Note: This review was originally published in December 2018, but I wanted to repost it in honor it being released today. It was one of my favorite books from 2018, and now that it’s finally out, I definitely recommend picking it up.
Trouble No Man by Brian Hart
Fiction | Post-Apocalyptic
Published by Harper Perennial
Release date: January 29, 2019
Author Links: Unknown (If you know of the author’s website or social media, please let me know. I was unable to find anything.)
I received a free ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I never accept monetary compensation in exchange for a positive review. Read more here.
Trouble No Man takes place in the near future when northern California has run out of water and is being controlled by militias. Roy Bingham is the main character, and the story follows him throughout his life, jumping back and forth from his younger days as a pro-skateboarder all the way up until he has become a family man living on a farm. The novel is about family and survival.
I’m not sure where I originally heard of this upcoming novel, but as soon as I read the synopsis I contacted Harper Perennial to request a review copy. I had never heard of the author, Brian Hart, but he was being compared to Cormac McCarthy, one of my favorite writers; the plot was also post-apocalyptic, which is my favorite genre. I knew immediately that I wanted to read this, and am very grateful to the publisher for sending me a copy.
The aspect of this book that I enjoyed the most was the muddled timeline. Each chapter is set during a different decade of Roy Bingham’s life. As the story progresses, you start to piece things together. I found myself flying through the pages because I wanted to find out what happened next in his life. The layout and progression of the chapters were perfectly done.
I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that I enjoy books about characters that are unlikeable, and this is certainly one of those novels. Although Roy starts to grow on you toward the end of the book, for the majority of the story I found him immensely unlikable and selfish. His personality is such a large part of the story, however, and is important to his growth, so his off-putting personality is actually very enjoyable, and it’s nice to see how much he evolves over the course of his entire life. People always change as they get older, and it was refreshing to watch that happen to his character.
There are thousands of post-apocalyptic novels in the world right now and, while I would read just about any of them, the ones I enjoy the most are the ones that feel as though they could actually happen. This book isn’t scary, but it is certainly unsettling due to how realistic the scenarios are. It is not hard to imagine that in a world without water militias would take control of localities and violence would explode.
Trouble No Man is one of the best books I’ve read in 2018. I’m going to be recommending this book to everyone when it is released in January 2019.
Other Books by Brian Hart