Thursday, October 13, 2011

Smoke by Nigel Bird

I've enjoyed Nigel Bird's short fiction for years. He imbues his characters with such a vital and fragile humanity that you feel as if you're watching a nature documentary about a doomed species who cannot change their ways. His novella Smoke is no exception. We follow two sad victims of the local thugs pushed so far they seek revenge at whatever cost. Carlo, the wheelchair bound chip shop owner, and Jimmy, a bully's target carrying scars inside and out. Like two trains on the same track, they thunder toward destiny as the thugs hold a dogfight rumble in town and money pours in. Full of colorful grotesques like Eddie the ice cream truck man and Jimmy's washed up criminal father trying to restore an old Capri as if it will repair his own soul, Smoke takes you into the cruel landscape of urban decay where the cost of living might be the ability to live with one's self.

Highly recommended.

*due diligence. Nigel is a friend of mine and has interview me on his blog Sea Minor.

© 2011 Thomas Pluck


Les Edgerton said...

Just finished Nigel's novella, Tom, and loved it! For at least one weird reason--the dog fights. I grew up in the South and we went to them all the time when I was a kid. I've a mind to invite some PETA folks to be my guest at one... Nah... they probably wouldn't have any fun...

Here comes the hate mail...

I'm kidding! I LOVE dogs! They're really good eating...

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