introducing readers to writers since 1995

October 03, 2007

Richard Lange's Dead Boys

by Scott

lange.jpgSometimes, a book just comes along at the perfect time.

My recent reading has included a great deal of nonfiction. And what little fiction I've been reading has been glitzy, glamy, style stuff about beautiful people. So I was hankering for a good, old-fashioned story collection in the likes of Tobias Wolff or Raymond Carver. Just quiet, solid stories about quiet people in trouble.

And then I stumbled upon Richard Lange's Dead Boys. It's been out since the middle of August and if someone were going to create a book guaranteed to get my cash dollars, this is it. With blurbs by my favorites such as Chris Offutt, Daniel Woodrell, and Scott Wolvern, Dead Boys is often compared with the stories of Carver and Denis Johnson.

For me, that kind of stuff is a sure sell.

And the book hasn't disappointed. There's a noir tinge to some of the pieces, but not too much. These are people generally driven to criminal lifestyles. And they, frequently, are not very good at it. They're not that different then you or me. And let's face it. No matter how many espisodes of Law & Order you might have watched, you probably ain't gonna make a good crook. Just like the characters in this book.

But their foilbles make them human and compelling. And in the end, you end up rooting for them to succeed in some small way.

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