Great week for reading. I just finished Criminal Love and Other Stories, by Mike Monson and tore through Big Stupid, by Victor Gischler. Below are the reviews I posted on Amazon.
Criminal Love and Other Stories, by Mike Monson
What does it say about me that I felt at home reading this collection? Nevermind. What it says about the author, Mike Monson, is that he is a first-rate storyteller. Monson has the ability to pull you into his fictional world and you are there instantly. Believing it. As if you’d just tripped into someone else’s life. Monson’s work reminded me of Raymond Carver’s in that respect. His writing isn’t the focus of these tales, his characters are. Which is why I think another reviewer missed out on how good it really is. Because it’s not easy to hook and hold a reader without him being aware of how you’re doing it. This is fiction that transports, frightens, entertains. One of the best collections I’ve purchased this year. Buy Criminal Love and keep an eye out for whatever else Monson has on the way.
Mike Monson’s work has appeared in the anthologies Gloves Off, All Due Respect, Out of the Gutter 8, Flash Fiction World Volume 3 and can be found at websites like Yellow Mama and the Flash Fiction Offensive.
For interviews, reviews and updates, visit Mike Monson’s Blog.
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Big Stupid, by Victor Gischler
Big Stupid does what it’s supposed to. It’s a fast, sexy, violent, wisecracking tale that can be read in one sitting. But Victor Gischler also adds a lot of heart to the story. The final sequence, as the characters race to settle things against the approach of a hurricane, is concisely and brilliantly rendered. And the ending stunned me, ringing in my head for a quite a while after I’d set the book down. 4.5, really.
(I gave it 4 stars. If you don’t know, Amazon has a one-to-five whole star rating system.)
This novella “cracks foxy,” as Sam Spade used to say.
Victor Gischler’s books include Gun Monkeys, The Deputy and Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse. He recently launched the epic fantasy serial Ink Mage. He has also written screenplays and scripted comic books like X-Men, Deadpool, Punisher and Spike.
You can try to keep up with him at Victor Gischler’s Blogpocalypse.