Monday, October 31, 2005

THE PULPWOOD ANNIE CHRONICLES by Max Courson (PublishAmerica)

Who says I don't have an open mind? I like to read stuff out of my genre all of the time--and this one is way out. Say hello to Pulpwood Annie.

Max Courson has penned what is essentially a group of tied-together short stories about a prostitute in Georgia via a "smart aleck college guy," as Max calls him. In fact, several chapters won various writing awards (see the author's website for the specifics.) And this grouping has become the engaging and funny PULPWOOD ANNIE CHRONICLES. The reader gets to learn all of Annie's "goings-on" and finds out why our college friend keeps buying her beer.

Allow Max's words to speak for themselves:

Without waiting for a reply, much less an invitation, Pulpwood Annie hoisted herself onto an adjacent stool, including in the effort her patented spread-legged, see-all-the-way-to-Sunday-morning sprawl that tested both the tensile strength of her miniskirt cloth and the savoir faire of some gaping guzzlers at a nearby pool table. She scratched someplace high on her right thigh, near the tattoo of a rabid-looking rose, rearranged her less-than- voluminous bosom and flashed me her best Two-Bucks-And-I-Am-Yours smile.

This book is a smile-maker, even in its ability to be risque--it is sexy and anti-sexy at the same time. The vignettes are tasty and Courson knows his way around a turn of phrase:

For reasons best known to God Almighty, I had become a favorite of Pulpwood Annie’s. Maybe it was because she had some kind of feral admiration for anybody who had advanced beyond the eighth grade, which was her high-water mark. However, it probably was because I was the only man south of Macon, west of Augusta, east of Columbus and north of Folkston who hadn’t sampled her limited but well-known sexual menu. Since most of her early customers had been yahoos driving trucks loaded with logs for the coastal pulpwood mills, I guess she acquired her working name more or less by osmosis.

ANNIE is a keeper--or a book you will pass on to friends glowingly. The only reason I imagine this book wasn't published by one of the big houses was that they couldn't figure out what shelf to put it on. And that's a shame.

As always, you can't expect a price less than $19.95 from PublishAmerica, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Trust me.