Monthly Archives: August 2010


This week I finished a novel. It was a long haul and an instructive experience and I may just write about it here one day. For now, here are a few books I should have been talking up long ago. And not just because they were all written by buddies. Readers, have I ever steered you wrong?

After the Workshop, by John McNally. Oh, man, did I enjoy this book. First of all,  John McNally writes with an old-fashioned device that I still enjoy:   a voice. And I  do like books about the writing life, especially when they’re satires and  comedies.  In my library, this one goes right up  there with Russo’s Straight Man and Chabon’s  Wonder Boys, and I’ll revisit it  again for entertainment and comfort as the years go by.

So Cold the River, by Michael Koryta. This is Koryta’s breakout book, and you’ll see  why when you read it, even if you’ve never read him before. I like how this guy rolls.  In an age of social networking and hectic self-promotion, Koryta, for some crazy  reason, is  still fixated and what matters most to good fiction:  craft and story. And  he’s not even  30. I have a right to despise him for that, but he’s too good, so I  forgive him. Buy it  now, and read it when the leaves are changing.  If you don’t have  leaves that change where you live, go ahead and read it now.

The Deputy, by Victor Gischler. You say you like Victor’s work for Marvel Comics  titles like Deadpool, X-Men, and The Punisher?  Me, too. You like gonzo crossover    fiction like Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse and Vampire a Go-Go? Me, too. But  once  upon a time, Gischler was known primarily for writing straight-up  crime  fiction  the way only Victor Gischler can write it, and here’s proof. If you  also like  books that feature a protaganist whose gun and badge are so heavy that they pull  down  the  waistband of his sweatpants when he goes to work,  you’ll want to look  into this one.

The Cold Kiss, by John Rector. This one’s still hot off the press, so get it while it’s  piping. A tight, character-driven noir tale set in a roadside motel during a blizzard.  If you need more of a description than that, then you and I differ. But you  can still  trust my judgement. This book is in development as a feature film, but  you’ll want  to read the book before you see the movie. This John Rector is on his  way places.  Check it out and you’ll see.