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Short Story Collection Review    


Kentucky Bad Boy
by David S. Rains
iUniverse, 2001
Trade paper, $9.95 (91 pages)
ISBN: 0595171907

David Rains has written five stories mostly fiction, but based on truth.  Eight year-old David is the seventh son, and coming from those who practice witchcraft on his motherís side, that fact holds the promise of special gifts.  Nancy Sykes was born in South Dakota and the daughter of a Sioux root doctor.  She was raised to learn the white manís ways, but held to lessons of the craft.  How she gets to Appalachian Kentucky is not explained, but she is married to a Kentucky coal miner and has a houseful of kids. 

David sleeps on the floor in the room he shares with his two older brothers, who get the bed.  One for mischief, David tells his mother that the neighbor called her a liar, so he could watch the fireworks.  His mother once killed three men with one blast of her shotgun.  Nancy Sykes Rains was legendary as a mean woman with a bad temper.   

Other stories deal with cures for a mangy dog, setting the house on fire, and going to see a warlock.  The stories are visual, lively and humorous.  Some of the phrases are hilarious: ďI just like my moonshine with RC Cola, is all.  I donít like it without a chaser.Ē Kentucky Bad Boy would be a great selection for storytelling.

David S. Rains is an arbitrator/mediator in Charlotte, NC.  He is a volunteer worker for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and serves on several boards of Foundations devoted to helping terminally ill children.  David is the seventh child of thirteen children born to William and Nancy Rains.

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


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