"As bracing as a shot of rotgut whiskey, the brutal, unflinching prose is a tonic for the chick-lit weary."
— Washington Post
“You have to hand it to good girls: When they go bad, they work hard at it. They don't just try drugs, they take every drug, and they don't just get depressed, they get themselves committed...The first-person narrator is a smart, sullen and difficult young woman. She drinks, takes drugs, is committed to a mental hospital, gets an abortion, undergoes shock therapy and escapes to begin the cycle again in Seattle. If this seems like a lot of activity for such a young woman, and for such a slender volume, it is, but the frenetic pace of the story is offset by what is at times almost hypnotically spare prose. Wood's language is often bracingly frank and...has a controlled, deliberately jagged pace.”
"Boozed up, coked out, oversexed and under-whelmed, Ann Wood manages to pull a love story out of one hell of a fun ride. Bolt Risk takes you through the darker side of Hollywood 's nightlife, testing your boundaries and pummeling your preconceived notions as to what it means to be a good girl today."
―John Buffalo Mailer
"Ann Wood's debut novel kills chick lit dead. Bolt Risk is that kind of book -- turn the page, and there's another snippet of literate, visceral, foul-mouthed bildungsroman. It's rough stuff all over. It slaps Bridget Jones silly."
―Tom Gogola, New Haven Advocate
Charles Bukowksi, Hubert Selby, Jr., and Denis Johnson are familiar names in the literature about the druggies, rockers, criminals, and whores who habituate the dark side of American fiction, but there are few women writers in the club. Enter Ann Wood, an award winning journalist who’s been down and out and survived to laugh it off. With a frighteningly matter-of-fact style and no social agenda, Wood is an American original who writes like a female Charles Bukowksi: crude, rude, and raw; often very funny, sometimes shocking, disarmingly poignant, and incredibly readable.
In a story with parallels to the author’s own life, Bolt Risk is an unapologetic bildungsroman about a young woman from an exclusive New England college who becomes a personal assistant, otherwise known as a “paid butt-wiper,” to a film star from a famous Hollywood family. Fleeing the boredom of the tinsel town fringe, she lands a job as an exotic dancer and falls for Adam, lead guitarist of the popular thrash band Z, six feet four inches of raw talent, stud beauty, and unrestrained ego. Thus begins a droll and harrowing ride through the underworld of Los Angeles strip clubs, dive bars, and drug motels that sends her to a mental hospital, where she is astutely classified as a ‘bolt risk,’ a kid who is very likely to escape. Here the author recreates the absurd daily world of Girl, Interrupted with a remarkable toughness that laughs in the face of institutional horror.
Ann Wood writes like few women before her. If Charles Bukowski had been a woman, Bolt Risk might have been his first novel.
Ann Wood graduated Bennington College before heading to Hollywood where she became an exotic dancer. She is currently a newspaper staff reporter and First Place Winner of the New England Press Association Award for Arts and Entertainment. She lives on Cape Cod with her son, Sam.
Read an Excerpt of Bolt Risk
Read an Interview with Ann Wood
Media Outlets: PRESS RELEASE
$14.95 Paperback Original
168 Pages / 5 x 7.5
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