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Sex, Drugs and Blueberries by Crash Barry
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Sex, Drugs and Blueberries (2011)

by Crash Barry

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Half baked (pun intended) and indulgent. Bloated swill. ( )
  oda_garin | Apr 8, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sex Drugs & Blueberries is a book about a man trying to make ends meet and the trouble that he gets into. I thought the book was very well written. The book being 198 pages always held your interest. The title really decribes the book although I thought most of the "sex" was conversation about the theory of sex so people faint of heart could definetly read this without getting put off. I did however have to keep reminding myself that the book took place in present day and not during a more hippy generation. I would have liked a little more from the ending.
  waeschle | Mar 20, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this book. It wasn't hard to keep reading it. The question is whether this is a book for you, so describing that is the goal of my review.

In my head, the author wasn't writing a novel. I couldn't help but think of this guy as a buddy who's telling me a hardly believable story about a week he once spent blueberry picking. The kind of story where I'd interject with "What? Whaaaaaaaat!" as he describes what happened.

Based on the author's bio, this must be semi-autobiographical. I'd love to know where the line was. He did pick blueberries, but did he snort Oxy at a crazy drug dealer/settlement-rich guy's compound?

The title is what made me want to read the book, and I think it's a very descriptive title. The book is in almost perfectly equal parts about sex, drugs and blueberries.

The sex topic was both in conversation and in semi-graphic detail. The conversation was surprisingly edifying (truly -- they discuss sex in theory more than they do it), and the sex scenes were realistic (harder than you'd think to write). The main character is married, but ends up dallying. This doesn't equal divorce, and he spends probably equal time thinking about wanting to dally as he does thinking about how this will affect his wife. As a woman, I enjoyed (rather than being turned off by) his internal monologue. Sure, it sounded misogynistic, but I think it's truer than if it had been written as what I would like to think men think.

The drugs topic was based on the rural poverty of "down east" Maine. Having come from an area of the country with plenty of rural poverty, I was satisfied with the way the author described the drugs (lots of weed, prescription drugs), how they were acquired (old people selling their meds, which fits the rural poverty thing), why the character wanted them (take the edge of the aches of manual labor) and how they were used. It's no Trainspotting, more like Hunter S. Thompson.

The blueberries come in as the main character's job. He's to rake blueberries, paid per pound. It's intense manual labor, and it's described not as a lover of blueberries or a foodie, but as someone who is mechanically involved in their harvest.

I'd call it a mix of Chuck Palahniuk, Hunter S. Thompson, Dr. Ruth and Deliverance. It's enough of a trainwreck to keep you interested, but not so much that you feel totally yucky reading it. It's definitely a "plane read", where its interest is great enough to keep you content while flying.

By the by, the cover art is high-school awesome, so don't judge it negatively. I don't think it's the best cover for the book, as the main character isn't a young guy prone to doodling. I think that's my biggest criticism.
  sonyagreen | Mar 10, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When reading a book, I like to feel that it has been worthwhile because I have learned at least one thing. With Sex, Drugs and Blueberries, I did learn a little about the blueberry business, so I guess it was not a waste. But other than that, I felt as if this was not a great book. The book did have a high point that peaked my interest near the end (with the accident), but I thought, how can Mr Barry posisbly wrap this up in 2 pages? The answer: he didn't as I was left feeling empty. ( )
2 vote bdouglas97 | Feb 28, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
at first i really liked it but that faded. it seemed like the author didnt know whether we should like the friend of the protagonist or not. he came off as a good guy but all of a sudden he completely changed personality and then the main character didnt like him. its like he was two different people. even the main character was hard to like as it went on. hard to like someone who is cheating on his wife even if i do understand as a former user how easy it is to make bad decisions. overall,i think the it was a decent attempt at a first writing and the author definately has some talent but i dont think id recommend this book.
2 vote ElekNotreDame | Feb 27, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
"Crash Barry has Stephen King’s knack for dialogue and Carolyn Chute’s ability to lodge grit under your fingernails in just a few sentences, but he writes in a voice that’s solely his own. This is the kind of storytelling that can only come from having been there."
 
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Epigraph
This is a story about how quickly things can go wrong. The characters and events are inventions of the author.
Dedication
Thanks to Shana, Sharyn and Tom Sexton., Harold and Kim Crabill, John McDonald, The Bollard, Green Acres, Buzz, Jenny and Fuvvie, Kipper, the Farm, Patty and Pete, C. Delles, Mark Baldwin and Petunia.
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Everything seemed normal.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Failed Portland rocker Ben Franklin moves Down East with his poet wife to start a new life. Desperate for cash, Ben signs on for the Maine blueberry harvest where he's lured into a seamy world of sex and drugs that could lead to his downfall. Alternating between temptation and ecstasy, desperation and guilt, Ben discovers how quickly things can go wrong.
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After a failed career as a rocker, Ben Franklin moves to downeast Maine. He signs up for the blueberry harvest and ends up in a downhill spiral of sex, drugs and a life out of control.

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