Monthly Bullet Points

 

S’up Playa,

Welcome to what I hope will become a new—end of the month—feature to this site. A feature in which I’ll get to rant, rave and opine about stuff  I been up to over the course of the month (hmm, when I put it that way it doesn’t sound too appetizing) Anyway, if you’re still interested, in this post I will be covering: The Punisher, hood living, favorite reads and the most popular post on this site. Enjoy.

 

  • Dare Devil season 2 has introduced The Punisher with an interesting variation on his somewhat familiar story. A story line which makes DD come across as a boring superhero. For those who don’t know; The Punisher is equal parts Charles Bronson (circa Death Wish) Rambo First Blood and Jason Bateman minus the sense of humor. I always liked the story of the deeply flawed Straw Dog known as The Punisher. Currently streaming on Netflix.

 

  • Rent tends to be on the ‘cheap’ side in the hood. But so is life. The other night, after work, I ran into my first CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS yellow ribbon tape; two blocks away from where I live. Great, and it’s not even summertime.

 

  • One of the most popular post/articles on this site (In the True Crime section) was also one of the most difficult to write. The story of the Bath Avenue Crew. I say it was difficult because the research for it was labyrinthine at best. It took a while to put it together in a somewhat coherent fashion, because there were a lot of contradictory accounts on the web about what went down. The story is so juicy though, that I even mentioned it in a short story I wrote recently (Killing Crows—which you can read right now by clicking on the book cover by the side bar of this site) I’m still puzzled as to why it’s so popular? Good SEO? don’t know but, It is indeed a pleasant surprise. Small victories.

 

  • It goes without saying that I have a long-ass commute these days, but it gets me reading. So I had the pleasure of polishing off a couple of hardboiled and visceral pulpy crime fiction novels: Money Shot by Christa Faust and Dog eat Dog by Mr. Blue himself: Edward Bunker (RIP) Keep an eye out for my take on these two books.

 

That’s it for now. ‘Till next time playa.

Mini Book Reviews

You know what’s a crime? Too many books, so little time to read them. Hence the reason why I try my best to be selective and just read books which I’m one hundred percent sure I will enjoy. Life’s too short for boring books. Clichés aside, and try as I may, every once in a while though I come across a stinker. I don’t like to write bad reviews about the hard work of my fellow writers, but sometimes. Whoa nelly-stinks on ice pal-o-mine. I’m sure lots of folks feel the same way about my own output, that’s okay because at the end of the day (Damn I’m full of clichés today) It all comes down to taste. Okay, well since I filled out my cliché quota for the day; on to my take on a few books I’ve read recently.

The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction.

PulpEdited by Maxim Jakubowski with 33 hard-boiled stories by Dashiell Hammett, Donald Westlake, Mickey Spillane, John D. MacDonald, Jim Thompson, and many more.

Granted, I’m still reading this little brick of a book. Read three stories so far, and it pains me to say that I’m not impressed. I’m not moved by it; however the introduction is fucking stellar.  Here’s the beginning of that introduction by Editor Maxim Jukubowski.

There is no such thing as Pulp Fiction. Sweeping assertion, hey? And, I suppose, a perfect touch of controversy to open a volume which I hope you will find full of surprise, action, shock galore, sound and fury, pages bursting with all the exhilarating speed bumps of a rollercaster ride. Which is what the best story telling provides. So long live Pulp Fiction!

Long live indeed. And then he goes into a brief history of pulp and how it touches every single form of literature and entertainment. From its inception until the modern age; it’s a fantastic little piece of history. Three stories in though and I’m having my doubts; maybe is because I like my pulp with modern touches? I don’t know. I do have 31stories to go so; I guess I shouldn’t dismiss it at first crack? Who knows things might just take a turn for the better; I might come across those surprises the editor talks about. Will review the stories individually provided I’m move to do so. Stay tune. Now on to other reviews.

The Shark-infested Custard by Charles Willeford.

SharkFour self-absorbed, womanizing, borderline sociopathic bachelors inhabit this novel. There’s raunchy sexual content, burst of violence and sprinkles of racism. Set in the Miami of the 1970’s (which makes some details seem dated.) Best enjoyed by middle-aged men and I get the sense that women will not find this novel cute, endearing or funny. (Kinda like the stuff I write—I’m working on it though.)

The novel has an odd structure, with lots of descriptive filler as though the Author just wanted to hit a word count; then again lots of authors seem to do that—which bugs me.

Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. I really like the author but I think this is one of his weakest.

 

Make Me by Lee Child.

MakeMeI enjoy a Reacher novel every now and then. In this one, Alpha Male Jack Reacher feels the hurt in a few pages—or so—which makes him come across as ‘human’ for once—ha! I digress. Lee Child is a brilliant writer, pacer and researcher, but he tends to describe every nook and cranny. Every minutia, which just makes me skip page after page. A matter of taste I supposed.

All in all a good read.

 

In other news.

It looks like I will be releasing my short novel DESPERADOS in early June. The book is all done but the editor I work with is so damn busy that that’s the earliest she could do for me (sad face.) Get ready to be happy though because there’s going to be a 9,000+ words Short Story coming your way soon. Yep, is gonna be FREE (If I can figure a way to do that.)

That’s my report from life in marginalia. Be well you crazy kids.