Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book Review: The Baddest Of The Bad, edited by Matthew Louis, Gutter Books, 2010, Kindle Edition.

Subtitled ‘The very worst of the first three issues of the underground pulp zine, Out of the Gutter’, this book slams the reader face down, arms pulled back and hands clasped together into the real world: the world of theft, murder, drugs, mayhem and more. It’s a world that, with luck, most people either never personally experience, but do come to know surreptitiously as a voyeur through television or jury duty. Then there are those that get dunked into this world by some unfortunate tragedy while the rest of us are soaked to the bone in it.

As for style, you will not find the high symphonic tones of Raymond Chandler. These notes bounce roughly, at times lying prone and pummeled, but true to the substance, gritty and unapologetically harsh. This 600 page volume has something for everyone: long reads, short reads, flash reads, fiction and non-fiction. These stories and articles get wedged between your teeth and you’ll find you can’t floss them out without letting a bit of blood from your gums.

Say goodnight to the nice and neat ‘good guys beat bad guys’ formula that gives your gut warmth along with that hot milk you drink before entering sand-town. In these pages the events are grounded in reality, awash in tones of grey that shadow truth from lies and victims from victimizers.

As someone whose past business forced me to rub elbows with petty crooks, people whose arbitration skills were learned on the streets, outright perverts, murderers and rapists, I was both entertained and reminded of actual individuals who resembled the characters portrayed herein.

There is a lot here to read and I do not have the space to individually recognize certain works. Let me just say that this is a well done collection, worthy of your commerce , where slices of this life will stay with you.

For those whose sheltered experiences with life find the other side of the bars fascinating, then this is an essential volume. For those of us who have had to muddle through the slog, this is a simple reminder as to why we want to rinse out our mouths and shower more than once a day.

Buy this book!

Buy Here.

1 comment:

Anonymous-9 said...

Hi guys! Glad to see Matt still giving 'em hell. Matt Louis has given many writers a start and Out of the Gutter has always been on the vanguard of outre writing.

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