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Out of Mercy ➮ [Read] ➪ Out of Mercy By Jonathan Ashley ➺ – A bloody darkly funny western that keeps company with the best of El Leonard and Cormac McCarthy “Out of Mercy is a savage horrifying and gut bustingly funny Western set in an Old West that would ha A bloody darkly funny western that keeps company with the best of El Leonard and Cormac McCarthy “Out of Mercy is a savage horrifying and gut bustingly funny Western set in an Old West that would have made John Wayne turn and run for his life and featuring a cast of characters so richly imagined I'm afraid they'll turn up in my nightmares I loved every word of it”—Scott Phillips New York Times bestselling author of The Ice Harvest“Think El Leonard or Cormac McCarthy — with a dash of Nick Hornby to keep things Out of PDF \ suitably bent But make no mistake — Ashley has a strong savage uncompromising voice of his own Out of Mercy is the kind of flat out heart stopping psycho emotional thrill ride that just might put this author on the map with the giants Personally I can’t wait to read of Jonathan Ashley’s work — once I recover from this one”—Jerry Stahl New York Times bestselling author of Permanent MidnightIt's the fall of Kentucky the land of dark and bloody ground as the Indians called it has far from recovered from the Civil War The small town of Mercy a rest stop for the emotionally and physically disfigured drifters left over from the war will soon pay the price of the violence inherent in American culture and the racisim still palpable throughout the hills and hollers of rural Kentucky The first sign of doom arrives on horseback three outlaws wanted in Virginia and other parts for robbery and murder A beautiful tomboyish white young woman with blue tattoos on her face markings from her time as a captive of Apaches; a former slave whose days of cowtowing to polite white society are over and the most deadly and mysterious the motley gang's leader Tompal Banks But the source of Mercy's impending doom the rioting and bloodshed that touch the lives of every resident from the alcoholic Marshal to the haunted Mayor will come from within the community incited by the apocalyptic gospel spoken by the syphilitic Reverend Thurman on the Banks of the Ohio to his congregation of repressed sexual deviants and bloodthirsty war veterans More ADVANCE PRAISE for Out of Mercy“Hard stark and brilliant Out of Mercy is the best Western I've read in years”—Benjamin Whitmer author of Cry Father and Satan is Real“Jonathan Ashley's Out of Mercy is a dark gem a bleak tale of survival and revenge in the bloody hills of Kentucky Vividly written filled with compelling characters and laced with black humor this is frontier noir at its best”—James Reasoner author of Texas Wind.

About the Author: Jonathan Ashley

Jonathan Ashley's work has appeared in Crime Factory A Twist of Noir LEO Weekly Kentucky Magazine and Yellow Mama He lives in Lexington KY.

9 thoughts on “Out of Mercy

  1. Luke Luke says:

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review I'd never heard of Jonathan Ashley kept my expectations pretty low and mainly agreed to read it because of some of the blurbs I read from authors I respect and Cormac Mccarthy comparisons never hurt As I started to progress through the book my train of thought went something like this This actually isn't bad Hmm this is actually pretty good Wow this is actually kinda greatThese pages are packed with action and violence involving outlaws vigilantes whores and false prophets but also emotion and tenderness especially the ending as well as really clever witty dialogue I'll be following Jonathan Ashley's career very closely; he's got a new fan in me

  2. Joseph Hirsch Joseph Hirsch says:

    The premise in brief a motley band of three including a mute woman whose face is covered in ritual tattoos and a freed slave steal a shipment of guns from a corrupt man in a small town and then hightail it with their goods There's a shootout and a bit of carnage left in their wake and the threesome flee with a posse on their tailThis book showed a lot of promise and the writing shines at certain times with intriguing characters and evocative descriptions But as someone else pointed out the narrative eventually runs off the rails and the rococo cast became a bit hard to keep track of The most interesting characters are either killed off or only intermittently shown or alluded to while stockless interesting lawmen types do too much jawboning at times disrupting the narrative A preacher character feels lifted right out central casting too There are some little details about border skirmishes and some ladling out of Reconstruction and Civil War anecdotes that adds some verisimilitude and were enjoyable enough in their own right There are some basic errors though peakpeek confusions that as one offs are forgivable Once they start to accrue they sort of chafe the reader's nerves and test their patienceThere's some dabbling in gore here and there and some sexual content but it doesn't feel too gratuitous or overblown All in all this one was intermittently good enough to make me interested to see what Ashley does next or what he's done before And considering this book comes stamped with the imprimatur of heavyweights Scott Phillips and Jerry Stahl the curious shopper shouldn't allow one man's opinion to dissuade them from taking the plunge Give it a try and see if it works for you

