I am a big fan of Joe Lansdale and his writing. I even met the man once at a Horror Writers of America convention in New York City. He is a good man and a great writer. One of his books will stand you on the back of your heels like a good stiff right cross.
If it doesn’t hit you that way, you probably ought not to be reading anything beyond “See Dick Run”.
I especially like this little yarn because it was free. That’s right, I am a cheap old bear and I pinch my money until the janitor at the mint blushes flamingo pink.
This is a fast-reading yarn.
It is also a fairly simply tale and I have to admit that I saw where it was going by page 17 or so. That isn’t usually the case with a Joe Lansdale tale – but in this particular instance it was.
Still, that did not spoil the reading experience anymore than seeing a road sign that read “NEW YORK CITY TWENTY EIGHT MILES” is going to spoil the experience of the Empire State Building hitting you smack between the eyeballs with all of it’s skyscraping splendor.
I don’t want to spoil this tale for you just in case you don’t spot the plot point like I did. We all have our own set of eyes and you ought to look at this story with a fresh set. Still, I will tell you that it is gang-related and violent as all get out. If you are sensitive or easily-offended you probably might want to settle on a Zane Grey novel or perhaps an old school Harlequin Romance – one of the less violent kind.
BULLETS AND FIRE is a gangster story and it reeks of testosterone and locker room tale-telling. It is a cheap tavern steak, served up hot and fresh. It is a cold glass of beer on a hot summer day. It is not pretty or poetic but the scenes in the last couple of chapters will leave you feeling as if you had been drop-kicked by a sledge hammer.
If you dig Charles Bronson’s Death Wish, you want to read this story.
If you think that Breaking Bad is the epitome of episodic television then you will want to read this story.
If you want a tale that will smack you between the eyeballs so hard that the very next thing you look at will be hanging off the wrong end of your lower intestine then you really need to pick up this story.
You can probably find it for free elsewhere.
Go and read it because I told you to.
Yours in Storytelling,