Down East 2013 ©
Like his first book, Sex, Drugs & Blueberries, Crash Barry’s Tough Island: True Stories from Matinicus (Maine Misadventures, hardcover; $18; mainemisadventures.com) is not for the easily offended. Barry’s account of the months he spent as a twenty-three-year-old ex-Coastie working on a Matinicus lobsterboat are replete with casual drug use, epic outbursts of profanity, and displays of depravity. They also have the virtue of seeming utterly recognizable. By treating the islanders as complicated individuals, the opposite of stereotypes, Barry grants his characters real dignity.