Sunday, December 18, 2011

Five You Can't Miss: Benoit Lelievre

 First off, the lucky winner of the Ian Ayris give away is Alan Griffiths. I literally picked his name from a hat.
Second, Pulp Ink is only 99 cents US/86 pence UK. You heard right -- for less than a price of a candy bar, you get 24 mean stories from the best writers in crime fiction.

And now you're top five... we've got Benoit Lelievre here today with his top picks for 2011. He's the guy behind the smashing blog Dead End Follies and his stories have recently been published at places like Beat to a Pulp: Hardboiled and Shotgun Honey. 

Heath Lowrance - IT WILL ALL BECARRIED AWAY from his collection, Dig Ten Graves

A gripping story that proves you don't need guns or criminals to write dark. It's a love story about two people who missed their chance at each other. Think of it as a darker spin in the films of Wong Kar-Wai. Beautiful and fatalistic.

David Cranmer - CLOUDS IN A BUNKER in the anthology Pulp Ink

Another story about a terrible tragedy that nobody is able to avoid. Everybody grows old and withers away. It's incredibly sad and almost cringe inducing because you know the pain of this family might be your pain one day. The dialog in between father and daughter is nothing short of spectacular

Frank Bill - THE ACCIDENT in Crimes in Southern Indiana

Finally a story that tackles PTSD without carrying the whole war argument. The direct, compact prose of Frank Bill works admirably well here. It's a great story, but it's also the best explanation of PTSD I have ever come across. This kind of story validates literature.

Matthew C. Funk - ALMOST THE DEVIL at A Twist of Noir

I fell in love (figuratively speaking) with Parnell Urquhardt this year. The world of Matthew C. Funk is so full of these dark, twisted characters that reading his stories is almost as dangerous as walking the streets at night in Liberia. A powerful writer, that Funk guy.

Kent Gowran - A SMALL THING AT THE DEVIL'SPUNCHBOWL in Beat to a Pulp: Hardboiled

This was an amazing off-beat story. Very trippy, reminding me of those crazy Japanese directors like Takashi Miike. Not the darkest story I've read this year, but who cares? This is by far the most original. The singular, dreamlike imagery gave it a life of its own. I could get addicted to Gowran's stories.


  1. Righteous list. I loved many of these: CLOUDS and ACCIDENT are unforgettable, mostly due to their brilliant and unusual execution. Best yet, there's an entry I've not read - DEVIL'S PUNCHBOWL. Thanks for the excuse to keep reading, Ben. And thanks for honoring me and Parnell by fitting us in such commendable company.

  2. Sir, keep writing those Desiree stories. I'll keep reading them and pimping them as hard as I can.