Dylan Hicks (author); BOARDED WINDOWS; Coffee House Press (Fiction: Literary) $16.00 ISBN: 9781566892971
Byline: Jessica Henkle
"You have to know where you're from to know where you're at and where you're going," says Wade Salem, the narrator's erstwhile father figure in Dylan Hicks' novel Boarded Windows. But these essentials are precisely what the narrator doesn't know. When Wade reenters the narrator's life after a decade of absence, the tale of the narrator's origins is one of many thrust into question. The longer Wade remains in town, the more the narrator's life becomes simultaneously blurred and illuminated, and the more confused he feels about hovering in Wade's shadow.
Boarded Windows is Hicks' first novel. Also a songwriter and musician, Hicks' love and knowledge of music resonate throughout the book. Though the band and album talk can become dense, one sees that these characters, especially Wade, hold music in the highest regard, elevating it to the plane of philosophy or religion. Wade waxes poetic on this and multiple topics, every anecdote clouded with his characteristic mystique. Of Wade, the narrator says, "He could talk and talk, and it wasn't windbagging, I thought, it was bullshit artistry, at once seductive and irritating, often most convincing when I didn't quite know what he was saying." Of one of Wade's tales, the narrator adds, "I felt strongly that...