"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

What They're Saying About Fred Willard's Down on Ponce

Down on Ponce, by Fred Willard 

The Ponce of the title is Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia, and is, according to an Author's Note, "a haven for the homeless…

The Ponce of the title is Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia, and is, according to an Author's Note, "a haven for the homeless, the lawless and the restless". Qualifying on all counts is retired marijuana smuggler Sam Fuller, who gets involved in the disintegrating operations of mob boss Billy "Dong" Chandler. Fuller is aware that Chandler has a huge cache of money hidden somewhere - if one were to go by his nickname, perhaps the front of his trousers might be the first place to look - and decides to round up a crowd of the usual suspects in order to steal it. The result is a highly engaging comedy-thriller which never lets up until the last frenetic page.

via Irish Times

Down on Ponce
Fred Willard

This is a real rollercoaster of a book - I couldn't put it down. It's easy to read, full of action, and there's no knowing where it's going next. The characters are unusual - to put it mildly - but totally believable. I was with them all the way with a smile on my face, even through the sometimes bloody violence. Not for the fainthearted, but it will certainly brighten a dreary day.


As soon as we stopped, Bob jumped out and stripped off his clothes. Then he joined Charley at the tailgate and they slid out the stretcher. Bob lifted Lloyd forward and was holding him, getting ready to find him a comfortable spot to watch the action, when Charley unzipped the body bag.

The first thing Vogel saw was a huge naked man with a stocking on his head, but half his face obviously missing, standing in the red light holding another man with a stocking on his head with amputated legs.

He screamed in total primal terror, then fell silent.

If you like Elmore Leonard, you have to read Fred Willard‘s Down on Ponce. This is not Fred Willard, the actor, but another Fred Willard, a journalist from Atlanta. Down on Ponce is a caper story, with a lot of plot to go around, but the characters and the dialog are what put it on the list. Some of the funniest dialog I’ve read in years, and one character in particular, Charlie, an ex-con hearse driver who refers to himself as Death’s Representative in Atlanta and who likes to attend anti-abortion rallies for the entertainment quality is a true gem. My favorite of Charlie’s lines, “That was one of your better fetus flings, even if I had to do it myself.” The grim underbelly of Atlanta never looked so good. Down on Ponce is published by a small publisher, so you might have to work a bit to find it, but it’s worth it.

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