Reviews for Trashlands : a novel

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A trash scavenger and a strip club dancer form an alliance of necessity in a post-apocalyptic junkyard. Trashlands is both a massive garbage dump where Coral collects plastic—which has replaced cash as currency—and a strip club where Foxy performs on stage and sells tattoos to men whose names are inked on her body. Coral's plastic makes its way to Dickensian factories where enslaved children remanufacture it into bricks, which are used to replace buildings damaged by severe sea-level rise and flooding. One of the workers is Coral's moody son, Shanghai, whom she's desperate to locate and buy out of the factory. Trashlands' proprietor, Rattlesnake Master, operates the place as a predatory company store and is determined to showcase Coral on his stage. Recollections of how Coral and others came to be trapped in Trashlands are interwoven with episodes of their challenging day-to-day lives. A love match between Mr. Fall, Coral's father figure, and Summer, a club dancer who lives in a food truck, provides a mature perspective. Coincidental meetings, a random act of violence, and unresolved plot points make the ending less satisfying than the rest of Stine's engrossing story. A nicely balanced blend of dystopian tragedy, love, and hope. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
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Philip K. Dick Award winner Stine (Road Out of Winter) sets this searing exploration of the lives of women who are mired in grinding poverty in a climate-ravaged near-future where plastic has become humanity’s only currency. The sordid strip club Trashlands in flood-prone “Scrappalachia” serves as the narrative hub as the novel shifts through multiple characters’ recollections and struggles. Among the expansive cast are the good-hearted sex-workers Foxglove and Summer; the vile Rattlesnake Master; single mother Coral, a scavenger of plastic who makes eerie art out of garbage; Coral’s lover, Trillium; the idealistic reporter, Miami; and the aging Mr. Fall, a teacher who agrees to help Coral find her stolen son. “You couldn’t be picky and live” in this rotting junkyard where women are treated as disposable and life comprises a heartbreaking miasma of hunger, yearning, ruthlessness, and compassion. Stine draws on her personal experience of today’s Appalachia to craft a harrowing vision of the future, and at its center is the tug-of-war between what is right and what is necessary to survive. This painful, thought-provoking apocalypse noir fires on all cylinders. Agent: Eric Smith, P.S. Literary. (Oct.)


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In an environmentally wrecked near-future, plastic is the main currency, and migrant workers like Coral survive by harvesting it from the fields and streams to sell. Coral herself is saving money to rescue her son, kidnapped by child labor traffickers seven years previously, while creating sculptures from refuse that she places anonymously in the woods. (Such is the enduring value of art.) When an accident takes all her savings, Coral must decide whether to become a dancer at Trashlands, the strip joint dominating the garbage dump where she lives. Following the LJ-starred Road out of Winter; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

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