The Same Deep Water As You – Chad Lutzke
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Chad Lutzke is having an indie author moment. It’s great to see. He’s a nice dude and can write his behind off. He’s frequently featured in Instagram book photos and his books are receiving a ton of praise.
It’s great to see and can only elevate the genre as a whole.
Except ‘The Same Deep Water as You’ doesn’t fall into the horror genre.
Some people could try and justify it does, maybe create a category of “life horror” or something like that, but otherwise, let’s be upfront and state – this isn’t a horror story.
For the purposes of ensuring no spoilers, this review will actually be done in two parts. Part one will be a general take on it. Part two will feature some spoilers for sure, so I’ll make sure to tell you when to stop reading.
Part 1 – Spoiler free
I felt so underwhelmed with this book.
I think Lutzke was trying to write a stoner type tale told through bit and pieces with minimal details, as though he was sitting in a chair in a haze remembering a summer that changed his life. That’s the only way I can work to appreciate what I read. Lutzke had a line in the book, and I’m really bad at remembering quotable lines, but it said something along the lines of “it’s interesting how the passage of time can change how we remember things.”
The book read like I was watching the music video for “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins. Some kids get together, go to some places, hang out, go do some other stuff and some stuff happens.
That really is the gist of the book.
I found a number of the characters to be annoying and whiny. As though they were created specifically to make us like the main character more. I don’t know, maybe it has to do with where we all grew up? But I grew up in the middle of nowhere. This was tailor-made for Steve to relate to it.
I felt at times like I was skimming over a newspaper article, looking for the good bits of the story. Just didn’t resonate with me like I’d heard it had with others.
Part 2 – A Few Spoilers ahead! Small Spoilers abound!
STOP READING HERE!
GO NO FURTHER!
Ok – so here’s a bit more of an in-depth look at a few plot points that Lutzke has within that I found underwhelmed me.
The story follows skater Jex and his rag-tag group of friends. From a description midway through the book, Jex says he needs to get a job and get off of welfare, so I believe they were early twenties, though for most of the story I thought they were late teens, 18-20 or so.
Throughout the first third of the story we get random hints of rapes happening. Three in total, all against prostitutes. At first I didn’t know if the prostitute detail was to try and make the rapes less important, or to imply that they were lesser members of society. I found it an odd parallel that we were supposed to believe the prostitutes were lesser while this group didn’t work, lounged around all day and drank and smoked pot. For the time period this appears to be set in, this group would firmly be viewed as lesser members of society. So I found it an odd detail.
Then we get to a moment with their friend, first name starts with R. BIG TIME SPOILER HERE – YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!!
Ok R (I’m still trying to be spoiler free haha!) at one moment believes he can jump from a ledge into a pool. The gap is wide, someone says more than twelve feet wide, but R has hit wider gaps skating so this shouldn’t be a problem. To prove this he dives head first instead of just jumping.
We move on. Lutzke’s talented, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, but they just move on. They cry that night and then the next bit is them hanging around and just doing nothing. Listening to music.
Then along comes a bit with M.
M. tells Jex that he’s the rapist. M. makes a point of saying that it didn’t matter because they were just prostitutes. Call’s them whores. See my previous point above. So what? Rapes rape. A part of me wondered if we were going to get some back story about how poorly raised these kids were or something, trying to justify their casualness to this story line.
Jex is torn. M’s dad is gone. M’s mom would be alone, and M says if Jex tells anyone he’ll kill himself.
So Jex just keeps going on with life, hating M. but just not telling anyone.
Until he does.
Then we move on. He avoids everyone. He’s found a new girl, Toni and they hang out, falling in love and just ignore everyone else.
The ending, I think was supposed to be a metaphorical passing of one phase of Jex’s life to the next, but by then I was just frustrated with the glossing over of major things in life and major details.
Traumatic stuff happens. This book is filled with a number of moments that would mess a normal person up, but in this book the group just continues on, looking for the next bowl to hit, the next rail to grind, and I just longed for so much more.
As I said previously – this one will resonate with some folks in a number of ways. I’ve taken a look at some of the reviews as well, and this book appears to fall in the love it or underwhelmed by it categories, not much in-between.
Lutzke’s got talent – no doubt there, but at the end of the day ‘The Same Deep Water as You’ fell flat for me.
Star Rating (out of 5): 3*
The Same Deep Water As You
Music, beer, skateboarding, and tragedy star in this coming-of-age lesson on love and lust and the line that divides them, as 19-year-old Jex experiences a life that meets River’s Edge and Kids with Dazed & Confused––a parentless indie yarn with the dark heart Lutzke is known for.
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author. Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog Oj.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official Website here
The Girl Who Hid In The Trees
Something lurks just beyond.
Centuries ago a heinous act created a ripple that still haunts the residents to this very day.
Now the kids who reside near McConnell’s Forest live forever in fear.
Jason lost his brother when he was young. He left with his friends to ‘debunk’ the urban legend and never came back.
Now Jason and his group of friends are fed up and want to discover what is happening, what is the real cause of the terror holding their small town hostage.
But something is waiting for them. She may look sweet and innocent, but the friends are about to find out that pure evil can exist in the smallest of packages.
She’s out there. And while you may not know her name or what she looks like, the local kids will tell you if you ask, that you should fear for your life from the girl who hid in the trees.
From the dark mind of Steve Stred, the author of Wagon Buddy, YURI and Invisible comes this fast-paced, seat of your pants coming-of-age tale. A quick, violent, bleak read, The Girl Who Hid In The Trees will make you think twice about those sounds you hear far off in the woods.