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I loved this book. CONCRETE FEVER by Nathaniel Kressen, here we go: set in New York City in the months after 9/11, we meet our young protagonist “Jumper” on the rooftop of his deceased father’s apartment when he meets a girl called “Gypsy,” also on the rooftop, but for very different reasons. These are two damaged young people who meet and agree to “pretend” they are each other’s saviors, or guardian angels, or lovers, for just one night. Jumper has money and Gypsy’s willing to play along for the night, diving into an expensive dinner, followed by drinking, sex, and drugs, none of which give as much pleasure as we often expect.

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The pacing of the novel is manic, intense, micro-focused into the specifics of line by line dialogue, razor-focused visuals, and sounds of New York at night. If you’re someone who likes books about young, fucked-up people trying to find hope in each other, and not quite failing, this is a must-read. The writing is crisp, clean, quick-paced, without sacrificing any of its art, or artifice, and delivers an emotional climax that I found totally surprising–and satisfying. I didn’t know anything about this book, or its author, Nathaniel Kressen, but I’m glad that I read it and encourage you to take a look, too.

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Nathaniel self-published the first edition of 250 copies, which include original artwork drawn by his wife Jessie. A literary couple: we love it! And we are always eager to support an artist willing to pursue his dream at any cost. Give it a spin. Let me know if you loved it as much as I did. CONCRETE FEVER by Nathaniel Kressen.