Now a major motion picture starring Tom Holland and directed by the Russo Brothers. A young medic returns from deployment in Iraq to two things: the woman he loves, and the opioid crisis sweeping across the Midwest.
In this “miracle of literary serendipity” (The Washington Post), after finding himself deep in the thrall of heroin addiction, the soldier arrives at what seems like the only logical solution: robbing banks.
Written by a singularly talented, wildly imaginative debut novelist, Cherry is a bracingly funny and unexpectedly tender work of fiction straight from the dark heart of America.
A PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD FINALIST
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: THE NEW YORKER • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY • VULTURE • VOGUE • LIT HUB
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Cherry has the makings of a cult classic: an unfiltered, unforgettable voice and a complete disregard for taboo and good manners. Nico Walker’s semi-autobiographical novel follows an unnamed college dropout who joins the military, leaving behind his enigmatic girlfriend, Emily. After “playing a soldier,” Walker’s hero comes home to Emily, but PTSD and other pressures push the couple ever deeper into heroin addiction. To support their habit, the book’s self-described “scumbag” narrator starts robbing banks. Darkly funny and gut-wrenchingly raw, Cherry makes Walker part of a swaggering tradition of literary bad boys including Hubert Selby Jr., Hunter S. Thompson, Irvine Welsh, and Denis Johnson.
A man who likens himself to a "stray dog with the mange" descends into addiction in this frustrating debut. Walker's unnamed narrator begins the novel as "a soft kid" from a stable home, a vegetarian shoe store employee dating a college classmate named Emily who likes Modest Mouse and Edward Albee. But when Emily transfers, he fails out of school and enlists in the Army as a medic, reasoning "I don't have any other ideas." He wastes time in Iraq "waiting for the war to happen" and grows further apart from Emily. Upon returning home to Cleveland, the narrator starts "getting into the OxyContin pretty hard." He traipses through a parade of new women before Emily reenters the picture, having started using drugs herself. "There was nothing better than to be young and on heroin," the narrator writes. Some readers may find the innumerable descriptions of the Sisyphean life of an addict suitably transgressive. For everyone else, the insistence on Emily's culpability for the narrator's degeneration, as well as the depiction of other women as useful only for sex, make the novel feel like it's willing to describe the catastrophe of its narrator's life, but not truly examine it.
The book was a bit different from the movie but the movie still had the major points and told the story. Sometimes taking quotes directly from the book. This book is very interesting and it is really a combination of all different types of books. It ranges from so much all while following the same character. A must read.
Recommend for veterans.
The book is extremely easy to read, the pages just flow together. It brought me out of a year slump of not reading. Chapters are to the point, great read for someone with ADHD! It’s realistic and relatable. Filled with raw emotions of sorrow and humor. The portions that talk about the military are easy to read, even for those who haven’t served. Overall a fantastic book and eye opener to some, to others a relatable example of life.
Endearingly dark story about heroin addiction
The story of a young 19 yr old who is struggling to find himself, joins the army and does a tour in Iraq for a year 2005-2006. He’d been struggling over there with brutal depression anxiety and horrific panic attacks. He has friends send him oxycondone 80 mgs the last 1/2 of the tour and by the time he’s home it’s not long before he’s on heroin using needles with his codependent and dysfunctional ex wife. They’d met prior to his leaning for boot camp and married before his tour. They divorced immediately when he got home and found their way back to one another, both having severe heroin addiction. The things he does for the drugs and to keep them both high will have you stomach in knots. A lot of really graphic descriptions regarding their use and extremes they go to get it. If these graphically explosive type stories trigger you, then this isn’t the book to read. It’s HEAVY HEAVY HEAVY but it’s an exceptionally accurate look inside the day and a life of an addict. It’ll break your heart six ways to Sunday yet the author does such a remarkable job humanizing the main protagonist that you can’t help but hurt for him and feel the pain the anguish and how broken he is. You wish you could’ve climbed inside and held him for a little while. That feeling of worthlessness and darkness is just devastating for any soul to feel.