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Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,691 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
A ferocious debut that puts Frank Bill's southern Indiana on the literary map next to Cormac McCarthy's eastern Tennessee and Daniel Woodrell's Missouri Ozarks

Crimes in Southern Indiana is the most blistering, vivid, flat-out fearless debut to plow into American literature in recent years. Frank Bill delivers what is both a wake-up call and a gut punch. Welcome to heartlan
ebook, 288 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by FSG Originals (first published 2011)
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sorry, canada. i know i just gave tony burgess the title of "sick fuck," * but i am going to be taking that crown back now, and giving it to frank bill. oh, god - what is that shit clotted all over it?? tony burgess, you sick sick fuck. well done.

this book is...descriptive.

this is another one of those short story collections that is more or less a deconstructed novel. the title of this novel could easily be here is a list of people who died horrible deaths in one place over a number of years su
Feb 22, 2012 Kemper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kemper by: Trudi
Is there anybody left alive in Indiana by the end of this book?

Frank Bill delivers a brutal series of short stories about murder, rape, blood feuds, pot dealing, meth dealing, dog fighting, revenge, incest and the occasional shell shocked veteran cutting off a couple of ears. You know, just another Tuesday in the American heartland.

What I particularly liked about this is that Bill uses the stories about various people over a couple of generations to give you a complete picture of an area. By the
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Though this is definitely a smart, often quite funny, and occasionally feelsy-makey collection of short stories about one of my favorite subjects in literature - them there classy, cousin-fucking, meth-addicted, wife-beating, date-raping, PBR-slugging racist rednecks - I think it's possible that I've actually exceeded my monthly quota for hick lit, and this book's place in my memory will be paying the price for it. And honestly? I don't even feel all that guilty about it considering these storie ...more
Paul Bryant
If you ever wake up and find yourself in one of Frank Bill's stories, you better start praying. You got about five minutes left before something bad happens to you. There will be bone fragments. There will be catherine wheels of pain. Howling. Retching. One thing there won't be is mercy. This is not life as it is lived, this is death as it is died. In Indiana. There's enough stuff for 15 novels crammed into this handful of stories and when you read one you feel like you pulled your foot out of a ...more
This book ::flails helplessly:: How do I begin to review these raw and ruthless stories and do them justice? I probably can't ladies and gents, but I want to try goddammit. Frank Bill's collection of crazies and crimes in southern Indiana deserves that much at least.

This is prose that sings -- not with the sweetness and harmony of a Mama Cass, but rather a whiskey-soaked growl and feverish screech of a Janis Joplin. It's jagged, fragmented, and toothsome; at any point ready and able to tear a c
May 16, 2014 Mara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
The last time I read a book set in Indiana it was about The Greatest Town in America (First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity). Throw in Hoosiers, the occasional Pacers game, and a high-school production of The Music Man I saw when I was, at most, ten, and you've pretty much covered the extent of my exposure to the state. So, to say that Frank Bill's Crimes in Southern Indiana was a change of pace would be, at the very least, putting it mildly.

My pre Frank Bill Indiana

Looking at the picture of a young Frank Bill pro
The author Frank Bill delivers a lethal injection of literal pulp visceral darkness into your bloodstream.
He takes you to hell and back with these characters and stories.
Written in the same vein as Daniel Woodrell and Donald Ray Pollock. The stories are gritty, at times shocking and brutal, vignettes of things that should remain as fiction. Written with short sharp no words wasted, visceral lines of prose. The stories are at times connected with each other as some characters are featured in ot
After the first three stories (which will quickly sift out the Eat-Pray-Love lightweights), it's hard not to think of a Tarantino movie. Murder, rape, revenge, drugs, guns (lots of guns), dogs, meth labs, pot, booze, hard men and hard women, living in a hard land during a merciless time (the 1980s to the present). Characters in previous stories show up again (though in this grim landscape, you only have so many bites at the apple), as Frank Bill populates (and de-populates) his little blood soak ...more
May 31, 2015 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This book is to short stories as Howard Stern was to Phil Donahue. It is shocking, offensive, lewd, nasty, bloody, violent, crude, sexist, abusive (animals, people, families), and any remaining adjectives that evoke disgust. A drug induced slice of America I never care to go to........ever. The state of Indiana should probably sue the author for libel. Whatever tourism dollars that would have come to this part of our great country are sure to dry up provided the traveler has ever read even one o ...more
Feb 28, 2013 Owen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone (but specifically people that can handle slightly graphic and gratuitous violence)
Recommended to Owen by: karen
This is without a doubt the best book of short stories I have ever read. It has plenty of rednecks and meth. And violence. Think Breaking Bad, (I don't really know any redneck type shows. Maybe parts of The Walking Dead?), meets Nikita. Seriously, here is a tidbit from the story "Old Testament Wisdom":

