Saw this cool announcement on Kyle Minor's blog - after his participation in the latest N@B event, his short story collection, In the Devil's Territory hit the city's weekly best-seller list. Feels good.
In the mail this week I got brand new shit from the likes of George Pelecanos, Scott Phillips, Greg Hurwitz, Tom Piccirilli, Heath Lowrance and Donald Ray Pollock. That's a hell of a lineup right there. I hit Pic's Every Shallow Cut Friday night and killed it in a single sitting. It struck me how effortlessly those pages turned and how much that says about the writing - really striking, solid prose telling a very personal tale. There's some writers you can tell are working out their private shit right there on the page. Sometimes they treat it comically, sometimes it's too self-conscious to take seriously and sometimes... it just bleeds. It's raw and naked and unapologetic. I've got to read more Pic. Saturday, I read Nik Korpon's novella Old Ghosts and Nik too, jeez getting personal. I like that. Less veneer of snark on Cole, the first-person narrator of this one than on Damon the protagonist of his debut novel Stay God, and that lets us tap into his emotional core a lot quicker, which is a good thing as Old Ghosts is only 80 pages. Nik posted an excerpt from the novella on his blog. I like these short ones. Keep 'em coming.
Sunday, I tackled Greg Bardsley's amazing novel Cash Out. I've been working on this one for a while only because it's on my laptop (which I've got back from the fix-its, thanks) and I just hate reading on it. But damn, this one is the best Bardsley I've ever read. It features several of his best out of orbit characters - Crazy Larry, Calhoun, Janice From Finance - doing their fucked up thing and structured around a very likable straight-man protagonist. If no publisher picks this one up... This is gold. I'm also owing Steve Weddle's Stripped and Kieran Shea's Koko Takes a Holiday more time. Or rather, the world owes me more time to read them. Damn electronic reading.
Daniel Woodrell was interviewed for the Wall Street Journal on-line and had, as always, a couple gems in there. His Bayou Trilogy should be in stores soon.
Because I've not got enough reading to do already I picked up Robert Olmstead's Far Bright Star, Charlie Stella's Shakedown, Rick DeMarinis' Mama's Boy, and Aaron Michael Morales' Drowning Tuscon this week. I have no more money... or time.
Over at Ransom Notes, I'm looking at South African crime novels like those of Roger Smith and Caryl Ferey. Go there and leave me some suggestions on what I'm missing out on.