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The Last Kid Left Review

by Charles Trapunski
3.5 out of 5 stars

The Last Kid Left comes after Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down in author Rosecrans Baldwin’s effort to come up with tongue-twisting title after tongue-twisting title. Actually, it’s much more than this, as the non-fiction writer is back to writing fiction, and The Last Kid Left is a brick of a book. What is more, is that pages cannot be skipped, as they are first of all dense, but more than this they are full of phrases. The book feels like reading a really long ransom note, and while this style may fit with the content, it’s a heroic challenge and one that I was proud to complete. The book is by no means uninteresting, and the read was a great one, but a feeling of exhaustion at the end of completing a great book is likely not an intended feeling.

Furthermore, the book is funny, and especially funny considering how dark the topic gets and how anti-authorial it can become, especially in the realm of freelance journalism and the career prospects of a recent college graduate. This character is named Thelsa Mann, and Thelsa Mann, I was really hoping to spend more time with her and really not return to the story of petty criminal Nick Toussaint Jr. in Claymore, New Hampshire, as well as that of his girlfriend Emily and her father, police chief Martin Krug. There is so much going on that the book almost feels like two or even three stories in one, and though Mann inserts herself into the narrative, or perhaps the narrative comes to her, this crime fiction story (?) touches on so many aspects of modern society. Some of the passages, again, about Thesla made me laugh so hard and loudly, which isn’t really my style, that I was surprised that the styles mingled in that there were some genuinely grisly sections of the book that were quite serious. The dark tone needed to be kept throughout.


The Last Kid Left was provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. It may be purchased from your friendly independent bookseller or other fine bookstores.

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