Confessions of A Tattoo ArtistPaperback - 2011
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Anthony’s a punk, a miscreant who’s already done time in juvie for selling drugs before he finished high school. Raised by his grandparents in Calgary, Anthony heads for the west coast as soon as he graduates and ends up in Victoria.
Interested in tattoos and good at drawing he decides being a tattoo artist is his calling. He becomes an apprentice at Capital Tattoo, owned by Hank the Tank a full patch member of the biker gang Lucifer’s Choice.
Anthony becomes "Ant" and within in year he’s working on people.
When his grandmother dies and leaves him a small inheritance he opens his own shop, Red Ant Tattoo. Ant’s on a roll doing work he loves, regularly getting high and having sex with Kate, the girl at the bagel shop.
Then Hannah walks into his shop.
She’s blond, hot and underage, something Ant doesn’t find out until too late. When Hannah gets pregnant, Anthony tries to blow her off. Hannah screams rape, the statutory kind, and during the ensuing investigation it also comes to light that he tattooed a minor without parental consent.
His shop is closed down for three months, he has to pay a significant fine as well as come up with some cash for his defense on the rape charge.
When Ant laments his misfortune to his mentor, Hank has a solution. There’s good money in selling drugs and Hank will front him the product.
Anthony thinks he’s found the solution to his problems, but what he’s done is made a deal with the devil.
Prick: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist is a high energy, fast paced read. The specifics about the art and procedures of tattooing sound authentic, as does the lifestyle associated with drug dealing.
Author Ashley Little is a pro when it comes to story structure, characterization and dialogue. The story is seamless and this reader was totally immersed in Anthony’s rise and fall.
Little’s novels (Anatomy of a Girl Gang) remind this reader of the work of Annie Proulx; the protagonist starts disadvantaged and things get worse, a lot worse, the lucky ones die.
One wonders where Little’s fascination with the marginalized and the criminal element who take advantage of them will lead her next? There’s a sick and seedy part of society out there to explore and she seems determined to do it.
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