Something Good, Something Bad, Something Dirty, Brian Alan Ellis
House of Vlad Productions, 2015
Reviewed by Hayley Morris
Brian Alan Ellis, author of Something Good, Something Bad, Something Dirty, knows how to make the best out of a bad situation. In his latest effort comprised of short stories, Ellis goes through the ins and outs of life many people do not see, but, which many other people do see. His short stories are filled with failure, violence, drugs, alcohol, and an obsession with sex. Though his book may be aimed toward a specific audience, and for those who acknowledge the issues within the content, it works great to provide an image of raw human nature.
Life is not always rainbows and butterflies, perfect hair or perfect sex; people are people, and people make mistakes. In his short selections, Ellis takes his audience through what life is like while using and abusing drugs—cocaine mostly—booze, and sex. The psychological issues some of his characters possess are well-thought out.
“All the coke had run out. And there was an Italian in my bed, plump-naked, wine-wet, and smoking long menthol-flavored cigarettes. I didn’t catch her name.”—Kool-Aid
Ellis gets down to the nitty-gritty. The audience can grasp each scene through Ellis’ use of vivid imagery, and his knowledgeable descriptions of the lifestyles of drug addicts, alcoholics, and failures. Ellis shows how the downfall in life is not necessarily all bad—he creates characters who are happy, or have adapted to this kind of life, and who ultimately don’t know any other way. The authenticity is carried out throughout each story, showcasing negative aspects while still allowing a glimmer of hope for the characters.
“Sam let out one last sob before putting the rifle back under his bed, then sat motionless, staring off, knowing that there were better, more productive ways of disappointing himself. It wouldn’t be hard. All he had to do was find them.” –An Object Never Before Put to Use
If you want to view what life is like for junkies and failures, pick up Brian Alan Ellis’s Something Good, Something Bad, Something Dirty. The stories and their authenticity show how terrible situations can be, but how natural mistakes can be made leading someone down the wrong road.