Sweet Nothing by Richard Lange

Sweet Nothing

In these gripping and intense stories, Richard Lange returns to the form that first landed him on the literary map.These are edge-of-your-seat tales: A prison guard must protect an inmate being tried for heinous crimes. A father and son set out to rescue a young couple trapped during a wildfire. An ex-con trying to make good as a security guard stumbles onto a burglary plot. A young father must submit to blackmail to protect the fragile life he's...

Details Sweet Nothing

TitleSweet Nothing
Release DateFeb 10th, 2015
PublisherMulholland Books
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Noir, Short Story Collection, Literary Fiction

Reviews Sweet Nothing

  • Melki
    Yes, we're all con men at heart.This is a fantastic collection of short stories about the members of our society who find it hard to fit in, hard to pay the rent and hard to forget the past. There are killers and reluctant snitches, junkies and ex-junkies, criminals and former criminals who struggle with life among the civilians. Here is a gambler who finally wins a bet, but loses a good thing in the process. Here is a man bored to death by his n...
  • Allan
    Richard Lange isn't a big name, but is an author whose books I will always be on the look out for, having enjoyed in particular his 'Dead Boys' short story collection, and debut novel, 'This Wicked World', each inhabiting the lower reaches of LA life and society in their narratives.This short story collection, with a couple of exceptions, finds Lange on familiar ground, telling the stories of a variety of characters, some more sympathetic than...
  • Genevieve
    Wear your darkest aviator shades. Richard Lange’s collection of short stories in Sweet Nothing Stories are set under the glare of the California sun, mostly in the concrete jungle of L.A. and surrounding areas. There’s something about L.A. Must be the cognitive dissonance of smog and heat and the Pacific Ocean and the bullet-riddled ghetto and the golden hills. I went to school in NYC and yet nothing terrified me more than that summer I lived...
  • Liz Barnsley
    One of my New Year Resolutions this year was to return to my once avid love of short stories - this seemed like a good place to begin and I'd say that was a brilliant choice on my part. Hey modesty ain't my thing.Every story to be found in this collection is, without exception, absolutely compelling and beautifully written...the book travelled around with me and every time there was coffee there was a story. They all have a dark side, a delicious...
  • Scott Cumming
    I don't always have the time or the inclination to review the books that I've read. Sometimes it comes and goes by the time I get to adding my rating. I take the time to point this out as this will be my second review of a Richard Lange book. (And I almost chickened out of it.)Having previously read Lange's novel Angel Baby and having left with the feeling that things were wrapped up a little too neatly I decided to see if I enjoyed his stories b...
  • Glenda
    4.5 starsAmazing collection!
  • rachel
    So I just posted a status update two hours ago of feeling conflicted for not liking the few stories that didn't stick to Richard Lange's strength (being: grifters, gamblers, convicts in contemporary LA). I didn't want to go to 19th century France or post-apocalypse with him. I wanted to keep living in his quietly tragic world of garden variety petty criminals.And then, the final two stories: "Sweet Nothing" and "To Ashes". Both snuck up on me and...
  • yix
    I semi-liked Sweet Nothing, with its brutal reality and gutty characters, stuck in the middle between right and wrong like we really are, not like those fictitious, flawless protagonists. The writing was all right, I suppose, lyrical sometimes and staccato at others but nothing remarkably beautiful. These short stories, however, did not strike me as anything special. I got bored during some of them; they were all too similar and it's almost like ...
  • David
    I received a free advance copy of this book as part of a GoodReads First Reads giveaway. This short story collection takes the reader into the gritty side of L.A. Much is pointed out today of the shrinking middle class, and the 1%. This collection focuses on the other 1%, bringing you into their lives, understanding their struggles and, yes, makes you want to root for their success amid all their struggles. If you think you have it bad, there are...
  • Serena
    starsIn compliance with FTC guidelines, I have won this book through the Goodreads Giveaways.Must Come Down Baby Killer the Wolf of Bordeaux the 100-to-1 Club Gather Darkness Instinctive Drowning Response Apocrypha After AllSweet Nothing To Ashes My Rating System:* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
  • Pamela
    As I was telling my dad: "Most short stories I encounter are really precious. These ones are gritty and real."
  • Carole
    In Richard Lange’s new book Sweet Nothing, the reader gets a taste of the less-than-glamorous side of life in Los Angeles, California. This book’s marketed as a collection of thriller short stories, but I don’t think it’s the right label. Lange’s previous book—Angel Baby—was a fast-paced novel of that genre. True, you’ll fly through these tension-filled stories, but not because they are suspenseful thrillers. This collection bring...
  • Don
    All of the characters in Lange's bleak, tender stories are losers, men with questionable pasts and limited futures and yet the author's gift is making them appear sympathetic as they try to negotiate the here and now in their own clumsy ways. There are no wasted words, no throwaways, all of the stories are worth reading, but I found 'Sweet Nothing',the title story about a former drug addict trying to find his way back to a more balanced world the...
  • Christine
