All Weekend, With the Lights On by Mark Wisniewski
This will begin the flow of books I borrowed from the library because I was intrigued by the new releases on these authors. This happens all the goddamn time. I scan lists from i09 (because Charlie Jane Anders is awesome) and the best of lists from The Millions and other people stuff, and then I see a book and think “OOH! That sounds good. And then I go and check the back catalogs on the authors and then I want to read everything. So one recommendation can lead to three or four adds. As is the case with Messr. Wisniewski here.
While I couldn’t get my hands on a copy of Confessions of a Polish Used Car Salesman, I was able to get this, his first short story collection and Show Up, Look Good, which is a novel. All of this is in anticipation of Watch Me Go, which sounds right up my alley.
I liked this collection quite a bit. They were all supposedly centering around people having sex — hence the title — but it wasn’t just some kind of misogynistic erotica or anything that salacious. It was actually very thoughtful and haunting in several cases. I’ve been on a real tear lately with short story collections, and as per usual, there were a bunch that worked for me and some that didn’t quite hit it. It’s not quite as rawdog meth-head as the Midwest Gothmeth run — Donald Ray Pollack, Frank Bill, Daniel Woodrell — but it’s definitely got the trailer-park, ballbat to the beer bottle mentality. These are not good people who populate these stories. These are bookies, boozehounds, minor league criminals. These are desperate people, cruel to one another. And when you couple that with the sex element, it makes for some gritty shit.
I dug this, and I look forward to reading more of Wisniewski’s work.