Lean on Pete
Is Richmond Fontaine frontman Willy Vlautin the greatest writer you’ve never heard of? Judging by what I’ve read of his forthcoming novel, Lean on Pete, the answer may well be yes. I’m planning a longer post about Willy and his books and music sometime soon, but in the meantime you might want to check out this lovely little video of him reading from Lean on Pete, with backing music by Richmond Fontaine. And if you like what you hear, I thoroughly recommend checking out his first two novels, The Motel Life and Northline at Amazon, Readings or Book Depository, or dropping past Richmond Fontaine’s Myspace page. Or you could just go the whole hog and and download a copy of Richmond Fontaine’s fantastic 2009 album, We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like a River via their Bandcamp page. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
I feel exactly the same way about Northline as I do about The Slap. Compelling and couldn’t put it down, and go back to it to re-read parts, but deeply disturbed by the depiction of women.
I’m interested to hear you say that. It’s a little while since I read Northline, but I have to say I wasn’t bothered by the representations of the women. I was bothered by what happens to them, and by the sheer level of hurt and damage the main character encounters, but I certainly don’t remember thinking there was anything off about it. In fact I’d probably say quite the reverse – that there was great compassion for the main character and her situation. But I agree with you it’s a deeply affecting and often very upsetting book to read. All of which makes me curious about what it was you didn’t like about the representation of the women. Fancy expanding?
Will do – but I’ll have to go and look at it again – it’s been a while since I read it too and I just remember the feeling, no good examples of why in the top of my brain. Just have to organise a scavenger hunt for chn’s birthday party then will go back and have a look.