- Series: A Love and Bullets Hookup
- Paperback: 26000 pages
- Publisher: Shotgun Honey, an imprint of Down & Out Books (April 21, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1943402817
- ISBN-13: 978-1943402816
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,743,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps (A Love and Bullets Hookup) Paperback – April 21, 2017
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About the Author
Nick Kolakowski’s writing has appeared in Shotgun Honey, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Thuglit, The North American Review, Spinetingler Magazine, Plots with Guns, and various anthologies. He lives and writes in New York City.
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This novellete has got a whole lotta fun going on. The pace is frenetic. The full scale battle never lets up and there is simply no relaxation. Just get your motor running and get ready for action.
At first, the switching between two first-person points of view was a little confusing. But overall it waa just such a blast to read anyway.
The story is about a man named Bill who goes on the run after taking some mob money. Things don't work out too well for Bill though. Not only has he got a hit man on his tail, he has a former lover, Fiona, looking for him also with assumed bad intentions. Bill ends up in deeper trouble when he crosses paths with a small town sheriff and his posse who have been doing very bad things for a long time. The story concludes with guns, hot lead, body counts and the main ingredient: love.
The story as a whole is a great read. Quick prose, easy to follow and a great story line. The drawbacks for me were the shifting from first person (hit man perspective) to third person. I usually give up on any book once the shifting of perspectives begin but I was glad I gave this one a chance and it was written well enough to keep my attention.
The story is one awesome ride through Noir Land.
But Nick Kolakowski’s A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps (Down & Out Books) is about Elvis impersonators as much as Citizen Kane is about a sleigh. When you do get to the Elvis part of A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps, I mean, holy f***ing hell, just surrender: “A figure stepped through the haze, gleaming white. Bill thinking this must be some weird*ss pain-dream, Elvis Presley coming for him in a spangly jumpsuit, assault rifle in each hand.” Kolakowski leaves nothing on the table, enjoyable so.
A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps opens with an unnamed hitman describing his new target’s upcoming worst day of his life.
At some point, a poor sap will look at you and say, “This is the worst day of my life.”
But as long as you have breath in your lungs to say those words, you’re not having your worst day. You haven’t even hit rock bottom, much less started to dig. You can still come back from a car wreck, or that terrifying shadow on your lung X-ray, or finding your wife in bed with the well-hung quarterback from the local high school. Sometimes all you need to solve your supposedly world-ending problems is time and care, or some cash, or a shovel and a couple of garbage bags.
If you see me coming, on the other hand, I guarantee you’re having your worst day. Not to mention your last.
Let me show you how bad it can get. How deep the hole goes. And the next time your idiot friend says something about worst days, as the two of you stand there watching his house burn down with his pets and one-of-a-kind porn collection inside, you can tell him this story. It might even shut him up.
Let me tell you about Bill, my last client.
Laughably, Bill thought he could rip off the mob and get away with it. A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps follows Bill on his weak-ass attempt of an escape from New York and the troubles he runs into.
Bill awoke, as one sometimes does, dangling upside-down over a pit, ankles wrapped in heavy chains, sweat stinging his eyes, head throbbing like a dying tooth. He heard a dog bark in the night, and the muted roar of what he guessed was the Interstate, but the only light came from a bare yellow bulb bolted to a corrugated-metal shed far below.
Circumstances frequently deteriorate in absurd fashion in A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps until, believably, Elvis arrives to save the day (or not). Kolakowski writes with wit painted in darkness and gunfire. Adeptly crafting a plot that borders on the incongruous, Kolakowski makes A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps crazily convincing. I’m definitely looking forward to the second in this series.
Things can't get any worse, unless he suffers car-trouble and rocks up in a small town, with a corrupt sheriff and a gang of cohorts, who specialise in ripping off strangers and making them disappear - a kind of tourist tax with no comebacks.
Fortunately, Fiona is the forgiving type and our assassin is a sucker for an Elvis suit and some Burning Love. There just might be a future for our couple of lovebirds, but there's going to be a lot of blood spilled in the meantime.
Larger than life characters, plenty of pace and action, a love story with a grenade and some automatic rifles, as well as some amputated digits. An OTT finale which was fitting for this one-sitting read.
My first time with Nick Kolakowski, but definitely not my last.
4.5 from 5
Read in January, 2018
Published - 2017
Page count - 134
Source - review copy from author
Format - PDF