LAST BASTARDS STANDING – On sale August 9, 2015
About the book –
Sal Bruce is a bastard. Tell her and she’ll say Thank you. She might hand out a couple of insults, too. When Sal is not drinking, she is sleeping, and when she is not grousing loudly, she is judging silently.
No woman is an island, however, and Sal does occasionally find herself in the company of mad friends living on the edge of society and sanity. Life has kicked them in the face, but they keep going, and have great stories to tell.
What prevents Sal from the distance to the world she usually thinks rightfully hers, is her best friend Ernesto and his relentless plan to reveal the truth (about the government and in general) to the world. Sal and Ernesto have been friends since the time Sal helped Ernesto get out of the loony bin, and ever since then he has been constantly making Sal wonder whether insane is necessarily the least sane thing to be.
Last Bastards Standing is women’s fiction without mush and melodrama. It hits where it hurts, but also where laughter and the sweet joy of (some extent of) recognition is felt.
The book with which I shared my understanding was a biography of Al Capone. The public enemy. The master cutthroat. The ruthless, merciless, unscrupulous baron of crime, sin and wonderful misdeed. Owner of streets and police alike. Owner of anything he goddamn pleased to own.
He was my kind of man, that Capone. In fact, he was the kind of man that was a carbon copy of me, except he was dead and acknowledged. Al was a late bloomer. (Like me.) He was quick to anger. (Like me.) When he was finished being angry he was quick to murder. (The day would come.)
I wondered what it was that separated me from the great Al Capone. (There was something, I had to admit it.) I wondered what I could do to make the gap between us narrow.
The first thing that came to mind was disreputable companions. Al and I were both surrounded by them, only most of Al’s disreputable companions were the right kind of disreputable companions. (How could it be that all the disreputable companions I was surrounded by were a bunch of boobs? I wrote the question down to be mused upon later.)
Al had a great benefit in that he shared his streets with cool people, too. By cool people I mean people with cool names. (For a start, goes without saying.) Lupo “the Wolf.” Joe “Jew Kid” Grabiner. Raymond “Crane Neck” Nugent. Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik. Lucky Luciano. Charlie “Monkey Face” Genker. Izzy “the Rat” Buchalsky. “Duffy the Goat.” Frank “The Enforcer” Nitti. Fred “Killer” Burke (with the missing front tooth.) And so on. Every page I turned shone with that kind of grit. Don’t they have it easy? I thought to myself. When your middle name is Killer you don’t grow up to be a chimney sweeper.
Another thing he had going for him, old Al, was the fashion of his days. People just took more pride in looking snappy. I realized I could take more pride in it, only I couldn’t do it as long as my surroundings refused to follow suit. Take the people around me. There was a man with a bucket hat. A woman with orange hair. Would that kind of people get a thing if I walked into the library smoking a Cuban Havana, wearing a fedora? Would they give me their respect? Ask me for protection? Would they kiss my rings and the ground I sat foot on? (Would they as much as let me stay in the library?) (The smoking and all.) I’ll let the questions answer themselves.
About the author –
Twenty-five years old, nice and clean. Cynical bastard when worst; big-hearted bohemian when best. An avid fan of anything that makes me think, feel, laugh or cry. (Simultaneously, preferably.)
Where to find the book –