Sunday Story Ratings #58: The Long Silence After


The Long Silence After by Ed Gorman

Originally published 1992 in Prisoners and Other Stories (by Ed Gorman), this edition 1995

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Collected in: Hard-Boiled: An Anthology of American Crime Stories (ed. Bill Pronzini & Jack Adrian)



Not recommended for persons under 15 years of age, but no legal restrictions

(L, S, H, D, V)

Coarse Language {M}

Sexual References {PG}

Supernatural References {no weight}

Drug References {G}

Some Violence {M}




Women present in a variety of roles, but in context of story primarily as sex workers.


Heterosexuality only, tension with monogamy significant.

Race & Ethnicity:

Chicago, mixture of black and white folk, mostly poor except the protagonist. Story feature's white, middle-class protagonist focusing his anger at a poor, black sex worker he once had sex with.

Disability, Physical Diversity and Health:

Primary focus of story is HIV (implicitly).



None found



Terribly sad, strong story to finish the collection on. The introduction in this collection quotes from the author's own original introduction, and I reproduce that here also: "We kill so many people in our stories that I worry we have no sense of real death, or the true spiritual cost of dying. In this story, I wanted to give death at least a little dominion." An ultimately fatal lapse in values, years past, and lashing out at another over it.