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Kirk Alex Books In Order

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Publication Order of Chance “Cash” Register Working Stiff Books

Blood, Sweat and Chump Change (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nonentity (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Paycheck to Paycheck (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Loopy Soupy's Motley Crew (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Eddie “Doc” Holiday Books

Hush-Hush Holiday (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hubba-Hubba Holiday (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hollow-Point Holiday (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hard Noir Holiday (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of L.A. Cab Exploits Books

Working the Hard Side of the Street (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Love, Lust & Murder Books

Publication Order of Lustmord: Anatomy of a Serial Butcher Books

Publication Order of PI Choo-Choo Buschitski Books

Bone (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Angel--the Crazy Woman (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Case of the Vengeful Vixen (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Kind of Client (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hard Bitch (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Death in the Fast Lane (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Walking Time Bomb (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Ziggy Popper at Large (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Written by Kirk Alex

Have been at this writing game for a few decades now. Love of/for books came at a young age for me, probably way back when I was around 13 or 14, and am glad it did, because writing/reading saved my butt way too many times to count. How so? Well, you get your heart shredded a few times and there you are, hanging on by your fingertips; or else you got no money to buy food or make rent, no car, living in a dump of a furnished room.The way it was for me for many many years while living in hellish Los Angeles.

What are the choices? Take yourself out? Drugs? Heavy booze? Sure, did my share of drinking, but it was beer all those years. Drugs? Had no use for drugs. Life was tough enough. Saw what drugs did to a few pals while in the jungles of Nam. So what kept me going? Books. Writing. And running.

I can recall all through the ’80s, a decade of it, just hanging on, barely, after a bad breakup with a woman I’d given everything the ol’ heart had to give. And so instead of picking up a gun & blowing my brains out, I’d pick up a play by the amazing Eugene O’Neil or August Strindberg, or the trio of incredible volumes of short stories by Charles Bukowski: Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness, Notes of a Dirty Old Man and South of No North. Christ; Buk might’ve saved my life; that and running.

The thing I had in common with the great Bukowski was the effed-up upbringing; serious beatings. For about 13 1/2 years, in my case. But with Buk, man, he makes you laugh and damned near forget your troubles & thoughts of suicide. Strindberg made me laugh as well. And O’Neil? Lifted me in other ways. His own life had been hell for sure. By the time I was finished reading Long Day’s Journey Into Night it felt like I’d had the wind punched out of me. Recall just sitting there, gasping.

This is where the great literature comes from: pain. Saved my ass for sure. Made me realize that ours was not the only messed up family. Reading works by the greats can & will help; way better than heavy drinking or turning to drugs or harming the innocent. And lest I forget, I was a runner for decades, 6 to 10 miles a day, about five days a week, while putting in the long hours as a cabbie on weekends. I’d go in on a Friday night & work on through the weekend, non-stop, until late Monday night. You did what you had to; in order to buy time to write. That was the most important thing: finding time to write. Get it down; get the words down.

Of course, there were other dead-end, blue-collar gigs over the decades: factory worker/plant nursery/warehouse shipping clerk/bus driver/ printshop gofer/parking lot striper/bread delivery at night/meat plant packer/shelf stocker/apartment painter, et al.

When I lived in Chicago, L.A., and elsewhere, that’s how I got through the rough and painful times: reading, running & writing. And of course the great jazz tunes. The greatest music by far, ever invented, no matter what the late John Lennon had to say about it, and no matter what Bukowski had to mutter about it. It’s not classical, it’s not rock, it’s not country; it’s jazz. All the way.

Instead of boring you with a bunch of additional background info, how about if I mention a few films/singers/musicians and books/authors I have enjoyed over the years. Am an Elvis Presley fan from way back. Always liked James Brown, Motown, Carmen McRae, Eva Cassidy, Meat Loaf, Booker T. & the MGs, CCR. Doors are also a favorite, but usually, it comes down to the awesome jazz artists.

