Book: Down Where the Devil Don’t Go
Author: Paul Bingham
Type of Book: Fiction, short story collection
Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Because one of the stories is entitled, “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Hollywood”.
Availability: Published by Nine Banded Books in 2014, you can get a copy here:
Or you can order it directly from the publisher.
Comments: My love for short story collections has been firmly established by now, so, in spite of the picture of the deformed kitten on the cover, I was already inclined toward liking this book. I was somewhat disappointed. Bingham’s prose style is similar to my own when I write fiction – Bingham relishes ridiculous and horrible details yet writes about them in a spare, concise manner. He eschews over-use of adjectives and adverbs, which gives his prose an immediacy, a sort of direct punch that doesn’t get dragged down by needless scene setting or excessive characterization. This is not beautiful prose; rather, this is effective prose. But even as the prose is effective, I still found it difficult to like this collection as much as the solid writing would ordinarily inspire in me.
The book consists of four stories and the first, “Population I” verges dangerously into cliched territory, yet is the best story in the collection.