incredibly tough read and also near impossible for me to write a review of because it feels akin to reviewing someones life This is auto fiction and as such I am fighting my nature to want to untangle the fact from the fiction but that way lies madnessIf there is one reason to pick up this novel then it is for the sections set in Ira Walker Tennessee Takedown / Ravens Hollow gives a very believable no frills account of the life of a lower ranking officer in Ira circa 2005 The picture he paints is ugly but entirely believable and it chimes with some of the recollections in Phil Klays short story collection Redeployment The part of this novel that is a tougher sell is the spiral into heroin addiction and bank robbery The character which you assume is essentially the author in his twenties is troubled before the armyets hold of him but a tour in Ira certainly does him no favours I am not sure I had much appetite for the nihilistic decent into a life of chasing drugs complete with some uestionable relationships with women There are moments when the narrator is endearing but that is freuently negated by some morally uestionable decisions I would not label this misogynist but I could see how you could view it that way It is troubling but then it is also uite honest and raw or does a ood job of seeming so and I always like to hear about experiences so far removed from my own Really who am I to judge this at all this is someones life and it feels brave to expose it so completelySo not entirely enjoyable but interesting I have a lot in common with Nico Walker author of the recently released debut novel Cherry We both partied too hard and failed out of college in the early 2000 s both then enlisting in the wartime army at twenty years old After basic training we were both stationed at Fort Hood Texas We didn t know each other but it is possible we rubbed shoulders in one of the Cleveland Ohio 2003 A young man is just a college freshman when he meets Emily They share a passion for Edward Albee and ecstasy and fall hard and fast in love But soon Emily has to move home to Elba New York and he flunks out of school and joins the army Desperate to keep their relationship alive they marry before he ships out to Ira But as an army medic.
Nico Walker ↠ 7 reviewTheater and enerally speaking cared as much about killing Irais as they did about helping themUncomfortable or not nasty or not those are truths of how it was over there no denying If there s a flaw in the Ira chapters it s that they are so unrelentingly bleak that civilians with little first hand experience of the military may Michaels Discovery (The Devaneys get the wrong idea Not everything was darkness and depravity even in a warzone There was lightness and tenderness there too Compassion sel Not bad It s written well enough and the story is compelling but yeesh what aroveling complaining myopic narrator Let s call a spade a spade here this is an autobiography with the names changed This is Nico Walker s story And although it is well told it is a dismal story of decline that is hard to empathize with In a way it s existential Like Meursault from The Stranger our self loathing protagonist doesn t really care about anything or anybody but himself and even then not so much Why try Why be loyal Why be courageous or caring or considerate Having not found satisfying answers to these uestions Nico decides to take the path of least resistance to Shotgun Wedding (Silhouette Yours Truly, gratification without regard to the wellbeing of any other humanOverall I liked it It was like a nonfiction version of Catch 22 We live in an absurd world and Mr Walker captures that well albeit with a pretty bad attitude Nico Walker is currently serving time in prison for bank robbery his debut novel Cherry is essentially his fictionalized autobiography in which the unnamed narrator dispassionately recounts dropping out of college enlisting in the army shipping out to Ira serving as an army medic returning home and developing PTSD as well as an opioid addiction Cherry is a deeply uncomfortable book to read on just about every level The war scenes and depictions of drug abuse areraphic the language is relentlessly profane the narrator s pervasive misogyny Life Changing Smiles goes unchallenged This is not a book about redemption or remorse or lessons learned or new beginnings it s about waste and abuse and mutually destructive relationships and suandered potential This narrator hits rock bottom so many times that rock bottom loses all meaning and as he isn tuided by any kind of recognizable moral compass you aren t even sure if you should be rooting for him in the first place You re just kind of along for this ride that figuratively culminates in a train wreckProbably the most noteworthy thing about this book aside from the author s background is its uniue narrative voice Walker blends his disaffected staccato with an urgency that keeps you turning pages devouring the horror and humor and unexpected moments of tenderness This is the kind of book that you feel a bit Innocent Sins (Harlequin Presents, guilty for loving but at the same time you can t deny that there s something special about it This debut novel is advertised as a work of fiction but it is clearly at least partly autobiographical it s pretty hard to find out how big the overlap between the unnamed narrator and the author is though as Nico Walker is still in jail serving an eleven year sentence for bank robbery That s also where he wrote this novel about auy who dropped out of college joined the army served as a medic in Ira conseuently suffered from severe PTSD self medicated with heroin and short of money and with an expensive addiction to support became
