Damn. Dead Boys, by Richard Lange, is one crazy collection of short stories.
(I came into this book by way of the Small World books employee, Phil. Good choice, Phil!)
Dead boys is definitely edgy. Essentially it’s a collection of raw, LA based short stories mostly about down-and-out folks who sometimes dip into criminal activity (though I wouldn’t call them criminals…). It’s strangely dead on about LA even though it seems very over the top at times. Behind closed doors many people really do lead over the top existences – we all tend to clean up well in public – and Lange has masterfully given us a non-intrustive nor creepy peephole to see behind the scenes.
What makes this collection special is that it doesn’t moralize. it is stories. it is what it is. no right, no wrong – just existence. no justification for these characters or their behavior. I related to the complexity of just living life and how hard it is to put the pieces together.
I know my book reviews rarely bash a book nor give some brilliant literary criticism. I’m not going to do it in this case either. I think this book is very enjoyable and provocative. Here are few “gotchas”. The prose is raw and changes from story to story. Perhaps that’s not your cup of tea. It’s all based in LA. If you’ve never been to LA you might not get all the nuances but you certainly will get a sense of the shadowy parts of LA and the idea that everyone here is chasing something.
Summer is over, but that doesn’t mean good summer reading has to end. Get this book to smack your sensibility around a bit. lemmeknow what you think.