Reviews & Press

Blog, Reviews & Press

A New Rave Review of Tenderloin from Raven Crime Reads

February 24, 2014 by

Over the weekend, Raven Crime Reads posted a stellar review of Tenderloin that, as Ice Cube would say, “put a glide in my stride and a dip in my hip,” calling it, “A book that sits perfectly alongside Pelecanos and Lehane in my opinion, with its no-holds-barred  depiction of  urban American life and crime.” She also liked Tenderloin‘s surly protagonist, “In terms of characterisation, Sleeper Hayes, Haslett’s central protagonist, is a real find . . . Hayes exists in a world populated by criminals, bums, boxers, hookers and bent politicians- think a 70‘s set version of The Wire- but ingratiates himself into all these worlds through the vitality and doggedness of his character, which some take to more than others!” I always knew the Brits were smarter than us. Read the whole thing here:

Blog, Other People's Books, Reviews & Press

Don Rearden and The Raven’s Gift

August 15, 2013 by

I have been working with Don Rearden since he queried me for a novella entitled Permafrost Heart on March 23 of 2006.  I loved the story that blended unique glimpses of the “bush” country and the people of Alaska that Don so clearly loves told in cuts and flashes reminiscent of the film “Momento.”

Alas, the novella did not sell.  (how many do?)  But over the years Don kept writing, working, and disappearing into the bush only to return each time an even better writer.  His next book, a novel entitled The Raven’s Gift, eventually followed and is a true revelation of the beauty and horror of his world.

For several years Don’s fiction, like private dispatches from the edge of the world, have always thrilled and shocked me and often made me cry.  But now, finally after so much of Don’s hard work and so many revisions, I get to share his amazing work with others…

The Raven’s Gift was published by Pintail, Penguin Group this summer.  And judging from this amazing review by Michael Dirda in The Washington Post Don is finally getting the accolades and growing readership he deserves.


Pintail_RAVEN'S GIFT_cover

Any number of writers could have produced a fine literary novel about a young couple discovering Yup’ik culture. But only an exceptional writer could write that fine literary novel and then relegate it to backstory, using its fragments to heighten the eeriness and drama of what is an intense thriller. And yet “The Raven’s Gift” also remains a love story — in fact, two love stories. What more could you ask? — Michael Dirda, The Washington Post.




Reviews & Press

Ro Cuzon in Publishing Perspectives

July 17, 2013 by

logo_publishingperspectives_originalPublishing Perspectives invited Ro Cuzon to open up about his writing and publishing journey, including his success as part of The Rogue Reader.

I’m a high school dropout. I never studied writing. And when I first signed with an agent I don’t think I even knew what “plot” was. But over the past decade, I’ve learned how to write, learned how to revise, learned how to promote — essentially, I’ve learned how to be a professional author. My only instructor through it all: my agent. Every writer has his own story. Here’s mine.

Read the full story here.

Blog, Reviews & Press

Ex-junkie Fiction

June 13, 2013 by

Over at Eric Beetner’s excellent blog, Joe Clifford and Tom Pitts sit down to chat about books, crime, writing, and a whole lot else. Beetner asks some great questions, and gets some great answers. 3/4 of the way through, Joe and Tom give a nice shout-out to Ro Cuzon. We pull that quote below, but the whole conversation with these three excellent writers is worth the time. You can find it here.

What do you think about some of the ex-junkie fiction out there like William Burroughs or Donald Goines? Does it capture the truth of it? 

J: We all love William Burroughs, the man. But did anybody really enjoy Naked Lunch? Cool guy. I’ve just never been sold on Burroughs the writer. Jerry Stahl’s Permanent Midnight was pretty spot-on, although the writing didn’t hold up for me in subsequent readings. Which isn’t much of a knock. Like I said, my favorite writer is still Kerouac, and I can’t read him anymore either. There’s Ro Cuzon, another ex-junkie noir guy. I recently read hisUnder the Dixie Moon, which uses dope in the peripheral, and I think he nails it. But, again, it’s fiction, so you have some leeway. I suppose Jesus’ Son is fiction too, but it doesn’t read that way.
T: No shit. Good call on Burroughs. Junkie is his most readable book. He’s one of many who I realize I like the idea of better than the work of. Denis Johnson? I can appreciate Jesus’ Son, but it doesn’t compare to a master work like Tree of Smoke. But, really, the book I like best by Johnson is Nobody Move. It’s his take on noir and it’s great. His fans hated it, but it’s a clean, tight crime tale that’s worth picking up. I concur with Joe on Ro Cuzon’s book too. When I read Dixie I was amazed at how it kept getting better and better and better. The plot thickened to the point where I thought I was on the brink of its climax for three-quarters of the book.

