Saturday, April 1, 2017


Adam Howe's got the goods!! Howe is a natural-born storyteller and seems to be one of those rare authors with the gift of being able to write about any damn thing under the sun and captivate readers no matter what. You can find this same quality in writers like Joe Lansdale, Jeff Strand, and Stephen King; natural tale-spinners!

In this book, Howe collects three of his novellas, all of which are intense pieces of pulp fiction that pay homage to various classic sub-genres. Each story was consistently engaging and definitely memorable, but each in it's own way, really showcasing Adam Howe's versatility. Each tale is very different but what they do share is a true pulpiness in their bones.

The first novella, Damn Dirty Apes, is the longest, following a washed up ex-boxer now bouncing in a shitty titty bar. He joins a motley crew of low-lifes on a hunt for the mysterious skunk ape, a Sasquatch-style creature legend, which has kidnapped their friend to use as a sex toy. It's the most Lansdale-esque of the stories, with a great balance of Southern humor and violent, wacky action. I can imagine Hap and Leonard going skunk ape-ing too! It's a great send-up to the 80's B-grade action movies, and every character is charming in their own way.

When the second novella, Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, comes along, it marks a demanding change in the book's mood, presenting a terrifying story that is miles away from being anywhere near funny. It's a graphic slasher story that presents crafty and unpredictable twists on the usual serial killer tales. The way that Howe builds these twists and turns, the way he changes point-of-view, and stacks the pieces so that the obstacles become unbearable, it's really something you should read without me spoiling it. But be warned, if you can't handle EXTREMELY graphic violence and horrifying scenes, this book probably isn't for you.

In fact, the final novella, Gator Bait, probably isn't for you either. But I fucking LOVED it. This time, Howe writes a classic swamp noir of the Gold Medal variety, much in the pulp vein of Harry Whittington or Charles Williams. Here, our noir "hero" is a pianist who lost a couple of fingers to a man he cuckolded, but he obviously didn't learn a lesson because he jumps back into trouble when he takes a job playing at a hot swamp honky tonk and lays his eyes on the wife of the bar's demented owner. Horace Croker is a terrifying villain, and like any good noir, from the moment the two men meet, you can tell things will go to shit in a big way. And it does.

This was one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year, and if each novella was released separately, I'd give them all an A. I'll definitely be reading more by Adam Howe.



  1. Just found your, I love how you publicize all these authors that many of us might not encounter....keep on reading and keep blogging....



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