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Rust and Bone: Stories

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  340 ratings  ·  48 reviews
In steel-tipped prose, Craig Davidson conjures a savage world populated by fighting dogs, prizefighters, sex addicts, and gamblers. In his title story, Davidson introduces an afflicted boxer whose hand never properly heals after a bone is broken. The fighter's career descends to bouts that have less to do with sport than with survival: no referee, no rules, not even gloves ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 17th 2006 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Blake
In as few words as possible, this is "thug lit" genre stuff alternately over- and under- wrought at an undergraduate level that doesn't transcend into literary fiction in the least.

Hey all you midlifers who think dog fighting and porn are edgy and know a story is deep when it delivers on the shitty fathers and vague regret, these seven short Thom Jones and Chuck Palahniuk covers and one unreadable novella (about yet another deadbeat dad) are for you! With all first person narratives and no subte
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Jasmine
What about a 3.5? I love this dude and I'm going to be following his career, but you can tell he's still a young writer and learning how to put a collection together, how to reel it in. I'm squeamish, so some of these stories were tough to stomach, but he's definitely talented writer who's not afraid to grit it up - he just needs to find that balance between being violent/transgressive/whatever for the heck of it and using it to tell the point, between writing in his voice and the narrator's. Ad ...more
Moloch
Altra lettura suggerita dal Corriere della Sera, Ruggine e ossa è l'esordio (ormai datato 2005) del giovane scrittore canadese Craig Davidson: non è un romanzo ma una raccolta di racconti. Avevo già provato a iniziarlo qualche tempo fa, ma non ero riuscita ad andare oltre il primo, non mi aveva "preso"; stavolta finalmente sono arrivata in fondo.

I protagonisti di queste brevi storie compongono una carrellata di sconfitti, nel corpo (la malattia, le ferite, le menomazioni sono un tema ricorrente)
...more
Brett Starr
An outstanding collection of short stories!

"Rust and Bone" is everything that it is hyped up to be, from all good reviews here on Amazon.com, to the praise on the front cover from Chuck Palahniuk (author of "Fight Club"), to the praise on the back cover from Bret Easton Ellis (author of "American Psycho).

There are eight excellent stories in the book, a few related by the most minor factors. The story topics range from boxing, magic, dog fighting, a repo man, a basketball prodigy, a aquarium sh
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A.J.
As a collection, Rust & Bone is problematic. Davidson is deft with a phrase and has his finger on the truth. But this collection of stories featuring washed up boxers, drunks, repo men, amputees and sex addicts begins to strains its credibility. It becomes simply too much.

Any of these stories stands well on its own. The characters are memorable and their stories contain brilliant flashes of humour. But mid-way through the collection, one can't help but feel that Davidson is piling it on too
...more
Jacob
It wasn’t the praise from Chuck Palahniuk on the front cover that made me read this; it was Thom Jones on the back. Their placement should have been reversed: the first few stories in this collection start out echoing the humble voice and style of Jones but quickly degenerate into the weary shock-and-ugh tactics ‘perfected’ by Palahniuk. it gets exhausting rather quickly.

That’s not to say the stories here are bad, perish the thought. Any one of these stories about the everyday damned is worthy o
...more
Nancy
Jul 11, 2014 Nancy marked it as to-read
I found this on J. Kent Messum's 10 Books That Made Me Squirm list

http://jkentmessum.com/2014/04/14/10-...
Jake
Jun 07, 2008 Jake rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Brian, Jessie and Brian
Recommended to Jake by: Zachary
Chuck Palahniuk liked it. Bret Easton Ellis liked it. And if for some reason you're still on the fence, I liked it. I haven't enjoyed being submerged in misery like this since a nurse had to help me wash myself with a sponge on a stick.
Jeremy
I've only read two stories out of this. The first one, though, about a boxer with broken hands and how they came to be broken, is the kind of story that I will never forget.
Jim
All of the protagonists in this short story collection—from the sympathetic repo man with a conscience (“On Sleepless Roads”) to the deceptively genteel upper middle class suburbanite with a warped sense of fatherhood and canine love (“A Mean Utility”)—either suffer from some debilitating character flaw or suffer some life-altering calamity and populate a grim universe with little hope for improvement. Incredibly, whether out of sublime optimism or wildly inappropriate perceptions of reality, th ...more
Jonathan
Overall it was an enjoyable read. There are moments when Davidsons use of language is simply brilliant, others where he falls back on old metaphors. I found his detailed descriptions of the processes of violence unerving and slightly disturbing, and this I feel is his strength. He is able to make me recoil, to make me feel uncomfortable but at the same time compelled to read on, perhaps even to finish the paragraph and find calmer section later on. Perhaps because it stirs feelings of my own bru ...more
Katie Mcsweeney
I cannot give a decent review (or start rating) as I was unable to read the last two stories :( My bag was stolen with this book in it... honestly :( In a way this is actually quite fitting because the world described in all of the short stories is gritty and tough. My life is pretty nice so the theft was a little bit of life imitating art!

The people and situations in the book are very dark. Imagine a sliding scale for fiction... with fairy-tales (all sweetness and light) on the left, reality (s
...more
Adam  McPhee
The story about the repo guy who tracks down a destitute man trying to make a comeback by filming an unauthorized sequel to this is pretty close to classic.