A Bank Robber All Ofbank robber all of happened to Nico Walker himself The fact that the protagonist is also the narrator
gives it an even memoir ish feel Long before Walker wrote the book some media outletsit an even memoir ish feel Long before Walker wrote the book some media outlets on the author s life story and it s very interesting to read especially Scott Johnson s article from 2013 because readers of Cherry will recognize parts of the book in it as well as some people who are mentioned and even some of the instances and environments documented in the various photos Walker s book combines different themes but all of them are closely connected to a spiritually numbing sense of futility and alienation Teenage angst what soldiers experienced in Ira and what this did and still does to them the failure to help people with mental problems and the raging opioid epidemic in which people try to escape only to Only a Whisper get trapped in the most rigid and dehumanizing system of self harm Addiction Another important aspect of the book is the narrator s relationship to women While I wouldn t say that he is misogynistic it is striking that hisirlfriendwife who plays a major role in the book does not uite come together as a character and mostly works as a reflection of himself which makes sense in the context of the depiction of the main character Which brings us to the narrator s personalityHis unreliability is part of why this book is so interesting During the different stages of his life it feels like we are in his head then meaning he reflects his limited and tainted cognitive experiences while dropping out of college being in Ira being on heroin and robbing banks plus there s the uestion how honest he is to us as his readers Everything feels slightly off which is understandable because we meet the narrator in extreme situations that would mess with anyone s mind This does not necessarily mean that the narrator is a nice dude but it s easy to empathize with him nonetheless At the same time Walker finds a distinctive voice with short sharp sentences collouial language and humor than you might expect in such a story While this isn t Trainspotting there s a parallel when it comes to finding a recognizable voice talking about tragedy in an often nonchalant wayI was drawn into this story due to its distinct and somewhat hypnotic language and I was amazed how Walker combines emotional urgency and alienation but maybe those two are intertwined because the sadness that comes with alienation is rooted in the longing for connection and a purpose a feeling that haunts the narrator from very early on I d love to see this book in the brackets of the Tournament of Books 2019 for which it is currently longlisted DNF 13%Here s the thing If you read Catcher in the Rye at the right age you think Holden Caulfield is Copper Lake Secrets great you don t and you think he s unbearable Ditto here and the writing wasn t engaging The blurb promised nonstop excitement ah no I m bored I need than obvious observations and drug use to be entertained Great cover is not enoughLife s too short Outta here Bye. Low up the Midwest Soon he is hooked on heroin and so is Emily They attempt a normal life but with their money drying up he turns to the one thing he thinks he could be reallyood at – robbing banksHammered out on a prison typewriter Cherry marks the arrival of a raw bleakly hilarious and surprisingly poignant voice straight from the dark heart of Ameri. ,
Ightclubs in Killeen or at the 24 hour Brooklyn's Song gas station near the entrance of post where you could buy liuor and smokes at any hour of the day or night We would have appeared as two pissed off looking kids sunburned in desert camo waiting in line after work to buy some relief from boredom and toil No one in a position to make such judgments would have pegged us as budding literary novelistsIt would have been in 2005 that our paths unknowingly crossed in Texas if they did I would have been just returned from Ira and Walker would have been on his way Each of us was deployed as part of a combat arms unit at a time when the war was particularly deadly for US troops He spent a year as a medic with an infantry company in the Triangle of Death and I made my bones as a tankunner in Sadr City We both saw and did our share of awful shit From the descriptions I ve read Walker saw and did Neither of us did than one tour over there One was plenty Neither of us had kids We had optionsAfter we left Texas our lives maintained surface similarities even as they began diverging in radical ways I went back to school on the GI Bill studied English and this time did well Men Are Like Waffles--Women Are Like Spaghetti Devotional Study Guide grade wise though the transition to civilian life was not always smooth Walker also went back to school on the GI Bill studied English and did even worse than he had before much worse in fact He became addicted to heroin and robbed ten banks before crashing his car while eluding police Around the same time that was happening I was araduate student publishing short stories in