Roots Down to Hell
Short Stories

Roots Down to Hell

Roots Down to Hell 

Roots Down to Hell is the latest short story to be checked off my constantly growing to be read list. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever read everything on my list. My husband loves to joke that I need to read everything I own before I buy new books. This is usually said as he’s walking through a bookstore carrying a pile of the books I’m about to buy. He always makes me laugh. 

This post contains affiliate links

Have you read Roots Down to Hell yet? Come on in and let me tell you about it! 

Roots Down to Hell
Carl the Sloth wanted to give Roots Down to Hell a read with me!

About Roots Down to Hell 

He found himself at war with the modern world—and the laws of God and Man.

When a rural misfit from a harsh, blue-collar world marries an idealistic college girl, the chances for domestic bliss are close to nil.

Because marriage isn’t what it used to be, and neither is higher education.

But nobody explained any of this to Kevin Chapman, and now it’s too late. His reality just crashed down around him, and when the dust settles, he’s in the aftermath of the unthinkable.

Kevin’s life is now a nightmare that he can’t wake up from. As his bleak past weighs on him, and his unthinkable acts multiply, his only hope is to embrace the darkness—and risk being lost in it forever. 

The noir buff is now trapped in a scenario he’s read about too many times: his crimes multiplying, suspicion mounting, and nothing standing between him and life in prison except his crude intelligence and his willingness to keep doing the unthinkable.

Note: This novel was formerly titled Noir Bastard. The title had to be changed because the word “Bastard” hindered promotion efforts. 

Roots Down to Hell
Roots Down to Hell

Thoughts on Roots Down to Hell 

Roots Down to Hell is a shorter story, at less than two hundred pages. So I expected this to be a nice and quick read late last night before I fell asleep. Yeah, that wasn’t what happened. 

“Now she went into Victim of Domestic Abuse mode.”  

Matthew Louis, Roots Down to Hell

I was intrigued by the blurb about the original title being what “hindered” promotions of this book. But what really hinders it is the fact it is simply terrible. If you can make it through the first chapter of pure hate speech, violence, making fun of domestic violence victims, senior citizens, liberals, and sexist insults, you’re certainly ahead of me! 

“I already know the commie faggots have taken over your little piggy brain.” 

Matthew Louis, Roots Down to Hell

I had high expectations for this book, as Paul D. Brazill, the author of Gumshoe Blues, had praised Roots Down to Hell, and I enjoyed that book quite a bit. But sadly, this didn’t come anywhere close to meeting my expectations. 

“I involuntarily pictured the brutal little dyke sitting in her brand new Altima that she owned for some dykey reason, parked in the lot of the Circle K that was just up the road.”  

Matthew Louis, Roots Down to Hell

I read this book all the way though, just to say I did and give you an accurate review. But let me tell you, it wasn’t easy! This is easily one of the most egregiously insulting pieces of trash that I’ve ever read. 

Normally when something controversial, taboo, or insulting is said or happens in a book, I can often overlook it if it fits and makes sense. But it has to fit into the story. There is a big difference between something fitting and something being there just to be insulting and shocking. 

This feels like Matthew Louis took every possible insult and controversial buzzword and threw them in here just for the shock value, and it added nothing to the actual story. This doesn’t even qualify as a story, so what could he add? Nothing. 

The disgusting part about this is we all know someone who talks and thinks exactly like our main character. Which makes this even worse in my opinion. Why is he trying to glorify someone like that within this story? 

The only thing this book is good for is toilet paper, in my opinion. 

Final Thoughts on Roots Down to Hell 

I always encourage my readers to read books and come to their own conclusions about them. But this is one where I would encourage you to save both your time and money. Because I want a refund on mine! 

It really was that bad. This was the first and definitely the last book from author Matthew Louis that I will ever read. 


Have you read Roots Down to Hell, or Noir Bastard as it was originally titled? Are you a fan? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

About the Author 

Matthew Louis is the founding editor of the pulp fiction journal Out of the Gutter, and the author of the gritty crime novels The Wrong Man and Roots Down to Hell. His literary heroes, in no particular order, are Jim Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut, John D. MacDonald and Tom Wolfe. In his other life he is an entrepreneur and a family man. 

Purchasing Roots Down to Hell 

If you are interested in buying the paperback version of Roots Down to Hell, click here.

Click here for the Kindle version.

Click here for my favorite Kindle I currently own.

Amazon Notice 

The Reading Wife is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, at no added cost to you.

Roots Down to Hell
Roots Down to Hell


  • David Michael Rice

    In real life the author appears to be a misogynistic bastard, so perhaps the main character’s behavior is Matthew Louis’ fantasy here in real life (see, for example, the article he wrote titled “The Castration of Men’s Fiction,” which is creepy and disturbing AF).

    • The Reading Wife

      I had wondered myself if Matthew Louis was like that in real life. Because the kind of things he said in the book, despite being fiction, simply aren’t normal things even a decent person would say or think about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!