Bunkie Spills begins as a drug-fueled romp. Bunkie, Wayne, Angelina, Big Pete, and Evelyn — the tribe — are in search of...well, something. After an alcohol- and drug-infused day, Bunkie, Wayne and Angelina steal Big Pete's VW van and are off in search of adventure. They find it: a party, a lemon grove, a policeman — or two — and a fight — or two. Chaos reigns.
But somewhere along the line, Bunkie blooms into more than an alcohol- and drug-hazed caricature. Digging deeply, Bunkie begins to realize what really matters to him. Facing a crucial point when his young life is about to change drastically, Bunkie has much to say that is both insightful and devastating, hopeful and resolute. Enjoy getting to know Bunkie; you'll be hard pressed to find another such quirky character. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
There's no book like Bunkie Spills and no voice like Bunkie himself telling the story of his tribe of teenage friends in the 1970s. The novel breaks your heart and makes you laugh, all at the same time, and it is compulsively readable. You'll beg Bunkie not to do that, not to go there, not to try that, even as you go with him to all those places. Recommended By Doug C., Powells.com
You’ll never read a book about sex, drugs, conflict, and out-of-control youth that is so utterly delightful. Bunkie Spills spans just two days in the life of 17-year-old Bunkie and his wayward friends, and through the boozing, the heroin, the stealing of Big Pete’s van, Bunkie stumbles and tumbles toward his very particular coming of age. Writer Bradley K. Rosen is an expert storyteller, a poetic and often hilarious wordsmith, and his narrator Bunkie is a clown philosopher, a bumbling wise man, and a soul you can’t help but fall in love with. Recommended By Gigi L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Bunkie Spills is a novel about two momentous days in the life of a tribe of suburban L.A. teenagers set in 1976. Bunkie, whose view of the world is as charming and skewed as the malapropisms that come out of his seventeen-year-old mouth, begins the tale with a girl and a rock concert.
Things start to fall apart for him and his high school sweetheart, Evelyn, when Bunkie realizes there’s something more than friendship going on between her and Big Pete, the oldest member of their tribe. Then the entire tribe does heroin for the first time, thus beginning Bunkie’s quest to listen to his broken heart over the long night that unfolds.
Bunkie maintains his essential honesty and innocence through two days filled with illicit drugs, sex and violence, and celebrates his dawning understanding of the failings of youth, the fight of good over evil, peace on earth, and the clashes that exist between humans and nature.
"You’ll never see so many people fit into a Volkswagen van as in Bunkie Spills. Bradley K. Rosen’s writing is a blast of voice, hilarious as the Keystone Cops but with a darkness. This amazing first novel is a surprising celebration of the inarticulate speech of the heart – that, and Brad’s deep sense of humanity is sure to make you weep." Tom Spanbauer, author of In the City of Shy Hunters and The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon
"Having grown up in Southern California myself, I found Bunkie Spills to be a visceral and emotional kick in the nuts. I know these words, I hear them, I smell them, I taste them. A perfect capture of sublime loss and joy. The feeling when sad stories make you proud." Jerry Joseph, critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and international touring artist
"Bunkie Spills gives us some of the freshest, most-frenetic, kinetic, prophetic, dynamic, slam-bam, cut-loose writing in years. Brad’s voice, his voice is Salinger-only-better, a young Barry Hannah, a slacker Fitzgerald. Here is someone new worth reading." Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and Choke
About the Author
Bradley K. Rosen was awarded a Bachelor of Music from the University of Oregon in 1998. He played for twenty five years as a professional rock musician before settling down in the Portland area. He still plays drums in a local rock group and plays timpani with two community orchestras. He has recently finished his first novel, The Bunkie Spills and is currently working on his second novel, which involves a taxidermied cat and nine lives. His work may be found in the anthology The Frozen Moment (Publication Studio), as well as in The Portland Review (Fall 2013 Issue 60.1).