Local author Scott Sparling reads from his debut novel Wire to Wire at Powell's tonight. As mentioned in my review in this week's issue, it's a gripping, unique book, reminiscent of crime and noir and drug fiction, but also none of those; like Cormac McCarthy or Robert Stone or Denis Johnson, but also none of those; sad and funny and suspenseful—but again, none of those words seem to characterize the book adequately. Check out the book trailer above.

So yes, I highly recommend the book, and tonight's reading as well. In the interest of transparency, I need to state that Mercury Food Editor Tony Perez is Sparling's editor (you can see him in the trailer above as well); however, it should be noted that Perez has not bribed me with any drinks in recent memory (I seem to remember generously sharing a glass of fernet with him in the not-too-distant past, though) so I don't think that's colored my favorable perception of Sparling's work. Here's a playlist the author put together for Largehearted Boy to go along with the novel. Jimi Hendrix makes a few appearances in the text itself, but as you can tell from Sparling's playlist, Wire to Wire—which takes place largely in Michigan—has Bob Seger in its heart.

Scott Sparling reads at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, tonight, 7:30 pm, FREE