We first meet Mays Landing’s main character Parkhill Mays in Bellevue Hospital after a failed suicide attempt. His hospital roommate T-Bone convinces him to flee from the hospital and quickly introduces Mays to life underneath NYC’s subway system. T-Bone shows Mays how to make quick cash by donating sperm and signing up for clinical trials and product testing. Along the way, they meet other homeless, mentally ill and broken people living painful lives of despair and uncertainty.
Mays Landing is without a doubt one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. As a former resident of NYC I was well aware of the huge homeless population, but I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t give it a lot of thought at the time. It was just there…in the background. J. C. Mercer has taken this heartbreaking subject and brought it front and center. And it’s not a pleasant look. Yet, although the topic is a difficult one, it’s an extremely important one. Mental illness has increased to staggering proportions in the U.S., yet it still often goes ignored, undiagnosed and untreated. A shameful commentary on our government and society as a whole. Our returning veterans? Don’t get me started!
Mercer’s writing is engaging and incredibly descriptive. Although the plot is most definitely dark, gritty and at times violent, I breezed through Mays Landing in a day since the subject matter and writing style compelled me to do so easily. I see many more books coming from this author in the future.
Whether you take away a cautionary tale of what life might very well look like for many of us in the coming years, the shocking role that Big Pharma plays in our lives or a glimpse at life through the eyes of one incredibly damaged young man, you’ll appreciate what the author has done in this book.
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton