Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

 Blacktop Wasteland
 S.A. Cosby
 Flatiron Books 
 July 2021
 ISBN: 9781250252692
 320 pages
 TP: $16.99
 order here 

When an ex-delinquent is faced with the heist of a lifetime, he’s tempted to jeopardize the new life he’s made for himself to chase one last thrill.

In the 2020 novel Blacktop Wasteland, S.A. Cosby creates a powerful commentary on identity and self-reconciliation in the character of Beauregard “Bug” Montage, previously known as “the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi.” Leaving the man he used to be behind, Bug manages to slip under the radar and make an honest living as a mechanic in order to provide for his family, but when the thrills of his old life come calling, he finds it hard to refuse. Blacktop Wasteland provides readers with a poignant look at the concept of self through characters who contain multitudes. Bug wrestles with the idea of being made up of the things he is, the things he used to be, and all of the things beyond. As we watch each decision unfold, questions begin to call out from the page: can people really change? Can familial cycles be broken? Can a past life ever fully be left behind?

The combination of Cosby’s animated dialogue and chilling antagonists will make you say one more page until you quickly meet the back cover. This book delivers a deep look into several characters’ psyches, as if you’re standing in each moment with them—seeing flashes of future and past, weighing each decision, counting the cost. Bug’s story is timely, raw, and deeply important.

Will he accept the fate that’s been handed to him, or will he find a way to break free once and for all?

Aneyla Dozier is a poet from Martinsburg, WV and just graduated from Shepherd University with a BA in English Education. She has edited for several of Shepherd’s publications, including the lit magazine, Sans Merci, and the Anthology of Appalachian Writers. She will be teaching English and coaching volleyball at Spring Mills High School in the fall.