Written by: Chad Lutzke
Lansdale has a certain confidence; a story-telling swagger that sits you down and lets you know you will like this. Like a sexy jedi Jagger; you almost don’t have a choice. Heck, right on the cover you’ve got the confidence (perhaps cockiness is a better word) spelled out for you. Champion Mojo Storyteller. I really wouldn’t argue with that. If you’ve never read any of Lansdale’s work before, Bullets and Fire isn’t a bad place to start. It’s got all the Lansdale elements: Grittiness, dark humor, great writing, genuine dialogue and those unexpected moments where you reread that last sentence, because no way did that just happen. Like Robert McCammon, Mr. Lansdale doesn’t care for being boxed into one genre and stresses that importance to other writers. I believe his talent merits being listened to when giving that advice, and this short gives a great example of it.
Bullets and Fire is a short that tells the story of a man returning to his old turf, doing what he can to become part of a local gang. Why he’s bent on being a member, we don’t know. And I’d rather not divulge that info here, as it could slow down the ride for you and you want this baby going full speed ahead.
The dialogue Lansdale has given these characters is a grade-A example on character development merely using conversation. It’s real and it’s entertaining. Three fourths of the way through, I was hoping we could slow down and get to know the characters a bit more, but then Lansdale throws the poo into the fan and there’s no stopping it. It gets everywhere and it’s a mess right to the end.
Lansdale puts a bloody bow on this little package with a closure that should end no other way. Champion mojo storytelling indeed.
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