The Hunter by Richard Stark

“’I’m going to drink his blood, I’m going to chew up his heart and spit it into the gutter for the dogs to raise a leg at. I’m going to peel the skin off him and rip out his veins and hang him with them.’” If Raymond Chandler invented the hardboiled genre, Richard Stark perfected…

Stonemouth by Iain Banks

“Clarity. That would have been good.” To begin with, I want to say this book was read in honor of the author who died earlier this month. God bless his soul. Moving on, I would like to note that Iain Banks is credited as one of the best authors of his generation. From the very…

Low Town: A Novel by Daniel Polansky

“I remember the lightning in the air and the lover bidding good-bye in the streets, and I can tell you what I think. We went to war because going to war is fun, because there’s something in the human breast that trills at the thought, although perhaps not the reality, of murdering its fellows in…

The Importance of Setting, Part 2: Mood

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that…