Set on the dark side of Los Angeles, the masterful new collection from an award-winning and highly praised "natural-born storyteller" (Ron Rash).
In these gripping and intense stories, Richard Lange returns to the form that first landed him on the literary map. These are edge-of-your-seat tales: A prison guard must protect an inmate being tried for heinous crimes. A father and son set out to rescue a young couple trapped during a wildfire. An ex-con trying to make good as a security guard stumbles onto a burglary plot. A young father must submit to blackmail to protect the fragile life he's built.
Sweet Nothing is an unforgettable collection that shows once again why T.C. Boyle wrote, "Lange's stories combine the truth-telling and immediacy of Raymond Carver with the casual hip of Denis Johnson. There is a potent artistic sensibility at work here" (on Dead Boys).
Gamblers, grifters, ex-cons, and those just conning themselves populate this gritty if uneven L.A.-centric second story collection from the author of the Hammett Prize winning novel Angel Baby (2013). Marginalized types barely manage to scrape by, like the streetwise security guard of the satisfyingly twisty "Apocrypha"; they know their weaknesses as intimately as their drugs of choice. And yet in the best of these tales among them "Instinctive Drowning Response," a smartly structured account of a low-level dealer's arc after his girlfriend ODs they still manage to cut themselves a little slack, despite their damning insights. As expressed by the sympathetic protagonist of the title story, whose addictions have sent him from family man earning six figures to Subway sandwich-maker sharing an apartment with a stranger he met on Craigslist, "There's something to be said for the truth, sure, but the truth is, it's lies that keep us going."