Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Review: The Ghosts of Ragged Ass Gulch by Bill Pronzini

The Publisher's Summary:
Ravaged by time and abandoned by the people who once flocked there in search of golden nuggets, Ragged-Ass Gulch is a ghost town. What’s left is a small, proud, and close pack of people who aren’t looking for change. But change seems to be afoot as several mysterious fires plague the town. That’s where the Nameless Detective comes in….

The Ghosts of Ragged Ass Gulch came through as a "free" download for audible members. Most of the freebies don't appeal to me and I never try them. I finished The Map of Time yesterday so that puts me squarely between books at the moment (I'm secretly hoping that my advance copy of Sarah Jio's The Bungalow arrives in my mailbox tonight) so I figured I'd give this short story a try.

I'm reminded why (in general) short stories don't appeal to me. With a runtime of 1 hour 23 minutes there's not a lot of potential time and pages for a writer to build characters while developing a storyline. This was most certainly true for The Ghosts of Ragged Ass Gulch - a private detective investigating arson, superficial towns-people and a village idiot. The above reference ghosts are not the supernatural kind, rather they are the abandoned buildings that remain standing after the gold dried up and the town shut down. This same story might play well as a law and order episode, but as a short story the result was flat and fleeting.

The Ghosts of Ragged Ass Gulch was written by Bill Pronzini and published in audio format by BBC Audio 2011in conjunction with AudioGO. Narration of The Ghosts of Ragged Ass Gulch was by Nick Sullivan. The original publication date was 1982 by the Pronzini-Muller Family Trust. The Ghosts of Ragged Ass Gulch has an audible release date of March 2nd, 2011 and a runtime of 1 hour 23 minutes.

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