Cherry

Cherry

by Nico Walker

Hardcover

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Overview

Jesus' Son meets Reservoir Dogs in a breakneck-paced debut novel about love, war, bank robberies, and heroin.

Cleveland, 2003. A young man is just a college freshman when he meets Emily. They share a passion for Edward Albee and Ecstasy and fall hard and fast in love. But soon Emily has to move home to Elba, New York and he flunks out of school and joins the Army. Desperate to keep their relationship alive, they marry before he ships out to Iraq. But as an Army medic, he is unprepared for the grisly reality that awaits him. His fellow soldiers smoke; they huff computer duster; they take painkillers; they watch porn. And many of them die. He and Emily try to make their long-distance marriage work, but when he returns from Iraq, his PTSD is profound, and the drugs on the street have changed. The opioid crisis is beginning to swallow up the Midwest. Soon he is hooked on heroin, and so is Emily. They attempt a normal life, but with their money drying up, he turns to the one thing he thinks he could be really good at--robbing banks.

Hammered out on a typewriter, Cherry marks the arrival of a raw, bleakly hilarious, and surprisingly poignant voice straight from the dark heart of America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525520139
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 124,503
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

NICO WALKER is originally from Cleveland. He served as a medic on more than 250 missions in Iraq. Currently he has two more years of an eleven-year sentence for bank robbery. Cherry is his debut novel.

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Cherry 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Hey guys.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
The author has a unique voice that makes writing a great novel look easy. It’s a tragic story about addiction that is somehow infused with wry humor and pure humanity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a waste of time reading this book was. As a current member of the armed forces I find the piece on Iraq to be disgraceful and shameful to those who serve. I wish I could scrape every part of this book from my brain and set it on fire.
miss_mesmerized More than 1 year ago
2003, Cleveland. He has just arrived at uni when he meets Emily and falls for her immediately. They love each other passionately, just as they love Ecstasy. When Emily moves back home to Elba and splits up, he loses control and is expelled from college soon after. The army promises an interesting future – or better: a future at all. As a medic he is briefly trained before they send him to Iraq. A year in the Middle East, a year in the war. What he sees is unimaginable and to avoid the pictures in his head and to deal with the everyday loss of comrades, he needs more and more pills. When he returns, he cannot find a way back in life. With Emily, he’s got an on-and-off relationship which is mainly marked by their common use of heroin. A normal life seems possible, but the constant need of money for more drugs and the fact of passing out frequently hinders them from actually having it. “Cherry” is the story of an average young man whose life spirals down into the abyss. It’s not the one big event that throws him off course, it’s a bit here and there, a relationship that breaks up, not getting enough credits at college, simply losing the aim in life. Of course, the experiences made in the war are a major event and it is hard to imagine that anybody can live through this without serious psychological disturbances or PTSD. The novel brings out the worst that drugs can do to somebody and it underlines how long this can go on without people around noticing anything, how long they can keep up appearances before wreaking havoc. Yet, it is not only the topic, the narrator’s life that is shown bluntly by Nico Walker. What he does masterly, too, is to adapt the language to the situation: The car bomb did what car bombs do and four were dead in the market. It would have been more but the sheep took most of the blast. So you had flesh and blood and wool on the pavement. You had bloodstains on the pavement, little lakes of blood. There is no reason to embellish anything, it’s just the blunt reality that Walker describes in the most brutal and direct way. Most of the soldiers were “Cherries” which gives the novel its title: soldiers who have never been in a fight and whose behaviour is unpredictable and therefore a danger to the whole platoon. They were ill prepared in every possible way, but the worst is that they were ill prepared to return to a life in the civilian society. Walker doesn’t beat about the bush, his novel accuses their treatment, as well as the way drug addicts are taken care of, or rather: not taken care of. He shows a reality that nobody wants to see but which exists among us. The style of writing might not be for everybody, but it is perfect for this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good read. The druggy stuff went a little long, and I would have liked to have more chapters that go into being arrested and prison, and maybe a little bit of redemption, but maybe that’s not real life. For all I know the author is still a POS, who knows whatever as Nico would say!