Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Dark End of the Street Anthology

The Dark End of the Street: New Stories of Sex and Crime by Today's Top Authors edited by Jonathan Santiofer and SJ Rozan

Rating:   3/5
Source:  Review copy received from the publisher, via Shelf Awareness

In one fast-paced story, a strong and aggravated man considers the pretty woman at the bar while he fingers the knife in his pocket. But what becomes of his prey when they move to the bedroom? In another tale, a man remembers the victim of a ghastly murder who visited the same hair salon as he does. And a Don Juan of a protagonist has a hobby of marrying vulnerable women, getting access to their bank accounts, and then robbing them blind.
But there is much more to this collection than dark-haired vixens and crimes of passion. Some stories are brooding, some twisted; some bring righteous satisfaction, some linger in the back of your mind. What is truly on display is an impressive collection of literary talent: a group of some of the best writers we have, weaving fresh and memorable stories from a pair of classic themes. Taken as a whole, they are a rare treat for fans of great fiction, whether it's high literature, good old-fashioned suspense, or anything in between. Original black-and-white art by artist/author Jonathan Santlofer completes this innovative, exciting, and irresistibly intriguing book - a true literary gem.

My Thoughts:
Anthologies are a favorite of mine, as I love discovering new authors and revisiting old favorites! With a collection, there's no buyer's remorse when you realize you don't really care for the book. If you don't like a particular story in an anthology, you just move on to the next one. It's like a literary buffet!

Have to admit that sex and crime aren't my usual genres, but because this is an anthology (mainly because Lee Child is one of the authors) I was happy to be given a chance to review this book! Some of the stories were interesting, some were strange, some were mysterious thrillers, and some left me scratching my head wondering what the heck just happened? While not every story in this collection was a winner, I think that there's enough variety that most readers will be pleased.

I'm not going to review all 19 of the stories, but wanted to mention a few stand-outs. I think my favorites were Scenarios by Lawrence Block, Tricks by Laura Lippman, The Beheading by Francine Prose, and Daybreak by S.J Rozan. These stories stood out from the rest for various reasons, and I liked the Laura Lippman story enough to want to seek out her other works. The Lee Child story that originally caught my eye, Me & Mr Rafferty, was okay, but I was sort of expecting more.

Gave this a 3/5 rating as while some of the stories were original, clever, or thought provoking, others didn't appeal to me at all. As I said, sex and crime aren't my usual genres, so that may be why I didn't enjoy the stories more. It also reminded me a little of film noir for some reason, maybe because of the illustrations? Not a bad collection, just not my usual type of book.


  1. books like that are almost always a mixed bag. i like anthologies too but there are always some that work better than others. i read parts of a scifi anthology recently called THE NEW WEIRD and liked some of the stories, couldn't get through others. like your choice, scifi isn't my usual genre and i was kind of reminded of why!

  2. Thanks for you review, I was curious to know what you would think of this one. I may have to make a trip to the store today.

  3. I'm not a big fan of anthologies or short stories, but this sounds interesting. :-)

  4. Definitely agree that the illustrations (if anything like the cover art) are what probably made you think of the noir angle. As for anthologies, I've never really read them myself...but perhaps one day. Thanks for sharing...and happy reading!

  5. I really do like Lee Child. He co-writes the Pendergrast series. I love those!

  6. I love anthologies as well. :) But I don't know if this one is for me. I like to have a little fantasy in mine. :) Thanks for the review though, I may have to keep it in mind when looking for an anthology. :)