Cherry by Nico Walker


Cleveland, Ohio, 2003. A young man is just a college freshman when he meets Emily. They share a passion for Edward Albee and ecstasy and fall hard and fast in love. But soon Emily has to move home to Elba, New York, and he flunks out of school and joins the army. Desperate to keep their relationship alive, they marry before he ships out to Iraq. But as an army medic, he is unprepared for the grisly reality that awaits him. His fellow soldiers smo...

Details Cherry

Release DateFeb 28th, 2019
PublisherJonathan Cape
GenreFiction, War, Contemporary, Novels

Reviews Cherry

  • Roxane
    I dont care for addiction fiction. I pretty much hated this book. Repetitive. Nothing particularly new. There are indeed some good lines and some humor. The ending is interesting in what it doesnt offer. The misogyny is so thick its almost funny. Almost. People are terrible and its great when they are free to be terrible in fiction so I am not saying the men in this book have to be not sexist. But I am saying I dont enjoy reading about men who ha...
  • Tammy
    These sentences come at you like rapid fire and it took several pages for me to fall into the cadence. This is a story of love, war, drug addiction and crime. A fictionalized account of the authors life written while in prison, it is deeply depressing although not without flashes of humor. The authors back-story makes me wonder how he survived to write this novel. Walker took part in over 250 missions as a combat medic and is highly decorated. Th...
  • Patrick
    Nico Walker isn't your typical novelist. For one, he wrote his debut novel, Cherry, in prison. Not only that, but he remains in prison to this day. In his expletive-ridden, Hunter S. Thompson-esque, Ernest Hemingway-ish, autobiographical novel, he tells us the story of how he got there. In this starkly honest middle American romp, Walker truly impresses with his ability to put words to the images of his memory. The prose is not sophisticated, flo...
  • Chaunceton Bird
    Not bad. It's written well enough, and the story is compelling, but yeesh, what a groveling, complaining, myopic narrator. Let's call a spade a spade here, this is an autobiography with the names changed. This is Nico Walker's story. And although it is well told, it is a dismal story of decline that is hard to empathize with. In a way it's existential. Like Meursault from The Stranger, our self-loathing protagonist doesn't really care about anyth...
  • Ron Charles
    Weve heard these war stories before, in superb fiction and nonfiction by other soldiers. But Nico Walker, 33, brings a raw and casual brutality to the narrative of battle. His rambling collection of chaotic anecdotes involve drugs and porn, acts of cruelty and kindness, unending boredom pierced by spikes of terror. These juxtapositions convey the fundamental disorder of the American mission and its deleterious effect on the young people forced to...
  • Rachel
    Nico Walker is currently serving time in prison for bank robbery; his debut novel Cherry is essentially his fictionalized autobiography, in which the unnamed narrator dispassionately recounts dropping out of college, enlisting in the army, shipping out to Iraq, serving as an army medic, returning home, and developing PTSD as well as an opioid addiction. Cherry is a deeply uncomfortable book to read on just about every level. The war scenes and de...
  • Meike
    This debut novel is advertised as a work of fiction, but it is clearly at least partly autobiographical - it's pretty hard to find out how big the overlap between the unnamed narrator and the author is though, as Nico Walker is still in jail, serving an eleven-year-sentence for bank robbery. That's also where he wrote this novel about a guy who dropped out of college, joined the army, served as a medic in Iraq, consequently suffered from severe P...
  • Trudie
    * 3.5 * An incredibly tough read and also near impossible for me to write a review of; because it feels akin to reviewing someones life. This is auto-fiction and as such I am fighting my nature to want to untangle the fact from the fiction, but that way lies madness.If there is one reason to pick up this novel then, it is for the sections set in Iraq. Walker gives a very believable, no frills account of the life of a lower ranking officer in Iraq...
  • Perry
    On a Highway to HellRed-hot, Raw and Howling tour de force of Demoralization and Descent into the early 21st century Abaddon and Beelzebul of many young American men: war and opioids (the most powerful of which is heroin).Reminiscent of a roughcut Denis Johnson' Jesus' Son and of a shorter, a little less bitter Céline's Journey to the End of Night.Will flesh out this review to give this outstanding debut novel its due.
  • Vivian
    DNF 13%Here's the thing. If you read Catcher in the Rye at the right age you think Holden Caulfield is great, you don't and you think he's unbearable. Ditto here, and the writing wasn't engaging. The blurb promised nonstop excitement--ah, no. I'm bored. I need more than obvious observations and drug use to be entertained. Great cover is not enough.Life's too short. Outta here. Bye.
  • Elyse Walters
    Library Overdrive Audiobook...narrated by Jeremy Bobb....F#cK.......Crack smoke.......Puke smelled like big BigMac sauce.....Gary was a real mother sh*t f#cker... but I already knew that........Brillo Pads & Heroine .... shooting up at the old abandoned house........Emily was totally f#cked: True Love.... Romance: Well buy some pills, then shoot them up .....Dont you understand that we are completely f#cked?.... Yes, life was good when youre you...
  • Ace
    A detailed description of the life of a loser.
  • Jennifer Gaarder
    Read my reviews at http://jenchaosreviews.comBy Nico WalkerKnopf, August 14, 2018336 Pages, Hardcover EditionRATING: 2 STARSIn 2003, a college freshman in Cleveland, Ohio, the narrator is lost and lonely until he meets the dazzling Emily. When he almost loses her to a new school in Elba, New York, he joins the army.Becoming a combat medic, he goes to Iraq only to partake in huffing computer duster, abusing painkillers, and watching porn to pass ...
  • Matthew
