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Another Life(CD)Lib(Unabr.) [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Andrew Vachss
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 30 2008 Burke Series (Book 18)
The only person Burke has ever called “father,” a legendary crime planner known throughout the underground as the Prof, is in a coma, barely clinging to life in the off-the-books hospital where the crew stashed him after their last job went off the rails. So when Pryce, a shadow-man with deep (and very dark) government connections, offers a package – Presidential-grade medical services for the Prof and a wiped-clean slate for everyone who participates – Burke signs the contract without reading it. The two-year-old son of a Saudi prince has been kidnapped. A highly professional snatch: no errors, no forensics...and no ransom note. Burke’s job: get the kid back. Whatever it costs, whatever it takes. Pryce came to Burke because the profile concluded this was the work of a pedophile ring. But after Burke turns over every rock and comes up empty in his hunt for maggots, the ultimate man-for-hire must return to the day “Baby Boy Burke” was written on his birth certificate to conduct the one interrogation that could possibly save this child and write, in the blood of his enemies, the final act of his life story.

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Review

“There’s no way to put a Vachss book down once you’ve begun.” —Detroit Free Press

“Vachss’s prose is as taut and street-wise as ever.” —Associated Press

“Burke is the hardest, most twisted man in crime and thriller fiction.” —Contra Costa Times

“Vachss is just about the toughest of contemporary crime novelists. [He] waves a powerful light across a city landscape that few writers go near and none portray so convincingly.” --Los Angeles Times

“The hardest-boiled crime fiction this side of Sing Sing.” --USA Today

“Sheer narrative drive is only part of what has kept readers coming back for more. [Burke] is a hero of our times. . . lord of the asphalt jungle.” --The Washington Post Book World

“Vachss’s style is as inimitable and passionate as ever.” --Rocky Mountain News

“Vachss is a contemporary master.” --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Writing in a style so sleekly engineered that it purrs when you pop the hood, Vachss gives such a smooth ride that it’s easy to forget someone is driving.” --The New York Times

“Vachss has always been able to make other writers look candy-assed . . . And it’s not because he manages to marry grim idealism to action-driven plots. It’s because of the unflinching way he looks at evil.” --Chicago Reader

“Vachss is red hot and as serious as a punctured lung.” --Playboy

“The New York Burke inhabits is not borrowed from anybody and shimmers on the page as gaudily and scarily as it does on the street.” --New York

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Andrew Vachss is a lawyer who represents children and youths exclusively. His many novels and two collections of short stories have been translated into twenty languages, and his work has appeared in Parade, Esquire, Playboy, and The New York Times, among other publications. A native New Yorker, he divides his time between the city of his birth and the Pacific Northwest.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Hardcover
I have read all the Burke series and much of Andrew Vachss'
other novels and short stories, starting with Strega, the second
of the Burke series. Flood, the first Burke book, came
later for me.
The Burke series I found always hard to put down,quick, and easy
reads that I usually finished on the first or second day.
I found this particular entity which may be the final one in the series
very slow and ultiminately a slow and disappointing novel.
Not one of Vachss' books that I would recommend.
I rather hope it is not the final. I would not want Burke to go out on a negative note.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Another Life June 9 2009
Format:Hardcover
Not my kind of book , bad choice for me but I am sure others would enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this guy now. Nov. 18 2008
Format:Hardcover
I know I haven't even read this "Burke" novel yet but going by the past dozen or so it will be a hit. I give it 5 advance stars so I can be the first to tell you if you haven't read the "Burke" books and are in to seriously hard boiled crime fiction where the "bad" guys get one over on the "worse" guys, you'd better start at the beginning. Don't read this one. Go back and check out some Andrew Vachss websites, find a list of the novels in order and come back to Amazon and order the first one. If you like it you'll be hooked. Then read them all. They're not for the weak stomached, but if vengance is your thing and you want to see some real justice in the world read these books and do it in order. it will make it that much more fun. Burke, the main protaganist, is Bond (Daniel Craig version) without the bowtie, who goes anywhere, does anything, and says to hell with the rules. And one last thing Burke and his criminal family love to listen to Judy Henske. Check her CDs out to

Enjoy the ride
P
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who come after Jan. 19 2009
By Rose Dawn Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Another Life is the final chapter of the Burke series -- I've always viewed the entire series as analogous to a single book, with each novel representing a chapter in Burke's story. If you've been a fan of the series, you will of course want to read this book; nobody sets down an engrossing read with the last chapter untouched. You won't be sorry. Burke, and the series, leave our lives on a high (or rather, hopeful) note. The conclusion may or may not leave you reeling, but it's guaranteed to leave you *thinking*.

It seems to me that Vachss' novels always have two simultaneous "themes" -- there are the action points, what most reviewers will tell you the book is "about" -- and then the slightly more subtle, infinitely more meaningful underlying thesis. On one level, Another Life is about Burke agreeing to look for the abducted toddler son of a Saudi royal in exchange for medical care for the Prof, clinging to life after being shot in the last chapter, and a clean slate for other Family-of-Choice members. Another (chance to continue the same) Life. At its heart, though, AL is a book about the things we do, the lengths we will go to, for "those who come after."

