By Robert Essig and Jack Bantry
After reading and reviewing five Grindhouse Press books in a row, lets switch gears and talk about another great indie horror publisher: Sinister Grin Press. In particular, Ain’t Worth a Shit by Robert Essig and Jack Bantry.
I’m not familiar with Essig, but I have read Bantry’s debut novel, The Lucky Ones Died First. To put this simply, don’t read that one, read THIS one. Ain’t Worth a Shit is superior to Bantry’s first novel in every way. Whereas The Lucky Ones Died First is a creature feature, Ain’t Worth a Shit is a lean and mean dark (really dark) crime drama. Don’t be deceived by the seemingly fun title. I laughed too. This book is NOT funny.
Like all of my favorite dark crime stories, the pacing in this one is absolutely frenetic. The first act is very short, and the action starts immediately. If you liked the film Brawl in Cell Block 99, or you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to see a grindhouse film on paper…this is the one. My only critique of this book is that I would’ve preferred just a tiny bit more character development with the main victims in the story. This would’ve made the narrative even MORE grueling and emotionally resonant. Overall, this is a very small gripe for what is a vastly entertaining book.
Review by Jason Cavallaro
I received a copy of the book from Sinister Grin Press in exchange for review consideration