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Choice of Evil: A Burke Novel Paperback – May 16 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (May 16 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375706623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375706622
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #430,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on Dec 30 2010
Format: Audio CD
As has been said, 'There is no other living American author with prose as razor-clean as Andrew Vachss.....Vachss is a Zen warrior with a pen.' And he is also a warrior who explores the cruelest areas of life, whether it be pedophilia, ritual killing, sadism, or sexual deviance. He does this with no holds-barred; his words are startling, candid, often producing what some may call abhorrent but certainly frightening scenarios. Having said all of that CHOICE OF EVIL may well be his darkest Burke novel yet.

There is a tad of levity at the onset when Burke's dog, Pansy, is arrested in a police raid, and the rescue involves releasing a clutch of yapping canines. But then the terror begins when Burke is hired to find and protect a vigilante calling himself Homo Erectus who has declared war on gay bashers.

Just as the prose is razor sharp so is the narration by Phil Gigante, a veteran of some 70 audio books (including Burke stories). He delivers a forceful voice performance, made even more frightening by a clear, at times almost emotionless reading. While some less proficient readers might be tempted to give drama full throttle in some of the nightmare producing scenes, Gigante knows that in this case less is more.

- Gail Cooke
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By Uqob on April 10 2002
Format: Paperback
As a stand alone novel, it is perhaps too heavy with references to previous novels but the disturbing nature of the story is strong enough to prevent those moments from becoming too distracting. The story is actual a mystery, as Burke (the protagonist) attempts to find the killer of his girlfriend Crystal Beth and discovers that her death is actually a great deal more horrific given who the murderer may be. The plot is not only an exploration of what kind of adult a State run (specifically New York) childcare department can produce but also the seamy criminal culture of pedophiles and serial killers. Be forewarned this book is not a comfortable read. Mr. Vacchs skill is enough that a great deal of the book is read with a fair amount of dread as one damaged character appears after another, with the character Burke being the axle of which this wonder-wheel of strange and unusual individuals revolve. So what's to like about this book? It's a crime genre novel and if you enjoy that kind of book it is well done and swimming with enough criminals and insinuated violence to make your skin crawl. The dialogue reads the way people speak so there is a flow that makes you the 3rd person in the scene, but there can be a bit of a struggle as characters interrupt each other's dialogue to express their own thoughts. In regard to the cast of characters, it's hard not to appreciate the loyalty Burke and his adopted street family share, but it's an uncomfortable appreciation given the nature of many of the relationships between the characters, most of them being practicing criminals.Read more ›
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By Scott Sweet on Feb. 26 2001
Format: Paperback
.. "Choice of Evil," though full of the urban misery and blues we've come to expect, doesn't pack the same punch. Granted, it would be hard to top "Sacrifice."
Burke's women either leave or die. So, Crystal Beth dies in what seems to be a drive-by at a gay pride rally. We get Burke the Sleuth, but not the Avenging Angel. The online search for the killer teases us with the possibility of Wesley's return..
What I miss in recent Vachss is the destruction of children as a plot element; lately it's left in the background as a short-hand device for character development. True to form, there's the Next Twisted Woman - a dominatrix named Nadine. their dialogue is a departure from the usual Burke-woman banter; Burke seems downright crotchety. His impatience with female posturing is at an all-time high. Nice to see Strega again, though. She still scares Burke 'cause she's a reminder that despite his resignation, he still desires...
As Vachss moves an aging Burke further away from ground-zero vengeance, he moves into Thomas Harris-style psychological intrigue. Give me the hellish terrain of "Sacrifice" and "Hard Candy." Reempower him as the bloody-handed avenger of the Children of The Secret.
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Format: Paperback
A rally in Central Park to protest against gay bashing encounters a murderous drive-by resulting in five people down and two dead. One of the dead is Crystal Beth, Burke's girlfriend. Claiming responsibility is someone calling themselves "Homo Erectus". Burke is unsurprised when the cops pull him in for questioning because he is homeless, homicidal, a man gun and unable to find the shooters who killed his last chance at love. Choice Of Evil is a novel of the twisted workings of human hearts, the dark side of the human experience, and the bleak life offered marginal men and women caught up in webs of fear, bigotry, violence, and evil.
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Format: Paperback
I decided to read this because I am a fan of Maggie Estep, and she is a fan of Vachss. The story line sounded interesting, and although I am unfamiliar with the characters in his books and this is not typically within the genre I choose to read, from the beginning I was fascinated. I was intrigued with the idea of Homo Erectus, and the rapture became more and more encompassing as the pages turned. The plot has many, shall we say, twists and turns. I was surprised at different revelations, but all I will reveal is that I was hooked, and I definitely recommend it. This work is very stimulating, with diverse and generally devious characters, descriptive action, and the plot is perfectly woven as is Vachss' wicked unraveling.
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