Now available: Mio Padre, il Tumore

Now available from Bucket ‘O Guts Press: Mio Padre, il Tumore

Four tales of Bizarro oddity and psychological horror… Born of radiation exposure on the set of The Conqueror, the worst film ever made, the stomach tumor that killed John Wayne lived on. It found a home in a new body and became Lucchesi, Northern Italy’s top bomb technician, a man loved by women and despised by men in equal measure. After an attempt on his life and years spent in hiding, Lucchesi must return to America to protect his only son, Vincenzo, from the shadows of his past, and to uncover the explosive secret hidden inside the World’s Largest Egg.

 

Book review: True Grit by Charles Portis

The words True Grit have always conjured up one image for me. A chubby John Wayne taking one last shot at an Oscar by playing… John Wayne taking one last shot at an Oscar. But the novel True Grit is so much more than one gruff, memorable character like Rooster Cogburn. The narrator, Mattie Ross is just as much the hero.

Sure, as a 14-year old, she’s a mouthy brat, especially for that time period, but she displays just as much grit as her hired hand, Cogburn. The power of the narrative (or monologue I suppose) is what’s so striking here. Charles Portis nails the voice and the mannerisms and the mood of the period, and it’s so convincing that this reads like it was actually written as a first-person true-to-life account from an old spinster, not a male novelist.

Mattie the narrator is clearly a smart woman but not necessarily as refined in written story-telling as Charles Portis, and that’s what makes this book stand out. Portis allows Mattie to ramble from time to time, lets her get sidetracked so she can espouse her religious beliefs (Presbyterian through and through), political thoughts (die-hard Arkansas Democrat), divisive racial commentary (she is a daughter of the old South), or really any opinion on any subject whatsoever. You can taste the exasperation of the men in this story as they continually break under the headstrong insistence of this smart, young girl who will not stop until she sees justice done for her murdered father.

Never boring, always engaging, and written in the straight forward, blunt language of its time period. I love this book.

‘BOOM!’ Goes Lucchesi live on New Flesh

A piece of flash fiction called ‘BOOM! Goes Lucchesi’ is up live at The New Flesh. If you like Lucchesi, let me know because I’m about 7,000 words into a longer story about him and want to know if I should keep going. The longer story has lots going on – a horned child sired by a tumor, John Wayne, revenge, The World’s Largest Egg, and more…

**UPDATE** – Best comment so far comes from Mr. Harold Lowe: “If your mother ever reads this, you realize who she will blame, right?”