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Roachkiller and Other Stories Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 141 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 472 KB
  • Print Length: 141 pages
  • Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (March 26, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 26, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007P6L8J4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #931,829 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

R. Narvaez was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His literary and crime fiction have been published in Mississippi Review, Murdaland, Plots with Guns, Thrilling Detective, Indian Country Noir, Long Island Noir, Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery, and You Don't Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens. His first collection of short stories is Roachkiller and Other Stories.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The world familiar with Narvaez has long awaited the day when he would burst forth in prose. His poetry is the stuff of legend, but Roachkiller and Other Stories is surely the writer in full stride and at the full breadth of his abilities. Not to be outdone, in any measure by the likes of Chandler, Grisham or even Poe himself, Narvaez at his best makes them bow in veneration to his transcendent gifts to tell a tale in the most colorful and gripping language. It is only for one to try and recover from one incredible tale to the next. I applaud Narvaez and am certain that, in years to come, this collection, Roachkiller and Other Stories will be seen as the defining moment of a major and treasured storyteller.
Daniel Thomas Moran
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R. Narvaez sure knows his stuff. This collection of beefy, bare-knuckled noir stories is a haunting page turner. A word of warning, though: don't start reading this book too late in the evening... as you'll probably stay up all night finishing every last gripping tale.

Stand aside Hammett, Ellroy, and Chandler: There's a new kid in town.
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For fans of noir or for anyone who appreciates well-crafted stories, this collection is dynamite. Some are nice violent noir, others are quite moving. R. Narvaez has a true talent for drawing the reader deep into his dark tales. Highly recommended!
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I thoroughy enjoyed all the short stories in Roachkiller. Narvaez's sardonic wit and talent is evident in each tale. His Latino background serves him well in his writing and he uses it to give each story an authentic feel. I especially enjoyed the many twists and turns as the downtrodden try to improve their lot only to find their efforts have gone awry. The suprise endings brought a smile to my face. He veers off in a couple of the latter stories writing science fiction, one of which people in Reno now own ocean front property. His take on a post apocalyptic future is both interesting and amusing.
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As I was reading this collection, I was struck by the great variety Richie Narvaez presents. He's a writer of admirable range, altering tone, approach, and structure from story to story. A common thread here of course is crime, and the stories do resonate with the spirit of noir, but Narvaez is not someone who uses genre predictably. All the people in these tales have a humanity you can feel. There's nothing glib or wise-guyish in the writing. That's not to say that the stories don't have humor, because they do, often with a satirical edge, but it's a humor that comes unforced from the characters - people with believable quirks and outlooks. Narvaez grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and he knows the area cold, how it's changed over the years, old-time neighborhood people mixing now with irritating hipsters. The story "Juracan" is set in Puerto Rico, and the island as it appears to a Bronx-born Puerto Rican guy is rendered with wonderful nuance. The protagonists in this collection run the gamut from Puerto Rican mothers to delivery truck drivers to hardened ex-convicts, and Narvaez knows them all equally well. I bought every single one of his characters. Most of the stories are contemporary, but towards the end of the collection we even get a couple of futuristic tales with a sci-fi quality. Technology may have changed, but the world is still a hard place to get by in and people are the same as ever, with the same yearnings, the same desires and foibles, the never ending need for love. Narvaez's stories are tough but understanding, and somehow, no matter how grim the actual goings on, they're delivered with a light touch. I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading whatever the author comes out with next.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As more and more noir creeps into my own writing, I have decided to explore some of the classic, best, and brand new voices in the genre.
I think it is common to compare newer writers to the classic ones by creating some sort of mathematical formula. One part Hammett, add two parts Ellroy and a touch of Leonard and stir - that sort of thing.

After reading R. Narvaez's story collection, I have a hard time coming up with such a formula - the work is very fresh, inventive, full of touches of humour, brooding violence, suspense, and damn if he doesn't sneak some satire in there. Basically, this guy is the real deal - and sure, he has shades of lots of writers in the genre, from Pelecanos to Dick, as in Philip K. Wait - that sci-fi guy? Yeah, that one.

The first chunk of stories start on the streets of Brooklyn, with a pregnant numbers running housewife, and move down into Puerto Rico with the superb Juracan - a Maltese Falconesque story that is in the running for best of the collection (if there were not so damn many good ones). Later in the collection, the stories jump into the near future for some dystopian hard-boiled tales that bring up memories of Bladerunner, Oryx and Crake, and somehow even A Canticle For Leibowitz.

Now, to be clear, I only came up with these comparison when I started this review - in the midst of the stories, I was too lost in the characters. The problem with a lot of s.s. collections is you finish a story, where you were committed to the characters, and then another one starts up while you are still thinking of the previous ones. I kind of think this is why people don't read a lot of short stories. The jump cuts, and compression of the narrative is hard on the brain - and often, the stories are uneven.
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