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Rust and Bone: Stories

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  564 Ratings  ·  69 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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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
I bought this book for a penny (A MOTHERF'ING PENNY - WOOT WOOT!!!!!!), and then a client sent this . . . .

Now someone bring me a fork.
J. Kent Messum
It's no secret I'm a fan of short story collections. There is something about getting through a story in its entirety during a reading session that feels wholly satisfying. You can knock a short out on a bus or subway ride, read one over a lunch break, get one in before bedtime. You can pick up and put down a book a short stories for longer periods of time with no real guilt and start relatively fresh each time you crack it back open. The downside is that you invariably enjoy some stories more t ...more
Sadie | sadie_reads_them_all
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I was in high school, 1990-1994 I read everything through the lens of a drama student. The drama nerds at our school, in the time that I was there, were all very serious about the craft. We competed at tournaments and competitions.
I would have given *anything* to have found a short story collection like this one in order to pull monologues from it to compete with.
Craig Davidson is hands down my favorite author next to Stephen King.
He's a genius--the way he works with words and insight is r
Oct 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: the-burn-pile
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 Thom Jones and Chuck Palahniuk covers, and one unreadable novella, are for you! With all first-person narratives and zero subtext, and every third sentence lacking a subject noun, these stories are woven with all the lyrical grace of a loudmouth drunk who won't leave a tip before getting up to paint the sidewalk in vomit. These tales of blu ...more
May 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: to-reread-finish
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
Jul 11, 2014 marked it as to-read
I found this on J. Kent Messum's 10 Books That Made Me Squirm list
I was hesitant to rate this book somewhere between 2-3 stars but ended up with 2 stars because the last short story was mentally torturous which evoked an instant regret in buying this book. As a fan of the film, I had a rather high expectation in the book but in the actuality only a few elements were taken into the film adaptation. I noticed that most of the taken elements are from Rust And Bone and Rocket Ride where the life-turning events of two protagonists in the film adaption are based on. ...more
Feb 01, 2008 rated it liked it
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
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
Brett Starr
Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding collection of short stories!

"Rust and Bone" is everything that it is hyped up to be, from all good reviews here on, 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
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
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’
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
May 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
The first short story of this book was about a boxer with a haunted past. It was very well done and had an ending that stayed true to its entire form. Unfortunately, the rest of the stories were sensationalized and based primarily on shock-value. There was little substance to them and the book would have been much better if it stayed true to the makings of the first short story, entitled Rust and Bone.
Lenore Beadsman64
boxe e degrado dell'anima

racconti con temi ricorrenti il cui filo conduttore è il degrado, lotte clandestine di cani, boxe thailandese, gente che perde una gamba mangiata da un cetaceo e via così...non particolarmente incisivo, ma il senso di angoscia lo trasmette tutto...

ps. rarissimo caso in cui il film mi è piaciuto di più
Nov 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Anne Pauline
Si vous avez aimé le film vous serez déçu.
Si vous n’avez pas aimé le film, vous serez déçu.

Bref De Rouille et d’Os était plein de belles promesses mais n’en a rempli qu’une seule : d’être extrêmement bien écrite. Je dois rendre à César ce qui appartient à César, Craig Davidson écrit bien. Très bien même. C’est violent, clair, à la fois poétique et simple, avec une honnêteté désarmante. Mais un joli paquet ne sauve pas toujours ce qu’il y a à l’intérieur.

Sur les 8 nouvelles présentes dans ce l
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Super-dark, violent, gritty, rough, bloody stories. Excellent writing. "Rust and Bone" and "Rocket Ride" were my faves. I specifically wanted to read them bc those stories were combined to become one of my fave movies, Rust and Bone. <3
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
Nov 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Moloch by: Articolo Corsera
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)
Jordan Anderson
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'll admit that I ended up liking this book way more than I thought I was going to.

Of course, having read Davidson's later work in the interconnected short story collection of Sarah's Court, and eating up everything published under the Cutter pseudonym, I knew beforehand that the guy was a freakishly talented author, capable of telling a story rich in detail and character depth (not to mention some totally amazing horror writing too), but I was surprised at the quality and skill set displayed in
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Initially I was going to give up on this book. But that is not something I can do, so I persevered, and I'm glad that I made the effort.
There are bits in this book that are violent for the sake of being violent, it was particularly hard reading about the dog fighting in one of the first stories. But there are some bits that are tentative, and warm, and make you question what you think you know about people. Characters are re-visited, as are themes of drinking and boxing, but that's okay because
Jun 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
When I was 20 (that is, incredibly naive), I was really head over heels for this guy who had a lot of charm and, as it turned out, not much else. He was really into the Southern Gothic tough guy pose- whiskey and women, part-time boxer, slumming with the poor when in fact he was privileged and spoiled. Unable to imagine a woman who isn't a stripper, waitress, or receptionist. And of course a beautiful one at that. This guy wanted to be a writer. If he were to write a collection of stories, which ...more
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
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brandon Tietz
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Adam  McPhee
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canlit, short-stories
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. The story about the whale trainer and the mass graveyard for dolphins was good though.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, pre-2009
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.
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
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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
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“Twenty-seven bones make up the human hand. Lunate and capitate and navicular, scaphoid, and triquetrum, the tiny horn-shaped pisiforms of the outer wrist. Though different in shape and density each is smoothly aligned and flush-fitted, lashed by a meshwork of ligatures running under the skin. All vertebrates share a similar set of bones, and all bones grow out of the same tissue: a bird's wing, a whale's dorsal fine, a gecko's pad, your own hand. Bust an arm or leg and the knitting bone's sealed in a wrap of calcium so it's stronger than before. Bust a bone in your hand and it never heals right.” 0 likes
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