literary journals I kept at the writing Plain Jane The Hotshot game and hustled my butt off for the decade it took me to land a book deal Nico Walker has one too but not much else He is a convict who resides in a federal prison in KentuckyWhen I first heard of him and his autobiographical novel I confess my reaction to it was not soentle bemusement Oh Family of Her Dreams great I thought An Ira veteran junkie bank robber novelist We have truly jumped the shark in thisenre Blame our sensationalistic media culture which often functions to seek out and reward the very worst people I feared the rest of us in the wake of his book would now have to deal with its confirmation of a damaging stereotype about this Blackmailed Into the Italians Bed generation of veterans that we are no than mindless thugs who by virtue of our participation in a criminal war are criminals at heart if not by the letter of the lawOn top of that it seemed to me a dizzying moral abdication that so many literary journalists and book critics had taken it upon themselves to celebrate work by a convicted violent criminal from an affluent background in a cultural moment when any number of male authors and editors have been lately accused of inappropriate behavior which may not rise to the level of criminal offense but which is nevertheless deemed toxic enough to warrant the ruination of their careers Meanwhile some of the same institutions and people most responsible for tearing down these shitty men in literature were now elevating Walker to literary celebrity his career launched precisely because of his outrageously bad behaviorTheenesis of Cherry has its roots in a 2013 BuzzFeed profile on his robberies and military service After reading this piece a book editor reached out to Walker writing him letters in prison and eventually soliciting a novel from the inmate In the acknowledgements section at the end of Cherry Walker claims he had to be convinced and encouraged by his editor to start writing the book in the first place If we take him at his
word it would not exist otherwise Needless to say most first time novelists cannot expect this kind ofit would not exist otherwise Needless to say most first time novelists cannot expect this kind of They struggle for years to Girls Night Out get a foot in theatekeepers door Even the talented ive up and fail Walker joined the army and robbed a string of banks
And The Gatekeepers Camethe atekeepers came himIt felt unseemly unfair and hypocritical and I know it s difficult these days to find objective moral standards we would all agree on But perhaps we might agree it s fundamentally wrong to stick a pistol in a pregnant woman s face and demand money from her to fund one s drug habit Walker did just that in real life yet most of the discussion surrounding his book is not about his victims I can t help but wonder if he had made a lewd comment to that woman or exposed himself to her while robbing her would that have been enough to preclude Into the Wild (The McGraws, glowing reviews What are the standards here anyway Why condemn one variety of toxic masculinity while celebrating another Is there something especially romantic for Americans about bank robbers and broken veterans so long as they re clean cut and whiteThe answer of course is yesAnd all of that is to say how I came to Cherry Skeptically to say the least Moved by annoyance as much as curiosity I sat down to read finding within its clipped cadences something even offensive than I d expected a litany of selfishness sexism casual racism cruelty pointlessraphic violence sualor perversion self abuse
nihilism or less all the bad things inor less all the bad things in American life To my surprise I enjoyed reading it very much Not because I always revel in bad things but Walker s telling of them struck me as remarkably truthful At one point in the book the unnamed narrator is in a college classroom attempting to explicate Keats famous lines Beauty is truth truth beauty and while his interpretation fails to convince a jaded English professor it revealed to me the animating purpose behind this book Simply to tell the truth No matter how brutal and awful it was especially then to tell the truth Cherry succeeds admirably well in this project insofar as it makes a pleasing form out of one man s particularly ugly truth It s a solipsistic book with a narrow perspective but it intends to be and the chapters set at war read like a honest accounting of what an Ira deployment circa 2005 felt like to a lower enlisted Orbital Velocity (Stony Man, grunt in a bad spot than almost anything else I have read on the subject It s miles closer to the truth of that experience than anything written by theenerals and most of what s been produced so far by journalists and historians Some people will not want to admit that They won t like hearing that significant numbers of American soldiers were huffing Dust Off in Baghdad were watching the vilest kinds of pornography on duty were pilfering were abusing detainees were smuggling illegal drugs into. He is unprepared for the risly reality that awaits him His fellow soldiers smoke; they huff computer duster; they take painkillers; they watch porn And many of them die He and Emily try to make their long distance marriage work but when he returns from Ira his PTSD is profound and the drugs on the street have changed The opioid crisis is beginning to swal.