DANIEL ABBOTT HAS WALKED
GRAND RAPIDS' CONCRETE
A bachelor's from GVSU in writing.
A home and family in Grand Rapids.
A debut novel that's 100% River City.
That's Daniel Abbott.
(We won't mention that Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in fiction, or maybe we will: to say he came back to the Mitten State afterward . . . because it rocks. He knows where the tulips bloom and the best beer is brewed.)
The Concrete gets almost epic on its readers, spanning decades and carrying a tale of trauma, loss, regrets, and last chances across families. Set on G.R.'s southeast side, with a focus on the area around Garfield Park (and a little poetic license with the near west side across the river downtown), West Michigan readers will feel the beat of Grand Rapids and a little Grand Haven in the pages . . . and they'll be asked to consider ideas about failure, redemption, loyalty, and fate as they trace the battles of two young men trying to claw their way to better lives, one through music, the other through basketball. Mix in issues of race, parentage, and the law, and you've got a book that will stay with you for weeks after you turn the last page.
Critics have called it "big," "loud," a work of "searingly precise prose of the first order," and "heartbreakingly beautiful."