Friday, August 4, 2017
Review: Ring of Fire - by Robert Ford
There are some writers I wish were getting more attention. Writers who have paid their dues and put out quality work, again and again, but still seem to remain in the background, underappreciated. Robert Ford is one such writer.
Last year he published a novella called The Last Firefly of Summer, a bittersweet "story of first love, true love, the love where you would do absolutely anything for the other person. Anything." One of my favorite novellas of 2016.
This year he offers up something completely different, as he returns to the world of Samson Gallows featured in his 2012 novella, Samson and Denial. In Ring of Fire, Robert starts with an eloquent, if profanity laced, rant against infomercials, the medical industry, the media, and Gatlin, KY. Not for the easily offended.
Here's a snippet describing the effects of the local meth trade in Gatlin, KY...
One guy smoked up and dragged his wife down to the train tracks, behind his farmhouse. Tied her up right to the rails, Dudley Do Right style. 'Course the train through Calverton stopped running years ago. She spent the night getting bit by skeeters and when morning came she had some awful rope burns and looked like she had a bad case of the measles but was otherwise all right.
If you're looking for a rip-snortin' good time, pick up this quick read and follow the misadventures of one man just trying to get through a very bad day.
One more example of what you're in for...
I hustled into the drive and passed the first brown trailer on my left. That's where the landlord, Betsy Aus, presided–and believe you me, she was some piece of work. Late sixties and gardening braless in a tank top every afternoon when it was warm out. Shorts cut to high heaven and her body the shape and condition of an overcooked apple dumpling. Gravity had certainly had a battle with Betsy's body and won. It appeared as if two ferrets were sleeping inside her tank top.
Ring of Fire is difficult to pigeonhole into a specific genre but funny as hell and a damn good time. My only complaint is the story was way too short. I would have loved to have read more.
At the end of Ring of Fire there's an excerpt from The Last Firefly of Summer, I recommend you skip the excerpt and go buy that novella as well. Although decidedly different I believe you'll enjoy both of these works from Robert Ford, a name worth remembering.
Ring of Fire is available in both paperback and for the Kindle. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE using the Kindle Owners Lending Library.
From the author's bio - Robert Ford writes stories that are always focused on the characters, first and foremost. Anything else just happens to be happening. "If I can write a story that makes the reader feel—laugh, or cry, or get angry or upset—if I can write an engaging story that involves the reader and hits them emotionally, then, and only then, have I done my job."
Previous works include The Last Firefly of Summer, The Compound, and Samson and Denial. Robert currently lives in central Pennsylvania.