By Josh Stallings
( Heist Publishing; October 30, 2015)
The estimable Josh Stallings has pulled off something remarkable in his newest crime novel, Young Americans: he has managed to write a story set solidly in the mid 1970s that is utterly tone perfect. The language spoken by the characters, the set-up, the settings and not least of all, the music: all exactly right for the period.
|Author Josh Stallings|
I also polished adjectives for Bay Area newspapers during the time in which the story takes place and Stallings has the Bay Area down pat. He does a splendid job of recreating the atmosphere of that period, the drug scene, even the music featured by local venues. Example: the robbers plan their heist for a night when Sylvester and the Hot Band are scheduled to play at the Mafioso’s disco-night club. Few people today know anything about Sylvester – the openly gay singer who emerged from the gender-fuck cast of The Cockettes to become a disco superstar – but Stallings remembers.
One element of the book is the disbelief among the major characters that a Mafia member would run a nightclub that caters to homosexuals, let alone be queer himself.