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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
The Chaos We Know
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on October 8, 2014
Keith Rawson writes tough stories about tough times and he doesn’t pull his punches. (And he’s not wearing boxing gloves either—his blows land with bone-crunching force that leaves blood dripping from the knuckles. See “The Lesson of Blood” for more on that subject.)
The people in his stories are under pressure from within and without and unlike lumps of coal that turn to diamonds given enough time and pressure, the characters here transform into very human monsters. And when all the emotions that make them human fall away—love is the first to go—hate is still there and self-loathing, and disgust.
And chaos. There is always chaos.
The title story—a tale of corporate-driven desperation so real you can smell the character’s flopsweat.—is so visceral that it may just give you nightmares.
In a good way.
Rawson’s stories are not for sissies. But then, life isn’t for sissies either.
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on January 17, 2012
Having been catching up on the ebooks I've wanted to read since getting a Kindle for Christmas, I turned to THE CHAOS WE KNOW by fellow writer Keith Rawson. This collection of short stories offers biting, unflinching looks at the American culture in Arizona around cities like Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tucson. Noir writer Charlie Stella presents an insightful Foreword to set the stage. I liked reading Keith's longer stories such as "What I Lost Along With My Keys," "The Referral System," and "The Anniversary Weekend." These are hard characters like meth addicts, bent cops, and dope dealers living their hard existences. I can hear strains of Charles Bukowski, John Fante, and Scott Phillips in the narratives though the original voice and talent remain entirely Keith Rawson's. There is humor and irony also at work, so everything isn't bleak. This unsparing noir that's often all too painful and true should satisfy the fans of the genre as it did this one.
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on July 6, 2013
Rawson's vision is one where beneath the surface of the freeways and strip malls is a dark desolate place filled with drug addicts, hookers, and most of all angry men. They are angry about the dreams that were never delivered, the jobs that they scratch at cause there's no other job anywhere in sight, the crap they have to take to keep their miserable jobs, their screwed up families, and all the unfair crap they have to put up with. There are no happy endings in Rawson's world, only more misery. Honesty is here in dozens of short tales of the chaos we know. Do not read this if you want to read about happily ever after. That just ain't gonna cut it.
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on January 7, 2012
If you like crime fiction better when it's done differently, Keith Rawson's stories THE CHAOS WE KNOW might just be what you're looking for. Rawson revisits many tropes of traditional noir, but twists and turns them to make something new. You know those spectacular statues made out of recycled material? This is it.

By that, I don't mean THE CHAOS WE KNOW lacks originality. Au contraire! It's as much fiction as it's a commentary on it should be done. The world of Rawson is full of self-destructive, nihilistic jerks who would like nothing better than to steal your money and blow up your house. It's dark, it's raw and it has a strange but enthralling sense of intimity to it. I have never read anything like this before, but I can't wait to read more of him.
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on September 27, 2011
Keith Rawson writes with fire and fury.
THE CHAOS WE KNOW is an amazing and disturbing collection that drags you down (quite willingly) into the bowels of human suffering. Rawson's characters are meth-heads, corrupt cops, pervs, trannies, cannibals. The earliest stories in the book are more like snippets, really, slice-of-life bits that serve as appetizers for the more fully fleshed out stories later. Rawson's style is bold and aggressive and raw. We need more writers with balls like this.
THE CHAOS WE KNOW heralds the arrival of a major talent.
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on March 26, 2012
Keith Rawson has a sick and twisted mind, and I mean this in the nicest way. Reading his fiction is a dark trip on an out of control rocket speeding towards the nasty inside of the human psyche. No neat noir tales to be found here; only the babbling beasts of our unspoken desires. His truths are often unpleasant and hard to take but they speak to us of the side of humanity we would rather not face. While reading Rawson is no walk in the park it is a trip not to be missed.
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on June 24, 2012
Well, intensely written short stories ( by one sole Author, mind ), grey and black, as most of life is.

Keith Rawssson' s look on the, mostly phsicologigal, derelicts of life is as clear and to the point as one can possibly get.

An author to follow, most surely, and to keep along with the Vaachses, the Winslows, the Picirilli's, among others that show us the dark side of the Moon.
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on August 29, 2011
Rawson paints one ugly picture of the Grand Canyon State in this outstanding short story collection, his American Southwest populated by characters so depraved and desperate the folks from Knockemstiff or St. Bruno read like church parishioners in comparison. The writing is brutal, often funny (and usually outrageous), Rawson tackling addiction, toxic relationships, marital strife, dysfunctional families, crime with a capital C, bowel movements and maybe the occasional cannibal living off the grid with a flare for honesty that quite often is lost on many writers of transgressive fiction. There is a keen sense of place in The Chaos We Know, revealing the grime beneath the gleam of suburban sprawl to the tragically absurd lives of desert rats, tweekers, deputies, working class zeros...characters drawn so deftly you can feel a lifetime of rotten luck and poor choices in every story.

This is the Arizona I want to know.
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on January 21, 2015
A few good story's. Most were ideas for a story. Others were no more than rambling words that were a wast of paper.
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on April 27, 2016
Very good pulp novel.
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