Reviews & Press

Spinetingler Mag names Cuzon’s Under the Dixie Moon among best crime novels of 2012

January 4, 2013 by

Brian Lindenmuth of Spinetingler Magazine picked his best crime fiction of 2012 today, and elevates Ro Cuzon’s Under the Dixie Moon to his top ten.

“In the past I’ve written that the PI novel is the haiku of crime fiction, there may be only 17 syllables but in the right hands those syllables will sing; that there is the potential for a lot of power in that framework. Ro Cuzon has written one of the freshest PI novels in years. Great characters, great sense of place, and great action. The third person POV allows a wider cast and more interactions that pays off strongly as the story lines come together.”

Reviews & Press

Ro Cuzon in Library Journal as 2012 Staff Pick

December 7, 2012 by

HUGE congratulations to Ro Cuzon! Under the Dixie Moon is a Library Journal Staff Pick for one of the Best Books of 2012. Here’s what they say:

“A no-holds-barred, sexy and violent noir with a liberal dash of NOLA, Ro Cuzon’s Under the Dixie Moon is one part Charlie Huston’s Hank Thompson novels and one part Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder titles. It delivers an unblinking look at the dirty underbelly of a corrupt society, complete with ugly consequences and melancholy endings.”

Check out the rest of their excellent picks here.

Reviews & Press

GRUB STREET Publish It Forward on TRR

December 2, 2012 by

Eve Bridburg at Grub Street Writers in Boston asks Jason Allen Ashlock 5 questions about The Rogue Reader.

Is there anything in particular that you look for in successful submissions?

What we’re looking for most in our authors is that they be rogue storytellers. That they really know their genre, enough to know how to effectively break the rules. We don’t want to offer the expected or the predictable. We also want them to be advanced in their craft, gutsy in their storytelling. And we want publishing insurgents: writers who dare to do it differently, who are willing to directly engage with their audience and are already doing that.

Read the full piece here.


Reviews & Press

A no holds barred, sexy, violent noir with a liberal dash of NOLA

October 10, 2012 by

The latest review of Ro Cuzon’s Under the Dixie Moon:

“A no holds barred, sexy and violent noir with a liberal dash of NOLA, Ro Cuzon’s Under the Dixie Moon is one part Charlie Huston’s Hank Thompson novels, one part Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder novels, delivering an unblinking look at the dirty underbelly of a corrupt society, complete with ugly consequences and melancholy endings. The plot hits all the right genre notes — corrupt cops, perverted serial killer, lesbian bartender — but Cuzon nails the relentless pacing and gritty tone, and creates a compelling ensemble cast that rises above their archetypes, led by the enigmatic Adel Destin, who’s absolutely begging for a turn on the big screen. An impressive debut and highly recommended.” – Guy Gonzalez


Reviews & Press

Sean Chercover’s Video Blurb for Ro Cuzon

October 3, 2012 by

Bestselling author, and fellow Rogue, Sean Chercover popped into one of our favorite bars in the city, Domaine Bar a Vins, to chat about books and such. Here’s Sean’s video endorsement of The Rogue Reader’s debut novelist Ro Cuzon. You can see their full conversation on The Rogue Reader YouTube Channel.

Reviews & Press

What People Have to Say

September 21, 2012 by

Rogue Authors are a breed apart. Chosen for quality and originality, these are the best new voices in suspense fiction. Each month, The Rogue Reader introduces our community to one of these breakout authors.

“Ro Cuzon is among the rising stars of the new generation of noir novelists who are moving the form forward in exciting, innovative ways.”  – George Pelecanos

“New Orleans is a postcard city, but Ro somehow gets under its skin. One of the best new voices in crime fiction.” - Sean Chercover

“Violence washes over all the characters in this novel, sparing no one. I read it in two greedy sittings, but I feel as if I had the luxury of spending an entire season in St. Barts, albeit one the tourists never see.” - Laura Lippman