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Publisher's Summary

Featuring brand-new stories by: Kathleen Kent, Ben Fountain, James Hime, Harry Hunsicker, Matt Bondurant, Merritt Tierce, Daniel J. Hale, Emma Rathbone, Jonathan Woods, Oscar C. Pea, Clay Reynolds, Lauren Davis, Fran Hillyer, Catherine Cuellar, David Haynes, and J. Suzanne Frank.

From the introduction by David Hale Smith: My favorite line in my favorite song about Dallas goes like this: Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes / A steel and concrete soul in a warm heart and love disguise... The narrator of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's perfect tune "Dallas" is coming to town as a broke dreamer with the bright lights of the big city on his mind. He's just seen the Dallas cityscape through the window of his seat on a DC-9 at night. Is he just beginning his quest? Or is he on his way home, flying out of Love Field, reminiscing after seeing the woman who stepped on him when he was down? In a country with so many interesting cities, Dallas is often overlooked except on November 22 every year. The heartbreaking anniversary keeps coming back around in a nightmare loop, for all of us. On that day in 1963, Dallas became American noir. A permanent black scar on its history that will never be erased, no matter how many happy business stories and hit television shows arise from here. In a stark ongoing counterweight to the JFK tragedy are those two iterations of the TV show. Dallas is not a TV show. It's a real city... For the past 40 years, my capacity to be surprised by it has not diminished one bit. I hope the stories in this collection will surprise you too.

©2013 Akashic Books (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • Raised by Wolves
  • 25-01-19

Mixed bag

Overall enjoyable. Like any collection there are some I could do without. Without a table of contents in front of me i'll just comment on a couple high and low lights. I lived in Plano from 1999 to 2007 and visited Dallas often in the 50s through 70s if that matters.

Great opening with Hole-Man about mosquito plagues and seeing things you should not. I chuckled all the way through it. I don't recall any porn in this or at least half the other stories by the way... even if you consider all sex to be porn as some reviewers apparently do. Oh, there was an f-word. Sorry Marfa.

Another entertaining tho less remarkable story or two and then you come to Night Work which makes a strong case that you shouldn't write in your sleep. It seems to go on forever and doesn't get any better. You ARE jarred back to consciousness when you hear the first complete sentence near the end. If you hang in that long. Remember bad high school poetry that doesn't rhyme? Uh-huh.

That is followed by a story that might have been good, but with Scott Brick distracting with his near worst over-dramatized suffering narration, I really don't remember anything about the story. Calm down. I know he has his fans. He can do dialogue well enough, but OMG his narration is terrible.

I liked the petty robber twins story. Predictable but faithful to the noir genre. Less predictable but equally faithful was the "who done it best" stripper vs burlesque mystery. That is so 50s - 60s Dallas. Was there sex, I mean porn? I don't remember.

This was the first of the noir series for me but won't be the last.

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