On the other hand, I kind of wish Davidson would get over his obsession with boxing and dogfighting. It just seems stereotypically macho. Davidson son excels at writing 'weird' but sometimes his only way to get there is by going for 'masculine' and it gets kind of boring when he repeats it over and over. The story about the whale trainer an
...more
Andrew
This collection of eight stand alone short stories (each 20-30 pages long) features a diverse cast of protagonists—a boxer, a dead beat dad, a dog fight breeder, a whale trainer, a repo man, a sex addict, and a abandoned son searching for the father who abandoned him— who are all either depressed or defeated, or are in some way trying to recover from a debilitating event in their past.

Davidson’s writing style is thick with description and is quickly paced; this combination will ‘shock and awe’
...more
Martin Stanley
I loved this collection. The main story is rendered in beautifully written prose. The recent (and very decent) film just doesn't capture the fighter's desperation or sense of decency. There are several other tales in here that come close to Rust and Bone's excellence, too. No doubt the best collection of stories that I'll read in 2014.
Nick
I read the first two stories.

I found the writing great, very strong, making me cringe at some of the pain, and really feeling for the situation and characters.

I stopped after two stories. The soft side of the stories, the niceness amongst the grit, blood and sweat seemed out of place and a little forced.

I would try another work by this author, but not these stories.
Charlie Green
So, so violent! Raw, gritty and made me pretty squeamish. There were times when I soldiered on, really not enjoying this at all. But when summarising the stories back, they are actually great stories. I wouldn't read it again, but I must say that the film is absolutely cracking! It's a 3 from me...
Luke Stafford
Very good short story collection from an author I'll definitely be keeping an eye on, though I didn't think it was nearly as violent and disturbing as some made it out to be, with the exception of 'A Mean Utility', which was incredibly disturbing, and also my favorite story in the collection. I will say that I don't really get the constant Palahniuk comparisons everyone seems to be making with Craig Davidson. I suppose the similarity is that some of the stories tend to be violent and disturbing, ...more
Rosendale Theatre
Read the short stories that inspired the french film.
George Ilsley
Having read one of the pieces in a magazine, I wanted to read the collection. However, this is one of those unfortunate collections where the work shrinks as one keeps reading. Really there are only a few good stories here, and side by side, they fight with each other to be noticed. The only way to read this collection would be to read one story, wait several months, and then read another. Of course, you won't be able to remember which ones you have already read, but that won't matter in the lea ...more
Brandon Tietz
I liked this collection. Actually, I almost loved it, but the trap that Davidson falls into is the same that many collections do, and that's repitition. These stories punch you, and Davidson hits you where it hurts. He's an effective writer that way, but after so many pages of GORE! BLOOD! GORE! BONE! BLOOD! TENDONS! it can really wear you down and you start to wait for Davidson's next assault, whether it's by killer whale or fists or dogs.

These stories are great, but I don't recommned reading t
...more
J. Kent Messum
A great collection of short stories, mostly about tough guys in all kinds of trouble. I found the tone and originality more than satisfying. The writing is razor sharp, making for a lean book. A very masculine read, Rust & Bone has a quick pace and a keen eye for everyday ugliness that most might be unaware of. My only suspicion was that shock value was employed on occasion simply for the sake of it. Regardless, this is a book I highly recommend.
Alexis
This is a dude book, which I know is a silly and reductive review but really: dog fighting, porn actors, killer whale attacks, basketball. Yeah. Dude book. Oddly enough it starts with the gruesome and moves to the more light-hearted. "A Mean Utility" requires a strong stomach. "Friction" has some really funny moments. By no means perfect, but entertaining enough for a quick read.
Matthew
Beautiful descriptions of terrible things. A touch uneven; some of the stories would have warranted 5 stars, a couple were down to 1 or 2.
Clark
Rust and Bone is a "knock you on your backside" type of book. The stories are powerful and emotionally intense. It is impossible to feel comfortable during and after reading these stories. The story about dogfighting was one of the most gruesome stories that I have ever read. Craig Davidson is the real deal. Take a chance on this book and enjoy the ride.
Glenn
I'd give this 3.5 stars. Gritty masculine based collection of short stories that started out great, with a story about a boxer who broke most of the bones in his hand and how it happened in a way you wouldn't expect. However, it started to wear down as I worked my way through the stories, especially the longest piece at the end.
Fredrika
Chuck Palahniuk said it perfectly when he said "Davidson... smudges the line between comedy and horror, cruelty and mercy. His remarkable stories are challenging and upsetting.... Don't look for comfort here."
Mary Beth
Craig Davidson is a genius.
Fran Friel
A brilliantly crafted and compelling collection with a loose thread connecting all of the tales. The themes are largely masculine and unflinching--a powerful and thoughtful read for anyone who loves great writing and fine storytelling.
Brian
Dark book. Brutal. Sometimes a bit cliche in its "Rough, tough men dealing with tough problems" prose but he's a hell of a writer and the stories were great. Bits of tenderness and hope in the oddest of places throughout as well.
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Craig Davidson is a Canadian author of short stories and novels, who has published work under both his own name and the pen name Patrick Lestewka. His style has been compared to that of Chuck Palahniuk.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, he was raised in Calgary and St. Catharines.

His first short story collection, Rust and Bone, was later published in September 2005 by Penguin Books Canada, and was a finali
...more
More about Craig Davidson...
Cataract City The Fighter Sarah Court Picador Shots   A Mean Utility (Picador Shots) Eleanor Rigby

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