This book is the darkest painting of suburbia I’ve read in awhile. If your life stinks, replace it with Jernigan’s. Here’s what you get when you make the switch—alcoholism, self-abuse, teenage son on drugs, shacking up with the mother of your teenage son’s girlfriend, death of wife, death of rabbits for food, and loss of job. Plus, did I mention drinking large quantities of gin.
Why does this character continue to shot himself in the foot (or in his case, the hand)? It seems like he just doesn’t give two hoots. What makes the book work is Jernigan’s wisecracking nature. He makes condescending jokes about everything while his life drops away, even though it’s his own fault. David Gates, Jernigan’s creator, humorously ties together the tight, descriptive narratives.
n isn’t alone in his life of horror. The whole cast of characters is barely functioning. Of course, Jernigan cannot stand the rest of them. He’s going to do things his way—and his way is a way so unimaginable yet possible that it leaves you riveted.