I'd heard a couple folks say this book was "predictable," and that frankly surprises me. Burke is in no way an impromptu type of individual, he plans everything he does down to the last detail. He doesn't *want* surprises, and those who've taken this journey with him all the way are likely justified in feeling we know how Burke will react to many given situations. This is where the surprise (on my part) came in. Vachss has written before in the series about people who "do the right thing for the wrong reason," and neither Burke nor Vachss has any problem with that. What I never really expected Burke -- or Vachss -- to address is the other side of that "intent" coin, those who do the *wrong* thing, but do it for the *right* reason, with the best of intentions, hoping to create something better but going terribly wrong. There are two specific instances of that in AL, and they're closely entwined.

Burke's core Family all work with him on this one, along with many characters who've made appearances over the course of the series, so we get a chance to say goodbye to our favorites, both old and newer. As the parent of a fellow adult, I was deeply touched by the themes of growing, moving on ... letting go. When you've put in the work, the day will come when it's time to stand aside and let your kids go to make their own lives, find their own worlds. This book is "about" fathers, and mothers, sons and daughters. It's "about" Family, what we do to make one, the lengths we go to to keep them safe, and (if the job was done right), the bittersweet feeling of seeing them move on being overwhelmed and subsumed by the pride we feel while watching them go.

When I read the last page and closed the book, I felt almost exactly the same way I felt at the end of Shella. So, my own personal response to the question "What is Burke going to do next?" is: He's going to pick up his jacket.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic series, classic end... Jan. 21 2009
By C. Williamson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Another Life" is the concluding chapter in the long novel that has been Andrew Vachss's Burke series, and will be no disappointment to those who have been following the story since 1985's "Flood." On the contrary, the book is the quintessence of what Burke tales have always been.

There is a puzzle to be solved, the investigation of which stretches throughout the book, taking Burke and the reader into areas of society that are tough to visit even through the filter of "fiction." There are the vivid characterizations and relationships between the main characters of Burke's crew, relationships that have grown deeper with every book. There are the frequent asides and soliloquies on contemporary life and society that I've always found as fascinating as the actual plots. And there is a climax that serves as a textbook definition of the perfect ending: surprising but inevitable in retrospect.

Add to all of these qualities the emotional resonance that comes with knowing that this is the last time we'll ever be able to walk with these characters, and "Another Life" is a gem, a novel that lets us look back to Burke's past and ahead to whatever future we can imagine for him and his family of choice. At once valedictory, heart-breaking, uplifting, and deeply satisfying, readers who have vicariously shared Burke's life for nearly a quarter century should no sooner miss this final chapter than the Prof should speak two sentences in a row without a rhyme. Like Mr. Henry says, "Only thing that's true is what you do," and what you've got to do is read this one. It rings true and clear as always, and for the last time...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A goodbye to Burke, hopefully not to Vachss Feb. 5 2009
By Linda Koban - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Vachss' incredible ear translated into Burke's dialogue is unprecedented. Perhaps Burke and his family of choice have reached the kind of stability many of us hope for, but Vachss hopefully won't leave us without the only authentic view into the world of monsters and predators that most of us, fortunately, will never have contact with. I'll miss Burke and the gang, especially mama; we should all be so lucky. But if you you've been on board this unprecedented body of work you will want to say goodbye, and if you haven't the flashbacks provide a taste of what you've been missing. The family has entertained us for years, now it' s time to get involved in the issue and Vachss' website provides more than enough opportunities and incentive to do that.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A contractual obligation? Oct. 29 2009
By D. W. Lees - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Maybe a bit harsh, but my impression was this was a book that had to be written quickly before the author could move on. It may also be that the "book" I had in my head for Burke's last outing was so different.

A number of pivotal characters in Burke's past are very conspicuous by their absence. Little set pieces that are not plot driven but familiar to all Burke fans were also missing...no card games with Max, no bets on the trotting. Even Burke's relationship with a new dog is glossed over and made irrelevant and unbelievable.

I am glad that most reviewers found the book to be 5-star but I'll stick with my version. If Mr Vachss gives me permission I might even write it!

In the meantime I'm going back to Flood to read through the series again.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Burke Series Conclusion Feb. 8 2009
By Douglas Setter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As sad as I was to see the Burke series end, I thought that it was done well. Burke is approached by a shadowy character, Pryce (from Safe House) to retrieve the kidnapped son of a Saudi prince. During his search for the missing boy, Burke takes a road of self-discovery and redemption. While not my favorite Burke novel, I liked the way that the case was solved while Burke dishes out his own brand of justice. Cleverly enough, some of the popular characters are allowed to gracefully withdraw from "the life," while Burke sort of fades out. Vachss makes more than his usual social commentaries without pulling any punches. That in itself was entertaining.
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