Narrator

Ramiz Monsef

Ramiz Monsef
  • Stories included:

    • “The Woman from Cougar Creek”
    • “The Price of Pride”
    • “The Devil and Old Man Gillis”
    • “Shooting for a Fall”
    • “It’s Hell to Be a Hero”
    • “The Tongue-Tied Cowboy”
    • “From Hell to Leadville”
    • “The Deputy with a Past”
    • “Judge Peterson’s Colt Law”
    • “The Breaking of Sam McKay”
    • “Fugitive from the Boothill Brigade”
    • “The Man Ten Feet Tall”
  • Saddle tramp Sam MacKinnon is in trouble. Double-crossed by his partners after robbing a saloon and gambling hall, MacKinnon has been left behind in the mountains of southern New Mexico with busted ribs, a banged-up head, no gun, and no horse. And no chance—because aging lawman Nelson Bookbinder and his Mescalero Apache scout, Nikita—both made legendary by dime novels MacKinnon has read—are leading a small posse hot in pursuit of the bandits. Miraculously, MacKinnon escapes the law, finds his horse and rifle, and, despite his injuries, sets out on the vengeance trail. But fate has something else in mind for Sam MacKinnon.

    Miles away in the desert furnace between Ruidoso and Roswell, nineteen-year-old Katie Callahan has troubles of her own. Her mother has died of tuberculosis, and her worthless stepfather has abandoned the family, leaving Katie with her younger sister and five-year-old stepbrother, a busted wagon, a blind mule, little water and food, and her mother’s body that needs to be buried. When the wounded MacKinnon rides into that camp, he’s faced with a choice.

    Fate, however, still has a few other surprises in mind for the saddle tramp, the young woman, MacKinnon’s partners, and even that aging New Mexico lawman.

    Inspired by Pasó Por Aquí, the classic 1926 novella written by Eugene Manlove Rhodes—“The Bard of the Tularosa”—and filmed as Four Faces West (1948), seven-time Spur Award winner Johnny D. Boggs tells a story of the detours, road blocks, and sidetracks along the journeys to justice, love, vengeance, and redemption.

  • The small town of Ballester owes its prosperity to the confluence of three big ranches—Snowshoe, Mexican Hat, and Rainbow. Its single lawman, Deputy Sheriff Percy Whittaker, known as Perc, didn’t have to deal with much lawbreaking other than the occasional drunk on a Saturday night. Until a drifter named Sam Logan rode into town looking for work.

    The first problem came when a rider from the Snowshoe ranch provoked a gunfight with Logan, and lost. He was followed to the grave by another rider from the same ranch looking for revenge. Both killings were deemed self-defense, but it rattled the peaceful community.

    But when a preacher comes to town to save souls and starts by knocking out three cowboys, Perc starts to wonder if he’s in over his head—or if Logan and the preacher might be working together.

  • Badger Kershaw was becoming a familiar figure on the frontier after the War between the States. Riding an Appaloosa with Lobo, his dog-wolf hybrid, often by his side, he was feared by most outlaws on the dodge on whom there was a bounty. It was not a savory profession, perhaps, but Kershaw was honest about what he did. Frontier lawmen for the most part were accustomed to dealing with Kershaw. When the fugitive was willing to surrender—which was less frequent than it might be thought—Kershaw would bring in an outlaw alive, but it was not an option he encountered very often. Generally it was one man against another, but in what would possibly be Badger Kershaw’s greatest feat, the odds were quite different.

    Colonel Benjamin Grierson had been Kershaw’s commanding officer during the War between the States. When, years after the war’s end, Grierson’s daughter was one of the four women seized in a train hold-up and taken prisoner, Grierson appealed again to the man who had once served under him to rescue the women from the outlaw gang. Kershaw surprised the army when he chose to do the job entirely alone, despite the incredible odds against him.

  • One of our most gifted writers of fiction returns with a bold and piercing novel about a young single mother living in New York, her eccentric aunt, and the decisions they make that have unexpected implications for the world around them.

