Book review: Drinking Until Morning by Justin Grimbol

Available from Amazon

“This beer soaked, degenerate coming of age story follows the day-to-day trials in the darkly hysterical world of Grimboli, a chronically unemployed nobody who moves listlessly among a group of young adults from the wrong side of the tracks to an endless litany of pathetic and crazed women, bums, drunks, sordid rooms, dreary embraces, and drunken brawls. Littered with psychic debris, self-loathing, and everything else Grimboli can find to take his mind off his completely unfulfilling life.”

After reading Drinking Until Morning, I am now up to date with all of Justin Grimbol’s books. Which is weird because this is his first book. I’ve reviewed quite a few of his books this year, and I think what really makes his work stand out is the amount of himself which he injects into his books. They read very autobiographical, very down to earth and human, exposed in all their beauty and their flaws. The first book I read from Grimbol was the Crud Masters, which was his least autobiographical, featuring giant monsters and a gang of kids which could have been based on real people, but felt largely made up. It’s still got the feel of a Grimboli story, but it touched on a completely different direction which he could have gone with his fiction, should he have decided to go there. Instead we get books like Naked Friends and Minivan Poems and the Creek and the Party Lords and Mud Season. These books are quintessentially Grimboli, and they hail back to this first book about two young lovers drifting out of sync and moving in different directions, the call to adventure and the yearning to reignite a spark which has gone forever. I love how Grimbol seems to effortlessly capture raw human emotion. The characters are just so well fleshed out and the narrative floats along in an organic manner, not predetermined by set goals or relying on key plot twists to drive the story forward through the acts. You can read this book and learn more about Grimbol through it and know that he understands people and relationships in ways most people don’t, and certainly in ways that most people can never put into words. His books are beautiful and charming in such insightfully strange ways, and I’m glad I’ve been able to enjoy them all in their own unique ways. Drinking Until Morning is something special. It’s a doorway towards a greater expanse of Grimboli fiction. I haven’t read a book of his I didn’t love, and I eagerly await more from this gloriously humble human.

Next review: All Hail the House Gods by Andrew James Stone

Last review: Heathenish by Kelby Losack

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