on 9 October 2011
It was obvious to me by the time I had read the first three or four stories of this anthology that I had a problem. Writing an effective review of Pulp Ink would be like trying to clean the Humber Bridge with a toothbrush. Why? Quite simple because each story is like a sparking gem in the mud that is the e-book market. This anthology shone so brightly to me that I felt I had to wear shades when reading it. The editors deserve great credit for putting together such a fine collection. This is up there with the best of them and possibly my most enjoyable read this year.
Anyone who regularly reads my reviews knows that I am not a critic. I write positive reviews. I know what I like and I read what I enjoy. However, I am having to rein myself in from gushing like a school girl in the presence of a boy band. This anthology is THAT good. I very early on decided that I would say a little something about each of the stories. I felt that I owed it to the authors of this collection to say at least at little something about each of these excellent stories. So here it is:
Requiem for Spider by Reed Farrel Coleman
A hugely enjoyable hard boiled tale with humour entwined within its very soul. Poetic.
Jack Rabbit Slim's Cellar The $5 Mil Hak by Jodi MacArthur
McArthur's character Shasta Star is both fascinating and playful. Witty from the start, wise cracking and multi-layered. A great setting and a fantastic ending. Sublime.
Padre by AJ Hayes
You could lose yourself in the midnight black worlds AJ creates. This tale screamed across my synapses in cinematic high definition. A story of justice done told only the way AJ can.
The Creation of Ice by Sandra Seamans
You are plunging straight into the desperate end game as a cold hearted killer tries to charm her way out of the clutches of the law.
Zed's Dead, Baby by Eric Beetner
A debt collector cuts a bloody swathe in his attempt to find Zed. Beetner pulls no punches in this bloody tale with a surprising ending.
Your Mother Should Know by Allan Guthrie
A tale of god fearing folk & childhood innocence with that dark cloud of menace hanging over it that only Guthrie can conjure.
You Never Can Tell by Matthew C. Funk
Brilliantly descriptive. Laced with delicious atmosphere, the air hangs heavy with menace and the threat of violence.
A Whole Lot of Rosie by Nigel Bird
Nigel takes a classic song by AC/DC and turns it into a fantastic atmospheric story with heart and soul.
The Lady & The Gimp: A Peter Ord Investigation by Paul D.Brazill
Another great story in another fantastic seedy setting. Stuffed to bursting with vintage Paul D. Brazill wit and humour. His PI Peter Ord never disappoints.
A Night at the Royale by Chris F. Holm
A story that is pregnant with an air of menace. However, you find yourself with no sympathy at all for Mr. Black's hapless victims. An outstanding and clever ending.
Clouds in a Bunker by David Cranmer
A sad little tale that injects humour into a difficult subject.
The Wife of Gregory Bell by Patricia Abbot
An excellent tale confirming that one shouldn't mess with karma.
If Love is a Red Dress - Hang Me in Rags by Michael J. Solender
Eloquently descriptive. The author does so much with so few words.
A corpse by Any Other Name by Naomi Johnson
A brilliant and hilarious short crime caper. Great characters. Steinbeck is smiling from the great beyond at the tribute.
Surf Rider by Ian Ayris
Solid gold from Ian. He takes us through the doors of perception and shows us the darkness within.
The Slicers' Serenade of Steel by Gary Philips
A story that started one way then went off at a fantastic action packed tangent. Great pace and wit throughout.
The October 17 Economic Development Committee Meeting by Chris Rhatigan
You can't help but empathise with some of the views created by Chris's character here! A brilliantly woven tale told at a fast tense pace.
Threshold Woman by Richard Godwin
A beautifully descriptive and erotic tale of our desire to quench forbidden thirsts.
Redlining by Jim Harrington
A little impatience leads to a dark deed and a gritty ending.
Jungle Boogie by Kate Horsley
A tale filled laden and heavy with the threat of impending doom.
This Little Piggy by Hilary Davidson
A cleverly told tale with a great twist.
Comanche by Jason Duke
Revenge served in a suitable fashion. Some great descriptive lines in this one.
