Controlled Burn: Stories of Prison Crime and Men Review ↠ 102

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Controlled Burn Stories of Prison Crime and MenBoth cautious admiration and mortal fear in his business associates In Ball Lightning Reported Red Green's ultimate fate is revealed In Atomic Supernova a revenge obsessed sheriff deputizes a known cop killer to help him hunt down a counterfeiter and drug lord The unexpectedly tender and heartbreaking The Copper Kings concerns a father facing the dark truth behind his son's disappearance And in Vigilance a hunted man struggles to escape his past always yearning for an honorable yet perhaps unreachable future Powered by a spare ruminative prose style that recalls the best of Denis Johnson and Thom Jones Controlled Burn is an unforgettable debu. I wasn't expecting much from this book It has been on my shelves for the longest time because it was a random giftFinally this summer I decided to give it a go and I wasn't disappointed and a couple of times I was even pleasantly surprisedThough like most short story collections it is uneven there were a few standouts It might not have blown my mind but I am glad I read it

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Nder assumed names and men whose luck ran out a thousand miles ago these stories feel hard won from life and if they are moody and stark so too are they filled with human longing Controlled Burn is divided into two sections The Northeast Kingdom and The Fugitive West In each Scott Wolven reveals a broken world where there is no bottom left to hit In the haunting Outside Work Detail convicts stoically dig graves for their fellow prisoners yet reserve their deepest grief for the senseless death of a deer Crank introduces Red Green a maniacally brilliant addict who brews his own crystal meth in a backwoods lab and whose high energy antics inspire. Tough violent stories as uncompromising and unforgiving as stone with glimmers of beauty if you look hard enough These characters inhabit a New England most people will never even know they haven't seen

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Controlled Burn: Stories of Prison, Crime, and Men Review ↠ 102 Ê Once or twice a decade an unknown short story writer blazes onto the literary scene with work that is thrilling and new Scott Wolven is such a talent and his raw blistering tales of hard bitten convicts dodgy informers and men running from the law makOnce or twice a decade an unknown short story writer blazes onto the literary scene with work that is thrilling and new Scott Wolven is such a talent and his raw blistering tales of hard bitten convicts dodgy informers and men running from the law make for the most exciting authentic collection of short stories I have read in years says George Pelecanos Brooding edgy and sometimes violent Controlled Burn's loosely linked stories are each in some way a distillation of hard time spent either in prison the backwoods of Vermont or the badlands of the American West Peopled by boxers drunks truck drivers murderers bounty hunters drifters traveling u. RATING 45SETTING New England and IdahoSERIES Short storiesNormally I'm not a big fan of short stories but Scott Wolven managed to keep me turning the pages in CONTROLLED BURN Although each story stands alone well there were some subtle and direct interconnections between the stories and the tone was uniform throughout For example the first part of the book has all the stories set in New England and generally involve something to do with logging Some of the characters carry over from story to story There was never a feeling of I've finished that story – what's next and moving on to a completely different kind of narrativeThe cover states that CONTROLLED BURN contains stories of prison crime and men I found that statement a little misleading since almost all the stories took place in small towns in New England and Idaho and not in prison settings However they were uniformly tough and gritty The stories flowed from one to the next without the traditional shocking twist that occurs in many works of this kind These stories did not reuire big bang endings I felt that I was reading well told pieces of lifeThe book is divided into two sections The Northeast Kingdom which set in Vermont and New Hampshire and The Fugitive West which is mostly set in Idaho However there are connections between the two parts of the book which made it feel like reading a novel than a series of discrete stories My favorite story was the last Vigilance which was uite suspenseful and had a surprising tie to one of the early stories in the book However there were many other pearls in this collectionI thought CONTROLLED BURN was a masterful creation Wolven has a very elegiac way of writing; I marked many beautifully written passages throughout the book Characterizations were complex and rich; establishing a cogent yet segmented plot that interwove itself throughout the pieces of the narrative was exceptionally well done I personally would love to see him turn his skills toward writing a full length book However even if he decides that short stories are his milieu I will be searching out all of his future work He is a talented writer and it was a joy to spend time reading a work that was so well conceived