In steel-tipped prose, Craig Davidson conjures a savage world populated by fighting dogs, prizefighters, sex addicts, gamblers, a repo man and a disappearing magician. The title of the lead story, '28 Bones', refers to the number of bones in a boxer’s hands; once broken, they never heal properly, and the fighter’s career descends to bouts that have less to do with sport than with survival: no referee, no rules, not even gloves. In 'A Mean Utility' we enter an even more desperate arena: dogfights where Rottweilers, pit bulls and Dobermans fight each other to the death.
Davidson’s stories are small monuments to the telling detail. The hostility of his fictional universe is tempered by the humanity he invests in his characters and by his subtle and very moving observations of their motivation. In the tradition of Hemingway, Rust and Bone explores violence, masculinity and life on the margins. Visceral and with a dark urgency, this is a truly original debut.
Praise for Craig Davidson:
'These big, riveting stories about tough guys in trouble are the best I've read in a long time from a young writer. There's enough incident, shock and suspense for a dozen books. This collection is filled with stories you haven't heard before' Bret Easton Ellis
'There is a strikingly original tone to Mr Davidson's stories. The prose is spare yet elegant, the insights are fresh and real, and best of all there is a boundless humanity in Mr. Davidson's writing: a love of life that is beautifully woven with an acute sense of its darkness. This is in every way an extraordinary book' Clive Barker