What actions must a boy take to become a man? One might use a razor to clear his first growth of beard, while another could employ it as a weapon -- both actions might be a fitting rite of passage.
In these dazzling works of fiction, seventeen masters of crime and suspense explore what it means to be a son, what it means to be a father, what it means to be a man. Spanning continents and decades, the stories are set in interconnected worlds both instantly recognizable and astonishingly believable, from long stretches on a dry Texas highway to a bleak London alley, from the claustrophobic confines of an after-hours backroom poker game to a rundown jazz joint in Manhattan.
Amid card sharks, revolvers, and shallow graves, the characters who inhabit these stories strive to discover what is right, what will give them dignity, what will earn them respect. Whether at the age of ten or thirty-five, all will come face-to-face with a situation that will brutally separate the men from the boys.