The 10 short stories that make up Jog On Fat Barry symbolize the mishmash of difficulty that face people trying to muddle through an increasingly complex world, and each one of them comes entwined with odd and curious characters crossing seamlessly from one story to the next. Cotter’s diction is both brutal and blunt; it will cause offence to some readers, but the text is also vividly rich with a vernacular seldom heard. There is nothing Disneyfied in the narratives. They do not end happily. Still, for readers who are able to stomach veracity without it having to be sugarcoated, each story resides in a place that is candid and sincere. True, murder and deception are commonplace, and liberty is, all too often, sacrificed for little more than simple honour, but redemption abounds in Cotter’s scenarios, and his stories offer an emancipation of sorts to characters shackled by man’s indifference to his fellow man. The sordid streets of New York, LA, and London are the backdrop for these tales of crime amidst broken lives where the lost and forlorn battle to better their lot. It is a wake-up call to people who have their heads buried in the sand, and a sad reminder that the fish will always rot from the head downwards.
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