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Controlled Burn: Stories of Prison, Crime, and Men
by Scott Wolven

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0743260112

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

Controlled Burn: Stories of Prison, Crime, and Men
Scott Wolven
Scribner, Apr 2005, $22.00
ISBN: 0743260112

These insightful thirteen tales takes a deep look at mostly men considered by society as undesirables (the most positive rank) or throw-away the key dangerous cretins and a few women support characters whose hearts petrified years ago. The anthology is broken into two sections: The Northeast Kingdom (the prison population impacts election districts so without further delay needs politically to remain high) and The Fugitive West (justice is a fictionalized eastern term). Though seemingly different in austerity, the two sections share in common life in prison although some of the jails are not state or privately outsourced facilities, but segregated from the norm by alcohol or drug abuse or personal violence. This isolation from positive family values lead to replacement anti-values from an opposite pole predator peer pack. Even the good guys become tainted by the overwhelming subtractive nature of this sub-populace that Scott Wolven stars in his short stories. Perhaps the three strikes your out crowd should spend time with some of Mr. Wolven’s creations, antagonists who will show the outcome not the output of understanding what crime is worth incarceration. These thirteen stories are deep, thought provoking and exciting as Mr. Wolven touches a nerve with a strong series of lead losers who you want to avoid even though the reader can’t forget them.

Harriet Klausner

 

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