Dark Alley Press (2015)
Reviewed by Arianna Violante for Reader Views (12/15)
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up “The Art of Raising Hell” by Thomas Lopinski. I was a fan of his first book, but this one is a completely different genre. The story takes place in a small Midwest town during the 1970’s. Told by the new kid in town, this coming of age story will take the reader back into their teens as Ryan (aka Newbie), Lonny, Sally (Lonny’s sister), and their group of friends get into trouble over and over again, while growing up at Kickapoo County. Although filled with humor, the story is not all happy times. Through it all, the author captured my heart through Newbie’s journey making it impossible for me to put the book down until the end.
Thomas Lopinski produced a well-written story filled with colorful characters and situations. What I loved about his writing style and formatting was the feeling of vignettes, which made each unique situation or event stand out on their own, without interfering with the flow of the story. The dialogues felt genuine and real to the characters, and the descriptions were vivid and painted pictures in my mind. While it is true that I was looking forward to reading another story from this author along the same framework of his first book, I was not disappointed at all. On the contrary, I was impressed by the author’s ability to produce an entirely different book, also of great quality and with outstanding writing and storytelling.
“The Art of Raising Hell” by Thomas Lopinski is an awesome little book that will take readers on a hell-raising roller-coaster ride while recalling their own teenage years. It made me laugh, tear up, and reflect upon my own story. Lopinski took me back to the hell raising of my own childhood! I know many will enjoy this read.