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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

The Cost of Living, by Rob Roberge

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The Cost of Living, by Rob Roberge


The Cost of Living, by Rob Roberge

10.00 16.00

Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Paperback: 285 pages
ISBN: 978-1-938604-29-4
Trim: 8.4 x 5.4


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To the shock of lovers and rivals, indie guitarist Bud Barrett is finally—if tenuously—married, clean, and sober. Now he faces the challenge of staying that way. To avoid repeating the past, Bud needs to confront the ghosts that dwell there. After decades of seeking redemption in the arms of “pervy Florence Nightingales,” Bud finds himself still haunted by his mother's abandonment, his own array of crimes, and a murder he witnessed as a child. As he revisits his life of grief and reckless excess, all paths lead to his long estranged father, a man with his own turbulent history and the only one who can connect Bud's fragments, unlocking the answers that just might save him.


"The Cost of Living is as unapologetic about its tenderness as it is about its brutality. Every sentence thrums with fierce eroticism. Rob Roberge's adrenaline-soaked book is such a thrill ride, you may not even notice that it's slyly breaking your heart." —Jillian Lauren, author of Some Girls

"Roberge has birthed a gritty, honest, sweaty, rock n' roller about addiction and the elusive road to redemption. The Cost of Living will make you laugh, cringe, recognize, and keep you turning pages long after midnight." —Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here

"Rob Roberge is among a handful of contemporary novelists who can elicit truly profound empathy from a reader. The Cost of Livingshows him at his best." —Craig Clevenger, author of The Contortionist's Handbook

"Like a great alt-country tune, The Cost of Living is a rhythmic, jangling ride through addiction, lost loves, and busted hands. Roberge possesses a rare and irresistible voice: arresting, sincere, wounded, and cautionary. Nobody's done a better job showing the dark side of the rock-and-roll dream. Narrator Bud Barrett belongs on the top shelf of literature's big-hearted lowlifes, alongside Bukowski's Henry Chinaski and Denis Johnson's Fuckhead." —Tyler McMahon, author of How the Mistakes Were Made

"This is a guy who clearly knows his way around a tour bus. And around a massive drug habit. A dark, funny, frightening and above all authentic book about the toll the rock and roll lifestyle can take." — Scott Shriner, bass player for Weezer

"The words of Rob Roberge bring it all back to life for me — the sounds, the sights, the smells and the tastes.  And it's not always a pretty ride.  I like that Roberge never takes the easy way out.  Real bad things happen to real likeable people, and while I would never wish that on anyone I know, it sure makes for a good read." —Steve Wynn, songwriter, formerly of The Dream Syndicate