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Salsa Nocturna: Stories

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  416 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
A 300 year-old story collector enlists the help of the computer hacker next door to save her dying sister. A half-resurrected cleanup man for Death s sprawling bureaucracy faces a phantom pachyderm, doll-collecting sorceresses and his own ghoulish bosses. Gordo, the old Cubano that watches over the graveyards and sleeping children of Brooklyn, stirs and lights another ...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published July 13th 2012 by Crossed Genres Publications (first published July 9th 2012)
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Jan 08, 2014 Roewoof rated it really liked it
This is the first time that I've read a series of stories taking place in NYC written by an author who lives, and experiences the same New York that I grew up in. Normally, the New York City that's portrayed in literature is through the eyes of the white artists that come here, seeping into neighborhoods as they're being gentrified, as the poor (and people of color) are being pushed out. It's a subject of rage for a lot of us who have lived here all of our lives, who have seen the rich result of ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Voice, Voice, VOICE! If you want to understand what a writer's voice is, read Daniel Jose Older's Salsa Nocturna and consider yourself schooled. I held off reading the book for awhile because I don't do horror or creepy. But that is not what this collection is. Salsa Nocturna is a metaphor for life. It's a scratch that has to be itched. It's a scab, and as one of my favorite lines from the book states, "... a scar isn't about the injury, it's about the healing." We either walk everyday life ...more
Kenesha Williams
Jul 16, 2012 Kenesha Williams rated it really liked it
I only gave this a 4 because I didn't want it to end! I have so many questions and unresolved feelings! But I tweeted the author and he's already working on a sequel, YAY!
Zainea Bogdan
Jun 11, 2012 Zainea Bogdan rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I'd like to start off by saying that I received this book as an advanced reader copy through goodread's givaways system, so I'd like to give my thanks to goodreads for the opportunity and to Crossed Genres Publications for sending me this copy from the US all the way to Romania.

I'd also like to mention that the number of books I've read in English (as opposed to translations in my mother tongue) is quite small, so I do apologize if I seem overly enthusiastic about some of the things I'll talk ab
Oct 16, 2015 Sunil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2015
After reading Half-Resurrection Blues , I was very interested in Salsa Nocturna, which promised even more stories set in that world, many of them starring Carlos Delacruz. And it delivered! Like the half-dead, half-alive Carlos himself, Salsa Nocturna straddles the line between short story collection and link novel, becoming more than the sum of its parts.

Having read Daniel José Older's novel, I came at this book with more knowledge of the world and its workings than the original readers (who m
Beth Cato
May 22, 2012 Beth Cato rated it really liked it
I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

These interlocking paranormal short stories revolve around a unique cast of mostly-Hispanic characters including Carlos, a half-dead detective working for the Council of the Dead, and Gordo, a rotund musician. The characters are colorful and lifelike, even if many of them are dead (or in the case of Carlos, half-dead). The dialogue is brilliant. Older has an obvious ear for accents and speech, as I felt like I was truly listen
Sep 14, 2014 ItsNasB rated it it was amazing
This book is the best introduction into the genre of urban fantasy any reader could have.

It is clear that Daniel himself has his feet planted steadily (no shade to Carlos- get the book to get it) on both sides of the world of the living and that of the dead. He ushers us into the world of Salsa Nocturna so realistically and seamlessly that I was left feeling like this was the norm. The best part about the way the writer tells his stories is that while there are the usual ghostly characters who h
A series of short stories all focused on a central cast of characters - people and/or ghosts and/or others bordering on the supernatural, all of them in New York. Some of them interact with one another; others do not. Most of them are trying to fight evil or misguided supernatural entities. All of them have pretty heavy-handed sarcasm and irreverence while they do it. Think of a great cop story and cross it with a story about ghost hunters, set to a Latin rhythm, and you've nearly got it.

I posit
Natalia Rox
Feb 02, 2015 Natalia Rox rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this collection. I got it on audio and the author did an amazing job narrating.

I was immediately sucked into the world and I began to connect with the characters. I am now on to the novel Half Resurrection Blues.

Fans of Urban Fantasy need to read these stories.
Dec 22, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Daniel José Older wins 2015 in my book -- I read Half Resurrection Blues, Shadowshaper and listened to Salsa Nocturna and they were all absolutely OUTSTANDING. Anxiously awaiting all future works.
M. Fenn
May 22, 2014 M. Fenn rated it it was amazing
I didn’t win this book as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer. I won it as a backer of Crossed Genres’ Long Hidden kickstarter!

