This free-wheeling, fast-paced drug odysseythe speed-addled San Francisco doppelg%nger of Irvine Welsh's Trainspottingfeatures a butch female bike messenger named Jim, an all-girl punk band and the never-ending search for the rush that makes it all worthwhile. Jim's hardcore speed habit means she's headed nowhere fast; when forced to choose between drugs and the girl she loves, disaster and a cross-country road trip follow. Along the way, the reader is treated to a vivid portrait of a life in collapse, as well as poetic and seductive descriptions of the highs preceding this downfall. Jim's relationship with her stripper girlfriend, Ally, provides the story's emotional center and the arc of the protagonist's development. Amid a tornado of activity and attitude, the author builds a small oasis of honest and unvarnished emotion, constructing a touching and nuanced portrait of a boy who has not quite grown up. Jim rides fast and lives hard, yet somehow, beneath all the bravado and the crude drama, she retains an almost childlike innocence and purity of heart that radiates through the accumulated layers of grime and vice, carrying the reader through her darkest hours. The narrative can be gratingly autobiographical in tone at times, and the rushed, free-form style is occasionally a bit gimmicky, but this earnest debut is well worth the ride. (May) Forecast: Breedlove, chief singer and songwriter for the popular dyke-punk band Tribe 8, has a following already, and West Coast fans in particular (Tribe 8 is based in San Francisco) will be the sustaining readership for her debut novel. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Breedlove's debut novel should be required reading for any teenager who thinks that the drug world is glamorous. Godspeed follows the trail of its heroine, Jim, a butch-lesbian and punk-rock fan who spends most of her waking hours trying to score her next high while supporting herself as a bicycle messenger in San Francisco. The story centers on Jim's breakup with her girlfriend, Ally, who finally tires of sending Jim out with money for food only to hear from her a day later when the money has been spent on drugs. After getting fired from just about every bike messenger job in the city, Jim goes on tour as a roadie with a punk-rock band, spending most of her time dreaming about patching things up with Ally but remaining captive to her addiction. Written in the dialect of the punk world, this novel might be difficult at first for the uninitiated, but after a few pages it takes the reader on a fascinating if cautionary tour of some of the seamiest places of the drug underworld. Recommended for large public libraries. Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland Lib., OR Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Veteran punkrocker Breedlove debuts in print with the story of-surprise-a punkrocker looking for love but finding only sex in a sub-America chock-full of "hags." "Jim" is a lesbian punkrocker and a druggie bike messenger in San Francisco. She's "a regular Major Tom, an Annie Oakley who rides all day and shoots all night." We follow her here through apparently random and inconsequential events, drug-trips, happenstance encounters with people who have names like Eurobabe, Diamonds, Ally Cat, Pez, Smash, Devastaysha, and The Despondent One. These encounters trigger memories that are just as random and happenstance but that detail Jim's life as that of a person is far more confident and far less confused than she ought to be. She watches friends turn tricks, delivers lots of unprompted drug-shooting advice, visits her own rundown flat, recounts her latest run-in with the police, dreams about being a man, has a number of affairs with fellow hags, dumpster dines, has a lip pierced, and eventually travels cross-country with a band called Hostile Mucous, driving with the group to LA, New Orleans, Florida, New England, and New York for lots more sex in bathrooms, ever more speed trips, and the occasional riff on love in a modern America. Breedlove writes with the glee of a child giddy over seeing her face on the screen or her name in print; it's literature as a game of dress-up. She is actually best at the simple, quiet, yet harrowing moments of life that she actively avoids in favor of hackneyed drug pyrotechnics. What emerges is an anti-story whose main riddle is whether what is happening is actually happening or whether it's all an orgiastic drug fantasy that devalues the plot we non-hags aresuspected of craving. An attempt at a sub-subgenre of clit lit where women hate being women but love women and hate them at the same time. But it won't work until it gets real.
Critical praise for Godspeed:
“Godspeed is an intensely smart and funny book...rendered in a prose that’s vibrant and in the moment as Kerouac’s ‘spontaneous bop prosody. Breedlove has talent coming out of her ears.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“I guess it wasn’t enough for Breedlove to front a stellar punk band, be a tireless activist, and inspire legions of girls – she just had to emerge as a great American writer as well.” – Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre
“The experience of reading Godspeed is almost enough to give you a contact high.” – Salon
“Lynn Breedlove has given the world a badly needed heroine – a sloppy punk –rock dyke superheroine with lots of angry smarts, a poetic heart, and a devastating sense of humor. If this book doesn’t make you want to go out and smash windows, there’s no life in you.” – Michelle Tea, author of Valencia and The Chelsea Girl Whistle
“Breedlove has crafted a wildly imaginative novel with a buzz-saw, nonjudgmental acuity about bending gender and thrashing music, about tender moments in a fierce life, and about growing up and learning how to love.” –Book Marks
“Godspeed is the most important novel this side of Naked Lunch...You are looking at the twenty-first century’s first epic novel. This book runs strictly on diesel, and it is a ride you won’t want to miss!” –Judith “Jack” Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity