Monday, February 6, 2017


You ever been thrown off your game by a surprise headbutt to the face? I have. And that's what reading this book is like. There will be many decent, morally-sound human beings that probably won't like this one, but if you're like me and enjoy reading dark stories about self-destructive, morally reprehensible assholes, then this one will float your boat. Almost every story in this collection left me reeling at the end, not only by the deplorable subject matter but also by how impressively precise and assured Rawson's style is in the crafting of each tale.

These are true short stories, each one being an average of about 8 or 9 pages, with Rawson truly in command of the characters and the language. His writing is great all around, punchy and profane.
Pauline and Christy, they were both in their twenties but the warzone world of gash for cash had turned them into something resembling squeezed out tubes of toothpaste.
There's a theme to the structure here too, where each tale opens with the main character in the middle of a compromising situation, and then the twists and surprises lie in what got them to that point.

Although I really enjoyed it, I wouldn't recommend this to everyone; it may be hard for some readers to take. There are almost no redeemable characters in this at all, the whole thing is filled with meth addicts, crooked cops, mass murderers, adulterers, etc. In fact, one of the minor weaknesses of the collection is how repetitive it feels at first, especially in the first third, where it seemed like every story starred someone strung out on drugs. And another reason why I didn't give it a perfect score is because of the plethora of typos. That's usually not a big deal for me but it got a bit ridiculous. That aside, I really enjoyed EVERY story here and I was never let down. I dare you to read "Memory Lane," "The Referral System," "The Clipjoint Romance," "Three Cops," or "Hide and Seek" and not want to read every story that Rawson has ever written.


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