Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2 BY IAIN LEVISON

2 from Scottish author Iain Levison this week.





















I can’t find a website for the author, but there’s this author biography from his wiki page…..

Levison graduated from Villanova University, where he received an English degree that became part of the premise for his first commercial success, the memoir A Working Stiff's Manifesto. Since that book's publication in 2002, he has published three additional books, mainly fast-paced crime novels with themes such as economic inequality, workers' rights, alienation, and gun control in the United States. Since the Layoffs was published by Soho Press in July 2003, followed by Dog Eats Dog, from Bitter Lemon Press in October 2008 and How To Rob An Armored Car, published by Soho Press a year later in October 2009. Levison's writing is known for crisp sentences and at times acerbic wit.

Unsurprisingly I have his other two books also – Dog Eats Dog and the non-fiction book - A Working Stiff’s Manifesto.


Since the Layoffs (2003)

The work Jake Skowran is offered is a lot less than legal. He's got little choice except to take it. 

The guys who owned the factory have left town for someplace with more sun and cheaper labor. The deserted plant is fenced in and the fence topped with razor wire, as if they'd worried that the locals would steal tractor-building equipment and start making tractors in their basements. Jake's girlfriend has also decamped (along with the entertainment center). 'She went off with some used car dealer, huh?' his bookie mocks.

'He was a new car dealer,' Jake retorts.

With unemployment running out, he's up for anything.



How to Rob an Armored Car (2009)


In a dying Pennsylvania coal town, three friends are looking for a way out. Mitch is a rebellious malcontent whose bad attitude gets him fired from a chain big box store. Doug can identify any pill by sight and any '-80s rock song by the first three notes but doesn't understand credit scores. Kevin got married and had a kid too soon and is now on parole after serving jail time for growing marijuana. The three of them dabble in petty crime and believe they have a talent for it. They start by stealing a high-definition TV, then set their sights on bigger scores. Soon things begin to get out of hand.

14 comments:

  1. These sound like good reads,Col. And for me, it's a real taste of home. I lived not very far from Villanova for a number of years, and it's always nice to read stories that take place in Pennsylvania. The stories sound interesting, too; I hope you'll like them, and I'll be keen to know what you think.

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    1. Margot - that's great. I keep hoping for a "local" crime fiction somewhere set in my vicinity where I have a familiarity with the locale and the people - I've not found it yet.
      I've not read too much from your neck of the woods I'm afraid - Annette Dashofy's Circle of Influence (a great book) is the only one I can recall.

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  2. Ha! So Margot responds to the Philadelphia connection and I respond to the Aberdeen connection.

    I haven't come across Levison's work but have made a mental note to keep an eye out.

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    1. Ha - Granite Grant! Hope you cross paths with one or both of these then, we can compare notes over an Iron Bru!

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    2. Ahem: Irn Bru, not Iron Bru. It's Irn Bru, the noo.

      I came across another Aberdonian crime writer for the first time just a couple of days ago: Stuart MacBride. But he actually sets his tales in Aberdeen, not Philly.

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    3. Sloppy - and duly noted. I've tried the odd-one from MacBride, but he seems to specialise in door-stopper length. Kind of puts me off before I've begun.

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  3. Like the covers but I have far too much to read and I'm only referring to books and ebooks I already have.

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  4. Sounds interesting. Impressed that Margot knows the place. I'm always a lot more likely to find crime fiction about my original home town (L1verpool) than my current home (Winchester)- I wonder why that is? ;)

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    1. Real crime dropped in Liverpool after you left, so they wrote Liverpudlian crime fiction to fill the void and remind them how it used to be!

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  5. These sound good but I have way to much to read to even think about adding them to a list.

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    1. Maybe in another year or two, when I've managed to read one or both!

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  6. Wonderful writer. The real crime is that he is not better known in the States.

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    1. Cheers for stopping by. I've not read him yet..soon hopefully!

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