    I thought I would love this book. And at the beginning I did... there are some laugh out loud funny and creatively profane bits here and there. The voice is compelling and there are even some moments of brilliance in the writing. But as it went along this novel started to feel like a hustle... it was frequently small-minded and mean-spirited. With every female character introduced in the book, the author's misogynistic attitudes become more appar...
  • Lori
    Listened to it on audio and it flowed into my ears and landed on my brain like fucking melted butter. It's tightly written, and perfectly narrated - Autobiographical fiction at its tautest.
  • Janelle | She Reads with Cats
    Many thanks to Knopf for providing my free copy of CHERRY by Nico Walker - all opinions are my own.This is an intense, bleak, insightful, and poignant debut novel about war, crime, love, and addiction. The language is explicit and unsettling. This story is fictionalized but is based on the authors real life and was written on a typewriter during his time in prison. He is a decorated war veteran who served as a line medic in Iraq, hes a heroin add...
  • Eric
    As previously stated in updates, to this reader, Nico Walker's Cherry reads as if Charles Bukowski wrote a memoir about a tour in Iraq while in the army and his return to the US while becoming a full-fledged dope fiend. The novel describes the narrator's journey from that of growing up in a privileged life while bouncing around trying to find his place in the world and how he and his girlfriend eventually become "dope fiends." The writing is grit...
  • Timothy Urges
    But thats a good way to go to heaven. Cherry follows an addict with a gun chasing his fix. Opioid addiction touched by the Iraq War. Not the best writing but worth the read for the point of view. But that’s a good way to go to heaven. Cherry follows an addict with a gun chasing his fix. Opioid addiction touched by the Iraq War. Not the best writing but worth the read for the point of view.
  • David Yoon
    Author Nico Walker grew up the son of affluent parents in Ohio, spent 11 months in Iraq pulling in more than 200 missions as a woefully under-qualified Army medic and returned to develop a heroin addiction which led to a string of 11 bank robberies in a 4 month span, stealing about $40K to feed the habit before inevitably being caught. He's currently spending 11 years at the Federal Correctional institution in Ashland Kentucky where he wrote Cher...
  • Michelle
    There was nothing better than to be young and on heroine. . . . You could kill yourself real slow and feel like million dollars. Cherry by Nico Walker takes you right into the heart of Americas heroine epidemic. Best described as an auto-fiction, this novel is part memoir, part fiction. Although I am not sure where the line is between fact and fiction is I did learn that Nico Walker struggled with opioid addiction, served in the Army as a Medic a...
  • Katie Long
    I cant believe Im giving this so many stars! This book really challenged me. It is autobiographical fiction and the main character is awful. He is misogynistic, racist, selfish, and has no appreciation for the privilege that he was born into and foolishly squanders, but he does have a story to tell. An important and devastating one, about the realities of war, especially as we know it now, and its aftermath. I fully understand why many readers wo...
  • Ethan M
    Yall serious with this? Y’all serious with this?
  • Gregory Day
    As vicious and funny as they come. This is straight gonzo and tender and maybe the deepest examination of the human spirits wanting to be good that Ive ever read. As vicious and funny as they come. This is straight gonzo and tender and maybe the deepest examination of the human spirit’s wanting to be good that I’ve ever read.
  • Ashley
    Not quite sure what to say about this book, because not quite sure what to think about it.This book was written after a Buzzfeed article detailing Nico Walker's life (soldier in Iraq, has PTSD, comes home gets hooked on heroin, starts robbing banks to fuel heroin habit, goes to jail) piqued the interest of a book editor, who began pursuing him to write a book. So this is basically a fictionalized version of Walker's own story. Which is one of the...
  • miss.mesmerized mesmerized
    2003, Cleveland. He has just arrived at uni when he meets Emily and falls for her immediately. They love each other passionately, just as they love Ecstasy. When Emily moves back home to Elba and splits up, he loses control and is expelled from college soon after. The army promises an interesting future or better: a future at all. As a medic he is briefly trained before they send him to Iraq. A year in the Middle East, a year in the war. What he...
  • Jordana
    Cherry is the fictionalized memoir of a college student turned soldier turned heroin addict turned bank robber turned inmate. The novel that author Nico Walker famously wrote from his prison cell is worlds away from my upper middle-class soccer mom life, but I feel closer to his broken heart and hopeful soul than I do to the thousand nearest minivan-driving suburbanites in my slice of Los Angeles.Walkers voice is everything noir should be. World ...
  • Matthew
    Ive never been in a fight. A real one, that is; Id hardly count the faux-wrestling matches my younger brother and I would take part in as adolescents. And yet upon finishing Cherry, the buzzy, brutal and bleak debut by Nico Walker, I feel as though I went 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali in his prime. To say Cherry is a gut-punch would diminish its impact; this novel is an out and out war, and not just because a significant part of it takes place duri...
  • Ron S
    Imagine Scott McClanahan, but swap out alcohol, sexual abuse and Crapalachia for opiates, bank robbery, Ohio and Iraq. Feels honest, immediate and real. The author is serving time so if the lack of a (spoiler alert) redemptive come-to-jesus ending annoys you, don't worry. He bought the ticket. He's taking the ride.
  • Rob
    Nico Walker's Cherry is a book whose gestation is more interesting than the book itself. Imagine Trainspotting without a sense of humor. Or a boring Requiem for a Dream. I didn't hate the book (2 stars, yo), and it certainly has a blunt, fist-to-the-gut appeal. But it's also sort of the literary equivalent of a model train set, where the first couple loops around the track are kinda cool the train goes through a tunnel! the buildings light up! l...