Sweet Nothing

Sample a story: "After All" | "Instinctive Drowning Response" | "The Wolf of Bordeaux"

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 built.

Sweet Nothing is an unforgettable collection that shows once again why T.C. Boyle wrote, “Lange's stories combine the truth-telling and immediacy of Raymond Carver with the casual hip of Denis Johnson. There is a potent artistic sensibility at work here.”


“Richard Lange’s stories are a revelation. He writes of the disaffections and bewilderments of ordinary lives with as keen an anger and searing lyricism as anybody out there today. He is Raymond Carver reborn in a hard cityscape. Read him and be amazed.” —T.C. Boyle, author of San Miguel

“For all the darkness that runs through the stories, Lange maintains a disarmingly light touch. . . . These tales are not far removed from the classic stories of O. Henry and Guy de Maupassant.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Skillfully constructed . . . Lange portrays the lives of people struggling to survive, with the focus on families, both blood-related and chance-made.” —Booklist

“What makes this collection a wonderful read is that it’s only marginally akin to anything else. Swift, gut-wrenching, and sometimes cleverly disarming fiction by a master.” —Joe R. Lansdale, author of The Thicket and Edge of Dark Water

“For me the best stories are rabbit holes. You read the first lines, maybe a page, and you’re down there. Somewhere else. Another life. Richard Lange is one cwazy wabbit.” —James Sallis, author of Drive





sweet nothing