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Salsa Nocturna: Stories

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  249 ratings  ·  67 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 Mala ...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published July 13th 2012 by Crossed Genres Publications (first published July 9th 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,115)
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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
Zainea Bogdan
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
K. Williams
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!
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 aliv ...more
Beth Cato
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
Natalia Rox
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.
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 N ...more
Nastassian Brandon
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
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.
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 e ...more
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
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
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.
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
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
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:

This short story collection was so damn good I'm still having trouble processing the awesome.

The stories in Salsa Nocturna form an arc in which several characters (some living, some dead, and one half-dead) engage with supernatural forces ranging from ghost mammoths to lifeforce-gobbling dolls. The titular story is incredibly moving, and the other pieces in this book are by turns funny, action-packed, and ominous. Best of all, the cast is incredibly diverse in al
M. Fenn
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
Michelle McGill-Vargas
Jul 30, 2014 Michelle McGill-Vargas rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jose Vargas; Carolyn Williams
Shelves: urban-fantasy
"Salsa Nocturna" is a collection of short ghost stories that can be stand-alone, but are connected by the main protagonists in each. I loved it. It was refreshing to read stories with characters who look like me, sound like me, characters that have the same reactions to situations that I would, characters who make the same kinds of observations I would had I been in their exact same situation. Though the stories can be stand-alone, I attempted to read the title story "Salsa Nocturna" first (it w ...more
Clare Fitzgerald
I picked up Daniel José Older’s Salsa Nocturna pretty much the second I put down Half-Resurrection Blues, although I probably should have picked it up earlier, considering it was published a few years ago and I bought it in July. But I am a philistine and am terrible about actually reading short story collections, which is dumb, because I often enjoy them when I do pick them up.

One thing that is particularly fun in this short story collection is that they are all connected: They all take place i
I know I (more or less) constantly bitch about the first-person voice, but all the stories in Salsa Nocturna feature it and never once did I feel the need to roll my eyes or groan. Older knows what the fuck he's doing. Each narrator felt distinct and real, no mean feat when everyone's saying "I" and most stories only a few pages.

Also? It was a relief to read about the New York City I grew up in, the minority-majority New York City ignored by Woody Allen, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, et al. The n
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.
The book starts off looking like a collection of short stories, but before long you start to see the connections between the different stories. Soon you realize you're reading an episodic novel.

Salsa Nocturna is about the afterlife and supernatural in New York City. The most common POV character, arguably the main character of the story, is Carlos Delacruz. Carlos works for the NY Council of the Dead, but he's not quite dead himself. As the recipient (victim?) of a botched resurrection, he's hal
Jul 17, 2012 Hafidha rated it 4 of 5 stars
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!
Jon Knight
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.
Ok, so... I've been trying to diversify my reading by trying out books by authors of color, women, and genres I have not previously enjoyed. I found this book by listening to a podcast on bookriot that included some very interesting interviews with Mr. Older. He sounds enlightened with a great perspective on racial diversity and how to open a dialogue with readers about experiences outside of the one that they themselves inhabit. I was so impressed with the interview and his passionate character ...more
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).
Stephanie Hammer
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.
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 author of Half-Resurrection Blues (book one of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series from Penguin’s Roc Books) and the upcoming Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015). Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. He co-edited the anthology Long ...more
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“A scar isn't about the injury, it's about the healing.” 1 likes
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