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Clockers: A Novel Paperback – Mar 4 2008


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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist



Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 1 edition (March 4 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312426186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312426187
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.9 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With consistent authority, Price explores the gritty underside of a New Jersey housing project in this four-week PW bestseller.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Price (The Breaks, 1982, etc.) has spent the past ten years writing for Hollywood (Sea of Love, etc.)--but you wouldn't know it from the dense textures and supple dramatics of this epic slice of urban grit about frazzled drug-dealers and burnt-out cops. Of the many impeccably authentic urban types here, Price focuses on two: 20-ish ``Strike'' Dunham, black chief of a crew of crack-dealers (``clockers'') in the dead-end burg of Dempsy, N.J., and 43-year-old white Dempsy homicide cop Rocco Klein. Each is suffering an identity crisis when a murder puts them on a collision course. Strike, in a constant panic from dealing with his homicidal boss, crack-kingpin Rodney Little, is considering changing jobs; Rocco, six months from retirement, is thinking that his life is a big zero--a nullity underlined by his humiliating antics to curry the favor of a film star who might portray him in a movie. Then someone guns down another of Little's henchmen, and--shocking both Strike and Rocco--Strike's solid-citizen older brother, Victor, confesses to the killing: ``self-defense,'' he claims. Not so, thinks Rocco, who decides that Victor is covering for Strike and starts harassing the young dealer by framing him as a stoolie- -certain death at Little's hands. Meanwhile, myriad subplots vivify Strike's and Rocco's worlds: Rocco initiates the film star into the horrors of jail-life; Strike apprentices a young boy into dealing; Rocco's baby girl disappears; Little's legendary hit man wastes away from AIDS; Strike nearly dies from a bleeding ulcer. Finally, Strike, with a vengeful Little literally steps behind, turns to Rocco for help--a move that allows both to find a kind of hope and renewal. A vital and bold novel rich in unexpected pleasure, with Price generally avoiding melodrama, sentimentality, and stereotype to portray a harsh world with cleareyed compassion. (Film rights sold- -for a highly touted $1.9 million, including Price's screenplay.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
STRIKE SPOTTED HER: baby fat, baby face, Shanelle or Shanette, fourteen years old maybe, standing there with that queasy smile, trying to work up the nerve. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Helleberg on June 23 2004
Format: Paperback
I first stumbled onto Richard Price with a fifty-cent used copy of "Ladies' Man." It was engaging and fun, kind of like an unusually smart episode of Seinfeld with an NC-17 rating. It convinced me to give "Blood Brothers" a try and after that, forget it. I went forward to "Samaritan," back to "The Wanderers," and tracked down copies of his screenplays in between. I couldn't read enough of this guy.
However, Clockers remains Price's grand achievement to date. It's a crime novel of unusual depth that bears more in common with Dostoevsky than Elmore Leonard. Some reviewers have said Clockers fails as a mystery. I'll be the first to agree: as a genre mystery, Clockers does fail. But it's not a genre mystery. It's a map of the landscape, both urban and personal. It's a novel of morals and it's a tragedy. Price follows the drug-dealing Strike and detective Klein as their stories head inevitably towards collision. Both men are working to do the right thing, but are put directly at odds by forces out of their control. This is tragic to the capital T. Price accomplishes many astonishing feats here, not the least of which include making the world of Demsey real enough to touch and developing deep sympathy and understanding for both Strike and Klein without ever trading his gritty style for schmaltz. Price has incredible powers of observation, his eye for character and ear for dialogue, doubtless honed by his time working in housing project administration.
I absolutely disagree with the reviewer who claims that Price falls short of Lethem, Gibson, and Leonard.
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Format: Paperback
Richard Price's "Clockers" is a gritty, honest, brutally realistic portrayal of a young drug dealer trying to go straight, set in a bleak urban landscape of a fictional New Jersey city (In reality it is Jersey City, since Price mentions real streets in his gripping narrative.). Strike, the young dealer, is a mesmerizing protagonist, neither hero or villian, trapped by dire circumstances in his drug-infested, criminal world. Rocco, a delinquent husband and father, is a lackadaisal detective who finds new strength and appreciation for his work after trying to untangle a complex web of clues related to a bloody gangland-style homicide inside a local restaurant suspected of having strong ties to drug dealers such as Strike. Although I am quite impressed with Price's bleak tale, I can award it only four stars since it falls short in literary quality to some of the best work written in a similar vein by the likes of Elmore Leonard, William Gibson and Jonathan Lethem.
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Format: Paperback
Great book, it is not often that an author can come up with such a comprehensive book as this on his first try. This had it all, a great story, good characters, wonderful action and a quick pace. This is an exciting book that at its heart is a murder mystery. I think this is just a Powerful book, I just got in the head of the main character - the writing is just that good. ... I will add that I loved the location descriptions and characters. I doubt you will be able to put it down; the story is just so well put together.
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Format: Paperback
Richard Price's Strike is an unforgettable character - a teenage drug dealer with moral fiber, smart enough to save his money and not draw attention to himself with a flashy lifestyle, who secretly feels protective of his young "clockers" and learns to respect the cop that investigates him for a murder he didn't commit.
Great story, great writing.
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By Travis on April 30 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was BUCK as hell.
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