Review: North of Porter – Kirkland Ciccone.

I have a confession: North of Porter was top of my to-read pile months ago, but then some window people came and ripped holes in our house and I had lost a load of books that I’d moved for the occasion. I’ve lost count of the times I searched for this book, but in my final end-of-year push, I looked extra hard and found it in some ludicrous place.

So, here we are.

It’s sad to admit that I’m probably around a decade above the target demographic (I’m crying inside that I’m a decade above anything, at the moment); definitely around a decade above the protagonist. But this is weird and wild and wonderful, and in that sense it’s exactly what you’d expect from Kirkland. Normal isn’t really his jam. And the references fly for teens and those *cough* a little older than that. Anyone who dresses like Jimi Hendrix with a handbag is a-ok with me.

Porter is a teen trapped in a city with alien abductions or deaths – people aren’t sure which, but it’s definitely one of them. His parents are fraudsters and generally vile human beings, and he is someone you can really root for as he battles a whole host of horridness with a designer bag in tow.

I quite like the fact that he never treats teens as children, if that makes sense. There’s a strong mental health presence, with explanations of schizophrenia and OCD; there’s snapshots of violent partners who have roid rage. It’s adult stuff, because teens aren’t as far from adults as some people view them, and he treats them properly.

I’m rambling. Basically, I think this is a really good book, Kirkland’s best so far, for sure. It’s weird and fabulous, and it will make you laugh along the way.

Strident Publishing

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