The Mysterious Bookshop

Mattson, Joseph - The Speed Chronicles

Publishers Weekly
Akashic launches a new series of crime anthologies, each focused on a different controlled substance, with this addictive volume and a reissue of 2005’s The Cocaine Chronicles. Actor James Franco offers the most bizarre selection, “Addiction,” in which he plays with the idea of appropriating the plot line of Twilight for a story he’d call “Crystal Meth,” touching lightly on the parallels between vampires and meth users (“never sleep, paleness, sensitive to sunlight”). The best entry, Megan Abbott’s “Everything I Want,” movingly portrays a doctor facing trafficking charges for dispensing speed to patients he deemed in need of it, exemplifying one character’s belief that “our hearts can take us all to dark and ill-timed places.” It remains to be seen whether stories in future books dedicated to, say, heroin will differ all that much from these on amphetamines. Other contributors include William T. Vollmann, Jess Walter, and Beth Lisick.

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