Blacktop Wasteland

Blacktop Wasteland

Book - 2020
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"A gritty, voice-driven thriller about a former getaway driver who thought he had escaped the criminal life who is pulled back in by race, poverty, and his own former life of crime. Beauregard "Bug" Montage is a man with many different titles: husband, father, friend, honest car mechanic. But before he gave it up, Bug used to be known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best Wheel Man on the East Coast. After a series of financial calamities, Bug feels he has no choice but to take one final job as the getaway driver for a daring diamond heist that could solve all his money troubles and allow him to go straight once and for all. Like "Ocean's Eleven" meets "Drive" (but with a mostly black cast of characters), Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of sons living up (or down) to their fathers; of a heist gone sideways; of a man ground down by economic desperation; of fast cars and daring chases and identity and love"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250252685
Branch Call Number: F Cosb
Characteristics: 285 pages ; 25 cm


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May 06, 2021

raves by everyone, including Stephen King. Black author.

May 03, 2021

This is a fantastic crime novel, especially since it's written around the perspective of a "wheelman", the getaway car driver in every bank robbery or jewel heist. The planning of the robberies written with the escape first in mind is well done, and the distrust amongst thieves is a key element. The lead character is the object of pity, given his family circumstances and pressing financial woes, but is a strong, loyal man and loving father who garners the reader's sympathy. This book would be prime for adaptation as a movie script - I would love to see it on the screen! Highly recommended.

Mar 08, 2021

A predilection to resolve disputes with violence seems to be the summation of the book. Still a very good read.

Feb 25, 2021

Pretty good reality of a certain place, people in our time... pacing is good, couple of twists, etc... though, the protagonist disappears while doing the dirty work of preparations... I would of liked to have some of the thought processes as well as the engineering laid out for us...

Jan 13, 2021

Set in contemporary rural Virginia, Beauregard "Bug" Montage is a Black man in a financial vise: a failing car repair shop, his mortgage in arrears, a daughter who needs tuition money for college, a wife and 2 growing boys who need things, plus an aged mother in a nursing home. He's under tremendous pressure to provide for them all and keep his business afloat. He's also a skilled wheelman who feels most alive behind the wheel of a getaway car. He's trying to be a better father than his own Daddy, a getaway driver who went on the lam years ago. Bug has rejected The Life to keep his family safe but feels its pull; one more big score would relieve his pressing financial needs. Temptation arrives when a sketchy former crime partner floats the idea of a diamond heist. It's an offer Bug can't refuse. We follow a grimly determined Bug through the planning, execution and violent aftermath of the crime. The losers populating the novel, the cool way Bug deals with threats and the way bad guys are tracked down and neutralized reminded me of Elmore Leonard.

Bug is an appealing character; we sympathize with his plight. The narrative is turbo-charged, the dialog is both realistic and at time very funny but the situations are painful. Interestingly, while the Black characters are complex and fully-fleshed-out, the White ones are pretty much Southern cracker stereotypes.

Jan 04, 2021

I blazed through this book in one Sunday afternoon. A fun heist novel.

Dec 30, 2020

This is a great novel! Beuragard "Bug" Montage, an African American who owns an auto repair shop, is a loving husband and good father to his two sons and daughter from an earlier relationship, but has financial problems, mostly caused by a competing repair shop recently moved into his town. On top of that, his mother owes money to her nursing home, and his daughter cannot afford to go to college. So, with financial pressures mounting, Bug decides to accept an offer from a former criminal associate to take a job as a getaway driver for a job big enough to solve those financial problems. Author Cosby beautifully builds the suspense, while saying a great deal about living as a Black man in the south (Virginia), and notions of fatherhood, loyalty, family and friendship. This is rightfully being praised as one of the best novels of 2020!

Dec 21, 2020

The story started out a bit slow but picked up quickly. It is billed as a thriller (and it is) but the human interest story is much more compelling. The characters stay with you long after you finish reading the book.

Dec 06, 2020

guardian best crime 2020 list. Stephen King loved it. Black author.

JCLGreggW Oct 29, 2020

Beauregard "Bug" Montage is a father, husband, and mechanic in a struggling Virginia town who has a criminal past that he must turn to when financial pressure overwhelms him. Cosby's gritty, realistic characters and soaring prose are spot-on for fans of Lippman, Pelecanos, or Lehane.

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