Today is a glorious day. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and I’m delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Johnny Ruin by Dan Dalton.
Depression can be hell.
Heartbroken and lonely, the narrator has made an attempt on his own life. Whether he meant to or not he can’t say. But now he’s stuck in his own head, and time is running out.
To save himself, he embarks on a journey across an imagined America, one haunted by his doomed relationship and the memory of a road trip that ended in tragedy.
Help arrives in the guise of Jon Bon Jovi, rock star and childhood hero. An unlikely spirit guide, perhaps, but he’s going to give it a shot…
Now to be honest there is a lot of strong language and sexual references in this book. The language is crude and raw at times but can I just say that it is oh so beautiful. Dan’s writing is eloquent and emotive. I was absorbed into the storytelling by the strange surreal, nightmarish quality. It is absolutely compelling, poetic and powerful. Dan shows such sensitivity that he moved me to tears on more than one occasion. Johnny Ruin is an absolutely stunning read that will grab you hard by the heart and soul.
One line that particularly stands out for me ‘I thought you’d be taller‘. Read the book and find it yourself. Perhaps you’ll see what I mean but to me this one sentence encapsulates depression perfectly. It looms over life filling it with shadow and sadness before attaching itself, heavy and suffocating. Dan has written depression in it’s very darkest moments, he gives it a form and in that is turning it into something that can be defeated. It can try to hide from the light but it will be found. Despair can feel overwhelming and Johnny Ruin shows this but it also shows that there is still life out there even in times when we feel there is no future. This is a story of broken hearts and broken dreams but most of all it’s a story about finding your way, even through the dark.
Johnny Ruin has been published by Unbound and is available in hardback, paperback, eBook and audiobook.
Many thanks to the wonderful Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. Many thanks also to Dan and the lovely people at Unbound for sending me a review copy.
About the author
Dan Dalton is a writer and freelance journalist covering books and pop culture. He is a former Staff Writer at BuzzFeed.
A graduate of the University of Leeds, he was born in West Yorkshire, and lives in North London.
You can follow Dan on Twitter at @wordsbydan