But when the girl swung the tin door open none of that would matter. Because she was carrying on the wisdom. And watching from the four-by-four, Billy Hines could forgive himself and her grandfathe
Apr 29, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
23/4 - I've never read anything like it, just as the inside front cover predicted. It's nothing like what I was expecting either. It doesn't really have a blub anywhere on the book, so from the title and front cover image I was expecting either true crime or horror revolving around isolated farms owned by families of inbred yokels who practice cannibalism on the unlucky who break down in their hunting territory. Crimes in Southern Indiana is nothing like either of those possibilities. I've read ...more
March 2013
Josephine's feet found her unlaced boots, disregarded the folding wheelchair leaned against the wall. She wheeled her oxygen tank into the next room, where Able's body fell into the living room wall. She lined the pistol up with his chest, her grip unsteady as her vision. She pulled the trigger.
("These Old Bones," p. 16)
After his two sons disappear (in a drug deal gone wrong), Able Kirby sells his granddaughter to the Hill Clan to pay for his wife's cancer medications, but Josephine a
Aug 05, 2012 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unrelentingly tedious hillbilly pulp. Like the bloody bits of Tarantino but not the talky chunks? Want to like Woodrell but find him too high-falutin? C'mon down! Two-dimensional and one-dimensional characters trapped in a setting that's way more cartoonish than Gotham or Metropolis. Reminiscent of the kid in the creative writing workshop who can't write his way out of a short story without a death or beating. Contrived stabs at shock value, with half-baked stories like "Granpappy sells lil gran ...more
Dec 30, 2011 J.D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You might try to comfort yourself by thinking that Frank Bill's exaggerating for dramatic effect in these short, tightly written tales of country meth addicts, domestic brutality, unpredictably vicious rednecks, and rural ultra-violence. You might try to tell yourself that things this grim and lurid could never happen in real life. But I can tell you, they do.

This is not a book for the faint of heart; it's pure distilled redneck noir, and there are few happy endings. But the quality of the wri
Richard Thomas
Sep 22, 2011 Richard Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[This review was originally published at The Nervous Breakdown.]

When you think of places where crime lurks, locations where you should keep the car rolling through stop signs, where you never stop to ask for directions, a few names may pop into your head. Maybe you think of Detroit or East St. Louis, Baltimore or Miami. It’s time to add Corydon, Indiana, to that list, as well as the entire southern part of the state.

In Frank Bill’s violent, gut-wrenching, and heartfelt collection of short storie
Nov 15, 2015 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, he thought, I’s a son of a bitch.

Wow, my heartrate is up having finished this book. These stories are wild, violent, and bloody. All madness and mayhem everywhere.

The stories are short and well-contained. I liked how certain characters appeared (or were mentioned) in several stories, playing the part of victim in one and as a perpetrator in the other, tying these separate stories together.

And the dogs....the dogs. Sigh. I read through all the violence done to and by the humans without
Apr 05, 2012 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Crimes in Southern Indiana sounded like my kind of book. 'Blasts off like a rocket ship and hits as hard as an axe handle to the side of the head'*

It is frenetic. Its fierce, violent and bloody. But it is also repetitious & one dimensional. Nothing meaningful transpires, there is no pleasure, not even of the sadistic kind, the characters forget to want in the taking.

After the works of Donald Ray Pollock & Daniel Woodrell, I guess I'm spoiled for the pulpy end of the genre, but given this
Sep 20, 2011 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’d just finished reading Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs when I started reading a lot of Twitter posts talking about a kick ass collection of stories. My lack of impulse control did me a favour and convinced me to buy it now. Bugger! The book is not released in the UK for about four years (months but I have little patience) and the UK cover doesn’t appeal to me as much. Over to I go. After adding international four week shipping it works out less cash than buying the UK version a ...more
Mar 05, 2012 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alan by: Jacob
These stories are like the first sentence:Pitchfork and Darnel burst through the scuffed motel door like two barrels of buckshot. The prose is right in your face and doesn't let up. Speeding into the gravel curve, Wayne lost control of the Ford Courier, stomped the gas instead of the brake. (Another opening sentence).

Karen's just reviewed this and I commented I was surprised there was anyone left in Southern Indiana such is the killing that's going on. Some of it is accidental, but mostly it's p
Sep 16, 2011 Gordon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's amazing the characters of this region managed to live long enough to appear in their stories, given the rate at which they're bludgeoned and exterminated so indiscriminately. The first couple tales will tell you right away whether this is for you or not. Full of vengeance, cheatin', meth, dogfighting, etc. — hard-livin' folk playing their dealt hands the only way they know how, past always nipping at their doors. It's very consistent, and though the tales get and certain descriptions get a ...more
Steve Weddle
Sep 09, 2011 Steve Weddle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wanted a Drive-By Truckers song put to the music of fiction, then this is your book.