Misirilou by Jimmy Callaway
A fun caper with great humour throughout & snappy dialogue
The Only One Who Could Ever Reach Me by Matt Lavin
A dark and UTTERLY compelling read
on 5 September 2011
Purged from the dark and twisted minds of some of the most talented crime writers today, Pulp Ink is an intense and dirty fusion of nefarious short stories and smack you right in the kisser flash fiction. Rising up like a carousing prize fighter in a dark alley, these stories will clobber you with an elbow smash to the noggin when you least expect it.
Sometimes you never know where you'll end up falling in love. It could be tied to a chair in a cellar with a woman who's got a gun to your head, and who's nice enough to dig a bullet out of your ass, as in Jodi MacArthur's story, Jack Rabbit Slim's Cellar The $5 Mil Hak. This is one particular story from this amazing collection that has lodged itself inside my brain and remains there long after reading it. It's simply a perfect story in every way. I loved it so much I've read it more than once.
AJ Hayes pulls no punches as he shines a light into the shadows of human trafficking in his wickedly powerful tale, Padre.
What's a girl to do when the boy she goes to such lengths to impress, ends up rejecting her? Why Masie will show you just what ought to be done in, Your Mother Should Know, by Allan Guthrie. A truly disturbing story of young love gone wrong.
Another girl you don't want to mess with, or make a loser out of, is Rosie, the six-foot-four arm wrestling champion in Nigel Bird's edge-of-your-seat tale, A Whole Lotta Rosie.
Sometimes it's best not to find missing loved ones as in Paul D. Brazill's, The Lady & the Gimp, A Peter Ord Investigation. When a private eye is commissioned by a childhood friend to find his mother, the happy reunion turns into a bloody disaster in a taut atmospheric tale of lust and loss.
Some people take their movie watching very seriously as in the chilling, cautionary tale, A Night At The Royale by Chris F. Holm. When you behave like an insolent little jerk while people are trying to watch the show, bad things can happen.
A master thief realizes that every time he goes on a job some bizarre illness befalls his wife in Patricia Abbott's, The Wife Of Gregory Bell. A deliciously dire story with a rather Twilight Zone mood.
What happens when a newspaper reporter shows up to a meeting with something other than the customary microphone? Chis Rhatigan spins a tense, heart-pounding and tragic story of a reporter's experience with slipping a gear in, The October 17 Economic Development Committee Meeting.
And this is only a fistful of the fierce and raw tales that will grab you unexpectedly by the squash and send you in a spinning headlock to the pavement, then take the combat boots to your ribs. Quite simply put, Pulp Ink is some nasty good fun. Highly recommended!
on 3 September 2011
Pulp Ink is a collection of short stories based on soundtrack titles from the movie Pulp Fiction. Featuring writers of the calibre of Allan Guthrie, Eric Beetner, Ian Ayris, Paul D. Brazill, Matthew C. Funk, Nigel Bird, Patti Abbott, Chris Rhatigan and many more.
All the stories have that extra edge you find with these type of collections. Noir at its best, Pulp Ink manages to combine hard hitting prose with some excellent writing, pulling together some great writers you'll have heard of, with some you may not of come across before and pulling off a great anthology of short stories, with nary a bad one amongst the bunch.
Some stand out from the crowd however...
Eric Beetner with Zed's Dead Baby, is on top form here. Fast paced, dark and dangerous. An excellent example of a short story being on par with a longer novel. Great characters and fantastically woven plot, in such a short space of time.
Ian Ayris with Surf Rider, a great introduction to Ayris' uncompromising storytelling. That Surf Rider rides man...
Paul D. Brazill with A Peter Ord Investigation, Paul is the venerable master of the short story and he doesn't disappoint with this one. Great weaving of story and characters, sharp and dark. Excellent.
Nigel Bird with A Whole Lot of Rosie...Bird has his own style, which is on show here. A twisted tale with a great main character.
AJ Hayes with Padre...another excellent story which packs a mean punch. Look forward to reading more and more from Hayes.
