The Garbage Brothers

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Jesse Wheeler is facing an uphill climb in life as the summer of 1969 commences. His family is still reeling from the untimely death of his father, which led to a financial downturn. As Jesse concludes his senior year of high school, his mediocre grades have rendered college almost an impossibility. Jesse needs direction and immediate employment, as his family home is being sold and funds are needed to rent his own apartment. Jesse is pinning his hopes on getting a job with Willard Sanitation, but the prospects of lasting a day let alone the summer appear bleak.

The crew of Willard Sanitation views Jesse as just another temporary worker who they can razz and torment until he’s had his fill of them and the disgusting detritus typical of the job. Jesse meets his co-workers at a greasy spoon diner to eat a cholesterol-charged breakfast, find out who he’s riding with, and hear the boss recite the latest customer complaints. His cohorts at Willard Sanitation are all older and possess criminal records, but each has something to teach Jesse about the ways of garbage and the world.

As the summer progresses, Jesse finds a rhythm in the daily grind of hauling back-breaking tons of trash. His work ethic is unquestioned, and even the hardened garbagemen are showing him respect. As summer turns to fall, Jesse is faced with some tough questions and how he responds to them will determine his future for years to come.

The Garbage Brothers is a funny, sincere, and poignant story of a young man being thrust into an early ascent into manhood. Author Paul Neville creates more than your average “fish out of water” tale in writing of Jesse and his road to maturity. When Jesse is introduced, his world is askew, his father is gone, his love life is non-existent and his desire to flee the small-town world of Freedom, Illinois is questionable. Hope is what he clings to, his resolve is undeniable.

The men who populate the team at Willard Sanitation are a multifaceted lot who help drive Jesse’s story. Billy is the lovable philosopher of the lot who is unencumbered by a speech impediment and holds court on garbage, politics, and life. Billy’s contrast is Pickles, a convicted murderer with a chip on his shoulder whose approval Jesse wants to win.

Jesse’s venture into the uncharted waters of manhood brings with it self-discovery along with experiences of love and loss. An emotionally satisfying and enjoyable book from beginning to end.

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Author Paul Neville
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Self-Published
Publish Date 27-Mar-2023
ISBN 9798985282764 Buy this Book
Issue July 2023
Category Popular Fiction