Posted by Literary Titan
August James, also known as AJ, is born to parents who are struggling to make ends meet. His educated mother is addicted to the white stuff and growing up in the projects doesn’t motivate AJ to care much about school. He is a bright and talented student whose good grades come easy. When the urge arises to help his family rise up and live a better life, AJ realizes that he must make sacrifices to make it happen. Is AJ ready to make them?
Trapped is a novel that I found to be surprisingly deep considering the gritty nature of the story. AJ is a character that continued to gain layers as the novel progressed. He’s a character that is representative of many struggling kids that grow up poor. Ted Bagley does a fantastic job of detailing the specific consequences of being poor, the lack of opportunity and education are just a few roadblocks, but the compelling aspects of this novel come in the subtle ways that Ted Bagley is able to combine desperation and resignation into the fabric of society around AJ.
AJ meets intriguing people along the way who each make an impact in his life. All the while themes such as family, friends, honesty and spirituality play a big part in shaping AJ and help him navigate the dangerous streets (in more ways then one) of Chicago. It’s an epic, yet tragic, life that is told with a bit of reverence and lots of charisma.
Trapped by Ted Bagley is a complex reflection of a crestfallen society and the tragic life of young men of color in that society. When their future is defined by where they were born and live, the choices they have are few, but pivotal. Ted Bagley is able to capture this nuance in an authentic way that had me reflecting on these ideas well after I put the novel down. Filled with wonderfully detailed observations, Trapped is entertaining and captivating. I want to leave you with a quote that I think sets the tone well for this novel, “Drugs did not originate in the slums of Chicago, but it definitely thrived there…”.
Pages: 124 | ISBN-10: 1648580610