Straight Razor (1995)

From Black Ice Books:

Time: 20 minutes into the future.

Setting: The treacherous margins of post-industrial society.

Cast: Sexual outlaws, female & male serial murderers, techno-freaks, gender benders, rogue cops, punk anarchists…

Content: Horror, outrage, razor-sharp satire, virtuosic writing and visual beauty by two of the most original contemporary American artists, in collaboration.

In this uncanny collection of 12 stories, Harold Jaffe and Norman Conquest, artist illustrator extraordinaire, have produced a book with the precision of a laser and the charge of a land mine.

Straight Razor has been purchased by Capitan Swing Libros of Madrid and will be translated into Spanish and published in Spain in Fall 2011.

Read sample chapters from Straight Razor:


“Jaffe’s best book to date. Which is saying a great deal. Incisive, vibrant, brilliant, even prophetic.”
— Washington Post

“Brilliantly, elegantly poised on the schizoid edge of our crumbling culture.”
— Library Journal

“Exquisite chaos from the master word processor of our generation.”
— San Diego Union-Tribune

“You will be forever changed after reading Straight Razor. It is a hip, bleak, postmodern masterpiece.”
— San Francisco Chronicle

“These pieces, exploring gender slippage and fringed dwellers’ rage, televised sexuality and the fragmented, isolated, interrogated, com-modified, and media-ized pomobod, charged with a spirit ironic and energetic as the dark angel at the foot of your bed at three in the morning come to take you to the Murder & Mayhem theme park in the sky, succeed terrifically.”
— Review of Contemporary Fiction

Straight Razor, the new long-awaited collection from Harold Jaffe, is a dirty dozen of fictions which take place along ‘the treacherous margins of post-industrial society,’ in a parallel present or future, which if you squint at your monitor morphs into a vision of our own delirious culture . . . Constrained by the fictions to think for ourselves and to look at the world in its rawest rendering while denied the cathartic purge of a sit-com society, we leave Jaffe’s collection pent and perhaps poised for our own revolt.”
— Puck

“For the first-time Jaffe reader, Straight Razor is a peach of a place to start: fuzzy and fun on the outside, sweet tart and fleshy in the middle, but watch out — the pit is bitter and a bit poisonous. Go ahead and eat anyway. The poison is a curative dose, anti-anesthesia for the culturally numb.”
— New Novel Review

“Laconic, critical, inspiring . . . You jump from one terse text to the next, molested by numerous waves of manic, info-dense, wired, psychotic images of people at the boundary and just how far they go off that edge and beyond the channel, infiltrating the next form of media to be forced on the market toward hyper-chic expenditure.”
— American Book Review

“Jaffe’s ‘guerrilla writing’ engages the enemy head-on and prods us into thinking of new ways of resisting, new ways of living.”
— Nobodaddies

“In Straight Razor, Jaffe delivers his most precise and immediate thought grenade ever. The dozen stories occur twenty minutes into our degraded future and are menacing in their closeness to right now, tonight, the next episode of Headline News.”
— Bakunin

“Daring and disturbing, Straight Razor skirts about the ‘treacherous margins of post-industrial society,’ but often seems more concerned with the decline of Western civilization as a whole, tackling issues as broad as race, gender, and identity, as well as tapping into our darkest fears, ranging from AIDS to Armageddon . . . Jaffe’s bleak, urban landscapes and characters leading lives of noisy desperation are memorable and hauntingly familiar, a chilling chronicle of life in the nineties.”
— Black Warrior Review


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