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Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Fiction Based on the Songs of Bruce Springsteen Paperback – December 1, 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 ratings


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Product details

  • Publisher : Gutter Books (December 1, 2014)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 270 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1939751020
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1939751027
  • Item Weight : 10.9 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.24 x 0.61 x 7.99 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 30 ratings

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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
30 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2014
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Top reviews from other countries

hero_of_canton
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid stories to go with incredible songs.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid stories to go with incredible songs.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2020
“Trouble in the Heartland” is a collection of crime fiction short stories each based on the title of a different Bruce Springsteen song.

My Dad and I are huge Springsteen fans and also big readers so when I heard about this book we obviously both had to have it. Springsteen’s songs themselves are often like little short stories with their own characters and plots so I was intrigued to see what had been done with them here.

Honestly, I’m not a huge lover of short stories in the main, I prefer more time to get to know characters and a plot I can really get my teeth into but sometimes short stories are good if you’re lacking focus a little. These were extremely short though. The book is 270 pages and there were 41 stories, so that probably gives you some idea as to how short they had to be.

It was a real mixed bag. Some stories I really liked, others not so much and some were a little too on the nose for the song title they were using. The “I’m on Fire” one, for example, uses some of the lyrics directly as well as a visual representation of some of them, which just didn’t really work for me.

I loved the Dennis Lehane story that started the collection off, “State Trooper”. His writing style worked well in the short story format although I would still say I needed more, could have easily read a full length book in this vein as there were lots of hints to events that it would have been good to see play out.

“Highway Patrolman” by Ryan Sayles, who I’d never heard of before reading this, was another highlight and conjured up images that really fit with the song.

Overall, the good outweighed the bad and it was a fun journey through a whole range of Springsteen songs, right up to 2012’s “Wrecking Ball” album. I found myself singing the songs as I was reading and sometimes for quite a while after.

If you’re a Springsteen fan and like crime fiction I’d definitely recommend it, despite not liking all the stories, as they really are so short that you’re soon passed it if you’re not really into some of the stories and I’m sure there would be something for everyone in there.
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n barnett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2016
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Diane
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 20, 2015
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