Thursday, March 19, 2020

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Crazy-Ass Stories for Crazy-Ass People by Andy Rausch - Book Tour & Review


 

Blurb
This quirky collection of short stories (and one novella) by Andy Rausch contains something for readers of every stripe. Rausch touches on a variety of genres, including horror, comedy, crime, and even Western, but every story features his unique, offbeat wit, superb writing, and razor-sharp dialogue, all delivered from a decidedly off-kilter perspective. His work has been praised by the likes of Cape Fear screenwriter Wesley Strick and Fort Apache the Bronx author Heywood Gould. Author Peter Leonard once compared his writing style to that of his father, Elmore Leonard. Storylines include a naive little boy mistaking a burglar for Santa Claus, bumbling white supremacists attempting to resurrect the dead body of Adolf Hitler, a man who develops an unexplainable craving for the taste of human flesh, a would-be author summoning the spirit of dead novelist Charles Bukowski to assist him writing, a showdown between legendary lawman Wyatt Earp and a deadly serial killer on the dusty streets of Tombstone, and many more. So ask yourself: are you a little bit crazy, and if so, are you up to the task of reading these twenty-two wild and crazy tales of darkness, wackiness, and outright debauchery?

Buy Link

My Review
Crazy-Ass Stories for Crazy-Ass People starts off with an introduction discussing the title of the book and how it's meant for people who may be a little strange. A little off. But with a sense of humor, of course. As someone who enjoys short stories that are morbid, strange, weird, and just plain crazy, I felt it was right up my alley. And while not every story resonated with me, I enjoyed reading them. Some of them made me snort. Some of them made me wish there had been more to it (I just wanted some closure! 😭). And others left me a bit surprised by how they turned out. I can definitely say some of these stories go in a direction I did not expect at all.
Here's a little bit about each story:
The Dinner Guests - A story about cannibalism. But with stoners.
She Had a Good Heart - A woman receives a heart transplant and seeks out the family of the donor. Things do not go so well. I enjoyed this one, although I knew where it was headed.

Charles Bukowski's Command Performance - A story about a man desperate to write the Great American Novel. He summons Charles Bukowski. Things end badly.

Rachel in the Moonlight - A weird-ass story about a hyper-realistic sex doll. Yikes! This one made me cringe a little. 

Sandwich Bitch - I really liked this one, but it's the one I wanted more of. I felt like I didn't get any closure, although I suppose that was the point. A workplace with a Break Room Bandit (aka someone stealing another person's lunch) sends one employee on a journey to uncover the truth.

Potential Spaceman - Another one I quite liked. I also had a feeling I knew how this one would play out, and I was right. It's a silly little story about aliens.

Kind of Blue - Take one trumpet player, add a "mob boss" type guy and some goons, sprinkle in a woman, and what do you get? A story about a man who "has a lot of heart" but no common sense whatsoever.

Steve McQueen and the Thanksgiving Elvis Decanter - A man obsessed with Steve McQueen receives a special gift that gives him more than he bargained for. This one made me laugh. Mostly because Turk, the main character, is a bit slow on the uptake. 

The Man Who Hated Pickles - I think this title is self-explanatory. It's about a man who hates pickles. How much does he hate pickles? Read it and find out. 

It's Not Enough - A re-imagining of a Brothers Grimm tale. A dog. A sparrow. And a man who destroys their friendship. It's a tale of revenge.

Granny Wilkins' Last Supper - A favorite of mine. An old woman with a limited amount of time decides to get her entire family together for one last hurrah. However, Granny Wilkins has other plans.

The Sweetest Ass in the Ozarks - Another tale of revenge. A creepy meth head hits on a hot girl and decides to follow her after she rejects him. Too bad she's not as weak as Creepy expected her to be.

The Man Who Wouldn't Die - Tied for first as my favorite story (along with Granny Wilkins). It's not a pretty story. It's a bit horrific, actually. And that ending... yeah, it was kind of depressing. I liked it.

The Gypsy's Curse - A biker gang gets screwed over when they decide to torture and kill an old Romani man. Never cross a gypsy. 

The Day Fat Terry Brought Dead Hitler to Iowa - Oh man, this story. Over the top. Ridiculous. Completely stereotypical. Highly entertaining. 

The Truth About Josh - Poor Josh. He's having some issues lately and turns to his best friend with a theory about what's happening to him. Too bad he's wrong.

Santa's Little Helper - This story was strangely heartwarming and also messed up. A man with a hoity-toity, high-class girlfriend decides to rob a house. But when a little boy catches him, things get a little interesting. I enjoyed this tale.

Early Retirement - Never scorn a schoolteacher with years of loyalty and dedication under their belt. Things won't go so well. For anyone

Snow White and the Seven Bastards - A weird re-imagining of the classic fairytale. Definitely not what I expected.

It'll Make You Feel Better - Twins. One grieving the loss of the other. But one email changes everything. Morbid. Especially because I'm a twin myself.

Wyatt Earp and the Devil Incarnate - A tale with a Jack the Ripper vibe, but set in the Old West. I've always told my husband my thoughts on Jack the Ripper, and this story takes what I believe and brings it to life. May be surprising to some with that ending.

The Night Ol' Dirty Bastard Came to Hoboken - A suicidal man gets a visit from an unexpected visitor. An oddly heartwarming story. 

Overall, I found these stories to be well-written and entertaining. Some of them weren't my cup of tea, but I still thought they were decent reads. There's something for everyone* in this collection. Give it a whirl if you're into strange stories.
3.5 stars from me.

*Everyone who happens to be a crazy-ass people with a sense of humor, of course.





Author Bio


Andy Rausch is an American film journalist, author, screenwriter, film producer, and actor.

He is the author of several novels and novellas including Elvis Presley, CIA Assassin. He also wrote the screenplay for Dahmer versus Gacy and is the author of some twenty non-fiction books on popular culture.

Books: Riding Shotgun, Bloody Sheets, A Time for Violence, Layla's Score

You can usually find Andy on Twitter @writerrausch1, and he maintains a blog at https://authorandyrausch.wordpress.com/



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