Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

Punkzilla is considered an epistolary novel, which is a story told through documents. In this case, Punkzilla’s (Jamie is his real name.) story is told through letters. He is conversing with his brother, Peter (referred to as “P”), who is dying of cancer. Jamie is writing to him on a bus on his way from Portland, Oregon to Memphis, Tennessee to see his brother before he dies. Jamie writes his brother of the adventures and experiences he has while on this cross-country journey. Travelling by bus is pretty sketchy, which is made abundantly clear based on the things Jamie sees while staying at seedy motels, stopped at eerie bus stations, and with the bevy of oddballs who accompany him on his journey. Jamie’s language is blunt, lucid, at times raw, but still poetic as he describes his current adventure and his memories. This is also an emotional journey for Jamie as he tries to reach his brother in time. The reader is fully in-tunes with his roller coaster of emotions as he travels across the country.

This book is dark, edgy, and contains some graphic content, which is typical of Adam Rapp’s work. I would recommend Punkzilla for older teens (Grades 10 & up).

Author Adam Rapp is a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. Other books written by Rapp available in the Moore Young Adult collection are: Under the wolf, Under the Dog; 33 Snowfish; Little Chicago, The Buffalo Tree; and Missing the Piano.

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