Steve Earle is of course one of my most favorite musicians (check here for statistical proof), it was a no-brainer for me to obtain his collection of short stories Doghouse Roses then - if ten years after it had originally come out. As King Kaufman rightly puts it, this really is a songwriter moonlighting as a short story writer and some of his stories are more like songs than anything else. Earle tries to latch onto his songs style and also the kind of crude, working-class modern Southern fiction often times sounds like (Dagoberto Gilb, Larry Brown, or William Gay come to mind). The problem is, he only succeeds at this to some extent. His stories are too simplistic, too much like songs really, too often and the same can be said for his language, which works much better in the starker poetic environment of song-writing than in the prosaic world of fiction-writing.
All in all a must for anybody fascinated by the living legend, activist, and torch-bearer that is Steve Earle, but I am more curious to listen to his next album than to read his second book (a novel) which came out in 2011.