Craig Rondinone,
Ten Tales to Make Your Head Explode
(PublishAmerica, 2003)

Craig Rondinone is an energetic writer with an amazing prose style that covers adventure, comedy, science fiction, horror and humor.

In his first story, "Honor Among All of Us," hitman Rick Martin must rescue his drugged girlfriend Kimberly, who is tied to a chair in the middle of the desert. Expounding on this occupational hazard of hitmen, Rondinone's descriptions include Kimberly's tear that "streaked down her rosy red cheek" and her "bodacious eyes (with eyelids that flutter)." She is "as street-wise as the punks Rick would off." Dialogue flies faster than the bullets.

Rick comes back in the story "Credit." He is recovering from back trouble, and the doctor tells him, "A normal human being would be kept overnight for observation. You're far from normal."

Rick asks with a "devilish smirk" about his partner Shelby, who has a bit of a temper. Her period "'seems to come twice a month these days,' Rick told the good doctor. They shared a laugh."

Just one other choice bit of dialogue: "I'll bring everything but the kitchen sink. Hell, maybe I'll strap the kitchen sink to my ass!"

There is more pulp in this collection that a truckful of oranges. But I have to stop now. My head is exploding.

review by
Dave Howell

8 March 2008

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