|aFourteen-year-old Jamie leaves military school and embarks on a trip from Portland, Oregon to Memphis, Tennessee, to see his brother who is dying of cancer, writing letters describing his crazy, disturbing, and sometimes heartening experiences along the way
An award-winning writer and playwright hits the open road for a searing novel-in-letters about a street kid on a highstakes trek across America.For a runaway boy who goes by the name "Punkzilla," kicking a meth habit and a life of petty crime in Portland, Oregon, is a prelude to a mission: reconnecting with his older brother, a gay man dying of cancer in Memphis. Against a backdrop of seedy motels, dicey bus stations, and hitched rides, the desperate fourteen-year-old meets a colorful, sometimes dangerous cast of characters. And in letters to his sibling, he catalogs them all -- from an abusive stranger and a ghostly girl to a kind transsexual and an old woman with an oozing eye. The language is raw and revealing, crackling with visceral details and dark humor, yet with each interstate exit Punkzilla's journey grows more urgent: will he make it to Tennessee in time? This daring novel offers a narrative worthy of Kerouac and a keen insight into the power of chance encounters.