Showing posts from March, 2020

Ultimate Book Battle: Lolita vs Tampa

LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov, Olympia Press 1955, 336 pages. vErSuS TAMPA by Alissa Nutting, Ecco 2013, 272 pages. Dear Thrill Seekers, this battle is not for the faint of heart. In one corner we have a mid century tome first published in France, that some readers consider the greatest book in the English Language. In the other corner, we have a scrappy milkshake of stripped down minimalism bringing all the boys to the yard. Both tell stories of criminal perverts and child abuse. One of them is a charmingly verbose read, and the other offers the seductive lyricism of a bathroom stall wall. Again, Thrill Seekers this is what happens when English Teachers break bad.

Nutting's TAMPA has used its similarities to Nabokov's LOLITA as a marketing tool. Which had me a little leery. They do share a common structure and pathology with their respective Main Characters:

Humbert Humbert, a handsome middle age Literature prof working on an academic textbook. HH rents a room from widower, Char…

REVIEW: Hell Chose Me by Angel Luis Colon

HELL CHOSE ME by Angel Luis Colon, Down & Out Books 2019, 240 pages. Reminded me of the Heroic Bloodshed genre of John Woo, complete with morally complicated killers, plenty of action, and a memorable cast of main and supporting characters. It’s also a great example of past as prelude...

Bryan Walsh is a hired killer, knocking off lowlifes who are behind in payments to his boss, Paulie. He’s also haunted by the ghosts of those he killed, forced to watch them slowly fade away as the last moments of their lives are replayed again and again.

Bryan is also a runner and a coward, having first joined the military to get away from his toxic home life, then deserting the army for Ireland after he accidentally kills a boy, before fleeing Ireland to head back to the states when he gets sick of the partisan violence there. Bryan has more than a bit of blood on his hands, a by-product of choosing violence nearly every single time and always with the excuse that he never had much of a choice.


REVIEW: Repo Shark by Cody Goodfellow

ECR reviews Cody Goodfellow's 2014 bizarro tour de force, REPO SHARK, published by Broken River Books, 300 pages. Aloha thrill seekers! In honor of the coronavirus-global quarantine I've decided to help all of those fine people desperately desiring a vacay. We’re on island time now, so unpack your bags, apply sunscreen, and slip on your favorite orange Crocs because we’re cruising the trashiest beach this side of paradise. You won’t be smelling the helliconia or the bird of paradise or that warm island breeze here since around every corner of Cody Goodfellow’s surreal noir REPO SHARK there’s an open dumpster and some of them are on fire. But don’t worry thrill seekers, even in such a bleak tropical vacation as this, there are plenty of tourist attractions. Number one for this reader is Cody Goodfellow’s clever use of the English language. Repo Shark’s verbiage is as textured and prickly as a pineapple and overall--just as sweet.

This book reads, "with a scream like vapori…

CHEAP THRILL ALERT! New at Shotgun Honey

Trojan H, by J.D. Graves, published March 12, 2020, 700 words. 
I have a new FLASH Story published today over at Shotgun Honey. 

On a personal note, I am super excited to have my work appear at Shotgun Honey. A marketplace that I have spent a couple of years trying to break into, but the other stuff just wasn't good enough and I can admit it.

Every style of fiction be it, Flash, Short, Novella, Novel have their own issues and I am humbled by the opportunity to have my work alongside William R. Soldan, Michael Bracken, Rusty Barnes, Hector Acosta, Paul J. Garth, Nikki Dolson, and others.

Also Ron Earl has reopened submissions for Books, check out the guidelines here. 

Sorry for no review this week, but the kids are on spring break and we have been in full on Jim Henson Sock Puppet mode.

REVIEW: Kraj the Enforcer by Rusty Barnes

Kraj the Enforcer: Stories By Rusty Barnes, published by Shotgun Honey, October 24, 2019, 180 pages. Kraj the Enforcer is a collection of fourteen stories, all featuring Kraj, a Croatian enforcer stuck in upstate New York (Elmira to be precise). In most other crime fiction, Kraj would be a side character, the muscle supporting the local crime boss. Here, he is the center piece, the character all the action revolves around.

Kraj, point of fact, instigates a great deal of that action. Whether it’s hooking up with a 7-11 worker to go on a midday crime spree in “The Mexican Pepsi DoubleCross” or hunting down his boss’ killer in “Ghost Road,” Kraj is often instigating the action instead of simply responding to it. He’s a wrecking ball of a character, lacking in grace and subtlety… but that doesn’t make him unintelligent. He’s good at reading a situation and his reactions are sharp in the clutch… but his skillset lies in hurting people, and he’s definitely no criminal mastermind.

In some way…


Phillip K. Dick's Piracy of Influence

Mission Statement & Submission Guidelines

Beyond the Valley of the Drinking Game

Interview: Scotch Rutherford