Brand-new stories by: James W. Hall, Barbara Parker, John Dufresne, Paul Levine, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Tom Corcoran, Christine Kling, George Tucker, Kevin Allen, Anthony Dale Gagliano, David Beaty, Vicki Hendricks, John Bond, Preston L. Allen, Lynne Barrett, Jeffrey Wehr.
From the introduction by Les Standiford: "The truth is that Miami, though naturally lovely, is a frontier town, perched on the border between the known and the rarely before experienced. The poet Richard Hugo once said that the natural place for the writer was on the edge, and 'edge' might well be the definitive word when it comes to this city... We are not only on the edge of the continent, we are to this country what New York was in Ellis Island's heyday, what the West Coast was in the middle of the 20th century. This is where the new arrivals debark these days, and it is no mistake that during the last decade of the last century, commentators as diverse as Joan Didion, David Rieff, and T.D. Allman devoted entire volumes to Miami's role as the harbinger for America's future... But for now, the novel of crime and punishment is the perfect vehicle to convey the spirit and the timbre of this brawling place to a wider world."
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A perfect logistical nightmare.
No. The short story form does not lend itself to being rated in a coherent way. While the narrators are listed above, the authors are not! Odd. I am going back over my memory and trying to remember nine or ten stories, with as many authors and narrators... perhaps you can see my problem. It's a perfect nightmare. I remember bits and pieces from here and there, but it is incoherent and disorganized.
Somehow notating the names of the authors and narrators at the beginning or the end of the entire book, not just at the start of each story. So...the story with the alligator in the swimming pool is very memorable, very well written and creative. And, whichever story Jonathan Davis reads is great. And, there are two stories about very nasty men who rape their fourteen-year-old "daughters" and beat them as well: these are vile and repulsive characters about whom I would like to hear much, much less. Etc.
I don't think it makes any sense to try to organize my review into any coherent form due to the problems described above. The stories certainly did give me a sense of the ugly underbelly of the Miami cultures, with none of them having any particularly redeeming human virtues. Reading Carl Hiassen is a better way to learn about the destruction of Florida by the voracious developers and the hurricanes, meanwhile laughing your arse off while you are reading, or listening. William Shames is likewise very funny and endearing. Randy Wayne White is worth listening to, as is Mr. Standiford himself. This platform, though, is not, IMHO, the ideal way to show off the gifts of Florida's great writers.
As above. The really nasty pedophiles would be the first to go. If I were you, I'd give this one a skip.
- Richard Delman