The Art of Raising Hell

The Art of Raising Hell

by Thomas Lopinski

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“There are some people that walk around on two feet and others like me that run on all four.”

To most people, that’s a bold statement. I just wish I’d been the one to say it, but I wasn’t. In fact, until a few days ago, I wasn’t even sure what it meant.

Either you’re the type of person who lives within a set of boundaries or the type who knows none.

But life is never that simple, is it?

No, I’d say that the most important insights about who we are, what we say, and why we do things are not always the obvious ones. Instead, they’re discovered on the streets of your hometown, revealed late at night in a dark backroom, or sometimes forced upon you at knifepoint where your only choices for survival are between bad and worse.

In The Art of Raising Hell, Newbie Johnson has recently moved to Bunsen Creek, Illinois, when his mother is killed in a tragic car crash. His father does his best to maintain a normal household, but his broken heart is just not up to the task.

Newbie finds solace by hanging out with his three buddies in their clandestine Backroom hideout. Getting into mischief becomes their favorite pastime as they try to follow in the footsteps of Lonny Nack, who has perfected the art of running on all four.

Lonny fears no one, including The Law, and soon takes his peculiar sense of justice, along with his love of practical jokes, to new heights while entertaining the colorful characters of Kickapoo County.

“Running on all four” takes on a new meaning for Newbie when he finds his inner voice and begins to understand the difference between chasing life and being chased by it.

Praise for The Art of Raising Hell

“Filled with surprises and moments, good and bad, that capture a moving tale about being young, growing up, and learning some of the harder lessons in life.” ~ Lost in a Good Book Reviews

"The Art of Raising Hell is our generation’s Catcher In The Rye: a tender, yet compelling, coming-of-age tale that reminds its audience of the difference between life and living.” ~ Laura Valvasori, The San Francisco Book Review

Product Details

BN ID: 2940151837859
Publisher: Vagabondage Press LLC
Publication date: 03/25/2015
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Thomas Lopinski grew up in a quaint small town in Illinois called Georgetown with one stoplight, one high school, one square, one lake, one police car, and one hundred ways to get into trouble. It was a wonderful place to be a child. He studied at the University of Illinois and later moved to Southern California with his wife and children to work in the music business. He is also a member of the Independent Writers of Southern California (IWOSC). His first novel, Document 512, won several awards and recognition in 2012-2013 from Readers View Reviewers Choice Awards, Best Indie Book Awards, IndieFab Awards and the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

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The Art of Raising Hell 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic read! It sounds like a cliche, but I could not put this down, once I started. Thomas Lopinski has created a great story, along with a wonderfully colorful group of characters. A unique insight into a small town, and a group of fellas with too much time on their hands! He also stirs in a few life lessons, some drama, and plenty of comedic moments. I highly recommend this gem. There is very wide appeal here, anyone can enjoy this story. Very much looking forward to reading his next book, DOCUMENT 512.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite Thomas Lopinski’s The Art of Raising Hell is the story of young Ryan Johnson (nicknamed Newbie by his friends and throughout the book) and is set in the 1970s. Newbie and his father move to Bunsen Creek, Illinois, after the tragic death of his mom in a car crash. Newbie is intrigued and drawn to an older school mate, good-hearted Lonny Nack, and his philosophy of “running on all fours.” This means being unique, being yourself, taking risks and, for Lonny, sometimes breaking a few laws and ending up in the detention center. Newbie and his three friends get caught up in all the usual and some not so usual experiences, challenges, relationships, sadness, and lessons of normal growing up and being teenagers in high school. But Newbie, always affected by his mother’s death and influence, finds his deepest connections are with others who have experienced similar traumas. He seeks some sort of revenge and justice for his friend Sally, and the suspicious tragedy that eventually befalls Lonny. Lopinski is a brilliant writer with a distinct authorial tone. He writes in first person, as Newbie telling his own story, and draws the reader right into the plot. All the characters in The Art of Raising Hell are well depicted and believable, particularly Newbie and Lonny. The plot goes at a good pace with plenty of action, surprise and suspense. At the same time the inner worlds and motivations of the main characters are explored with great insight and move the story onwards. As Newbie grasps Lonny’s philosophy of living in a way that is true to the soul, so the reader experiences his gradual blossoming into a young adult who is developing the wisdom to become himself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JBronder More than 1 year ago
It’s the 70’s and Newbie has recently moved to a small town and faces tragedy shortly there after. He is left adrift when he comes across three friends. They all quickly become friends and start having all kinds of adventures. The story follows them through the adventures, with people they meet and those they lose. I admit that I was born at the end of the 70’s so I don’t have any personal reference. But I do remember what it was like growing up in a small farming town. This takes me back to when I was a kid and the things I ran around and did with my friends. There were many people and all had their own story. The writing was so descriptive that I could put the book down. I just had to find out who they meet next and what they were up to. It was also nice to follow them as they grew up too. They all changed from their experiences and I loved to see it happen. This is not going to be one of those books where everything is just warm, fuzzy, and happily ever after. This feels like a real story and you meet and lose people throughout it. This is great for those that want to remember the 70’s with a great coming of age story. This was my first story from Thomas Lopinski but I will definitely be getting Document 512. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
ChristyS1 More than 1 year ago
I pick this book up because it was someone from my home town. It is a quick read but once you start it is hard to put down.
GaleB More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down! Once I started it I was pulled right into the story and transported back to a time when I was in high school. I laughed, I cried and I learned the differences, along with many similarities, of growing up in a rural home town. This author has a way of speaking to your heart and not just your mind. Many small towns have a Lonny and a Newbie and the characters in this book are so fun and believable. I read Document 512, also from this author, and it had the same effects. Great story line and great characters! Well done!