The Concrete by Daniel Abbott
Daniel Abbott's The Concrete knows how to fight. It's light on its toes. It bobs, it weaves, it circles -- it corners the reader and guides them through the jabs the southeast side of Grand Rapids, Michigan can throw at those who dare to dream within its limits, the haymakers, the way the world's countdown begins at five for the impoverished instead of ten.
The Concrete grapples with themes like race, sexuality, the effects of trauma, lost dreams, and the difficulties of marriage. And it does so unflinchingly, in ways that transcend generation and circumstance.
The prose here is lean, the pacing relentless, and the story rich, told masterfully through the eyes of a diverse cast of characters, including but not limited to brothers Isaac -- who is white -- and Miles -- who is black -- each of whom attempt to escape a future littered with obstacles, none larger or more vicious than the demons of their pasts.
The Concrete is a gritty story. The Concrete is a sexy story. The Concrete is a lesson in telling the truth. And you won't want to look away from its very own combinations of head shots and body blows.
Daniel Abbott is a novelist and short story writer from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned a BA in Writing from Grand Valley State University and an MFA in Fiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Daniel’s short fiction has appeared in the Noctua Review, Ginosko Literary Journal, and Owen Wister Review.