Born Bad

( 3 )

Overview

From a writer whose novels have been acclaimed for their unflinching exploration of evil comes a brilliant collection of short stories—some never before published—that distill dread back down to its essence—and inject it straight into the reader's back brain. Andrew Vachss might have scissored his characters from today's headlines: a stalker prowling around an anonymous high-rise; a serial killer whose transgressions reflect a childhood of hideous abuse; an inner-city gunman who is willing to take out a blockful ...
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Born Bad

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Overview

From a writer whose novels have been acclaimed for their unflinching exploration of evil comes a brilliant collection of short stories—some never before published—that distill dread back down to its essence—and inject it straight into the reader's back brain. Andrew Vachss might have scissored his characters from today's headlines: a stalker prowling around an anonymous high-rise; a serial killer whose transgressions reflect a childhood of hideous abuse; an inner-city gunman who is willing to take out a blockful of victims in order to win a moment of acceptance.

Tautly written and endowed with murderous ironic spin, Born Bad plunges us into the hell that lies just outside our bedroom windows.

A collection of dark tales from author Andrew Vachss

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Vachss seems bottomlessly knowledgeable about the depth and variety of human twistedness." —The New York Times

"We are taken not simply into the mean streets but into a subterranean nightmare world. A place as compelling and morally challenging as any to be found in the best crime fiction today." —The Washington Post Book World

"[Vachss is] able to wring edginess from his portrayal of a society hovering beneath the radar." —The Village Voice

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hard, dark, and raw, this collection of 40 short stories and a play provides ample material for Vachss fans. Unfortunately, the quality varies greatly, ranging from the author's earliest, sometimes sophomoric writings to his more current, professionally crafted stories. None of it is light reading. His writing is always on fast forward, curt, terse but it is sometimes blinded by compassion for the victim--most often children who have been sexually, physically or mentally abused (``Watched the little girl testify in court, her tiny hand clutching the magic stone. The defense attorney hammered away at her, like a sweating, fat pig, boring for truffles. But she stuck it out--he couldn't change the truth. I was proud of her.''). This passion, understandable though it is, sometimes overwhelms his craft. Revenge is the justice of choice because, in Vachss's world, the legal system is inept, unfair and unworkable. Vachss has a flair for unique twists in the final story lines that will leave readers twisting in their seats as well. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679753360
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1994
  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 702,159
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Vachss, an attorney in private practice specializing in juvenile justice and child abuse, is the country’s best recognized and most widely sought after spokesperson on crimes against children. He is also a bestselling novelist and short story writer, whose works include Flood (1985), the novel which first introduced Vachss’ series character Burke, Strega (1987), Choice of Evil (1999), and Dead and Gone (2000). His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Playboy, and The Observer, and he is a contributor to ABA Journal, Journal of Psychohistory, New England Law Review, The New York Times, and Parade.

Vachss has worked as a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a caseworker in New York, and a professional organizer. He was the director of an urban migrants re-entry center in Chicago and another for ex-cons in Boston. After managing a maximum-security prison for violent juvenile offenders, he published his first book, a textbook, about the experience. He was also deeply involved in the relief effort in Biafra, now Nigeria.

For ten years, Vachss’ law practice combined criminal defense with child protection, until, with the success of his novels, it segued exclusively into the latter, which is his passion. Vachss calls the child protective movement “a war,” and considers his writing as powerful a weapon as his litigation.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
A Flash of White 3
Alibi 10
Anytime I Want 17
Born Bad 22
Cain 31
Cough 36
Crime Partner 39
Bandit 45
Cripple 48
Mad Dog 50
Statute of Limitations 55
Crossfire 63
Value Received 90
Head Case 92
Kidnap 104
Date Rape 136
Dead Game 140
Dialogue 142
Drive-by 146
Dumping Ground 151
Exit 154
Family Resemblance 157
Hostage 161
It's a Hard World 168
Joyride 173
Lynch Law 176
Man to Man 183
Plan B 186
Replay: A Play in Three Acts 195
Bridge 213
Placebo 220
Rules of the Road 225
Step on a Crack 229
Stone Magic 244
The Promise 250
The Unwritten Law 252
Treatment 255
Bum's Rush 267
Tunnel of Love 273
Bad Babies 278
Into the Light 293
Warlord 299
Warrior 314
White Alligator 319
Witch Hunt 322
Working Roots 328
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Customer Reviews

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