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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Thursday, April 6, 2006 3:53 pm
Deadline Day
Posted by: Keir Graff

I finished Ken Bruen’s Calibre last night-hard to believe he has a new one out already. He’s so prolific, he might be the Joyce Carol Oates or the William T. Vollman of crime fiction. Fortunately for me, his books are a lot shorter than theirs. In fact, they’re so much shorter that you could probably fit all the Bruens inside one Vollman with room left over.

Bruen is a writer that I’ve always had mixed feelings about, which has been reflected in my reviews. Sometimes I think he’s pretty good, sometimes I find him a little bit annoying. He is, however, entertaining and never dull, and that’s worth a lot.

With a free trial subscription to Booklist Online, you can read my review of a book Bruen wrote with Jason Starr, Bust.

Anyway, I could write a Bruen-novel-length entry about Bruen, but I have to keep it short today-deadline day. Reviews to write.

But because Bruen peppers his books with quotes from other writers, in that spirit I’ll add quote from his book. He doesn’t do a lot of description, but here’s what he says about his antihero, Sergeant Brant:

“Brant was a pig, worked at it. He was heavily built with a black Irish face that wasn’t so much lived in as squatted upon.”

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