RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip


The Turnaround, by George Pelecanos (Read by Dion Graham)



Gripping in its raw presentation, this is one of Pelecanos' best. The story starts in the early '70s in the Washington, D.C. area. One hot summer night, high on beer and pot, three white teenagers ride into a black neighborhood with intent to hurl racial slurs for kicks. The result of that visit changes their lives dramatically. Violence occurs and leaves one white teenager dead and one badly injured and permanently disfigured.

The main action in the story takes place in the present, involving the man who was disfigured as a teenager and the black teenage brothers who were involved in the incident. One of the brothers killed the white teenager and has served his jail sentence. The lives of all those who were involved in the incident are examined, with the author comparing the outcomes of each. The actions of these former teenagers as adults are truly fascinating and will hold your attention through to the surprising and pleasing conclusion.

George Pelecanos' great dialogue and the excellent job by the reader, Dion Graham, enable the listener to feel the realism of the story. Told with the raw and gritty style of the street savvy participants by a narrator who does a remarkable job of giving each character believability, this is a remarkable story of life. It points out the complications, both good and bad, that result from decisions made. This is a story that is real and "tells it like it is" in today's world. This book is highly recommended and is sure to make the listener think more carefully about life's decisions in the future.

John Mormon
8/29/08

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