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By WH Buzzard

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THERE IS A GENERATION is an intriguing and descriptive travel-tale, crammed with paranoia, juvenile misdemeanors and enforced growing up.

THERE IS A GENERATION is a story about two teenage runaways, and the difficulties and rugged characters they encounter.

Mixing life on the road and severe personal examination, THERE IS A GENERATION is a story about two friends, their mistakes, and their relationship as they feel forced to run away from their everyday lives. It explores fear, darkness, minor mental breakdown and adventure, set amid vividly described southern-state scenes.

Timmy and Hect are best friends. Timmy is a well-brought up young man from a comfortable family, and Hect a mischievous character from the other side of the track. Living in rural Texas, the desert calls to them, and they use it as a massive open-air play thing. Their messing around runs close to the line: games of army involving real weapons, and creeping between the desert foliage to launch assaults on abandoned buildings for the laughs. One day, Hect decides to take things a little far, and the pair end up launching a homemade Molotov cocktail at a shed they’ve been staking out. As it burns intensely, a terrified Timmy thinks he’s seen the trapped outline of a man in the window. The pair go on the run, fearing the worst. The thing is, Timmy’s wrestling with his own paranoia. He’s not the stablest of characters, and commonly has a sense of being followed, or of an unknown presence. His sighting of a person inside the cabin is unreliable at best, and he knows it. He’s not prepared to reveal the extent of his doubts to Hect.

From here, the story twists and turns into an engaging runaway, if at times convoluted, travel story. There are characters introduced who do little for the plot development, but they’re all interesting, and reflective of a quirky life on the road, one in which people impact on proceedings and then simply disappear forever. At times we’re left wondering how Timmy, in particular, can make such ill-advised decisions. Hect is a little more streetwise and hardy, but also blase and ill-considered in his approach. They get in plenty of tangles, and make plenty of friends.

Slowly, we uncover the real story behind the pair, from Timmy’s intensely naive mother to Hect’s willingness to drop everything and run. Their relationship gets rocky, and the pair connect and disconnect along the road, prompting loneliness and clashes. Neither character is all that likeable, but the gritty adventure side of the book feels real, and the paranoia suitably uncomfortable. The mixed environments Timmy and Hect explore also become minor stars in a developing plot.

THERE IS A GENERATION is an intriguing and descriptive, travel tale, crammed with paranoia, juvenile misdemeanors and enforced growing up.

~James Hendicott for IndieReader