Everybody Pays: Stories (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Andrew Vachss
"Vachss is a contemporary master."--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Vachss' writing is like a dark roller coaster ride of fear, love and hate." --The Times- Picayune
A hit man defies the confines of a life sentence to avenge his sister's batterer. An immaculately dressed man hires a street gang to extract his daughter from a Central American prison, for reasons as mysterious as they are deadly. A two-bit graffiti artist with a taste for Nazi-ganda finds himself face-to-face with three punks out to make a mark of their own--literally--with a tattoo needle.
From neo-noir master Andrew Vachss comes Everybody Pays, 38 white-knuckle rides into a netherworld of pederasts and prostitutes, stick-up kids and fall guys--where private codes of crime and punishment pulsate beneath a surface system of law and order, and our moral compass spins frighteningly out of control. Here is the street-grit prose that has earned Vachss comparisons to Chandler, Cain, and Hammett--and the ingenious plot twists that transform the double-cross into an expression of retribution, the dark deed into a thing of beauty. Electrifying and enigmatic, Everybody Pays is a sojourn into the nature of evil itself--a trip made all the more frightening by its proximity to our front doorstep.
"Vachss [is] in the first rank of contemporary American crime writers."--The Kansas City Star
"Andrew Vachss has become a cult favorite, and for good reason." --Cosmopolitan
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Everybody Pays, September 18, 2002
from Columbus, Ohio USA
If you're a friend of mine, and you're not familiar with Andrew Vachss' writing, I usually suggest one of his collections of short stories to start with -- either *Born Bad* or *Everybody Pays*. That's because I consistently hear only one of two reactions to his work. Either it's something along the lines of "too dark," "too intense," "too scary," "too brutal," or "too *real*" . . . or it's "Has he written any more books?" Clearly, I fall into the latter category. For those that fall into the former, with short stories, you can take it five to ten pages at a time. Because Vachss' writing *is* "too real." And that makes it all the more important for us to read. His research is his life, and all of the brutal, ugly corners of this earth he has been -- from the midnight human meat markets of New York City to the genocidal killing fields of Biafra -- confronting evils few people dare to even acknowledge voluntarily. But for all of the darkness, in his short stories, Vachss always seems to find some beauty -- an orchid amongst the spent shell casings. Vachss is a warrior poet, on a mission to save children from abuse. His sword is his writing, and his haiku is the short story. If the purpose of writing is to communicate one's experience of reality so accurately that the reader feels like he or she has actually experienced it, then Vachss is one of the most skilled writers of all time. And if you liked *Born Bad*, you will believe he has perfected the art of the short story after reading *Everybody Pays*. So, read Vachss to be entertained, scared, intellectually stimulated, angered, inspired to take action, enlightened, strengthened, nourished, or healed. Read it simply because it is great writing. Read it to be *educated* -- you will learn more from one of his books than from a whole semester of criminology courses. Read his work for all of the reasons there are to read. But *do* read it. And then *try* to turn away from the reality it reveals.