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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Short Stories (single author)
  • Language:English
  • Pages:240
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781667854007
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667853994

Love, Lies, Bleeding

by Randy Russell

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From infatuation to obsession, from bliss to heartbreak, romantic love is a force we all grapple with, try to understand, often live for, and sometimes die for. Love, Lies, Bleeding is a collection of stories, long and short, traditional and experimental, that investigate the mystery of love.
Love, Lies, Bleeding is an epic collection of eleven stories, from very short to very long, with a variety of approaches—both traditional and experimental—and the common theme of romantic love. From infatuation to obsession, from bliss to heartbreak—these stories try to answer the big questions. Love—what is it? Why are we obsessed with it? Is it worth it? Is it possible to live without it? Or is it essential… On the first few days of the new millennium, "Nine Lies" depicts some odd adventures during a cross-country train trip. An extended refueling stop in Havre, Montana provokes the protagonist to consider the possible outcomes of a variety of events—perhaps real, possibly imaginary—likely a combination of both. More of a prose poem, "Summer" drops in on that all-to-brief, elevated, magical time of new love—which could be a fairytale happily ever after—or, perhaps… death. A quest for redemption or simply refreshment? —"The Pool" is about pursuing your dreams—is it ultimately worth it? What does it take for a person to cross the line into a life of crime? It turns out, not much in this humorous snapshot of petty thievery, called "Miller Lowlife." A big city, high-rise office is the setting for "Please Let Me Know When You'll Be at the Party," the story of a temp worker's obsession with the woman he is temporarily replacing. "Fiddle o' Blood" is a dual narrative from the points of view of a country singer and her loving, younger, fan—as they meet over a bottle of cheap wine. Set in the 1970s, "Learning to Play the Piano" highlights the unlikely relationship of a Hollywood starlet and 12-year-old boy—both a twisted coming of age story and (possibly?) an allegory for the courting of addiction. More of a novella, "Holly Golightly," follows a woman through the day in which she decides to break up with her boyfriend. The day's events include a movie, titled, Zigzag, that Holly sees at the theater—and ends up being at the heart of her difficult decision. Literally bleeding… love… and lies, "A Plea to My Heart Which You Now Posses" starts with the old "organ theft" urban legend, then follows a twisty path of deception… and self-deception. Toni, in the story, "Toni and the Dragon," decides to break up with her boyfriend when she meets someone new. "The Dragon," in the story, is the good, the bad, the funny, and the sometimes sad. A bad week of epic proportions is depicted in "The Golden Pineapple"—which follows a man through the last days of his job. He then takes a train trip into the past, where he grapples with some ethical, life-changing questions—saves the world, then doesn't.
About the author
Randy Russell has published fiction (Black Iris, The Doughnuts), and has written and acted in movies (American Job, The Pool, Modus Operandi). He has also written for Utne Reader, Factsheet Five Zine Reader, and Talkhouse. Russell has published countless zines, including Mickey Rourke, American Job, and The Sweet Ride, and was the proprietor of the book/zine store, The Secret Goldfish, and punk record store, Garbage Inc. Over the years he's played in over a dozen bands, including The Ragged Bags, Moonlove, and Love Me Avenue. Currently, he writes for the website,, and is an infrequent guest on The Randy Russell Podcast. He is a Capricorn.
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