Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Scott Wolven ...


A literary interview with Scott Wolven right here.

I first read Scott Wolven’s work over at the Plots with Guns site back when I was first published
. Immediately impressed with the website and the talent it showcased, I was extra awed by Scott’s works. A few years later, my wife and I were lucky enough to finally meet him at a Ken Bruen signing at the Black Orchid Bookshop. It was a day we continue to treasure. My wife and I are huge fans of Scott Wolven’s works. His ability to cross and/or combine what many in the publishing industry consider boundaries, literary and genre fiction, is as impressive as his near record streak of short stories included in The Best American Mystery Stories Series (Houghton Mifflin).

I recently read two of Scott’s short stories in kindle: Everything Tastes like Whiskey and You Better Run.

A teaser from Everything Tastes like Whiskey:

Dawn. A dozen dark brown empty beer bottles stand on the kitchen table and a half-empty bottle of bourbon stands on the floor. My small, blockhouse rental smells like a cheap bar. I get up and get dressed. Put on a light black work-jacket and a black ball cap. Strap the holstered stainless steel Colt Anaconda to my right hip.

Outside, the blue fall sky of Moscow, Idaho is crisp and bright. I follow the concrete sidewalk, walking across the University of Idaho campus, filled with students carrying books and backpacks. Talking to each other. Laughing. I killed a man in a gunfight a week earlier. No one seems to notice. I look up at some the etchings and stonework on the library, showing cowboys and Indians killing each other and I feel like I belong. I walk past the nameless WWI doughboy statue and give him the nod. On a September morning in France long ago, fifty-eight thousand men died for less than an acre of land. I’m not worried about killing one meth-head who would have killed me, if I let him get to his gun. It happened so fast, I can only remember it in slow motion. I pulled the trigger and it was as if a giant invisible hand swatted him so he spun backward and fell, curled up, blood leaking everywhere. He made noises I’d never heard a human make before. The air he took into his mouth bubbled out the wet hole in his back. The first cop on the scene joked that I hadn’t shot him, he’d been hit by a freight train. One of the cops puked. A forty-four magnum shooting at ten yards doesn’t leave a survivable wound. Shut the lights and sirens off, because there’s no rush when you’re headed to the morgue.

A man who has convinced himself he’s okay with what he believed he had to do is eventually confronted with the consequence of what it means to kill (through the actions of another killer). More than worth the price of admission, amici.

Controlled Burn is Scott’s brilliant collection of short stories I must’ve read half a dozen times since it was first printed. But why take my read on it?  Here’s what some names way more prominent than mine will ever be thought:

Scott Wolven's tales are tough, unsentimental, and completely earned. This is the most exciting, authentic collection of short stories I have read in years. — George Pelecanos

Wolven has turned raw, unreconciled life into startling, evocative, and very good short stories. He draws on a New England different from Updike's and even Dubus', but his fictive lives--no less than theirs--render the world newly, and full of important consequence. — Richard Ford

To say that these beautifully written, deceptively simple stories are loosely connected is to miss a large part of the point....Wolven's not as romantic or sympathetic as Hemingway, but it's hard to think that Papa wouldn't appreciate his artistry and imagination. — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A debut to treasure, a remarkably assured cycle of stories about men who'll live in your heart even though you'll be glad they don't live next door. — Kirkus Reviews

Scott Wolven is the author of Controlled Burn (Scribner). Wolven’s stories have appeared seven years in a row in The Best American Mystery Stories Series (Houghton Mifflin), the most consecutive appearances in the history of the series. The title story from Controlled Burn appeared in The Best American Noir Of The Century(Houghton Mifflin), edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler. Wolven's work was featured in Vintage America, with pictures by Patricia de Gorostarzu and forward by Kyle Eastwood, Clint Eastwood's son, for the 2010 Festival America in Vincennes, France. He was called a Future Master Of Noir in Library Journal. Wolven’s novels False Hopes and King Zero are forthcoming in 2012 from Grove/The Mysterious Press. He is finishing another collection of short stories and is working on projects with Noir Nation. Wolven is on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA Program, University of Southern Maine.