Wake Up, Time to Die by Chris Rhatigan was one of the most enjoyable reads I have had in a while. Rhatigan has a knack for making you laugh out loud, anticipate the next story yet hope the one your reading never ends, and make you wish he put out a book a day.
This collection had nothing but great stories. When every story is good, it is hard to pick favorites, but in the name of a good review, let me give it a try.
Creator/Destroyer: A great story about a very odd man who fulfills a fantasy to get a life he loves when he kills a man and moves in with the man’s wife and family. All is going well until he begins to get paranoid how easy it is to steal someone’s life and he begins to believe someone is plotting to steal his recently gained life. A great little trip through a paranoid mind.
Man Standing in Front: When the main character wakes up to find a hit man with a gun aimed at him, he imagines the worse. Only in a world created by Rhatigan would a hit man simply follow his intended victim through his day and share conversations with him. Rhatigan has a way of writing plots full of the totally unexpected and this story shows him at his best.
The Things I Need to be a Hitman: When a career change is needed, the main character decides that becoming a hit man is the way to go. The only problem is he has no idea how to make this career change. With careful research and a willingness to do anything to get his name out to those who may be in need to having someone killed for a reasonable price, it is only a matter of time until he is a renowned hit man. This story was a blast from start to finish.
The best story of the bunch is You’re Welcome. This story had me laughing out loud and realizing you never want to get into an insult contest with Rhatigan. This story has the greatest insults ever put to paper! A man becomes obsessed with an unworthy slob he sees in a local store using coupons and being a generally pain in the butt person who mooches off the hard work and good will of others. He makes it his mission to rectify this situation and spends his time following the man to put a plan of revenge into play. A great ending that had me laughing out loud.
I could not recommend this collection more highly. This has everything a reader will need to have a good time and spend a few hours in the warped worlds created by Rhatigan.