Richard Lange’s book of twelve short stories, Dead Boys, deals with those men who appear to be "normal"
but are really on the fringe of society. However, as we read, we realize we all are on the fringe to some
extent -some just more than others. Each story deals with a man who has a troublesome aspect of his life -love
relationships, parental / sibling difficulties, occupational deficiencies and others.
The stories are based in Los Angeles, and we see the opposite of the glamour and glitz that we have come to
expect from that locale. We see the down-and-out version of the city.
In "Bank of America," the main character appears to his family and his friends (with some exceptions) to be a
typical husband and father, though he has a risky but very quick and profitable way to get ahead - he robs banks.
Some of the stories have a reasonable denouement. The character in "Bank of America" moves to the country
with his wife and son, and presumably never has to answer for robbing banks. In some of the other stories, such
as the title story, "Dead Boys," the end is somewhat like their lives -in limbo.
The stories are believable because we all know people who, in one way or another, act very much like these
characters do. A good portrayal of men found to be slightly outside the circle of acceptance.