    Reyna knows her relationship with Boyd isn’t perfect; yet she sees him through a three-month stint at Riker’s Island, their bond growing tighter. Kiki, now settled in the East Village after a youth that took her to Turkey and other far-off places—and loves—around the world, admires her niece’s spirit but worries that motherhood to four-year-old Oliver might complicate a difficult situation. Little does she know that Boyd is pulling Reyna into a smuggling scheme across state lines, violating his probation. When Reyna takes a step back, her small act of resistance sets into motion a tapestry of events that affect the lives of loved ones and strangers around them.

    A novel that examines conviction, connection, repayment, and the possibility of generosity in the face of loss, Improvement is as intricately woven together as Kiki’s beloved Turkish rugs, as colorful as the tattoos decorating Reyna’s body, with narrative twists and turns as surprising and unexpected as the lives all around us.

  • Krantik is cynical, jaded, and utterly bored. He’s also a paranoid hypochondriac. As an Indian working in Rome, he drifts in and out of a dead-end relationship with the assistance of several intoxicants and a short-lived love affair.

    His personal revelations and delusions of grandeur are exquisitely funny and devastatingly poignant, sometimes descending into barbaric crudeness exposing the hollowness of social mores and the anxieties of a rootless generation. The obsessive solipsism, the protean cultural associations, and the wry, unexpected observations scattered through the book capture the confused apathy of the millennials. This is a clever, bizarre tour de force, part noir, part philosophy, and filled with the entirely unexpected.

    Jack Kerouac meets James Joyce meets Harold and Kumar meets Jonathan Lethem in this wildly inventive portrait of a generation.

  • Sasha, a young computer programmer from Leningrad, is driving north to meet some friends for a nature vacation. He picks up a couple of hitchhikers, who persuade him to take a job at the National Institute for the Technology of Witchcraft and Thaumaturgy.

    The adventures Sasha has in the largely dysfunctional institute involve all sorts of magical beings—a wish-granting fish, a tree mermaid, a cat who can remember only the beginnings of stories, a dream-interpreting sofa, a motorcycle that can zoom into the imagined future, a lazy dog-sized mosquito—along with a variety of wizards (including Merlin), vampires, and officers.

    First published in Russia in 1965, Monday Starts on Saturday has become the most popular Strugatsky novel in their homeland. Like the works of Gogol and Kafka, it tackles the nature of institutions—here focusing on one devoted to discovering and perfecting human happiness. By turns wildly imaginative, hilarious, and disturbing, Monday Starts on Saturday is a comic masterpiece by two of the world’s greatest science fiction writers.

  • A tongue-in-cheek guide to becoming a dictator, based on the outrageous, scandalous, and excessive behavior of dictators past and present

    Who hasn’t dreamed of one day ruling your own country? Along with great power comes unlimited influence, control, admiration, and often wealth. How to Be a Dictator will teach you the tricks of the trade—how to rise to the top and stay in power, and how to enjoy the fruits of your excellence.

    Featuring examples from the most successful leaders and regimes in the business, including Kim Jong Il, Robert Mugabe, Muammar Gaddafi, Nicolae Ceauşescu, François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, and many others, this handy guide offers ten easy lessons on becoming and acting like a dictator: from how to rig an election and create your own personality cult to the dos and don’ts of dictator fashion and palace architecture; how to become wealthy and spend your fortune the right way; expressing your literary genius; and how to avoid being toppled, exiled, and/or meeting any other dismal end.

    Combining black humor with political insights, How to Be a Dictator is peppered with horrifying and hilarious stories from some of the most eccentric modern world leaders.

  • The most ferociously political and prophetic book of the Cut-Up Trilogy, Nova Express fires the reader into a textual outer space, the better to see our burning planet and the operations of the Nova Mob in all their ugliness. As with The Soft Machine and The Ticket That Exploded, Burroughs deploys his cut-up methods both to scramble the scripts that fix our destinies and to create startling new forms of poetic possibility. Nova Express is a visionary demand to take back the world that has been stolen from us.

