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Dead and Gone: A Burke Novel Paperback – Sep 11 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Vintage Contemporaries ed edition (Sept. 11 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375725261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375725265
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #546,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
VACHSS IS EXCELLENCE - SOME OF HIS BOOKS ARE MORE DISTURBING THAN OTHERS AND THIS IS ONE OF THEM. BURKE IS A CHARACTER OF A LIFETIME. WITH BURKE , VACHSS HAS ENSURED HIS PLACE IN CONTEMPORARY MYSTERY WRITING AND CAN REST ASSURED THAT HE WILL KEEP MAKING MONEY FOR HIS TRUE PASSION IN LIFE, HELPING CHILDREN.
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By Michael Clarkson on March 18 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because of its reported resemblance to the Parker novels of Richard Stark. In reality Vachss' hero, Burke [those acquainted with Cockney rhyming slang will prefer the spelling Berk] is a million miles from the formidable, self-sufficient Parker. He is entirely dependent on an unbelievably politically correct group of people who display a dog-like devotion to the egregious hero. Members of the ethnic minorities thus patronised will be irritated by this device. As far as I know there is not yet a collective noun for such a group so let me suggest the coinage "luvvies" which is current in London for disgusting media folk.
The author misses his target which is the excellent hardboiled American detective style by such a wide margin as to have his book sink in a morass of glutinous sentimentality.
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Format: Paperback
I respect the heck out of Andrew Vachss' ideas and his issues, but those things are not why I read mystery novels. I loved the first few books in the Burke series-- found them taut and edgy, dark and smart. Lately though I had the feeling that the medium had gotten lost in the message and I'd found the books harder and harder to read.
_Dead and Gone_ takes Burke in a new direction and takes a little bit of the crusading hero out of my favorite anti-hero. The death of Pansy and his new face force him in a new direction and into the reach of new characters in a different part of the country. I liked the character of Gem (even if I'm a little jealous of every other woman in Burke's life :)) and I found Burke a lot more interesting this time around.
It isn't perfect, and the plot ends up feeling a bit contrived, particularly at the end. But the mood is pretty close to right on, and that's what I read Vachss' novels for anyhow.
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By Anna Klein on Dec 17 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the first Burke novel I've read. I picked it up because it was listed as being about the prevention of child abuse, which is near and dear to my heart. I found it different from my usual reading (Kellerman, for example), but liked it just the same. I got lost frequently but fell in love with Burke, despite his taste for blood. I wish the book had been a bit more about children, though I enjoyed discovering how Burke survived his childhood. I'm just trying to remember if he has a first name....
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Format: Paperback
Dead and Gone continues the evolution of the character of Burke, an abused-child now-adult for whom the word 'dysfunctional' is almost comically euphemistic. In this installment, Vachss has chosen to disrupt the chain-link of safety constructed by Burke throughout his life. Previous novels have shown Burke's displacement from his home, and the near-loss of his partner, Pansy. Dead and Gone provides further upheaval, and ultimately forces Burke to examine the one weak link he has created - his pattern of behavior, a pattern which may have resulted in the violence and death that has left him permanently altered. Vachss, seemingly alone among his peers, refuses to lock his characters into cartoonish rigidity: they age, make mistakes, suffer human frailties. Readers will see Burke struggle with impotence and the dissociative episodes that have marked all the books, most noticeably in Choice of Evil. He also begins a romantic relationship that is notable for the ease with which Burke, who seems to have always dreaded relationships, is now able to give and receive compassion. Burke is a character whose religion is revenge. The fact that he acknowledges this final pattern - by breaking it - distinguishes the novel as thoughtful and courageous. Vachss' on-going examination of the long-term damage resulting from child abuse and his front-line reportage of the issues involved are themselves compelling to read. That he dispenses the information through such well-drawn, multi-layered novels is just our luck.
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By brx on Nov. 9 2001
Format: Paperback
This one is one of the better burke novels. Vachss did have the tendency to focus more on his message than on the action in his last burke novels and somehow we had read it all before. Now, Burke is presumed dead and has to reinvent himself, becoming more a character like "The Shadow". We learn more about Burke's past and get to meet in "Seawulf" fashion Lune, another charakter from his non-childhood.
Comparing this novel to the earlier Burkes I found that the series becomes more and more a "Criminal Fantasy", less authentic, less real. More like James Bond, with total disregard to character motivation, logical settings and logical conclusions (eg. Burke is in hospital for months, fakes amnesia and is frequently visited by the police who tell him that they know who he is - and he never asks them to tell him something about himself; He visits Lune in a Reservation far off any road. The only access is a path he has to walk on for hours - getting there it's ultra modern radar station with 30-40 people working there. I wonder how they are supplied and how this thing got there in the first place; It is never really explained how Lune solves the puzzle, he just does). This disregard for reality left me unsatisfied with reading the novel, because with putting the plot into fantasy land he propels the crimes commited also into "un"-reality, which is a shame as it contradicts the message of the books.
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