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Rust and Bone: Stories

af Craig Davidson

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1266219,251 (3.68)6
In steel-tipped prose, Craig Davidson conjures up a bleak world populated by hardscrabble pugilists, fighting dogs, sex addicts, and others held captive by their own bad luck and bad decisions. Visceral and with a dark urgency, Rust and Bone is a strikingly original debut.
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Con prosa quirúrgica, Craig Davidson construye un universo literario salvaje, poblado por perros que se destrozan en peleas organizadas, boxeadores comprados, adictos al sexo y jugadores empedernidos, entre muchos otros personajes perturbados que viven al margen de la sociedad. La primera historia, que da título al libro, describe la caída libre de la carrera de un boxeador hasta límites que tienen poco que ver con el deporte y mucho con la supervivencia: no hay árbitros, no hay reglas, no hay ni siquiera guantes. Pero la hostilidad de este universo de ficción está siempre matizada por la humanidad con la que el autor dota a sus personajes, y por su manera sutil y emocionante de contarnos los pequeños entresijos de sus pequeñas y miserables vidas. Muy en sintonía con Chuck Palahniuk, Craig Davidson muestra una particular y celebradísima habilidad para tratar los temas más complejos y oscuros del alma humana.
  Natt90 | Jul 4, 2022 |
Variable ( )
  adrianburke | May 9, 2021 |
All of the protagonists in this short story collection—from the sympathetic repo man with a conscience (“On Sleepless Roads”) to the deceptively genteel upper middle class suburbanite with a warped sense of fatherhood and canine love (“A Mean Utility”)—either suffer from some debilitating character flaw or suffer some life-altering calamity and populate a grim universe with little hope for improvement. Incredibly, whether out of sublime optimism or wildly inappropriate perceptions of reality, these characters manage to survive and rationalize their conditions. Davidson’s collection is impressive, in part, because of his uncanny ability to lay bare the grotesque details of these flawed lives while simultaneously weaving powerful stories of twisted redemption. Some sly references within a few of these stories intertwine the characters’ lives (Davidson’s Canada is a small-scale postmodern update of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County), and some of these stories are better than others. But that’s kind of like saying some chocolates in a box of Godiva are better than others—their quality varies by such a small degree that only devouring the entire box will leave you with a sense of its overall excellence. ( )
1 stem jimrgill | Dec 29, 2013 |
All the stories in this collection take place in that cinematic world of down-and-outs where people have to repossess prosthetic limbs for a living to pay their wife's medical bills. It's the kind of hardscrabble, booze-soaked, Oedipal world where Annie Proulx's barren, rigid characters wouldn't feel out of place. The sort of world only middle class liberals can be guilted and titillated into believing exists.

However, the collection keeps its head above the hyper-masculine water by focusing squarely on physical disability and the relationships between humans and animals. In some stories, such as "A Mean Utility," Davidson explores nothing more interesting than the instrumental human/animal relationships we're all used to, but sometimes, "Rocket Ride" in particular, we get the sense that maybe we feel most whole when we're at the mercy of creatures we can't own. Interested to see what the movie does with the disability theme.

Also, I pretty much wish the title story "Rust and Bone," which is about a man trying to make amends for a freak accident he was involved in 15 years before by getting himself gnarled in unsanctioned boxing matches, was the whole book (despite being asked to swallow whoppers like "Mexican fighters often hopped the border on the night they were to fight, winding up at [the fight venue] soaked from the swim and gashed from razor wire, sometimes pursued by feral dogs roaming the lowlands.") ( )
  knownever | Dec 29, 2012 |
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In steel-tipped prose, Craig Davidson conjures up a bleak world populated by hardscrabble pugilists, fighting dogs, sex addicts, and others held captive by their own bad luck and bad decisions. Visceral and with a dark urgency, Rust and Bone is a strikingly original debut.

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