Press for Lean on Pete

“A superb evocation of adolescence, loss and, ultimately, hope, Lean on Pete confirms Willy Vlautin as simply one of the finest American writers of his generation, both lavishly gifted and wonderfully humane. I might be tempted to envy him his ability if I was not so grateful that his books exist.”
John Connolly

“Lean on Pete confirms his status as one of the most emotionally charged writers in America … Spare, dry, ingenuous, his prose is quickly compelling … Vlautin’s characters, memorable however curtailed their cameos might be, become a sketchbook of America … It’s a dark tale, lit with sporadic flashes of redeeming brilliance, told with aching compassion. There’s music in the stark writing, the urban clamour or Portland giving way to the keening twang of the open spaces. The band has to be a hobby now. Vlautin is a writer.”
Sunday Herald

“Lean On Pete is an archetypal American novel, Huck Finn for the crystal-meth generation. If there’s the occasional touch of sentimentality, it’s hard-earned and welcome. This is a sad, often brutal, but oddly beautiful portrait of an America that’s forgotten only because we choose not to remember its continuing existence.”
The Independent

“As one boy’s journey, Lean on Pete is as real as blood: as a novel it is remarkable. Willy Vlautin, romantic and realist, has written something special that will make you shudder, weep, rage and wonder at how such things happen and do, and how some individuals such as Charley can suffer them, absorb the grief, and somehow survive. How good is contemporary US fiction? This good: catch your breath good.”
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

“By the time ‘Lean on Pete’ reaches its sweet but unsentimental end, Charley Thompson isn’t a character in a novel, but a boy readers have come to love. ‘Lean on Pete’ riveted me. Reading it, I was heartbroken and moved; enthralled and convinced. This is serious American literature.”
Cheryl Strayed, The Oregonian

“This is one horse you won’t lose money on.”
Harry Guerin, RTE (Ireland)

“It would be easy to say that Vlautin—who sings in the alt-country band Richmond Fontaine—has crafted a country song of a novel. But Lean on Pete removes the doe-eyed catharsis of music and replaces it with the grim, rough-hewn persistence of tragedy.”
Jonathan Messinger, Time Out Chicago

“An occasionally heartbreaking novel from Vlautin, one of the freshest voices in American fiction.’ The Independent: 50 Best Winter Reads

“There is intensity in Vlautin’s narration, and also beauty and power.”
Bharti Kirchner, Seattle Times

Vlautin’s stark craftsmanship is at its bleary best in … Lean on Pete.”
Portland Monthly

What Daniel Woodrell does for the hardscrabble Ozarks, Vlautin does for the underside of the New West.” American Libraries Magazine

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