  3. Ray Caldwell Ray Caldwell says:

    What I haven't seen any other reviewers mention is the caliber of dark humor found in these pages Some of it I would compare to Toole or Exley Simply first rate In a way Ashley might be poking fun at the genre while still showing it a modicum of respect Can't wait to read from this author

  4. Chris Bauer Chris Bauer says:

    Disclaimer I received a free copy of this work in exchange for an honest reviewImagine uentin Tarantino Cormac McCarthy and with the help of a Ouija board Raymond Chandler collaborating on a movie script to be co directed by Clint EastwoodI suspect the result would look an awful lot like Out of Mercy by Jonathan AshleySet in the West almost 20 years after the Civil War the novel chronicles the misadventures of a number of fascinating characters who are drawn to a small town called Mercy for various and sundry reasons Revenge lust greed and corruption run amok in the pages and it is a delight to readThe author's prose is grim gritty and appropriately noir ish for the setting Characters are depicted in vivid colors with myriad motivations and seemingly set loose in a dangerous town while the reader can only watch the resulting fireworks The latter uarter of the novel is a barrel of TNT with a fast burning fuseThere are no white hats no black hats just folks with guns and low motivations But it really worksThe pace is brisk and jumps even faster at times which moves the story along despite the rather long list of primary and secondary charactersThe author does a superior job of creating sympathy or at least understanding for most of the POV characters even the ones we grow to despise Not an easy trick by any stretchOther observations include; at times the violence is so graphic as to border on splatterpunk but it works in the setting exceptional character descriptions without going on for paragraph after paragraph about why the lawyer likes his paisley tie turns a lot of Western tropes upside down and plays with them easy and pleasant to read; some of the syntactical choices of scene description are simply beautiful satisfying conclusionMy only challenges with the book were; several common typos flea instead of flee and similar stealth mistakes which are hard to catch even with a great line editor on several occasions the action was moving too fast; I found myself flipping back pages to see what I'd apparently missed While there were several surprises a number of reveals were a bit telegraphed ahead of time there were a few very nitpicky anachronisms Colt pump rifles were not introduced until 1884 two years after the story takes place and similar hyper details Nothing significant at all and nothing which disrupts the narrativeIf you enjoy gritty dark Westerns without any weird you'll likely enjoy this work Alternatively if you like Westerns and enjoyed the movie Pulp Fiction there is an extremely good chance you'll love this book

  5. Huckleberry Huckleberry says:

    Disclaimer I received a free copy for an honest reviewThe write up on this novel looked appealing but as I had not heard of the author I was skeptical The opening chapter changed that view as I immediately realized I stumbled across an author to watch The writing is precise clear and gritty The story is laced with black humor The author is particularly strong at short character descriptions that make this large and interesting cast of characters memorableThis brings comparisons to Tarantino's movies and Hammet's Red Harvest If you like Tarantino Django Unchained Inglorious Basterds you will enjoy this book The book has a bit of everything with hilarious dialogue violence sex interesting characters and a story that moves at a brisk paceThis could have had 5 stars The first half of the book is excellent as the story builds and the characters develop The second half is still good as the powder keg that was loaded and put in place during the first half is finally ignited I preferred the build up of the first half perhaps because it was slower and I wanted a few of those characters to stay with us for a little longer before having to say good bye

  6. Beau Beau says:

    I received an advance review copy of this book I'm a sucker for westerns especially violent ones with witty characters and good dialogue This fit the bill perfectly It's like the HBO show Deadwood combined with Hell On Wheels and various other kick ass shows There were a few mistakes a good editing would have fixed but honestly the story and writing was so good they were easy to overlook I'll definitely be looking out for from Mr Ashley hopefully fantastic story telling like Out Of Mercy

  7. Dave P Dave P says:

    I received a review copyGreat fun with a fast moving plot and some memorable characters Action packed scenes are written vividly and keep you readingNot really comparable to Cormac McCarthy this is far fast moving and humorous less elegiac and beautiful The comparisons probably come because it's a western duh and it's very violent This may well be a plus for you too

  8. Cecilia Cecilia says:

    I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review This book honestly kicked a and took names It rip roared through chapter to chapter taking no crap from the conventions of Westerns Though there will be comparisons to The Sisters Brothers this is in your face but just as fun I am relatively new to this genre and loving every minute of it

  9. Barry Barry says:


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