In Nothing or Next to Nothing, the debut novella from Barry Graham, the reader finds himself transported to the roughest parts of Michigan. He begins to see life through the eyes and memories of Derek, a restaurant owner, brother, stoner, and more. He is travelling from Ohio to New Jersey to find his sister Daisy. As he drives he tells us all of the events that have lead to this trip. There is drug abuse, random and not so random sexual encounters, murder, abuse, violence, incest, crayons, and many vividly graphic descriptions of breasts and bowel movements.
This is a classic tale of trash, but through this real and distinct story Graham delivers something that is universally true, you can't trust anyone. Everyone Derek tries to rely on beats him down, and because of that he loses faith in everyone and everything. It is the story of a life unlived but still destructive. In the end Derek only truly cares about one person and she only exists in postcards and riddles.
Nothing or Next to Nothing really is a gripping read, and will officially be re released on August 23rd. You can hear Barry Graham reading in Chicago twice this week. He will be reading tonight, July 12th, at Quickies! at 7:30pm at The Innertown Pub and at The Orange Alert Reading Series on July 17th at 6pm at The Whistler.