Brutal and honest, Frank Bill delivers punch after punch of folks doing some nasty stuff to get by.

Tough to pick favorites here, as the book is just over 250 pages of flaming kerosene, but "Cold, Hard Love," "A Coon Hunter's Noir," and "Rough Company" are clear standouts.

If you read Bill's stories in PLAYBOY magazine and wanted to see more of him, then this is it. Get this book.
Nigel Bird
Apr 08, 2012 Nigel Bird rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To quote Donald Ray Pollock on this: `Good Lord, where the hell did this guy come from?'

Frank Bill describes his work more succinctly and directly than I'm about to when he says at his blog, `House Of Grit', `I don't waste words, I write them.'

In `Crimes In Southern Indiana' we have a book to cherish.

Essentially a collection of short stories, the work grabs hold harder with each page read.

Stories overlap as characters and histories reappear in new situations, the circles becoming tighter and tig
Oct 14, 2011 Brando rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I somehow stumbled across this book while in B&N looking for a Warren Buffett book. I probably won the award for oddest combination of purchases that day. After picking up Warren, I walked past the new releases and:

(1) the cover art for this book initially caught my eye.
(2) the title piqued my interest.
(3) the author's name bestowed a sense of confidence that he must be a credible source on such subjects....(and made me chuckle).
(4) the author's bio stated that he actually lives in Southern
Wow, more hillbilly noir. This guy makes Woodrell's Bayou Trilogy look like Glen Beck's Christmas Sweater. And he has the best cover--ever. My coworker handed me this book, laughing, saying that he knew it was for me, just by looking at the cover.
Who knew that there are El Salvadorian gangs running the meth trade out there? Or that coon hounds were used in dog fighting (my grandpa was a well-known coon hound breeder and trainer; I'm not entirely sure I believed this part of the stories). But who
Crimes in Southern Indiana is a book filled with short stories by Frank Bill. The characters in his stories are a hard-scrabble people who drink tins of Fall City for breakfast washed down with an eye popping amount of crystal meth. They solve their own problems usually with fists, guns, coon dogs, knives, or running you down with their truck or a combination of the above mentioned. Don’t mess around with the Southern Indiana of Frank Bill’s making they will put you in a bad bad way; maybe even ...more
No Name
There is blood bubbling up to the surface of the ground from all the bodies slaughtered and left for dead in a similar fashion to the Einsatzgruppen in Nazi Germany. Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories is a very violent book to say the least, but I loved every minute. Frank Bill created a world where no one comes out alive and everyone suffers cruelty beyond measure. I am from the Heartland, but not Frank Bill’s Heartland. My mind was swimming by the time I finished the book so I wrote down all ...more
Feb 21, 2013 Rupert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a big disappointment. Not only did it come highly recommended by my brother who I usually agree with on books and movies, but it had a rave blurb from Donald Ray Pollock, whose Knockemstiff is my favorite book I've read in the last few months. Unlike Knockemstiff or other rural gothic books like Winter's Bone or early Cormac McCarthy, this book doesn't bother much with creating characters with any depth before brutalizing them.
This isn't a study of real people malformed by a hars
Sheldon Compton
Jan 16, 2015 Sheldon Compton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best story in this collection was "The Old Mechanic". Without the rapid fire killing present in most of the others, this story explored the idea of redemption and trauma in a way that had heart, I mean real heart. And, further, Frank Bill could have handled the telling of a broken family at the hands of an alcoholic and abusive father with the same worn out tools we've all seen, but he worked hard with this story and it shows.

The stories throughout the rest of the collection result in my at
Gaylord Dold
Sep 18, 2014 Gaylord Dold rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bill, Frank. Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2011 (272pp.$15paper)

“Pulp” entered the literary lexicon in 1920 with the founding of Black Mask Magazine by the legendary George Jean Nathan (with partner H.L. Mencken, believe it or not). In Black Mask, hacks like Carroll John Daly found an outlet for their hard-boiled crime stories, as did future superstars like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, who moved pulp away from its shallow roots into a true Am
I wanted to love this book. It sounded like my kind of thing: gun-running, bare-knuckle boxing, dog-fights, meth labs, hard-drinking and violent characters and all sorts of other depravity. Also, Donald Ray Pollock was full of praise for this writer's debut short-story collection, as a fellow writer of the ill-titled 'hick-lit' genre. Donald Ray Pollock, in my opinion, is the greatest writer to have emerged out of America in the past ten years. His debut short-story collection Knockemstiff is on ...more
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Stories of hard cruel lives 12 41 Aug 20, 2013 06:48AM  
UW-Parkside Library: Crimes in Southern Indiana 1 5 Dec 18, 2012 11:05AM  
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