I heard about Rust & Bone the film, before I heard about Rust & Bone, the book. And whilst I read snippets of film reviews and heard mutterings about it from friends, I didn’t know much about the book or the author before I picked it up. And you know what, that really didn’t matter.
Rust & Bone is a collection of short stories that plunges you into the heart of its characters lives and situations and rudely pulls you out again. It feels a little like the bit in A Christmas Carol where Ebenezer Scrooge is shown scenes of the people in his life by the three Christmas spirits. The stories are mere glimpses that leave you wanting more, yet eager to discover the next tale. As someone’s who’s not normally a fan of short stories, I was mesmorised – there was conflict, grittiness, raw emotion and casual brutality. As well as a sense of underlying hope that keeps the stories moving forward.
“Smudges the line between the comedy and horror, cruelty and mercy. Remarkable.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk
Each story has its own wildly varying flavour, its own taste. But all are linked through an intense emotional understanding of the characters. Even when you’re feeling a sense of disgust towards some of the characters, Craig Davidson somehow evokes sympathy and understanding too.
The first story, Rust & Bone, tells the story of a boxer and a certain poignant moment in his life. It unnervingly switches between memories, anecdotes and real life. As a reader, you can’t relax and are always on edge – similar to the main character, Eddie’s, personality.
And then there is The Rifleman and a quick glimpse into the relationship between an alcoholic father and his promising basketball star kid. Author, Craig Davidson, writes as though he’s captured the essence of his character’s personalities and spit them out again in a way that you feel, rather than read.
Read the stories for yourself and discover the legless whale trainer, magician’s daughter, the sex addict and the outcome of the animal stars of ‘The Riverside Tales’.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. And let me know if you want to borrow it.
Where to buy Rust & Bone (the book)
PS. Craig Davidson is supposedly a young author – however, I can’t seem to find anything anywhere that actually says when he was born. My super sleuth skills put him at around 37 years old. I’ll admit though, he does look at least under thirty on his website. What does impress me, is that he took up the challenge to a boxing fight after the publication of his first book, ‘The Fighter’. Twice. That takes guts.