A novel about two teenagers, in love and insane, who journey across the United States in this Bonnie and Clyde–like adventure, pursuing a warped American dream, where Elvis is still king and the corn dog is the “backbone of this great country."
Smith has mixed violence with fable to create this modern-day tall tale about two teens who love each other and say to hell with everything else ... It’s easy for the reader to be pulled into Kody's imagination along with Teal until a surprising moment of violence or sudden injury sends you back to reality. The juxtaposition of the teens’ actions versus their thoughts (Teal dreams of having a family in jail once they’re caught, children and grandchildren raised behind bars) emphasizes their youth and disconnection. A new American folktale with teeth.
Smith’s vibrant and violent debut novel captures the pain, ebullience, and illusions of a troubled young man’s adolescence ... Though a muddled resolution disappoints, there are plenty of mythic motifs and pithy insights, and the author evokes the surreal contrasts of the American landscape in smart, jittery prose. Smith makes this a trip worth taking.