Length: 102 Pages
Publisher: Crime Wave Press
Release date: July 5, 2017
Synopsis: RIDING SHOTGUN AND OTHER AMERICAN CRUELTIES is a unique collection of quirky, Tarantinoesque crime novellas, representing three very different sub-genres. In the first story, “Easy-Peezy,” a band of elderly Old West bank robbers return to their wicked ways robbing banks in the 1930s John Dillinger era. The second story, “Riding Shotgun,” is a bitter tale about a man pushed to the limits of human endurance and forced to take up arms to protect those he loves. The third tale, “$crilla,” is an urban crime fantasy in which a fledgling hip-hop group kidnaps a record mogul in the hopes of finally making the kind of loot they’ve always dreamed of.
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review
Riding shotgun had three short stories all set in the crime genre. I don’t spend a lot of time reading crime, but I do enjoy it and thought I’d give Riding shotgun a go. These stories aren’t a crime mystery, they are straight up good vs. bad guys. The first story, Easy-Peezy, was entertaining with two old men taking one last shot at the glory days robbing banks. The story is set in 1930, their glory days were the 1890. I had some trouble with this short, it was good, except for many elements and inventions that didn’t exist in 1930. I’m a stickler for details and the missteps here stuck out too much for me.
The title story, Riding Shotgun, was my favorite story and entertaining as hell. There were plenty of turns and colorful language. Riding Shotgun was a suspenseful joyride with a good protagonist. This was the style of storytelling I enjoyed, with nasty criminals, impossible situations and characters you could give a damn about. I loved the way the author transformed an ‘everyday guy’ into a monster. When life kicked him in the ass and took everything, he responded in kind.
$crilla, the last story was funny right from the first chapter. The main character was a hell of a character and wise ass that made this story a fun read. The language was as colorful as you can get and could be considered offensive. But for me, it really fit the story well and I don’t care if a few stereotypical words are used when it fits the scene. Overall, two out of three stories were a hit for me and I had a fun time with Riding Shotgun.
Andy Rausch, biography
Andy Rausch is a a freelance film journalist, author, and celebrity interviewer. He has published more than twenty books on the subject of popular culture, including The Films of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, Making Movies with Orson Welles (with Gary Graver), and The Cinematic Misadventures of Ed Wood (with Charles E. Pratt, Jr.). His work has appeared in Shock Cinema, both Screem and Scream magazines, Senses of Cinema, Diabolique, Creative Screenwriting, Film Threat, Bright Lights Film Journal, and Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture. He has written several works of fiction including Mad World, Elvis Presley: CIA Assassin, Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties, and the short story collection Death Rattles. He has also worked as a screenwriter, producer, and actor on numerous straight-to-video horror films.
Andy Raush on twitter here