Willoughby, New York by Carson Pytell (Bottlecap Press)

Tears in the Fence

I love Carson Pytell’s work. It reminds me of Charles Bukowski and Fredrich Exley. It reminds me of Kevin Ridgeway and John Fante. It reminds me of the kind of fiction that a lot of us were trying to do when I lived and worked in Long Beach. So many of us who studied under Gerry Locklin and Ray Zepeda were going after a kind of gritty realism, and some of us accomplished the spirit and tone. Others did not. I never did to the degree that I wanted to, and so I shifted to different kinds of writing. Pytell, however, is a kind of master of this type of writing, and his fiction collection,Willoughby, New Yorkis powerful work, the kind that I was reaching for back in those days. His chapbook reaches the kind of humanity most of these writers are striving for as he often focuses…

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