Friday, October 8, 2021

OUTLAWED INK: Stories by Jason Starr

It should be no surprise that the short stories in Jason Starr’s new collection are a lot like his novels. They’re all contemporary crime noir focused on losers and degenerates of all kinds, ranging from degenerate gamblers, stock market assholes, sleazy old misogynists, and heartless serial daters. 

The first half of stories are pretty good: short, efficient, and filled with Starr’s tragic sense of humor. But it’s strange how the last half of stories sort of fell off the cliff. All of these stories felt incomplete and lazily written, with less than compelling resolutions. But my favorites were: “The Graveyard of Jimmy Fontaine,” about gambler with the most terrible luck, and “Last Pick,” about a bullied kid finally getting the revenge he deserves. 


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