..one of the best coming of age novels I have ever read. It is sensitive, funny, insightful and moving. Both Frank and Brogan will live on in your readers' imagination. And the ending is pitch perfect- Doris Kearns Goodwin (Pulitzer Prize winning historian)..A fascinating character-driven journey of bonding and introspection.(Kirkus Reviews)
Every family has their hidden crackpot...
For 17-year-old Brogan, it was Uncle Frank. In the mixed imagination of family lore, Frank was known as a chronic gambler, self-proclaimed philosopher, prodigious alcoholic, and an innate con artist. Yet, Brogan knew him only for his birthday cards. They arrived every year, not always on his birthday, with the distinct trace of a gasoline smell, accompanied by a $10 check that Brogan was never allowed to cash, plus Frank's words of advice that ranged from profane to the sublime.
Two days shy of his eighteenth birthday, Brogan awakes on the morning of Thanksgiving break to find that his estranged Uncle Frank is waiting at his doorstep. Haunted by the recent suicide of his best friend, Brogan is seduced by the mystery of Frank, a man he has never met, and his life of risk and abandonment. He agrees to a road trip - not sanctioned by his parents - that will take them from New Jersey to Key West, Florida.
Brogan's future is promising. The best student in his prestigious New Jersey preparatory school, he has recently accepted a full academic scholarship to MIT. But Brogan will discover Frank's world of misfits and mobsters, including Bogota, an enormous ex-mobster transvestite that could rip apart a freight train. Frank's life threatens everyone around him and exposes the hardship of tangled family relationships and the lies and secrets we keep to protect others.
FRANK is a combustible, darkly comic, and intriguing mix of the deadpan ferocity of an underworld chronicle that we see in works like Denis Johnson's Angels and Donald Ray Pollack's The Devil All the Time, with the distinct, surreal touch of David Lynch, if he had ever taken a four-day road trip to Key West.