This collection of 12 stories offers a darkly humorous and unsentimental view of the new southwest and its marginalized inhabitants. They are all linked in some way to Tucson, AZ and reading them will give you a new perspective on what many think of a bland, desert state. The stories are at their strongest when Poirier sticks to the follies and f***ups of boys and young men. Many of the stories have a ring of authenticity that suggests the author lived the moment described-or something very close to it indeed. "Ska Boy, 1986" for example, could not have been written by anyone who had not been a part of that youth subculture at that time. Poirier manages to balance improbable situations with realistic, and wild characters with wildly realistic emotions and desires. This is a top-notch collection, and it fired me up to read his novel Goats.