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Down on the Street Kindle Edition
Times are tough. Cabbie Lester Banks can’t pay his bills. His gorgeous young neighbor, Chelsea, is also one step from the streets. Lester makes a sordid business deal with her. Things turn out worse than he could ever have imagined.
“Alec Cizak demonstrates in Down on the Street that he remains among the top fiction writers alive, regardless of genre. This is a crime story, but it’s so much more. Words like sharpened blades cut out the reader’s heart, emotionally and otherwise. I read this novella in a burst. A week later, I’m still absorbing it.” —Rob Pierce, author of Uncle Dust and With the Right Enemies.
- ASIN : B06XTCDF8S
- Publisher : ABC Group Documentation, an imprint of Down & Out Books (June 16, 2017)
- Publication date : June 16, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 1948 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 166 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1943402884
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #712,061 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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As crime fiction goes, Down on the Street is on the deep, dark side. Its main characters embrace one bad idea after another to make the rent or pay off an urgent obligation that looms around the corner. Lester Banks is a balding, world-weary cab driver who ekes it out in the same run-down apartment building as Chelsea Farmer, a college girl who looks arrestingly out of place in her squalid surroundings.
Their stories intertwine with touches of humanity between their lousy choices and the lousy consequences that follow. Like their mutual brainwave to pimp out Chelsea, making her fair game for a series of Johns who seem intent on turning prostitution into property. It all seems real, sprung to life inside the reader’s mind, through the characters’ street-smart dialogue and shortsighted schemes.
Even before I put the first chapter behind me, I was caught, transfixed as Lester and Chelsea plunge headlong into their world of excess, violence, and sex. Dangerous and vicarious at first, things quickly turn raw and sobering, as these broken spirits scrape toward rock bottom.
Cizak’s novel is a fast, brutal trip down on the street. The writing is terse, with a lyrical quality that belies its spare, driving narrative. “The air outside wobbled from the heat. He hustled to his cab and cranked the engine to get the A/C working.”
If you read crime fiction, do yourself a favor and take a ride with Alec Cizak. It’s well worth the price of admission and, more importantly, your time.
As bad as things are for Banks, there are his dreams of bedding the college student who lives down the hall from him. The Chelsea fantasies of short skirts help Banks pacify his anger which runs deep through him whether he is at work or watching TV. Life is not a quiet desperation for Banks, he knows it is actively trying to screw him over only to lead him to robbery, drug dealing, “or whatever else the doomed were using to ease their jog to the grave.”
A series of circumstances set Banks’ life in a direction he never saw coming. Part of him believes that his life will somehow get better, but like the Bad Luck Brian meme Banks’ life is just a series of screw-ups. Eryk Pruitt called Down on the Street “dirtbag noir” which is spot on. As horrible as Banks becomes and as bad as his decisions are, Cizak ably keeps the reader engaged and, at times, even rooting for the scumbag of a protagonist. The bleakness of Down on the Street gets darker and darker as the reader travels with Banks from poverty to prostitution and from crooked cops to human trafficking — it is the tale of a miserable man desperately trying to survive, not to succeed, just to survive. The catalyst of many modern noir novels is gambling and drugs, but Cizek’s Down on the Street is driven by the grim reality of poverty and hopelessness.
But the reality is this: great writers—and actors—make it look easy.
There is nothing contrived in Down on the Street.
Chelsea Farmer is real. I knew a girl just like her.
Lester Banks is real. I knew a man just like him.
The trash-strewn streets are real. I knew streets just like them.
Alec Cizak is no doubt real too, and he makes it look all too easy—the sign of a great writer.
I'm very much looking forward to reading his next novel.
That's when the violence and drama ensue.
I really enjoyed how different this was than typical crime fare. If you think the movie Taxi Driver, or Mean Streets, or Drive, then you have an idea what kind of time the book has while at the same time being nothing like them. Cizak does a fine job of bringing his characters to life. Everyone from the prostitutes hanging out on his stoop messing with him to a rich man who owns his own stable of women. All of whom are vividly drawn. It's a gritty, bleak story about sad and desperate people. This isn't the first book I've read fro! This author and it won't be the last.
Lester Banks is barely breaking even, working long hours driving a cab, abused by his employer, passengers, the world itself. He’s not enjoying much in his life.
An unlikely hook-up with an attractive neighbor gets Lester thinking about a way out of his rut. It works, for a while.
Mister Cizak’s writing is lean and to the point. He gives the reader a story without any fluff or filler.
You can’t go wrong with this guy.
Top reviews from other countries
Anyone who has read Crooked Roads, Cizak’s masterful short story collection, will be well aware of his knack for dark, emotive stories – in which hapless protagonists are drawn hopelessly out of their depth in their pursuit of a slightly better life. Down on the Street treads a similar path, and the author offers up an eye-opening series of set-pieces as the book unfolds. The subject matter is understandably dark – but undercut with a bone-dry sense of humour – and the lead characters, and indeed supporting players, are all convincingly depicted.
Unlike reluctant anti-hero Lester, Down on the Street is neither cheap nor exploitative. This is riveting stuff, and well worth checking out.
Down on the Street is filled with broken, wretched people. I don’t believe there is a single character in the book with anything in the way of a redeeming feature, and yet, Cizak has an uncanny ability to make you keep turning the pages. I don’t know if it is due to the fact that I recognize some of the struggles of these people and feel a sort of kinship with them or is it simply down to my desire to read about tortured, desperate characters?
Whatever the case may be, this story is excellent. Like I said, it is grim stuff, violent, sexually charged and some of Banks’ actions made me want to punch him in the face, but still, I kept on reading. Cizak makes his characters believable, their actions realistic and the writing is pretty damn good. I love it when a book is like a drug, I could not put it down. Superb.
4.5/5 poor decisions from the Grim Reader