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“Most knew him as a man of the cloth, but others—the types like me that hung out in juke joints and drank bootleg liquor—knew he had a devil on his shoulder bigger than any angel could grow. He had an icy touch when he shook your hand like he was taking something from you that you didn’t know you could give up. A little ragged corner of your soul, maybe.”—except from “Jugband Blues” by C. W. Blackwell
This charity anthology of crime stories inspired by the music of Pink Floyd benefits the National Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In the introduction, editor T. Fox Dunham discusses his battle with cancer and the evolution of the anthology.
My favorite stories include the following:
“The Wall” by T. Fox Dunham: The robbery of a drug dealer illustrates some of the problems of the healthcare industry.
“Have a Cigar” by Fraser Massey: A boxer uses his particular talents to drop his manager.
“Brain Damage” by Tom Leins: An ex-con agrees to help find a missing woman who suffers from brain damage.
“Jugband Blues” by C. W. Blackwell: A musician’s love affair gets him in hot water, but turning his act into a duo is all kinds of cool.
“Julia Dream” by Morgan Sylvia: A man haunted by a long ago drug-fueled act of violence visits the perpetrator in prison.
I enjoyed seeing how each author interpreted the theme.
I didn't know what to expect when getting this, other than I am a lifelong fan of Pink Floyd. The stories were amazing and I found the book flowed by smoothly and enjoyably. Found some new authors I want to read more from. I think this book was worth it.
Crime fiction wouldn't have been my first choice for a short story anthology based on the songs of Pink Floyd, weird fantasy or psychedelic sci-fi would seem the obvious pick, and yet the stories in this anthology consistently work. "Julia Dream" was a standout story, although I'm pretty sure that the song was never released as a Pink Floyd track and was released on a Syd Barrett solo album. "Wish You Were Here," "Have A Cigar," and "Hey You" are all songs I figured would lend themselves well to the anthology's theme, but I was also struck by the effective usage of some of the more obscure songs as crime fiction inspiration, especially "Childhood's End." I was a little disappointed not to see anything inspired by Animals (unless I missed it, brain is porous), as the themes throughout the Animals album see like they would be well suited to very noir crime fiction. Overall a very solid anthology.