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Crimes in Southern Indiana Paperback – 3 Jan 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Windmill Books (3 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099558440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099558446
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Brutal and intoxicating." (Guardian)

"Take American gothic + Tarantino + 1 cup of human blood. Liquidise in blender. Result: The great stories of Frank Bill" (Alan Warner)

"An astonishingly powerful debut book...It’s a brutal rabbit punch of a booka shotgun blast in the chest of literature and a crystal meth hit to the readerRemarkable." (Doug Johnstone Big Issue)

"Amazing collection…It’s all overshadowed by a Southern Indiana landscape that proves eerily ideal for guns, hunting, secret meth labs and the casual infliction of terrible pain. 270 pages of gripping and harrowing shitloads of it." (Dazed and Confused)

"There’s a whiskey-gargling swagger to [Frank Bill’s] Cormac McCarthy-style prose, and each noir tale is savagely addictive." (Shortlist)

Book Description

A blistering and fearless slice of gut-wrenching hill-billy noir from a superb new talent

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By nigel p bird on 8 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To quote Donald Ray Pollock on this: `Good Lord, where the hell did this guy come from?'

Frank Bill describes his work more succinctly and directly than I'm about to when he says at his blog, `House Of Grit', `I don't waste words, I write them.'

In `Crimes In Southern Indiana' we have a book to cherish.

Essentially a collection of short stories, the work grabs hold harder with each page read.

Stories overlap as characters and histories reappear in new situations, the circles becoming tighter and tighter until the lines of definition begin to blur and it begins to feel like a novel and like a work of major force.
They tell of a culture that seems completely engrained in the communities and families we get to visit. It's a culture of depth and of major contradiction, one that an outsider might feel the need to eradicate without wanting to throw out the babies with the bathwater. There's good and bad in there and they're so tangled together that there's little hope of separation.

Family loyalty and blood ties are deep-rooted. Revenge is on an eye -for-an-eye basis; better still, two eyes are taken for the one. History and economics has left the people impoverished and forgotten. War veterans pick up the pieces. Police do what they can and sometimes what they shouldn't. Children are ruled with iron-fists and belt-buckles. Need drives all, even the selling of a young girl or the delivery of a knife into a throat. Guns are as part of daily life as pieces of furniture. Hunting takes on new boundaries. Friendships are tight until they aren't. People react to survive in any way they can.

In all the snapshots shown, the centre of the event is often an act of brutality.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rob Kitchin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Crimes in Southern Indiana is a collection of 17 short stories all set in the area and interlinked by characters and common settings such as the Leavenworth Tavern. They are also the darkest set of country noir tales you're ever likely to read. If they were accompanied by a musical score it would be fighting banjos played by Black Sabbath. These are dark, dark stories of the rural underclass and feature murder, revenge, drugs, prostitution, rape, dog fights, bare knuckle boxing, domestic violence, incest, child abuse, mental illness, hit and runs, and immigrant gangs. Bill's tales are populated by the desperate, the needy, the greedy, the lawless, the revengeful, the hapless and the hopeless; people whose moral compass has been whacked off kilter and never reset. Across the stories, the sense of place is palpable and the characterisation excellent. There is a little unevenness in storytelling, ranging from good to outstanding, but each tale is well conceived and paced, using prose that swings at the reader in graceful arcs and wallops in the gut like an iron fist wrapped in silk. The stories might have been ruthless, joyless, bittersweet, cathartic, violent and vengeful, but they evoke a powerful, conflicting affective response of repulsion and admiration. Definitely not a book for everyone, but for those that like their noir as black as the water at the bottom of the Ohio River, this is a must read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a fantastic debut collection from Frank Bill. He grabs you by the scruff of the neck & drags you through his characters own personal hells and then back again. He deals in the compromised and disenfranchised - people scrabbling under the radar, desperately scraping by. Hard hitting, and sometimes unrelenting, the whole work is shot through with dark humour - Mr Bill knows these characters, lives and breathes with them. His writing style takes a bit of getting used to, but once it clicks, it clicks and becomes natural.

If you're looking for comparisons then Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock would be closest but Frank Bills stories have more crime writing undertones (he cut his teeth by publishing online at Plots With Guns and Thuglit among others). Both write about the places and people that they know with an honesty and truth that hurts. Well worth a look
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Format: Paperback
[This review was originally published at The Nervous Breakdown.]

When you think of places where crime lurks, locations where you should keep the car rolling through stop signs, where you never stop to ask for directions, a few names may pop into your head. Maybe you think of Detroit or East St. Louis, Baltimore or Miami. It's time to add Corydon, Indiana, to that list, as well as the entire southern part of the state.

In Frank Bill's violent, gut-wrenching, and heartfelt collection of short stories, Crimes in Southern Indiana, there is nowhere safe to hide--the criminals are happy to walk right in the front door pointing a shotgun in your face, spitting tobacco on the floor. A granddaughter is sold as a sex slave. A war veteran tries to forget the killings he committed out in the field as well as the abuse he inflicted on his family at home. Dogfights turn into moments of self-preservation and sudden morality. Family turns on itself while the police provide inadequate protection. All of this unfolds with a raw, unflinching portrayal of meth heads, delinquents, and lost souls searching for a way out. The stories are interlinked and overlapping, as it has to be in any small town, the hero in one story meeting his demise in another, the lawmaker in one tale becoming the criminal in the next.

Early on we get a strong sense of what life what must be like in Corydon and the surrounding communities. In "All the Awful" we witness the sale of Audry by her grandfather, ironically named Able, into slavery, her young flesh an easy commodity to move on the black market:

"One of the man's hands gripped Audry's wrists above her head. Forced them to the ground. She bucked her pelvis up. Wanted him off of her.
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