Chris Rhatigan with The October 17 Economic Development Committee Meeting...long title, but short story. Well written, great characters, well plotted and contains one of my favourite closing lines I've read all year. Not to be missed!
Hilary Davidson with This Little Piggy...the best story you'll ever read about feet in your lifetime. Great stuff.
And Matthew C. Funk with You Never Can Tell...I've espoused about Funk's writing style in the past. But I'll repeat it again, if you haven't read anything by Funk before, you must do so fast. This dude is going places, a fantastic writer who, I'll say it again, never fails to pack a punch with his stories and this no exception.
These are just some of my favourites, but there's another bunch of stories I could of mentioned, Allan Guthrie's story is excellent as is Patti Abbot's and Chris F. Holm's, I seriously couldn't find a bad thing to say about any of the stories included. There's something in each story, a few lines on each can't really do it justice.
An excellent collection, well put together and all for a bargain price. Highly recommended for all noir fans.
on 5 February 2012
The concept is so deceptively simple you have to wonder why no one thought of it before. Take the soundtrack to one of the best loved crime films of the 90's. Select a group of sharp and upcoming crime writers, and ask them to produce a story inspired by one of the songs.
As with most anthologies, personal taste has a huge bearing on how one reacts to the stories, but if some stand out, the rest are never less than readable and interesting. Part of the fun is the manner in which each writer riffs off the song. Some play off the title directly, others a concept or s feeling, to produce either stand alone tales or back stories that expand on the original film.
A great read at a great price. It'd be a crime not to read it!
on 19 August 2011
Pulp Ink is a gutsy, gritty collection of twenty-four twisted tales from some of the finest crime writers around.
Told with attitude, passion, and panache, these are stories about the morally ambiguous seedy underbelly of modern living, featuring hitmen, thieves, rapists, psychopaths, murderers and whores. From the first - Reed Farrel Coleman's brilliantly brutal Requiem for a Spider, to the last - Matt Lavin's unsavoury, unsettling The Only One Who Could Ever Reach Me, every story in this collection is a gem: multi-faceted, perfectly cut, and polished to perfection.
Pulp Ink may explore familiar territory: revenge, lust, greed, murder, betrayal and downright stupidity, but it does so unflinchingly and in its own indomitable style. Whether the sharp, dry northern noir of Paul D. Brazill or the sensual and deadly dark lyricism of Richard Godwin, the violent Old Testament-style retribution of AJ Hayes or Matthew C Funk's bloody tale of perverse family ties, every one of these stories punches its weight.
Pulp Ink shines a light on the side of life we choose to ignore.
This is one of the best collections of short fiction you will ever see. Grab it now: Pulp Ink is ready to thrill, chill and entertain in ways you never thought possible.
on 23 November 2014
As the saying goes, parts of it were excellent. Unfortunately other parts could only dream of mediocrity. Some very good, some not worth the virtual ink, which is always the risk with collections of work from disparate authors. The overall pulp fiction feel was consistent, but some of the stories were original and engaging, whilst others seemed to be following a checklist. Worth reading for the better ones.
on 27 August 2014
A fairly good read, enjoyed some stories a lot more than others. I thought to many stories were lacking in substance.
on 16 September 2011
I first picked up this collection after hearing so many good things about it and you know what? They are all true. Anthologies can be hit and miss, especially ones that "specialise" in a genre - not so with Pulp Ink.
I won't go through all the stories but suffice to say that every author brought something different to the table - revenge, sex, hitmen, greed and money. Some of the stories were told from differing POV - the criminal, the hired gun, the victim...
Certainly a collection that deserves its time in your collection.
on 31 August 2011
Yes, I have a story in this collection but I still recommend this whipcrack of a read. There are lots of gems but favorites include:A J Hayes' intense 'Padre',Patricia Abbott's Highsmith meets Gothic 'The Wife Of Gregory Bell',Jimmy Callaway's mini movie 'Comanche', Hilary Davidson's smart 'The Little Piggy' and the hardboiled 'Requiem For A Spider' by Reed Farrel Colman.Highly recommended.
on 21 October 2014
Good collection of crime stories.