"Street Raised is a scar of a book, but it's a beautifully healed scar." - Joe Lansdale "Imagine James Ellroy coupled with George R. R. Martin and overseen by Charles Willeford." - Ken Bruen "This is literary crime of the highest order, on par with the work of the great Eddie Bunker." - Jason Starr "Hansen's delivery is nothing like Cormac McCarthy's, but this novel possessed a few visceral and nasty surprises that put it in the same territory of viciousness and macabre grandeur as Blood Meridian." - Laird Barron--This text refers to an alternate
Pearce Hansen is an Oakland native residing behind the Redwood Curtain in Humboldt County with his wife Pia. Pearce's fiction is inspired by events and experiences from his youth growing up in the East Bay. He's been writing 17 years with over 100 publications including three novels, a short story collection, six anthology inclusions and three screenplays.
Pearce is one of hardboiled's BEST! This novel is a monster! Dynamic, authentic [and HONEST], vivid to a degree where the words fly off the page like bullets and tears, it is an "astonishing" showcase of his awe-inducing talent as a writer. A powerful work of imagnative truth, filled with its own poetry, every page of this richly-detailed work seethes and pluses. This is a major work! The last time a hardboiled debut impressed me this much was Will Beal's L. A. Rex.
depicting the life of a couple of likeable misfits in California's Bay Area in the mid 80's.
The characters are very well fleshed out and the story has soul, pace and , I suspect, a lot of autobiographic elements ( could the Author be Will, I ask ? ).
Absolutely worth reading and enjoying, for its in "your face " reality and the unreproachable prose.
Why not 5 stars, then? Because the Author looses himself, somewhat too much, in the 80's Oakland description and this, whether he wanted it or not, ends up cutting a bit of the pace in an otherwise irreprehensible novel.
Pearce Hansen is my best discovery yet on Allan Guthrie's Criminal-E blog, [...] This is a terrific read about young Speedy who is released from Pelican Bay State Prison in North California and returns to East Bay, Oakland. Here Speedy hooks back up with his brother Little Willy and best mate Fat Bob and sets out to settle old scores and to make some new ones.
This is a story about life on the street, drugs, crime and simply surviving. The characters may not be people you'd want to take home to meet your mother but Pearce writes his tale so well that you can sympathise with these three guys and even like them as they battle with the daily challenges of their lives. They all show their soft sides, but more often than not their choices are aggressive and violent. There are terrific scenes throughout the book that give you real insight into each of the characters.
The other great feature about Hansen's story is the significant role that East Bay plays. On multiple occasions I was searching Google Maps to get a closer look at the locations that Hansen was describing (which are thousands of miles from my home in Australia). A great read from an author I had never heard of before. I will certainly be looking out for more of his work.
Pearce Hansen has some how combined a fable, a gritty street crime story and coming of age tale seamlessly into one novel. It is deep and richly textured with characters that will live with me for some time to come. Along with the human and feline characters there stands the East Bay as a living breathing organism. Hansen knows his turf and writes with clear eyed passion about it. My only word of caution is, it took me a bit to fall in love with this book, after a chapter or two though I fell hard. Damn fine writing.
Speedy's one compelling character, I tell you. I published a slew of Speedy stories in our first run of PLOTS WITH GUNS, and I love Hansen's crazy world in STREET RAISED. Speedy gets out of prison and dives right into trouble.
This is a good one, and I'm happy to see it have a second life on Kindle.
"He pulled the straight shooter from his lips, torturing himself with anticipation as he watched a tiny tendril of crack smoke waver from the mouth end of the pipe. The scent of it excited him more than the sight of a naked woman as he watched the crack smoke dissipate into the air, a little piece of Heaven wasted." -- from Street Raised
Few crime fiction writers have actually lived through the same events they put their characters through. For most, writing noir is an opportunity to experience illegal behaviors from a safe distance, things they would never dare to replicate because they don't have to. Pearce Hansen is the rare breed: he has run the same streets and struggled through the same precarious existence his characters do. For Hansen, writing is a kind of catharsis: it helps keep the nightmares away.
From the bio included with Street Raised, we learn that Hansen was "functionally homeless at a young age," and that he did a lot of self-educating through reading a variety of books: "he counts Thucydides & Spillane, Dostoevski & H.P. Lovecraft, Dickens & Nietzsche among his dear dead friends."
Street Raised is his debut novel, but it is not the work of a beginner. Hansen has been honing craft in short-fiction circles (including the now-defunct Plots With Guns) for ten years, and it shows. The story of Speedy and the aftermath of his release from Pelican Bay State Prison (far too much happens for me to even attempt a summary) displays a sure hand that knows what a good story requires: relatable characters, detailed settings, a clearly defined arc, and a satisfying ending.Read more ›
This book is the ultimate urban crime prose. From page one to the end, a dark vision of urban crime, decay, and street warfare. Speedy is released from prison, returning only to find his brother a total crackhead, his best pal the meanest bouncer alive, and within days he tangles with a Mexican drug gang, a Skinhead gang, a cop looking to take him back to prison, and all manner of street thugs and homeless crazies. No one else writes like this. Wow!