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Throwback Review of Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet by Adam Howe

Originally published 17/02/2017

An explanation: The indie publishing world is a very small place built on mutually beneficial acquainting and a ton of hard work. I’d asked Adam Howe for an interview and a while later, he asked me for a review. I’d never read anything by Adam Howe prior to Damn Dirty Apes, the first novella of this collection. How I began there was in an effort to understand Tijuana Donkey Showdown, the book I was to be reviewing. Both were so utterly fantastic that I visited Amazon and purchased a copy of Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet so as to read the other novellas.

I realize this is beyond the typical scope of my reviews and I often turn down authors asking for a review with titles reaching this far back in the calendar, but this is special...and, fuck it, if anyone can bend rules on Unnerving, it's me.

To begin, Damn Dirty Apes is the tale of Reggie Levine. Reggie is the all-star of this comical crime novel. Comical is an understatement; at times, I cackled idiotically. The story is fast, uproarious, violent and wonderfully absurd.

The next story, Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, took a decidedly darker and more gruesome turn that molded the level of suspense where not only does the bad go to worse, you’re readying yourself to cringe pre-emptively. This story is surprising and enthralling.

The final story is Gator Bait. Adam Howe portrays the kind of American, hillbilly south you’d see on TV and in old films with a deft and yet loose pen. Big boss man, his inbred trolls, a big hungry gator, and of course, a dame in need. And yet, things are not always what they seem and that’s what makes a good story great. Think Porky's but much, much more.

Adam Howe is a fantastic storyteller with strong, witty, imaginative voice that brings outrageous scenarios to life in way that makes hours disappear. To forego any professionalism, you’d be fucking stupid to pass on Adam Howe without paying his work a visit.

Available now from Red Room Press

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