- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Kensington Publisher (June 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0758222661
- ISBN-13: 978-0758222664
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,454,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hardcore Hardboiled Paperback – June 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Drawn from Robinson's online magazine Thuglit, these 25 mostly solid crime stories will largely appeal to those with a taste for explicit violence. (For others, one description of mutilated genitalia is likely to be more than enough.) The best entries rely on subtlety and spare character portraits to make their point, like Mike MacClean's McHenry's Gift, the account of a drug runner's legacy with a vicious twist at the end that O. Henry might have appreciated. Dark humor propels Duane Swierczynski's satirical The Replacement, in which a drunk driver is sentenced to live out the life of his victim. Bill Fitzhugh's The Neighbors, about post-9/11 hysteria in California, does a nice job of playing off readers' expectations. In contrast, Vinnie Penn's Trim, a predictable and gory tale of revenge, makes an impression solely because of its gross-out factor. As Otto Penzler cautions in his introduction, this anthology is not for the fainthearted. (June)
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Top customer reviews
The present collection from Thuglit.com contains 24 short stories - all worth reading. My attention was drawn to the collection when I was checking for anything written by Sean Chercover. "A Sleep not Unlike Death" features Gravedigger Peace, a former mercenary named Mark Tindall in an earlier life, who appeared in the author's debut novel, "Big City, Bad Blood." The collection contains stories by some authors you will recognize, and some not previously known to you (and maybe worth checking out). Short story collections are always a good way to check out authors.
The lead story, "Ten Dimes" by Mike Toomey is about a fence who is being offerred something by a man he doesn't know, but he has some thoughts of his own about the merchandise. The Last story, "The Milfinators" by Charlie Stella, is about a hired gun being brought out of retirement for a job - it was getting a bit boring sitting around in Florida - and now he is freezing his behind off in North Dakota on a job that may not be quite all it seems to be.
In between you have stories by Ken Bruen, Sam Edwards, Jordan Harper, Tim Wohlforth, Ryan Oakley, the story mentioned by Sean Chercover, Hana K. Lee, Mike MacLean, Donovan Arch Montierth, J.D. Smith, Frank Zafiro, Victor Gischler, B. H. Shepherd, Vinnie Penn, Bill Fitzhugh, Vincent Kovar, Duane Swierczynski, Patty Templeton, Stephen Allan, Jeffrey Bangkok, Bryon Quertermous, and David Bareford. It's a good way to spend some rainy evenings. Enjoy.
Mike Toomey has a solid effort in a nasty, tight story about mob revenge in "Ten Dimes." The legendary Ken Bruen weighs in with the hilarious roller coaster "Brant Bites Back," sketching a truly memorable character in the rude, rough and tumble Brant. In one of the most unusual crime stories I've read, Vincent Kovar comes up with a reason for an "All-Night Dentist" to exist--really entertaining stuff.
My favorite in this collection is "A Sleep Not Unlike Death" by Sean Chercover. He's created a layered and engaging character in Gravedigger Peace who is compelled to solve the problem of some teenage punks stomping on sacred ground. It won a well-deserved Anthony for best short story. After reading this I went out and got his novel, "Big City, Bad Blood," which was a great read.
Thuglit is part of a growing network of excellent crime fiction web sites that are giving new life to the mystery short story--and this collection is a good review of their early work.
The amount of talent (from award-winner Bill Fitzhugh, Edgar-nominated Victor Grischler of GunMonkeys fame, the Don of crime-fiction himself Charlie Stella, Best American Mystery Stories winner Tim Wohlforth, Duane Swierczynski of The Blonde and Moonknight-Marvel Comics-, Award-winner Ken Bruen and other suspects who names shall be changed to protect the innocent) between these pages is explosive!
This book was full-on in your face, no appolozies, fast'n'hard fiction never seen before, and I doubt even after. Landmarks in fiction are few and far between given the soft-boiled tastes of the current industry.
With a foreword by Otto Penzler (if you don't know who he is, then forget reading this, or for that matter, burn your eyes out!)and an opening by the Big Daddy Thug himself, the book marks itself as a contribution to the sometimes underground & under appreciated world of truly hardboiled crime & noir.
Am I being vague? Not enough details about what lies between the pages?
Then buy the book and you'll see what I mean.
Besides, when's the last time you read a story with a Monkey that could take you out!
-Dash C. B!AM