Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

Angry Nights

Angry Nights

Angry Nights
by Larry Fondation

Hardcover
1995
Price: $24.50

Paperback
1995
Price: $10.95

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Angry Nights is a novel about buried life in the darkest corner of the darkest alley in Los Angeles. And yet, for all its sense of doom, this illuminating novel is also about the force of life interrupting through the rubble of the inner-city. Manic, defeated and yet curiously determined. Angry Nights is a thoughtful picture of our postmodern zeitgeist, where the system interfaces flesh and concrete.


Angry Nights is about a world where betrayal can become a part of the structure of everyday experience. Poz and Army, best of friends, jointly imagine a murder which will make Poz $5,000. By the end of their conversation, it occurs to Poz that he now must kill Army because "I told you too much." One character hands the keys to her dead boyfriend's car to a stranger in a dark movie theater. Another shoots rats in the dark to prepare for "Zen murder" in the urban jungle.


At a time when the plight of urban America increasingly makes for grim headlines and when some have even cast the very future of our cities in doubt. Angry Nights provides a gripping account of life in the American inner-city. In prose that is terse and bristling with tension, Angry Nights reveals a highly charged world that many of us fear, or worse, prefer to deny. Like novels such as A Clockwork Orange and Last Exit to Brooklyn, Angry Nights points to a reality we can only ignore at our peril.


 

"Angry Nights is the most compelling debut of fiction I've read since Denis Johnson's Angels. Fondation's characters, stripped by poverty of all pretense, exist in an inner city world where hope is constricted and joy desperate and limited. For all that, these characters persevere, continue groping for transcendence, looking for - and finding - reasons to go on. Neither sensationalistic nor unremittingly bleak, Angry Nights is engrossing and entertaining at the same time it is thoroughly horrifying. It should be read not only by those interested in the future of fiction - but by anyone interested in the future of this world." —Richard Krawiec, author of the novel Time Sharing


"Larry Fondation hears original worlds at launderettes and the rave of demons at the park foundations. The nights are angry and so are the shadows that haunt the memories of broken promises in this exceptional novel. The interior stories uncover bullet holes, bitten nails, open sores and other common miseries with the ironic manner of a barefoot game show host. The characters are wise, and some of them are measured with a brush of violence in curt conversations. Angry Nights could cure the cruelties of silence." —Gerald Vizenor, author of Griever: an American Monkey King in China and The Heirs of Columbus


 

Excerpt


In the basement, Martins had drawn a target on the wall.


He awoke at six and pulled on some clothes. He closed the door behind him. It didn't lock.


He knocked at Alma Sanchez' door.


"I'm going downstairs to practice. You want to come?" he asked her.


"You woke me up," she said.


"I gotta go down while it's still dark," he said.


"You're fucking crazy," she said.


She slammed the door in his face.


"Fuck you," he yelled, then paused. "Bitch"

Alma's neighbor came out.


"Shut up. It's six o'clock in the fucking morning," she said.

Martins trained the gun on her.


"Apologize, bitch," he said. "I'm the fucking exterminator, hired to protect you. From big, fucking rats."


She slammed the door on him. He laughed. When he turned around, Alma was next to him.


"What the fuck are you doing here?"

I'm coming with you."


"That offer's canceled," he said.


He started down the stairs. Alma followed him. Neither talked.


In the basement, it was still dark.


"I lost fifteen minutes because of you, bitch," he said.


"Show me what you do," she said.


Martins found a two-by-four on the ground with his bare feet.


"This is my line," he said.


He fired six quick shots at the wall. He put the gun down and walked over to the wall. He felt the holes with his fingers.


"Come here," he said

He grabbed Alma's wrist.


"Put your finger out."

He guided her finger into the holes.


"See," he said. "All right in the fucking middle."

Martins shot three more rounds, each time walking to the wall to check his shooting.


"I'm fucking good," he said.

Alma was bored. The sun was up and the room bright enough to see.

Sun's up," he said. "Time to go."

Alma was sitting in the floor, just behind the two-by-four, picking her toenails


"I gotta get the bastard in the dark," he said.


"Who?" she asked.


"Let's get some breakfast," he said. He put an arm around her and kissed her ear.