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Darwin's Nightmare Hardcover – Oct 1 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (Oct. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550228420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550228427
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,027,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Quill & Quire

Meet Wilson. No first name necessary. All he’s ever known is a life of crime. He has chosen a criminal path even in the face of his family members’ attempts to dissuade him. His method is simple: take on jobs from Hamilton mob boss Paolo Donati – no matter how brutal – and execute them. Wilson measures his existence according to his boss’s underlying philosophy, which, as the book’s title suggests, owes a lot to The Origin of Species: “Paolo saw his empire as a vast ecosystem, and he would not allow it to become unbalanced. Unbalanced meant he was not in control, and that chaos signaled weakness.” But even the smallest act can blow up in complicated fashion. For Wilson, that includes stealing a bag from the nearby airport without checking the contents, and administering rough justice on behalf of a less-than-trustworthy friend. In episodic fashion, we see how Wilson’s quest to grasp any specks of humanity remaining within him­self is repeatedly stymied, and others are incited to vengeful acts borne out of the idea that “weakness was worse than death.” Yet the novel, while violent and sometimes nihilistic, is not bleak. There is welcome black humour: “favors from a mob boss are like Grandma’s china – nice to have, but you never thought of actually using it.” Knowles also keeps Wilson balancing on a seesaw between likeability and villainy, tipping it just enough toward the former that readers empathize with him even as he moves further down the line toward the latter. Darwin’s Nightmare is a sobering look at what happens when a tentative quest for morality comes up against the reality that everyone lives in the jungle – where life has no value.

Review

"The evolution of the gangster novel takes a step forward with Darwin's Nightmare. Mike Knowles' hardboiled spin on Hamilton's underworld is written with a tireless and controlled intensity."  —Alan Guthrie, author, Savage Night


"Relentless. Only the most ruthless survive. A fantastic new hard-boiled voice. Anti-hero Wilson is pitch-perfect."  —John McFetridge, author, Dirty Sweet



"A debut novel with an assured, strongly focused voice and hard-boiled writing that reminds you of Mickey Spillane. . . . The violence is raw, the energy of the writing is addictive, and the story reveals life as it unravels from the wrong side of the gun."  —The Hamilton Spectator


"A sobering look at what happens when a tentative quest for morality comes up against the reality that everyone lives in the jungle, where life has no value."  —Quill & Quire



"Fans of Richard Stark and Andrew Vacchs will immediately recognize [this author's] cold-blooded pragmatism and brass-knuckled approach to problem solving. . . . The action is straight, hard and fast and the characters are as sharply etched as this stuff gets . . . as clean and tight a debut as I've seen recently."  —Mystery Scene


"Fans of Charlie Huston and Chuck Palahniuk will probably enjoy Darwin's Nightmare."  —Sacramento Book Review



"This is a good first novel, particularly as a counterweight to the often flaccid mysteries this country produces. Crime fans will enjoy the book and should watch for his next offering."  —Driven


"This fast paced novel is not for the faint of heart."  —MagillOnLiterature Plus


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