I love winning free books, especially books as good as Salsa Nocturna.

Salsa Nocturna is a collection of supernatural noir short stories written by Daniel José Older. Characters and locations overlap (they all take place in New York City), but you can read any of them and feel grounded in each tale’s part of the circle. But read them all and more things click into place.

I’m not
Jun 24, 2012 Leesa rated it it was amazing
This was such a great collection of stories. Just before I started reading this book, I was thinking about short stories and series books and thinking that it would be great to combine the two. Daniel Jose Older did exactly this.

All the stories are told in first person, and it's not always easy to tell when the narrator is male, female, young, old, alive, dead, or half dead. Carlos and Gordo are two of the more prominent characters and I'm a little in love with both of them.

Carlos is half dead
May 30, 2013 Sabrina rated it really liked it
Fiction that dances.

It is no surprise that Older, a musician, writes fiction that dances. The cadences of his dialogue and the rhythm with which he paces the action in each of the pieces in this remarkable short story collection are the hallmark of someone who knows when to check the beat, when to riff in solo, and when to cut loose so we, as readers, can bust a move along with his characters.

I'm not a New Yorker, so I don't know if the city Older depicts is genuine, but it sure feels that way.
Aaron T.
Aug 27, 2012 Aaron T. rated it it was amazing
What started out as a literary mission fueled by lust for an extremely beautiful author became an adventure of other worldly proportions that I never would have imagined! Salsa Nocturna is the most entertaining and “laugh-out-loud funny” book I have read this year. Daniel Jose Older has done an amazing job of leading a typically uninformed reader, like me, through an intricate maze of hilarious post-death, street-level antics and shenanigans all the while doing a remarkable job of subliminally ...more
I cannot recall a single story I didn’t absolutely love in Salsa Nocturna. Each and every one is chock full of the raw emotion, tenderness, humor, and humanity that I have come to expect from Daniel Jose Older's work. One thing I found lacking in his first novel, Half Resurrection Blues, was the connection with its characters. Don't get me wrong; the characters in HRB were a joy to read about, but so much of the novel was spent focusing on Carlos, I never felt truly connected to them. In Salsa ...more
Meanwhile, I'm not even halfway through the first story and I'm already giggling my ass off and jonesing to re-read Half-Resurrection Blues and anxiously tapping my foot for Shadowshaper.


I love how this was a collection of short stories AND its own novel--it's like Louise Erdrich but not--and it makes me want to re-read HRB even harder. Dare I say, it managed to have even spookier moments--the kind that gave me...maybe not quite nightmares, but fascinating creepy dreams (that's
Sep 09, 2012 Don rated it really liked it
An enjoyable mash-up of the cult TV show good vs. evil, the anime series Bleach and Kekkaishi, with a bit of Rod Serling's Night Gallery, all filtered through the lens of Older's NYC. Anything good about those series is done twice as well here; same could be said about the flaws, though. "Forgive Me My Tangents" near the end was sort of like one of those tiny Jack Laird Night Gallery segments -- okay, that might be a bit harsh; Older's writing is better by an order of magnitude. Older's voice is ...more
Great collection with a lot of emotional range within and between stories. Made me wonder if there will be more about Carlos and the crew down the line.

At times, the pacing felt uneven: the timeline between stories and introductions of characters suggested that the stories were independent of one another, but I loved seeing characters from the stories repopulate the same terrain, but from different perspectives. Another favorite thing: the dialogue could be sweet and intimate and ribald and hil
Jul 08, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
Billed as "ghost noir," which seems to be urban fantasy minus the vampires and werewolves, pumped up with moody atmospheric writing you want to pore over a bit rather than rushing through. Seriously, the man can really wield a simile.
It's a little bit - and at the same time not at all - like the Dresden Files without all the things in the Dresden Files that irritate me.
Only creepier.
Exactly what I've been looking for, and I absolutely cannot wait for Half-Resurrection Blues despite the silly lo
Jul 16, 2013 Tammy rated it really liked it
Daniel José Older is a poet. Even if I hadn't enjoyed the subject matter of his book I would have read along happily, devouring words like these:
I'm alive and capable of love, and love is a fucking river. It's never ending and it flows through us, all around us, keeps us alive and decadent, fierce from struggle and genuine in our vulnerability.
But I did enjoy the subject matter, very much. Salsa Nocturna is a collection of linked short stories about ghosts, New York City, magic, music, and lo
Paper Droids
Sep 04, 2012 Paper Droids rated it really liked it
Books like Salsa Nocturna were made to be released on Friday the 13th. This collection of thirteen short stories by Daniel José Older has ghosts, demons, river giants, and creepy dolls. Each story has its own plot line but many of characters cross paths as the encounter the supernatural in present day New York. To celebrate the book release and the international day of all things spooky, here are thirteen of the awesome women in this book.

