“If George Saunders and Russell Edson had a baby, he’d probably grow up to write like Timmy Reed.” —Jessica Anya Blau, author of Drinking Closer to Home
Miles Lover is an imaginative but insecure adolescent skateboarder with an unfortunate nickname, about to face his first semester of high school in the fall. In Kill Me Now, Miles exists in a liminal space—between junior high and high school, and between three houses: his mother’s, his father’s, and the now vacant house his family used to call home in a leafy, green neighborhood of north Baltimore. Miles struggles against his parents, his younger identical twin sisters, his probation officer, his old friends, his summer reading list, and his personal essay assignment (having to keep a journal). More than anything, though, he wrestles with himself and the fears that come with growing up.
It’s not until Miles begins a mutually beneficial friendship with a new elderly neighbor—whom his sisters spy on and suspect of murder—that he begins to find some understanding of lives different than his own, of the plain acceptance of true friends, and, maybe, just a little of himself in time to start a whole new year. When you’re green, you grow, he learns. But when you’re ripe, you rot.
With tenderness and tenacity, Timmy Reed’s prose—written in a confessional tone via Miles’s journal—captures the anguish and grit of adolescence, and the potential that comes with growing up.
Out from Counterpoint Press in January 2018!
Here is what folks are already saying about the book:
“Kill Me Now could be the story of Huckleberry Finn’s trip to Hell . . . or no, just the seamier sides of Baltimore—not so much the mean streets of The Wire as the postapocalyptic working-class neighborhoods of Matt Porterfield’s Putty Hill. Miles Lover . . . is as crusty a kid as they come, with a taste for strains of trouble that would stagger an adult. But as much as he thinks of himself as a moron, his perceptions of the weird world he lives in are subtly and precisely nuanced, and his story, inside its scaly carapace, has a surprisingly tender heart. At a deeper level, Timmy Reed’s arresting novel puts me in mind of Frantz Fanon: LE REBELLE (dur). Mon nom: offensé; mon prénom: humilié; mon état: révolté; mon âge: l’âge de la pierre.” —Madison Smartt Bell, author of Behind the Moon
“Kill Me Now is the answer to all the literary fiction that ever bored you . . . A guide book on how to cheat death, smoke bowls, tre flip in the pouring rain. Tough, honest, beautiful in only the way the unashamed ever are. Kill Me Now is an M-80 in an open palm, fuse lit, world holding its breath.” —Bud Smith, author of Work and F 250
“Timmy Reed is one of the best. In Kill Me Now, he has created one of the great teenage narrators of our time. Like a modern version of Updike’s Sammy, Miles Lover is part philosopher, part screwup, and part skateboarding prince of Baltimore. He’s wild and buzzing and will say almost anything. Including the truth.” —Scott McClanahan, author of The Sarah Book, Hill William, and Crapalachia
“There was Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, then J. D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield, and now there is Timmy Reed’s Miles Lover, the irrepressible narrator of Kill Me Now, which is itself a funny, compassionate, and twisted take on the coming-of-age novel.” – Michael Kimball, Author of Us and Dear Everybody