Some lives require escape, some require revenge. Rob Pierce writes with an understanding of the darkness in such people’s hearts, of people who’ve been struck and need to strike back. From gun dealers to murderers to the simply self-destructive, The Things I Love Will Kill Me Yet is filled with stories of men and women whose dreams can never take them out of their realities.
In Rob Pierce’s brilliant collection of stories, The Things I Love Will Kill Me Yet, we witness a parade of losers who seem to float through the swimming pool of life without ever having mastered the skill of swimming and keep exhibiting surprise when they end up in the deep end and learn the lifeguard is on his break. They’re all victims, but what grants them grace is that they don’t realize they’re victims. An experience akin to watching a train wreck from a safe vantage point. You keep telling yourself you should look away but you never do because… well… because it’s absolutely fascinating. It’s like watching a horror movie by yourself when you want to yell, “Don’t go in the basement!” but you don’t because… what’s the fun in that if they don’t go down those steps?
Les Edgerton, The Rapist, The Bitch, The Genuine Imitation Plastic Kidnapping
Death is the subject of The Things I Love Will Kill Me Yet, Rob Pierce’s impressive collection of stories culled from the cutting edge of noir publications. Death in its planning stages, its commission, in its aftermath, as the inevitable end and the bloody starting point of the stories featured here. Pierce writes complex characters driven to crime and yet haunted by it. Boxers, boozers, tramps, desperate men and women–these stories are populated with a rogues’ gallery befitting a Tom Waits album. Pierce’s style is spare and hard-hitting, and The Things… delivers a knockout.
Sam Wiebe, Last of the Independents
I couldn’t put it down. The stories and the characters were addictive, binge worthy. It reads like short and fast body jabs, quick glimpses into the dark, violent sub-life of that brooding stranger on the corner. Or in the bar. Or on the bus. Rob Pierce is a master of the urban gothic, creating perfectly imperfect characters fighting through a life of bad choices and missed opportunities. Tough life. Tough luck. Tight read. I loved it.
Marietta Miles, Route 12 and Naomi
The Things I Love Will Kill Me Yet is a perfect storm. It attacks the senses with unpredictable shifts of theme and tone and has the power to stun, move and create uncertainty. The sum total of the collection is even more powerful than its considerable component parts and it is, therefore, a shining example of an anthology. Best of all, the stories continue to live on after the words have been left behind; it’s this stirring of my imagination that I enjoyed most of all. Terrific and inspiring fiction.
Nigel Bird, Southsiders
Noir at its best! Like a violent biker gang, a herd of wild horned animals, or maybe a box of spiders, there’s a stockpile of thrilling peril inside these Rob Pierce short stories. The characters are as uniquely unsociable and dangerous as they are entertaining. In Thanksgiving 1963, a haunting tale of cousins, Texas, and enough Jack Daniels to water the cattle, we’re told presidential assassinations sell guns. The flash-piece Ella touts a woman who sticks in a character’s head “like a pillow pushed down against my face.” And then this from The Leaves: “He wouldn’t chase her, he didn’t know how. He could leave some asshole bleeding in a bar for her and that was the most he could do.” With compassion and insight, Pierce deftly employs tormented characters to spin raw, intriguing tales of heart-felt emotion. A triumph.
Jack Getze, Fiction Editor, Spinetingler Magazine
Rob Pierce wrote the novel Uncle Dust and the novella Vern In The Heat. Editor of Swill Magazine and an editorial consultant with All Due Respect Books, Rob has been nominated for a Derringer Award for short crime fiction and has had stories published in numerous ugly magazines. He lives and will probably die in Oakland, California.