|"A unique theme for
an original anthology. ... Best stories from my sampling
were William Kent Krueger's Minnesota mood piece "The
Far Side of the River" and Eddie Muller's New Jersey-based
"Last Call," brief but complex with an inventive
Jon Breen, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
ACROSS THE RIVER
As a longtime Springsteen fanhe was at those legendary
Winterland shows in December, 1978 and still plays the French
vinyl bootlegEddie was happy to contribute a short story
("Last Call") to this anthology of crime fiction inspired
by The Bosss jazzy noir ballad (a/k/a the bluesy blow
between "Shes the One" and "Jungleland"
on Side Two of Born to Run.)
Heres what the publisher says: "Meeting Across the
River" is a song with an evocative melody and lyrics that
unfold like a noir fable: a man down on his luck but desperate
to make things right with his girl tells his buddy, Eddie, that
they have to get across the river for a last-chance meeting
with someone, all in the hopes of a big score: two grand. With
that money, our hero can win back his girl and all will be right
with the world-but if he and Eddie screw up, the consequences
will be grave.
Authors including Eric Garcia, C. J. Box, Barbara Seranella,
David Corbett, Gregg Hurwitz, and Steve Hamilton, among others,
have written imaginative, heartbreaking, funny, and bold stories
based on this classic American story of hope and despair, each
a surprisingly different experiment with character and plot.
For as familiar as this story is, Springsteen's spare lyrics
leave much unsaid. How these authors fill in the absences is
what makes this collection, published a month before the thirtieth
anniversary of the release of Springsteen's Born to Run,
such an unusual treasure, proving that, just as with music,
in literature no two performances are alike.
"I was a complete Bruce-head in my youth. Still am, really.
I even wrote a screenplay ("The Beat") for him when
I was about 23. I at least managed to parlay it into a backstage
meeting with Clarence Clemons when he played The Stone in S.F.
with the Red Bank Rockers. Id written a hell of a good
part in this script for the Big Man, and he was psyched about
the story and his fledgling acting career. Ah, well too
late now. Were all too old, and today theres nobody
NOBODY who can bring it like The Boss did in the
late seventies. Kids, dont try it. Youll only hurt