Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Un-Cosy or Noir es Perros


While studying the bookshelves at the home of Frank Bill several weeks ago, I came across a title that I hadn't thought about in quite a while, The Dog Fighter by Marc Bojanowski. I picked it up when it first came out because it had an arresting cover and intriguing title that proved apt enough. It was gritty and bloody with Cormac McCarthy-ish ambitions what without using the punctuation and all. And yep it was about a dog-fighting gladiator in Mexico. Seeing it on Mr. Bill's shelf made me think about Frank's own story The Flesh Rule. From there I got to considering dog-centered stories, (not necessarily gladiator stories)and recalled a short by Daniel Woodrell titled The Echo of Neighborly Bones about vengeance taken over and over after an asshole kills the wrong neighbor's pet. But the best dog-related story I've read recently has got to be Irish author and poet Gerard Donovan's Appalachian novel Julius Winsome. It paints an unsettling portrait of a man unraveling and the retribution he pursues against the world after his dog, is killed by hunters. The language alone is worth the price of the book. It's not a sub-genre I've ever sought out, but once in a while I find myself looking for a good dog related story.

4 comments:

Keith Rawson said...

try out Red by Jack Ketchum. It's pulpy as Hell, but it's a great man loses dog and man goes absolutely bugshit story. I love Neighborly bones, great freaking story

sandra seamans said...

"Cain" by Andrew Vachss. It's a short story but, boy, does it pack a punch in the gut.

jedidiah ayres said...

Yeah Red - haven't read it, but saw the movie with Brian Cox and that dude from The Riches... forgot about that one.

Read a few Vachss books, don't think I've seen any of his short pieces. Thanks for the rec.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

This Wicked World by Richard Lange feature dog fighting prominently. The protag acquires a broken and beaten ex-fighter who is ultimately a survivor and finding out more about the dog and where it came from provides at least part of the motivation that progresses the main plot line.