Complete Review:
Jun 30, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
One of the best story collections I've ever read. I don't usually read horror, sci-fi, or fantasy, but these stories are about love, culture, and the fight to do good in more than one world. I was captivated by the full and robust characters in each story. The themes were intelligent and challenging without being over-bearing. This is a book it'll be hard to stop once you start. Do yourself a favor and carve out an afternoon to dig in.
Apr 19, 2015 Demetria rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
It's been a long time since a book was so good that it made me stay up practically all night just to finish it. This is such a book. Older's pen is sick and the stories are full of charm, laughter, other-worldliness and characters so real, you'll swear you've met them before even though they are ghosts, half-dead people, witches and such. I absolutely adore this collection of stories.
Stephanie Hammer
Oct 03, 2012 Stephanie Hammer rated it it was amazing
magic meets the detective story meets the undead meets racial trauma in the wilds of New York City. These linked stories are told from multiple points of view but always return to the point of view of Carlos half-undead spiritual detective. If you're looking for heroic people of color, here they are. Funny as hell, and lyrical.
Aug 22, 2012 Karin rated it really liked it
While I didn't always find myself longing to get back to reading (probably a personal thing having to do with short stories), I was always glad when I was reading it. The author's use of language and voice, mixed with an interesting premise explored from several directions, made each story good (and a few that gave me the tingles).
Jon Knight
Sep 22, 2012 Jon Knight rated it really liked it
I got this as a reward from the crossed genres Kickstarter and am very glad I did, since it's unlikely I would have found it otherwise (a discussion for another day).

A beautiful mesh of interlinked short stories about love, loss and being - or feeling - invisible and alienated. All through the medium of urban ghost stories. Thoroughly recommended.
Aug 16, 2015 Jean rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jean by: Readercon
Urban fantasy that merits the name. Not a genre romance plus werewolves and/or vampires, and not epic fantasy de-pastoralized to sound hip, but genuine stories of the city, in the noir/detective tradition and in an ethnic milieu (with a side helping of language) that gets contemporary fiction labeled "urban." Beautifully written, too, although in need of a proofreader.
Jul 17, 2012 Hafidha rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hafidha by: Daniel José Older
Overall, totally enjoyed this collection of 13 stories about a half-dead detective in NYC and his cohorts (both living and dead). Sometimes voices of different characters weren't distinct enough for me, but I loved the characters themselves, and their thoughts. I like Older's voice, and look forward to his next book. There are some memorable pieces in here and I want to read more!
Jul 05, 2012 Leonicka rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, fav-adult, diverse
If Danny Phantom and Bleach had a brooding Latino baby in Central Park it would be Salsa Nocturna. The full review is here. (Short version: I liked it. A lot.)
May 19, 2012 Jimena rated it really liked it
I won this book as a first reads giveaway here on Goodreads.

It was a quick and fun read.
I liked the little mysteries and each chapter being a short story with a main character.
I also liked the way characters reappeared in other stories, that way you get to know the characters a bit better.

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Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series from Penguin’s Roc Books and the Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Scholastic, 2015), a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, which was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature, the Andre Norton Award, the Locus, the Mythopoeic Award, the International Latino Book Award, and ...more
More about Daniel José Older...

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“A scar isn't about the injury, it's about the healing.” 5 likes
“There's a jangle to the music of the dead. I mean that certain something that's so happy and so sad at the same time. The notes almost make a perfect harmony, but don't. Then they do but quickly crash into dissonance. They simmer in that sweet in-between rhythm section rattling along all the while. Chords collapse chaotically into one another and just when you think it's gonna spill into total nonsense, it stands back up and comes through sweet as a lullaby on your mami's lips. Songs that'll make people tap their feet and drink melancholically but not realize the twisting genius lurking within until generations later.” 0 likes
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