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Give Us a Kiss
Daniel Woodrell
Savage Night
Jim Thompson
The Buntline Special
Mike Resnick
Tomato Red - Daniel Woodrell Another great book from Mr. Woodrell, This guy is an excellent writer. In this particular book we meet Sammy; our POV character and a down and out redneck criminal; Jamalee, a white trash girl who wants to make a better life for herself and her brother; Jason, the aforementioned brother who is devastatingly beautiful and confusedly gay; and Bev, the mother of Jam and Jason, and who pays her bills through prostitution. All characters are full and well fleshed out. The dialog is excellent and the voice is just short of brilliant. There isn't much story here but the book doesn't suffer much for its lack.

The main theme of the book seems to be the futility of trying to rise above one's station in life. That in America, people who are born poor and without means generally die poor and without means. While there are the occasional success stories, for the most part, they are mere drops from the vast ocean of futility and despair that greet the infant newly born to the "wrong" sort of people.

With our Oligarchs currently chopping up the desiccated corpse of what used to be organized labor in the United States and draining the few remaining assets from the middle class, I don't expect things to be looking up anytime soon.