Sunday, April 02, 2006

Controlled Burn : Stories of Prison, Crime, and Men
by Scott Wolven

Van recommended this one to me. He and Wolven were at Columbia together and since he was the one who initially turned me onto McCarthy I take his recommendations to heart. Once again he comes through with a winner.

I'm not terribly good with the book reviews, but I liked this enough to say something about it here. It's a collection of short fiction focusing on hard cases, meth addicts, and just plain villains. Wolven presents their tales with concise prose; each character is written with assured understanding and descriptions are often given with almost journalistic detail, giving an overall effect of gritty realism. It was an almost quick read. Each time I sat down to read I would clip through two to three stories and then put it down for a few days. I get the feeling, given a Sunday afternoon free of distraction, I could have finished it off in one sitting.

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