Often you read authors on the indie lit scene and are blown away by their talents. More rarely, you’ll read an author and know in your weary bones they were born to write. Their talent seemingly too bright, too fierce, too strong to be held down within the confines of any one community or genre.
Gabriel Hart is one of those rare authors. He has proven time and time again there isn’t a single genre he can’t mold into his own stylings. Song lyrics. Non-fiction. Poetry. Journalism. Crime. Transgressive. He’s done it all and he’s done it all extremely well.
October 29th Hart’s short prose collection Fallout from Our Asphalt Hell (Close to the Bone) hits markets. A twenty-piece collection of literary pulp spanning Hart’s output from 2015-2021. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a review copy and it is exactly what I expected from Hart. Lyrical, unsettling, beautifully ugly, iridescent, scathing and non-conformist. Fallout from Our Asphalt Hell is true outsider fiction that weaves itself in and out of genres with ease and subtlety.
The stories are LAYERED. It is the kind of prose that undoubtedly deserves to be studied over time and over multiple readings such is the depth and the intricate melding of story, theme, character and word.
Some of my favorite stories were:
Closed for Take-Out
Hart’s brutal take on people’s fears and panic during the pandemic.
A story I was incredibly lucky to get a gander at during the early drafting stages. It is an incredibly brave story about the battle of the sexes and one which forces the reader to stop and truly think about their own world views. All done in Hart’s trippy, LSD soaked modern nightmare like descriptions.
Another incredibly honest and beautiful story. An ode of sorts to Amy Winehouse that dissects love and hate, hope and hopelessness. This was a story, like many of Hart’s, that I wanted to read multiple times. Each time finding another genius element I had previously missed on earlier readings.
This collection is easily the best collection I’ve read by a single author this year. Mark October 29th in your diaries folks.
“Gabriel Hart writes with a cold-hearted sincerity reminiscent of a tragically bygone era of American letters. The piano-wire sentences rattle one’s bones like gunfire in the night. His characters are imbued with a sordid truth pulled from the dregs of standard morality, and he makes you love them for everything they’re not. Hart proves fiction can still tout a venomous snakebite, and his brand of poison just might be the antidote we all need.
– Chandler Morrison, author of Along The Path of Torment
“Gabriel Hart is a real one, a journeyman who’s been everywhere you don’t necessarily want to go so no one else has to, an honest rough trader who doesn’t take the onus to grab your attention lightly or impersonally as he pulls from a provenance that feels local and rooted in common revelation. With feral instincts, he writes from a place of panic. Illiterate panic dovetailing into language headlong, panic as the primal expression prolapsing into an intelligible sense where it commits itself to posterity crystallized, a voice inspirited with the urgency and stakes of a hail mary from the ropes. You’ll be hearing it long after you’re tuckered out from reading, that rapt aura that follows you home from a night of raging, the elusive, fragmentary truth that leaves an exit wound. Hart renders with unforgiving clarity the personal deliriums humans step to when they have nothing to lose, with majestic compassion, ear for desperate colloquy, and the chutzpah to diagnose folly as the bitter fruit of unconditional hope, distorted through structural and stylistic abandon unafraid of crudity and tropes. Hart embraces unusual textures lesser hands won’t touch with joy and care. A pulp stylist with disarming romantic conviction. I feel profoundly good about literature since discovering him.”
− Manuel Marrero, founder of expat press and author of Not Yet
“Hart continues to upend assumptions… demanding readers to scrutinize their expectations and understanding of the noir form.”
– Razorcake Magazine
“Hart’s ear for rhythm is evident… He’s skilled at displaying internal views through lyrical prose.”
– EconoClash Review
“A punchy, explosive ride evoking Ellis, Hammett, and even a little
Kafka at times. It’s pulp, flash, and a unique exploration of a certain
brand of modern masculinity where young men feel entitled to
everything, responsible for nothing, and disillusioned by society writ
– Artful Efforts.com
Mark the release day on your calendar along with these Book Release Events.
October 26th – Space Cowboy Books presents: an online release party/reading/chat for Gabriel Hart’s “Fallout From Our Asphalt Hell.” Free to register here:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/online-event-reading-interview-with-gabriel-hart-tickets-169194783151?aff=ebdsoporgprofile
October 28th – Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park, Los Angeles Gabriel HartChandler MorrisonDuncan BirminghamElizabeth V. AldrichKarter Mycroft7pm FREE
October 29th – MOJAVE NOIR #2 in Joshua Tree at Sunburst JunctionGabriel HartJean-Paul Garniermore TBA(A benefit for Mil-Tree)
Check out Punk Noir’s interview with the man himself here!
An Interview with Poet, Musician, Author and all round King of Cool Gabriel Hart by Stephen J. Golds – Punk Noir Magazine https://punknoirmagazine.com/2021/07/15/an-interview-with-poet-musician-author-and-all-round-king-of-cool-gabriel-hart-by-stephen-j-golds/
Author/songwriter Gabriel Hart lives in Morongo Valley in California’s High Desert. His Palm Springs/Spring Break noir novelette A Return To Spring (Mannison Press) is out now. He’s also the author of the dipso-surrealist twin-novel Virgins In Reverse / The Intrusion (Traveling Shoes Press), which contains a foreword by art-damage provocateur Tav Falco. His debut book of poetry UNSONGS Vol. 1 will be released by Close to The Bone (U.K.) April 2021. Other works can be found in Pulp Modern, ExPat Press, Black Hare Press(Australia), Crime Poetry Weekly,Shotgun Honey, and Bristol Noir. He’s a monthly columnist for writing resource site Lit Reactor, pulp-culture aggregate EconoClash Review, and contributor to Los Angeles Review of Books. Hart is the ringleader of the L.A. based punk Wall of Sound group Jail Weddings. Their third album Wilted Eden was released in 2019. Their previous album Meltdown: A Declaration of Unpopular Emotion (2013) was voted Best Album of The Year by L.A. Weekly, followed by Best Band of the Year in 2014.
Hart is represented by Scott Miller at Trident Media Group.