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Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories by Frank…

Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories

by Frank Bill

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1585116,336 (3.61)1
A debut collection set in southern Indiana features protagonists who test the boundaries of their sanity and survival skills, from a man who violently snaps and flees when his wife falls terminally ill to a former hunting dog breeder who clashes with a Salvadoran drug smuggler.



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A ferocious debut that puts Frank Bill's southern Indiana on the literary map next to Cormac McCarthy's eastern Tennessee and Daniel Woodrell's Missouri Ozarks

Crimes in Southern Indiana is the most blistering, vivid, flat-out fearless debut to plow into American literature in recent years. Frank Bill delivers what is both a wake-up call and a gut punch. Welcome to heartland America circa right about now, when the union jobs and family farms that kept the white on the picket fences have given way to meth labs, backwoods gunrunners, and bare-knuckle brawling.

Bill's people are pressed to the brink - and beyond. There is Scoot McCutchen, whose beloved wife falls terminally ill, leaving him with nothing to live for - which doesn't quite explain why he brutally murders her and her doctor and flees, or why, after years of running, he decides to turn himself in. In the title story, a man who has devolved from breeding hounds for hunting to training them for dog-fighting crosses paths with a Salvadoran gangbanger tasked with taking over the rural drug trade, but who mostly wants to grow old in peace. As Crimes in Southern Indiana unfolds, we witness the unspeakable, yet are compelled to find sympathy for the depraved.

Bill's southern Indiana is haunted with the deep, authentic sense of place that recalls the best of Southern fiction, but the interconnected stories bristle with the urban energy of a Chuck Palahniuk or a latter-day Nelson Algren and rush with the slam-bang plotting of pulp-noir crime writing à la Jim Thompson. Bill's prose is gritty yet literary, shocking, and impossible to put down. A dark evocation of the survivalist spirit of the working class, this is a brilliant debut by an important new voice.
My take....

A hard-hitting and enjoyable short story collection from Frank Bill – 17 in all.

Read a month a month and a half ago, I can’t recall too much about many of them if I’m truthful, though one in particular sticks in the mind….. a grandfather who sells his granddaughter to pay a debt……WTF!

Coon hunters, crystal meth, drug deals, fishing, conservation officers, feuding neighbours, jail cells, dog fighting, deer hunting, moonshine, poverty, family, cancer, war veterans, PTSD, domestic violence, insurance scam, pawn shops, County Sheriffs, hit and run, double shifts waiting tables, bare-knuckle fighting, ms-13, Salvadoran gangsters and more.

Frank Bill writes the kind of stories I like to read about the kind of people I probably wouldn't care to meet.

From The Old Mechanic

Here was a time when the shell shock of war was ignored. What the repercussions of warfare did to a man’s brain. The seeing, hearing, and participating. And like the war, the abusing of a woman was overlooked. People pretended it never happened. This was a time when till-death-do-us-part was an enforced rule of matrimony. When wives didn’t leave their husbands. They obeyed them.

From These Old Bones

He’d burned his father’s home for insurance money. Shot Esther MacCullum’s dog dead in front of him for a debt he owed. Forced himself upon Needle Galloway’s fourteen-year-old daughter. Opened Nelson Anderson’s skull in the Leavenworth Tavern with a hammer for saying he’d ratted out Willie Dodson on a cross-county dope deal, even though he did it for the local law.

And today he’d sold his granddaughter, Knee High Audry, to the Hill Clan to whore out. Needing the extra cash to help pay for his wife Josephine’s cancer medications. Yeah he thought, I’s a son of a bitch.

A superb collection

4.5 stars from 5

Frank Bill has his website here - http://frankbillshouseofgrit.blogspot...

He's on Twitter - @HouseofGrit - https://twitter.com/houseofgrit

His novel Donnybrook waits on the pile.

Bought new a few years ago, read in August 2016
http://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09... ( )
  col2910 | Sep 17, 2016 |
A solid collection of delightfully messed-up stories. Some of them might turn your stomach, some of them might make you laugh so hard you cry - and some of them might do both in the space of a single story. Bill is a unique voice, the way he brings humor into otherwise serious moments. It's what distinguishes him from the others working in similar genres, like Donald Ray Pollack or Daniel Woodrell, and it's what make him such a livewire of an author. Reading this gave me joy as I recalled moments of sheer craziness from Donnybrook and actually, in light of the info I've heard about the impending sequel to that book, makes me think even more highly of it than I did. I am a fan; I can't wait to see what batshit insanity comes next.

More at RB: http://ragingbiblioholism.com/2014/11/26/crimes-in-southern-indiana/ ( )
  drewsof | Sep 30, 2015 |
Frank Bill has talent, but as I can't recall ever having read a more violent book, I don't know of anyone I know I could recommend this book to--including my relatives in southern Indiana.

I have to say that the steady onslaught of murders, rapes, bare-knuckled brawls, dogfights, and the rest seemed so soul-deadening that I had to put the book aside from time to time and read something else to cleanse my mind. Unlike Daniel Woodrell, who also portrays the dark side of rural life, Bill paints characters who seem to have little redeeming value to them. Rather than having any sympathy for the sad circumstances that have warped them into the people they are, a reader just wants to push them out of his consciousness once the book is done. ( )
  kvrfan | Apr 25, 2015 |
I read this book right after "The Devil All The Time" and the two books together make for an unusual weekend of reading. That being said this book is fantastic. The stories slowly fuse together but are also outstanding on their own. A great dark book. ( )
  zmagic69 | Aug 28, 2012 |
Very repititious book. The story all sounded quite similar with the same issues. The characters were all struggling with some sort of issee, I just did not care about any of them. We read this book as a bookclub selection and should have good discussion potential for us, but only because we will be discussing where these areas of Indiana are that these stories are based on. I live in Indiana and this book makes us look like a bunch of hilljacks. Believe me, we are not all like this. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Feb 5, 2012 |
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