Tuesday 30 May 2017



"Larry Fondation's second book reads like a collaboration between Elmore Leonard, Dennis Cooper and Eminem." - Metro Times (Detroit)

Larry Fondation writes about what he knows best, the inner city with a twist. Raised in Dorchester, MA, where street fights and criminal acts were common occurrences, Fondation studied at Harvard University where the disparity between his history and his present stood out in sharp relief. He went on to become a community organizer in South Central Los Angeles and Compton, CA. The requirement for this job was not the degree in his hand but the fire in his belly. That fire burns in Common Criminals.

A short story collection read back in February and if I'm brutally honest, not an especially memorable read. 26 in total with one that was worth the price of the ticket on it's own.

Contents were...

Cuckold, Stalemate, By Force, Hilfiger, Cuckold II: A Bar Story, Driving Cars, Undesired, Civil Unrest, Generic Story, Bar Story III, Dark; Dirty, Lone Enemy, Animal Rights, Accidents, Little Things, Make-Up, Deportation at Breakfast, 55-Word Story, Weeds, Stolen Goods, Convenience, Gin and Juice, Indignity, Josie at the Blue Light, Trying to Get AIDS

I think the problem was I just didn't get a few of the stories, what the meaning was, what the author's intention was - so in that respect I was disappointed.

Two flash pieces were excellent - Make-Up and 55-Word Story and flicking back through a few more were ok - Animal Rights and Stalemate. Our subjects include drinking, burglary, murder and sex.

The jewel in the crown was Indignity. Hard-hitting, brutal and haunting. A boy's night in with some beers gets way out of hand when the apartment's owners stripper mum comes home after her shift.

I have more from Larry Fondation on the pile, Angry Nights, Martyrs and Holymen, Unintended Consequences, but I'm not rushing to get to them just yet.

Larry Fondation has his website here.

3 from 5

Read in February, 2017
Published - 2003
Page count - 145
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle


  1. Some short story collections are like that, Col: there's one absolute gem, and several others that vary. I'm glad you enjoyed the one as much as you did.

    1. Yes, on balance an okay read, but my hopes were a little bit higher when I started out. I've read a lot more disappointing books though.

  2. Those must be really short stories... 26 stories in 145 pages. I like short stories to be at least 10 - 15 pages. Also not my favorite topics in short stories, although most stories I read are in the crime fiction genre.

    1. Two of the best were Flash Fiction pieces and I can't really recall the longest story and it's length. It's sometimes hard to judge when reading on a Kindle. I doubt more than one of them would have stretched to a dozen pages. The length of each wasn't really the problem for me here. The intent wasn't understood in a few of them, for that reason I suppose I was grateful those ones were relatively brief.

  3. Col – I might give this one a try and just hit the pieces you singled out.

    1. Hmmm... on your own head be it! You never know you might like the set!

  4. I'm intrigued by that cover - it seems very unappealing, a strange choice. Not dramatic enough. (They should have consulted me.)

    1. I actually liked the cover if I'm honest.