Sex, Thugs, and Rock & Roll

Todd Robinson, Editor, Sarah Weinman, Introduction by
Todd Robinson, Editor, Sarah Weinman, Introduction by . Kensington $14 (318p) ISBN 978-0-7582-2267-1
Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009

Robinson's second anthology derived from the online magazine Thuglit is an improvement over 2008's Hardcore Hardboiled . Jason Starr gets things off on the right foot with “Double Down,” a short but punchy contemporary PI tale, with an unapologetically amoral main character largely indifferent to the consequences of his greed. Joe R. Lansdale offers perhaps the strongest entry with “Bullets and Fire,” in which the narrator gets accepted into a hardcore urban gang by punching out a little girl, for reasons that only become apparent in the denouement. An ex-con's despair over his estranged grown daughter drives Marcus Sakey's “The Days When You Were Anything Else,” which ends with a twist that's no less powerful for being predictable. While not every selection is top-notch, this volume also showcases a number of lesser-known authors who will undoubtedly be heard from more in the future. Sarah Weinman's introduction extols the virtues of online publication. (June)

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