My year in books: Tom Pitts

Piggyback-coverNext cab off the rank in the ‘my year in books’ series I’m running over December is one of my fellow authors in the Snubnose Press stable, Tom Pitts.

Tom is the author of a great little novella, which I read earlier this year, Piggyback. It’s the story of two young women who like to party and think they’ve ripped off a car trunk load of free drugs, when in fact all they’ve really done is bring down a s*** load of chaos upon themselves.

Piggyback, along with all other Snubnose Press titles (including my novel, Ghost Money), is currently just 99 cents until before Christmas.

Anyway, enough of my shilling.

Tom’s got a novel called Hustle due out with Snubnose in 2014. 

You can find him on the web here.

Tom, your five minutes start now…

Under the Dixie Moon, Ro Cuzon

I’m often seen touting the wares of French-born, New Orleans transplant, Ro Cuzon. That’s because he’s great, this book is great. It’s a huge tale with a lot of moving parts and it manages to tie them all together in an end-run marathon of staccato chapters that build and build until you think it’s got nowhere to go–then it takes you further. A true page-turner and a major accomplishment. If you haven’t read Ro, now’s the time.

Mule: A Novel of Moving Weight, Tony D’Souza 

While I was on the search for an agent last year, it was pressed upon me to read the opening to Mule: A novel of moving weight. The agent suggested I read the first twenty pages or so—me needing a feel for how to set up a sympathetic character—and twenty-four hours later, I finished the book. A regular guy gets sucked into moving weed coast to coast and things get heavy (pun intended) as his problems pile up. Although I had a beef with some of the writer’s math, the details were painstakingly researched and the momentum of his descent entirely plausible. Good stuff.

Junkie Love, Joe Clifford

Okay, I know, I know. Me and Joe Clifford are pals. Maybe you think that’s why I’m plugging the book. Or maybe you think it’s because I’m in it (just a cameo, sure, but given the highest praise you could get in those junkie days: a righteous motherfucker. My mom would have been so proud.) No, the reason it’s on this list is because it’s a great fucking book. It bubbled up from Joe’s own sad saga and what started out as a cathartic exercise to save his life was eventually refined into a beautiful poetic work that goes far beyond any of those drugged-up memoirs out there.

Remo goes Rogue, Mike McCrary

Okay, little bias on this one, too. Remo is a Gutter release. A tight crime tale that sprints you down the gauntlet of attorney Remo Cobb’s pathetic life. He’s a sick son of a bitch and he’s got problems that the devil couldn’t bear, yes, but it was the prose that sucked me in. McCrary has a rhythmic banter and criminal cadence that reminds me of cats like James Ellroy. Pure noir poetry.  Pick it up.

Child of God, Cormac McCarthy

While I was submerged in submissions early last year, I had to go back to the big boys and clean my palate. McCarthy has been on the top of my list since I picked up No Country. Having worked my way through All the Pretty Horses, The Road, and the incredible Blood Meridian, I scanned Amazon for something fresh. I rolled the dice on the older Child of God. It’s Cormac’s second novel, released back in ’73, and shows him fully formed at a writer, but not yet fully formed as Cormac McCarthy. A strange and disturbing tale that y’all should read before James Franco’s movie version comes out, ’cause dollars to donuts, he fucks it up.


3 Responses

  1. Cheers Andrew, some great titles to follow up on. And I go back to Cormac M to cleanse my palate too – what a great expression…

  2. I have to admit, most of these selections are out of my comfort zone. I have purchased Piggyback and also Under the Dixie Moon and we will see how I do with those.

    Andrew, I love this series of My Year in Books and I like the variety of books it introduces. Working my way back through the posts.

    • Tracy,
      Thanks for the feedback. It’s always nice to know that people are reading and liking what I post. Stay tuned, because I have another half dozen posts lined up for this series and all of them will introduce very diverse books.

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