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These hard-hitting, deeply felt stories trace men— straight arrows and outlaws, have-it-alls and outcasts— as they take stock of their lives and missteps and struggle to rise above their troubled pasts. A salesman considers his tenuous relationship with his sister after she has been brutally attacked. A house painter looks forward to moving his family out of their seedy neighborhood as he plans his last bank robbery. A drifter finds a chance at love when he delivers news of a ...
These hard-hitting, deeply felt stories trace men— straight arrows and outlaws, have-it-alls and outcasts— as they take stock of their lives and missteps and struggle to rise above their troubled pasts. A salesman considers his tenuous relationship with his sister after she has been brutally attacked. A house painter looks forward to moving his family out of their seedy neighborhood as he plans his last bank robbery. A drifter finds a chance at love when he delivers news of a barfly's death to the man's estranged daughter.
These are hard-boiled tales of life on the edge in a city where the sun hurts your eyes and dreams die more often than they come true. Full of heart and heartbreak, Dead Boys is the debut of an astonishingly talented new writer.
"The best debut collection we have read all year....you could shelve Lange between Denis Johnson, Richard Ford, and Richard Yates, and no fights would break out....Lange writes with tremendous heart, his characters' inner turmoil as rich and varied as any of the above masters. Dead Boys, we think, will live for a very long time." --E! Online, Tod Goldberg
"Superlative short fiction, and an arresting debut."
Posted August 7, 2009
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There exist certain wildflowers that must be burned in order to bloom, and who's to say I'm not one of them? - (pg. 169, Dead Boys)
Good book of short stories!
The title of the book "Dead Boys", is the title of the last story in the book, but this book could easily be called "Tales of L.A."!
"Dead Boys" has 12 stories in all, the stories all take place primarily in or around Los Angeles!
Lange's writing is excellent and each story leaves you wanting to know more about the characters and what happens next. Lange admits at the end of the book that he purposely left each stories ending open for readers to interpret themselves.
The stories are of all of men who have tried, failed and / or are trying again, trying to get their lives on track or wondering how they got to the point their at now!
All of the stories are believable and have that authentic feel to them, which left me feeling like I know someone like that.
My favorites were:
Bank of America
Blind Made Products
Richard Lange's first novel "This Wicked World" comes out in June 2009, its a crime fiction novel, from the synopsis that I read, its sounds like it will be a great book and I'm looking forward to reading it!
I recommend "Dead Boys" to anyone who likes to read short stories, also check out Craig Davidson's "Rust & Bone: Stories"! '
I picked up a copy of Lange's newly released 1st novel "This Wicked World" and I'm hoping its as good or better then "Dead Boys"!
Posted February 22, 2008
Richard Lange has a voice, at times rasty, at times corrosive, and at time tenderly longing for something better than what life has dealt him. And that 'voice' he places in the first person narrative in each of these twelve very pungent short stories that comprise his debut on the writing scene. He is impressive and he is immensely readable. Lange has an affinity for the ordinary, his characters emerge from the woodwork of sun-baked Los Angeles and become involved in actions and situations that some may find unbelievable, but for those who have observed the peculiar disparity of characters that inhabit the city of Angels, these odd folks seem somehow familiar. In assuming the narrative role in each story Lange makes his aberrant stories more real and at times the story line drifts around like complacent weather reports while at other times little things go wrong with the intensity of the abrupt Santana winds that alter the landscape and psychological bearings of the inhabitants of the city. He has a way with phrasing that makes the reader see the stage of the story clearly: 'He swings out into traffic and we're gobbled up into the steaming maw of the city, where we disappear for good'. 'We pass an accident on the way back to her place, just a fender bender, but still my thoughts go to our parents. When they died I was almost to the point where I could see them as people. With a little more time I might even have started loving them again. What did they stand for? What secrets did they take with them? It was the first great loss of my life'. The samples are endless. If Lange's story lines amble away from center focus at times, leaving the reader with the question of what the point of the diversion may be, he makes up for these off-road diversions with his poignant language and startling reactions to common things. It will be interesting to read a novel by Richard Lange: with all the endless interesting characters he introduces in these twelve stories he demonstrates the depth of his imagination that indicates he has miles to go on each tale. For this reader he is a welcome new voice on the literary scene, a man of the earth who doesn't mind the dust life kicks up here and there. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 22, 2011
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