Written by: Laird Barron
Published by: Journal Stone (March 2016)
Series: Nanashi Novella
Paperback: 106 pages
Nanashi was born into a life of violence. Delivered from the streets by the Heron Clan, he mastered the way of the gun and knife and swiftly ascended through yakuza ranks to become a dreaded enforcer. His latest task? He and an entourage of expert killers are commanded to kidnap Muzaki, a retired world-renowned wrestler under protection of the rival Dragon Syndicate.
It should be business as bloody usual for Nanashi and his ruthless brothers in arms, except for the detail that Muzaki possesses a terrifying secret. A secret that will spawn a no-holds barred gang war and send Nanashi on a personal odyssey into immortal darkness.
Hello Ghouls and Boils,
*dusts off the cobwebs* Well 2016 was a hellacious year for me. If you follow me on Facebook then you know just how much. But I’m back and ready to breathe some life back into SNS — with the help of assistant editors Floyd and Heather, but more on that later.
Here is a bit of back story on why I am reviewing this book… I was in the hospital for a bit (long story) and while I was there I stumbled upon a book written by Laird Barron. Now I have known Laird a number of years and read many of his short stories, but never anything of significant length. I liberated the book from the hospital when I left because I couldn’t put it down. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Man With No Name (spoiler free). Enjoy, my fiends!
Sarah L. Gerhardt
It is always a bit difficult to review short stories and novellas… there is always the fear of going too far and revealing something a reader should discover on their own. But this book was so well written and riveting that I could not pass up the chance to talk about it.
Set deep within the belly of the beast, the Dragon Syndicate. This compelling strange tale has many interesting twists. At first it plays like a very traditional crime novel. Nanashi, our main character, was born into a strange life. It was a violent one, but he became quite adept at keeping himself alive. Learning the ways of his clan, he master the blade and the gun. Then things take an unusual turn when they kidnap a man under the protection of a rival gang.
Now, as a writer and reader and editor, there is something I am about to burst if I don’t say… Laird is one of the most beautiful writers in genre I have ever read. There were many times, while reading the book the first time, I had to set it down and smile and shake my head because I found some turn of phrase or the other to be absolutely brilliant and stunning. If you pick this book up for no other reason, let it be to read the work of a you Master of Horror.
I am wrapping this up here. Why? Because I feel like if I write much more I will give something away and you won’t go buy this book. I want you to buy this book! It was worth every second I spent reading it — both times. Now I want more! I give this our highest rating, five out of five tentacles!