Delicious Foods, subpar parental leave

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In several major ways, James Hannaham’s Delicious Foods sets itself up for failure. After all, theย book’sย main character, Eddie, is discovered in its firstย sentence spearheading his own vehicular escape from a farmโ€”but has no hands. Noย matter how the rest of Hannaham’s second novel plays out, it is from the inaugural page a story catching up to a conclusion, a narrative climax in pursuit of rising action.

On top of starting at the end, Hannaham also employs a narrator I wouldn’t normally indulge: Scotty, also known as crack-cocaine, who relays the story of Eddie and his mother, the Scotty-addicted Darlene, as though opining on the circumstances of old friendsโ€”which, in some respects, Darlene kind of is. Wry and observant, Scotty is the anchor of this ambitious book, the slice of novelty that cuts through even its most tedious moments.

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