Fierce Bitches by Jedidiah Ayres – review

December 21, 2012
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Fierce Bitches, the new novella from Jedidiah Ayres (who, despite his name, is sadly not a Mennonite), is one of the most ambitious and beautiful pieces of noir I’ve read in a helluva long time.  It tells the story of a group of characters in “Politoburg,” a shit-shack village centered around a bar/whorehouse/supply store in Middle of Fucking Nowhere, Mexico.  Outside of the whores and the brutal bartender/local boss Ramon, the rest of Politoburg is built up almost entirely of gringos sent to the little slice of purgatory after doing dirty work in the States for the infamous American gangster Harlan Polito.  Thing is, once you’re sent to Politoburg with your cash for a hit well done, getting out alive is hardly ever an option.

The story starts with one such sad sack gringo trying to bust out of town.  Yeah, the booze, drugs and broads was nice for a while, but when the money runs out, so does the fun.  Soon enough he’s stuck standing around outside the bar with the rest of his lot looking for whatever gigs Ramon decides to hand out (not unlike our own down-and-out immigrants in America waiting outside a Home Depot), and drastic measures are called for.  He and another loser named Metcalf rob Ramon and take off for South America proper with a whore named Maria, but they don’t get far.

The novella jumps ahead in time and deals with whatever became of Maria and then eventually switches over to Ramon’s own remarkable story, but I don’t want to get too deep into the details.  This is an endlessly surprising piece of work written in the striking prose fans of Ayres’s short stories have come to love him for.  I can’t wait to see what else Ayres is capable of in the longer form and, if Fierce Bitches is any indication of what’s to come, the guy’s gonna be a fucking titan of crime fiction in no time.  And if he decides to take a trip back to Politoburg, one of my favorite fictional “towns” ever created, some time soon, I’ll be first in line to buy a one-way bus ticket right alongside him.

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Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

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2 Responses to Fierce Bitches by Jedidiah Ayres – review

  1. Angelabsurdist on December 21, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Starts off in rincon de nowhere and ends up in South America. Sounds like my kind of novel.

  2. David Cranmer on December 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Jed always delivers and I’ll be first in line to read.