Item description for Expletive Deleted by editor: Jen Jordan...
Crime writing is a dirty business--dealing in death, isolation, ruin and decay--and sometimes it calls for dirty words. In this gritty, gorgeous collection of short stories, new and veteran crime writers alike celebrate that granddaddy of all cusswords; that most adaptable and descriptive grouping of letters; that searing, offensive, musical, perfect sound: fuck.
Contributors include Laura Lippman, Ken Bruen, Charlie Huston, Nathan Singer, Anthony Neil Smith, Jason Starr, Sarah Weinman, John Rickards, Libby Fischer Hellmann, and Reed Farrel Coleman. With an introduction by Mark Billingham. (Soap not included.)
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.4" Height: 1.2" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Nov 20, 2007
Publisher Bleak House Books
ISBN 1932557563 ISBN13 9781932557565
Reviews - What do customers think about Expletive Deleted?
Down and dirty fun Jan 22, 2008
This collection of short crime-fiction is themed around profanity, but could equally be themed upon morality. Many of the stories reminded me of the dark tales from the1950's EC Comics `Shock Suspense Stories' that I devoured as a youth. The interesting aspect is that we have a mix of award-winning names from the top of the genre blended with some newer, but [on paper], equally powerful names of the future. Sex and morality is the name of the game here; no more so than in the shockingly amusing opener from Laura Lippman `A Good ++++ Spoiled', where a middle-aged man takes up golf to cover up his marital infidelity but finds himself trapped between his wife and mistress. The resolution is as amoral as is its shocking - but very funny with the wit of the gallows. This story could easily have been adapted by William Gaines for EC. Jason Starr's `Lucky Bastard' follows Lippman's mould and again a loser finds himself trapped in an extortion racket which has a sweet resolution [behind a corkscrew twist]. Existential angles come from Ken Bruen's cautionary tale of love and hate `Spit' as well as the riveting but deeply disturbing `Hungarian Lessons' by Olen Steinhauer. I should warn you that many of the tales, such as Steinhauer's modern fable are troubling; many contain a cruel streak that shows people at their worst. But hey, this is a crime-fiction collection for ++++'s sake. Base motivations such as sex bring these facets of the human condition to the surface and Jordan's collection exemplifies the consequences of such raw emotions. This collection is prefaced by an introduction from Mark Billingham who rightly explains that Expletive Deleted - is not for the faint of heart. But I would add that it does contain some gems that are perhaps more literary than one would expect form the collections title, such as Kevin Wignall's `The Preacher' - a low-key look at the banality of crime between generations of criminals, while John Rickards presents a real contrast with his heart-breaking tale of love and loss in Africa entitled `Twenty Dollar Future'. As an editor, Jordan manages to fuse the profane with the sentimental, and in so doing pulls off a remarkably thought-provoking collection that will linger longer in the mind than the expletives that pepper these tales.
Filthy Fun Dec 28, 2007
The genius of any short-fiction anthology lies in its premise. "Expletive Deleted" was conceived as a celebration of the lewd, crude, base, and brutal characters of crime fiction--and, especially, as a raucous "cheers" to the corresponding vulgarity of their vocabularies. The book is cleverly executed so that the milieu flips between foreign and familiar, disturbing and playful, making the total impact energetic, fresh, and obscenely entertaining.
Each of the 21 stories contributes a unique glimpse into depravity. There are enough variations in tone and style to overcome any thematic limitations, and--surprising for any collection--even the weakest stories have punch. This anthology is a must-read for anyone who has fun with filth and likes a little semantic grit with their transgressions.
Dirty Dancing Dec 27, 2007
This collection of short stories is built around a theme: use of "dirty" language. It includes an introduction by Mark Billingham, a spirited, if self-serving, defense of the use of the "F" word by authors.
The parade starts off with "A Good **** Spoiled," a title that could have stood on its own without resorting to the theme's requirements either in the title or in the text. Surprisingly two of the entries--by Otis Twelve and Libby Fischer Hellman--conclude in exactly the same way. Other authors include: Ken Bruen, Charlie Huston, Nathan Singer, Anthony Neil Smith, Jason Starr, Sarah Weinman, John Richards, and Reed Farrel Coleman.
The trouble with such a theme is the forced nature of the stories. Some are good, others not up to par. One might say the concept was interesting, but something was lost in the execution.
not to bad at all... Dec 16, 2007
I really enjoyed the stories from Charlie Huston(Like A Lady) and Ken Bruen(Spit)..all of the stories were pretty damn good though. I'd really like to see a second volume sometime soon!
Bad people use bad words Nov 20, 2007
It's one of the most baffling phenomena in the world of crime fiction: people who don't mind the most grotesque violence, but object to the use of bad language.
I've seen them at book signings and fan conferences, approaching the author of the latest serial killer thriller. "Oh, I just love your books," they say. "But does your killer have to swear so much?" It's okay that they've just dismembered a body, or raped a woman, or shot someone in cold blood; it's not okay that they used vulgar language while they did it.
EXPLETIVE DELETED is an anthology based on the simple observation that bad people not only do bad things, they also say bad words. And if the use of bad language in the description of crimes offends the reader, perhaps it _should_.
Crime _should_ offend us. Crime fiction walks a fine moral line, using the worst things people do to each other as the basis for entertainment. If bad language reminds us to feel the appropriate sense of outrage, that's as it should be.