    I will confess, I gave up after only a few of the stories. I think Lange is a good writer and has great pacing and all the technical skills. He's just hanging around in subject matter I'm not a fan of.
  • Sarah
    Very talented author. I cannot wait to read his other books!
  • Leo
    Another great read from Lange.
  • Tim Hennessy
    Following up his Hammett Prize winning second novel, Richard Lange’s collection of short stories, Sweet Nothing showcases his skill constructing stunning narratives filled with a generosity of spirit. In “Baby Killer” the guilt of witnessing a murder weighs heavily on Blanca, the matriarch of a family living in a working class Los Angeles neighborhood. Lange layers conflict on Blanca as she tries to protect her daughter and teenage granddau...
  • Brandon Castaneda
    I received an advance copy of this book through Goodreads Firstreads. At first I was not sure I would enjoy a collection of short stories that seem to end just as you are getting a feel for the personalities and souls of the characters. However, after the second story, I began to really enjoy these glimpses into different lives. These stories are honest and sometimes brutal. The main characters are not your typical heroes, they are anti-heroes in...
  • kelly
    At this point, I will read just about anything that Richard Lange writes. I was wowed by his short story collection "Dead Boys," impressed with his novel "Angel Baby," and even though I was a lil less than happy with his other novel, "This Wicked World," it's ok. I love his subject matter--people who find it hard to fit in and fly right. In any other novel you'd dismissively call his characters losers and turn the page, but Lange paints his chara...
  • Ella Drayton
    **I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Any thoughts and opinions are my own.** The heart on the cover of this book may lead you to believe that these short stories are going to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Please understand that it is also colored black for a reason. Your heart will feel like it's turned black once you finish reading these stories. This is my first experience with Richard Lange's work but I must s...
  • David Bridges
    Soooooo good!!! Sweet Nothing is a beautiful collection of shorts that are dark and depressing in some parts but in others they're beautiful and humane. Lange writes about those small indignities in life so well. Many of the characters in these stories are either trying to redeem themselves from past transgressions or coasting along after a life of hardship. Lange writes characters so well you are right there with them in the L.A. heat. Wether it...
  • Christian Duchateau
    Wow. 2015 has only just begun but SWEET NOTHING will rank as one of the best books I've read in this or any recent year. Ten stories, all but one take place in and around Los Angeles. Each features a different cast of characters -- from a recovering junkie to an ex-con security guard, a husband who has a real problem with his father-in-law to a lonely old man fighting to save his home from a forest fire. Author, Richard Lange nails the voice of e...
  • Jeff Forker
    This is one of the best collections of short stories that I have read. Amazing. Awesome style and voice. Every story is on target. Already lent out my copy. Will prob need to get another one.
  • Heather
    Sweet Nothing is deceptive. A heart on the cover, but really dark and twisted on the inside. Set on the dark side of Los Angeles, his collection of short stories refuse to shy away from that which is gritty and uncomfortable.The characters you meet and the kind of people you'd usually empathise with or root for in text, but that's probably why this collection is a little bit different. By the time you get some grip on knowing them, you're moved o...
  • Sheryl
    Wow, I just finished this wonderful series of short stories and that's all I can think of. I loved each and everyone of them. I think a few of them would have made great full novels. The stories themselves are rather on the dark side of humanity, it shows the weakness and struggles of people leaving on the fringe. The story all has a certain message in them also, what you can lose in life and also what you can gain if you decide to change your pa...
  • Casey
    Ouch. My heart hurts after reading this. Each tale in this collection is devastating, but the writing is so beautiful that each time I began a new story, I hoped for the characters within. Silly me. This is all about grit and attempts at redemption. I have to give Lange major credit for capturing so many voices as well: male, female, white, black, Hispanic. Each narrator felt authentic. I'm still a bit sad over one of the stories I finished readi...
  • Keith Rosson
    Beyond just, you know, the guy improving his craft and all that, I have no idea what happened to Richard Lange between DEAD BOYS, his previous short story collection, and this one, but WOW. This one is just unstoppable. My previous concerns about his kind of one-dimensionality are gone here - these stories are varied and nuanced and just... man, great book. Knocked it out of the park, guy. Heartily recommended.
  • Thomas
    Yet again, Richard Lange dazzles us with stories the straddle the seedier side of life- the broken, the lost, the down and out, the resurrected souls trying to keep their head above water- some making it, some just making do. Powerful and heartbreaking, Sweet Nothing, just like his first short story collection (Dead Boys), will be among the best books you will read this year.
  • B
    Great group of short stories. Most of the stories deal with crime, gambling, and drug addiction but there is a post apocalyptic story as well. The characters are all ordinary people either down on their luck or going through the daily grind. Very believable and easy to read stories.I won this book through Goodreads first reads giveaway.