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Posted June 18, 2008
IF you like Vachss Already......
....you'll probably enjoy this collection of short stories that mostly contain that last minute 'twist' Andrew is so famous for. Vengeful twists. My only reservation with the stories is with the novella about Cross, a dark figure with a gang so like Burke and his posse from that famous series of novels that one might wonder why Andrew even bothered to change names. The differences were few and the original Burke crowd far more interesting. Maybe he's afraid of type casting like movie actors are? Ah well. His fault is the way he glorifies street racing and how he is prone to overstate and overdescribe every aspect of a street race, attempting to turn a quarter mile, illegal race into the chariot scene from Ben Hur. He does that a lot. He's been known to take a page to light a cigarette via his overly dramatic renditions of simple acts. Which makes for a very boring time, since, as the reader, you are as aware of his writer's overkill as you are of his subject. For god sake's, just light the cigarette already, you want to scream. Andrew may have learned his street racing back in the glory days of Queens and connecting highway and Crossbay Boulevard and he may know how it's degenerated into overdone, super $$$ race mania amongst the psycho classes, but as for me, I would rather he stopped including the arbitrary race events and similar odd ball scenes wherein he tries to impress us with all he knows about obscure topics. He hasn't learned not to have such an overbearing hand in that one aspect of his usual, flowing, gritty prose. And glorifying that level of street racing that causes too much damage to too many innocents, is, to my more rational mind, not something very responsible. I say this because these inclusions are always merely 'obligatory filler' and rarely have anything to do with the plot. They tend, to me, to be Andrew's ego slipping into the story, saying 'Look how much I know about stuff.' If you can get past that one weakness in Andrew's writing, you'll have a great time with these short stories, but REMEMBER! These are best enjoyed by already hooked on Vachss folk and NOT for those who've never read him before. Otherwise, you'll be flipping and skipping and being bored by them. Start Vachss by reading 'Flood' and proceed from square one. It's quite a ride IF you do it right......just don't do it in a street racer on nitrous!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.