Book Review: Bonfire Confessions of the Asshole Club by R.C. Allencategories: Book, General Fiction, Drama, Family, Dysfunctional, Indiana, Forgiveness, Automobile Towns, Contemporary Fiction, Adult Fiction, Midwest, Indiana, Bonfire, Confessions, Family Drama
R.C. Allenabout this book: "Bonfire Confessions of the Asshole Club" is a power drama that is set within an oft-ignored segment of the Americana experience-the Midwest automobile town. For those who grew up during a time when America reigned supreme, we had families, neighbors, and children that grew up alongside us, reveling in the experience of living in a booming community. When your parents knew the naughty things you did long before you got home, punishments were doled out by the village, and no one from outside who ever hurt a neighbor went unscathed. They were the glory days of when our children were safe to play outside, and when the worst things that happened were entirely within the family.
"Bonfire" finds the main character Dan many years past his small-town experience; bitter, resentful, and unhappy within his marriage. His wife Elaine still wants children after he's kept her at bay for seven years, and he blindly never realizes she knows he's been holding something back all these years. When his family is brutally murdered, Dan takes a break from his marriage under the pretext of sorting out his family affairs. Along his bus ride home, however, he meets three strangers who are equally as damaged, who almost gleefully pitch their plans in order to join him in his quest to fix up, and unload his family home. While helping him in his quest, all four create an impromptu support group, where they work all day and at night pour their miseries out over a roaring bonfire in Dan's back yard, complete with a never ending supply of booze and weed. While there are a lot of laughs, there easily is a lot more pain, as they each try to find a path back to self-forgiveness. Loves blossom, the past is reluctantly remembered, and rebirths are possible.
I grew up in the town "Bonfire" is set in. I did survive many of the things Dan does. I know the joy of the Midwest automobile town, and the anguish of watching it die. I wanted to bring that love out, and help keep it in the American conscience. There's nothing like those glory days of the auto town. This is the sort of story for someone who appreciates a bittersweet pill of beauty and pain, of loving and hating your family all at once, and of faith restored.
Finally, I wanted to bring to life that slice of Americana that is the bonfire - the beauty, pain, and purging that takes place in and around one. Nothing quite transfixes the human mind like a roaring fire, with loved ones encircling it. Every emotion can be attained, good and bad, but you know that with every ending there is always a possible rebirth.
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Great ReadI read this book and there are some very powerful moments as the main character, Dan, is traveling across country on a bus. The characters are very realistic and the story line keeps you wondering what will happen next. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good book with lots of twists. [by JCThompson]
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