“An inherently fascinating and compelling read from cover to cover” – Midwest Book Review
“Undeniably clever, darkly humorous, and highly self-aware” – Heradas Review
“Laugh out loud […] inspiring” – Millie Smith
“Funny and endearing” – Leigh Sullivan
Growth is the first novel by AJ Smith. It revolves around a middle-aged landscaper with a penchant for Bud Light named Bburke. Following his sudden divorce, Bburke’s recent hirees, two recent college-graduates with a pretentious (and mostly feigned) enthusiasm for literature, force Bburke into an intellectual overhaul in which he is explore the works of Dostoevsky, Twain, Stein, Camus, and others. While Bburke certainly gathers a greater understanding of himself and a critical eye for his world, he is endowed with a newfound cynicism and growing insanity (including hallucinated conversations with the authors of each novel he reads) threatens his work and budding romance.
Told in a variety of styles (first-person memoir, traditional third-person narrative, and dramatic dialogue) and interspersed with allusions to fiction, art, music, sports, and pop culture, Growth is a novel that explores the interwoven themes present in life, love, literature, libations, and landscaping.