  • His father had warned Howie, “You can’t ride two horses with one ass.” But here he was, living a double life—one racketeering with his crew and the other sitting in cafés reading Penguin Classics.

    To fit in, Howie hides his intellectual interests from his gangster friends, but they still suspect something is not right about him. The real problem is that someone has been bad-mouthing Howie to Vinnie Five-Five, his captain.

    Howie thinks he could solve all his problems by finding a way to leave Vinnie’s crew without anyone thinking he would turn rat. And while he goes about advancing this plan in his deliberate, half-baked way, a war breaks out between the Italians in Sheepshead Bay and the Russians in Brighton Beach.

    Now, beside his friends, he has enemies who wish him dead. So he must run from the basement apartment he rents from his sister—the one person who truly loves him—into the arms of demure and bookish Ariel, who likes her men rough and her sex rougher.

    Howie believes it necessary to continue keeping his erudition under wraps lest Ariel lose erotic interest. Will Howie survive the war? Will he survive Ariel’s wrath when she finds out she’s harboring not a thug but an aesthete with PhD-level cultural knowledge? Why the hell not? But boy is she mad.

  • In The Ticket That Exploded, William S. Burroughs’ grand “cut-up” trilogy that starts with The Soft Machine and continues through Nova Express reaches its climax as inspector Lee and the Nova Police engage the Nova Mob in a decisive battle for the planet. Only Burroughs could make such a nightmare vision of scientists and combat troops, of ad men and con men whose deceitful language has spread like an incurable disease be at once so frightening and so enthralling.

  • In The Soft Machine, William S. Burroughs begins an adventure that will take us into the dark recesses of his imagination, a region where nothing is sacred, nothing taboo. Continuing his ferocious verbal assault on hatred, hype, poverty, war, bureaucracy, and addiction in all its forms, Burroughs gives us a surreal space odyssey through the wounded galaxies in a book only he could create.

    A total assault on the powers that turn humans into machines by writing and fixing our life scripts, Burroughs’ original “cut-up” book was itself rewritten in three different forms. This new edition of The Soft Machine clarifies for the first time the extraordinary history of its writing and rewriting, demolishes the myths of his chance-based writing methods, and demonstrates for a new generation the significance of Burroughs’ greatest experiment.

  • CompWare is in serious trouble after a promised merger falls through, so they do what other businesses have done to bolster their public image: they hire a consulting firm to review and streamline their business practices.

    But there’s something strange about the firm they hire—more specifically, the quirky gentleman who arrives to supervise the project: Mr. Patoff, tall and thin and wearing a bow tie and with an odd smile that never quite reaches his eyes.

    In his first interactions, the consultant asks inappropriate questions and generally seems a nuisance. Over time, Patoff gains power to the point where he seems to be running the whole company. He enacts arbitrary and invasive changes to office protocol; he places cameras all over the building, causing paranoia among the workers; he calls employees at all hours of the night; and he visits some of their homes and menaces their families. People who defy the consultant get fired … or worse. The employees of CompWare soon realize they’re not just fighting for their jobs: they’re fighting for their lives.

    The Consultant is a biting workplace satire with the horrific touches only Bentley Little could provide.

  • The tenth novel by Nobel and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Saul Bellow

    Kenneth Trachtenberg, an eccentric and witty native of Paris, travels to the Midwest to spend time with his famous American uncle, a world-renowned botanist and self-described “plant visionary.” After numerous affairs and failed relationships, the restless Uncle Benn seeks a settled existence in the form of marriage—but tying the knot again opens the door to a host of new torments. Benn’s erotic tendencies and disastrous relationships lead him and Kenneth into a hilarious and wonderful romp through America’s mind-body dilemma—a journey in which Kenneth must also examine his own shortcomings with women.

    Philosophical and humorous, More Die of Heartbreak mercilessly examines the inner workings of a man in desperate pursuit of happiness.