Some novels that rate high on my list: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Hunger by Knut Hamsun; Street Players by Donald Goines (a street noir masterpiece, a work of art, & other novels by the late awesome Goines) Pimp by Iceberg Slim; If He Hollers Let Him Go by the incredible Chester Himes. (Note: Himes at his best was as good as Hemingway at his best. But of course, due to racism in the great US of A, he was given short-shrift. Had to move to France to be treated with respect. Kind of sad.

Am white by the way, but injustice is injustice & I feel a need to point it out. There were so many geniuses of color who were mistreated and taken advantage of. Breaks your effing heart. I have done what I have been able to support talent (no matter what the artist’s skin color was/is) over the years by purchasing records & books by talented folks, be they white/black/Hispanic/Asian, whatever. Like I said: Talent is talent, is the way I have always felt. The arts (in all their forms) keep us as humans civilized, hopefully). Anyway, I need to get off the soap box.

Most of the novels by Mark SaFranko have left their mark––in a good way (like Lounge Lizard and Hating Olivia). Mr. SaFranko’s God Bless America is one of the finest memoirs I have ever read. Right up there with Ham on Rye by Buk. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway is one I have read more than once. A Farewell to Arms, also by Ernie, is probably the love story that had the greatest impact on me than any other of its type. Mooch by Dan Fante (& other novels of his) hit me pretty hard. Post Office by Charles Bukowski to this day I still consider masterpiece. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath was/is unforgettable. I already mentioned the late, great Eugene O’Neil. I say to anyone interested in reading hard-hitting plays & interested in better understanding what we as human beings are about, get Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Touch of the Poet (& some of his other plays).

And then, of course, there is the incredible Ferdinand Celine. There is no excuse for his antisemitic/pro Nazi tracts during World War II, but man, for this book lover, there is no denying his Journey to the End of the Night is by far the funniest (as well as the greatest novel) this scribe has ever read.

Talk about Noir? What tops The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain? For my money there is only one gent: UK genius Derek Raymond (birth name: Robin Arthur Cook) and his Factory Crime novels. Hands down, my favorite crime writer ever. His I Was Dora Suarez will leave you shaken. I know it fried my brain & remans with me lo these many years later. I don’t think anyone comes close & sincerely believe he is superior to the overrated Raymond Chandler & his tiresome similes any day of the week.
For horror, there is Jack Ketchum; Edgar Allan Poe. Nobody’s Angel by underrated Jack Clark hits hard. The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester is another tale of “horror” that will seriously mess with your head.

When it comes to filmmakers, I’d say Akira Kurosawa is at the top of my list. Ihiru, Yojimbo, 7 Samurai, Stray Dog remain favorites, but then just about anything this cinema auteur did was incredible.

Want to talk horror flicks? Maniac by William Lustig and Joe Spinnell; original Night of the Living Dead; original Texas Chainsaw Massacre; original When a Stranger Calls. The Butcher by Claude Chabrol is top-notch, but then thrillers were his metier.

A Man Escaped by Bresson is a non-horror I’d recommend. Enjoyed the Japanese Zatoichi action flicks over the years. Tokyo Story, another non-horror, by Ozu is a gem of a family drama I’d urge anyone to see . . . as well as check out many other books, films and jazz musicians like the amazing tenor sax player Gene Ammons/ Sonny Rollins/Chet Baker/Jack Sheldon/Stan Getz/Paul Desmond/Art Pepper; singers like the incomparable Sarah Vaughan/Shirley Horn/Dion Warwick/Barbara Lewis/Al Green/Elmore James/Lightnin’ Hopkins . . . to give you some idea.

However, these days though, tv does not exist at all for me, nor do I care for most movies, in that I would much rather pick up a well-written book. I get more of a kick from reading than I do watching some actor pretend to be something he is not. Having said that, I confess that as a young man I did my share of wasting time watching the idiot box and spent way too much money going to the flicks. But those days are long gone, in that there is no interest in movies (be they cranked out by the Hollywood machine, or elsewhere).

Final conclusion when it comes to celluloid? Movies are nothing more than a big waste of time (no matter who makes them). Reading feeds the brain, while movies puts the brain to sleep. There it is.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kirk Alex

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