Bill Beverly's beautifully written debut novel, Dodgers, is about a Compton kid named East, who is tasked with piling into a minivan with three other young gang members (including his estranged, violent younger brother) and driving across the Midwest in order to assassinate the man who would testify against their boss. That's the setup, but the real story is concerned with the psychology of displacement. This is a familiar condition for East, who chose to sleep in a cardboard box in an abandoned building, rather than live in his mother's house. Being on the road with virtual strangers, and traveling in unknown places under an assumed name, only exacerbates East's crisis of selfhood. How he manages himself and those around him is the fuel that burns throughout this wonderful, sweet, sad, and deeply sympathetic novel.— Michael
April 2016 Indie Next List
“Four young black men, following orders, leave their tightly bound South Central Los Angeles community, and drive across the country to perform a hit to prevent a witness from testifying against their boss. They are ghetto born, raised, and trained, so they have outlaw skills and the resulting respect in their community. In wide-open America, they are profoundly out of their comfort zone. What each young man does with his skills, wits, sense of duty, and -- for one in particular -- a dawning sense of what the future holds for such a lifestyle, forms the core of this powerful novel. Provocative, gripping, and timely, Dodgers is a riveting read that leaves a lasting impression.”
— Sheryl Cotleur (E), Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, CA
WINNER OF THE LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE 2017 FOR BEST MYSTERY/THRILLER
WINNER OF THE CWA GOLDSBORO GOLD DAGGER 2016 FOR BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR
WINNER OF THE CWA JOHN CREASEY NEW BLOOD DAGGER 2016 FOR BEST DEBUT CRIME NOVEL
FINALIST FOR THE PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD 2017 FOR DEBUT FICTION
LONGLISTED FOR ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL 2017 FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION
NOMINATED FOR THE EDGAR AWARD 2017 FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
Dodgers is a dark, unforgettable coming-of-age journey that recalls the very best of Richard Price, Denis Johnson, and J.D. Salinger. It is the story of a young LA gang member named East, who is sent by his uncle along with some other teenage boys--including East's hothead younger brother--to kill a key witness hiding out in Wisconsin. The journey takes East out of a city he's never left and into an America that is entirely alien to him, ultimately forcing him to grapple with his place in the world and decide what kind of man he wants to become.
Written in stark and unforgettable prose and featuring an array of surprising and memorable characters rendered with empathy and wit, Dodgers heralds the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction.
About the Author
BILL BEVERLY grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and studied at Oberlin College and the University of Florida. His research on criminal fugitives and the stories surrounding them became the book On the Lam: Narratives of Flight in J. Edgar Hoover's America. He teaches American literature and writing at Trinity University in Washington, DC. From the Hardcover edition.