I had the pleasure of reading ‘Slow Burn On Riverside’ recently which is the prequel for ‘The Same Deep Water As You’ and I’m glad I read them this way around – as when I turned that first page the distinct voice of Jex poured from the pages and it was like returning to a dear friend and hearing them talk to me about what’s been going on.
But speaking with Chad on a recent interview he’d said that you can enjoy these books in whatever way you discover them. So go discover them!
What I loved about ‘The Same Deep Water As You’ is the nostalgia and the character work, I was never part of the skating crowd, I was more on the periphery as my friends skated, jumped, railed and whatever else they did.
I’d sit there and watch their possession of those boards that seemed attached to their feet in awe. But I was in association part of that scene, we’d sit around and listen to music, smoke, relax and then run when the police or security turned up to kick us out of wherever we were – so the nostalgia and what Chad puts on the page are so powerful at pulling you in, taking you back and drawing those thoughts and feelings out of your brain.
But the character work in this book (as was also the case with Slow Burn on Riverside) is truly masterful – as said already, jumping back in and journeying this next part of Jex’s life was brilliant. I’d missed him. And then Chad also populates this story with Jessica, Toni, Maurice and Rocco (as well as many others) these for me were the stories I wanted to know more about and where I fell under Lutzke’s spell.
Some are heartbreaking, some are stupid, some are just crazy – but that’s what life’s like right / the good with the bad, the crazy with the mundane – and Chad gets that and his books peel back those layers and bare them to us, and in his words, in his characters we find ourselves and our friends and our families beneath the husks of these fictional characters.
This is at its heart a story of love, a story of discovery, an expose on friendship and growing up. What I loved about this book were the references to music, which there are many, but I loved Chad’s prose and how he talks about music, how music can transport you, in hearing a note from a song it can almost help you travel in time and bring those memories to the front, and in that moment the world flickers and all those feelings rush back.
Again with Chad’s work there’s elements that pull this wonderful story into the dark and the horror, but it’s subtle and not full blown, it’s an eerie creeping, a burning at the edges – but there is enough to make this a quite haunting tale, with a conclusion that dredges the deep waters of despair!
‘The Same Deep Water As You’ is a mixtape of wondrous prose, memories and lives under the microscope – it’s a soundtrack to lives that beg to be heard.
The Same Deep Water As You is available here.
Chad has written for Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Cemetery Dance, and Scream magazine. He’s had dozens of short stories published, and some of his books include: OF FOSTER HOMES & FLIES, STIRRING THE SHEETS, SKULLFACE BOY, THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU, THE PALE WHITE, THE NEON OWL and OUT BEHIND THE BARN co-written with John Boden. Lutzke’s work has been praised by authors Jack Ketchum, Richard Chizmar, Joe Lansdale, Stephen Graham Jones, Elizabeth Massie and his own mother.
He can be found lurking the internet at www.chadlutzke.com
Read our review of Slow Burn of Riverside here.
Reviewed by Ross Jeffery
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