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Drink Before The War Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 1996


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (July 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380726238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380726233
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #457,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Lehane's assured debut avoids several common first-mystery flaws before stalling on a less ordinary one. Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, two young, smart-mouthed Boston PIs, are hired by a trio of prominent macho politicians to find a State House cleaning woman who may have purloined some important "documents." The pair quickly learns that Jenna Angeline has no documents. She does have a son and a husband who lead rival black street gangs, an angry sister and a photo of one of the pols with her husband in a hotel room. While helping Patrick, Jenna is gunned down in a hail of Uzi fire; gang war is quickly declared, and the two detectives aim for a plan that will avenge the innocent and punish the guilty. Lehane leaps right into the action; more gradually, we learn about Pat's abusive father, Angie's abusive husband and the attraction smoldering between the two principals. The light tone and whipsaw banter, however, can't carry the pace when the action later slows in this mystery that starts with a bang and goes on shooting-but doesn't hit the bull's eye.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this first novel, set in Boston, violence swirls around narrator Patrick Kenzie and partner Angleo Gennaro. This intrepid investigative duo are hired by two state senators to locate a black cleaning woman who filched several sensitive "documents." They find her easily enough, but the items she took, which point to child prostitution and political corruption, cause gang warfare and murder. Lehane's minimal use of literary references helps establish character, as do his frequent allusions to child abuse and wife battering. Rough and tumble action for a high energy, likable pair.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh, the novel itself is great, and normally I'd give it five stars. But I'm hoping that giving it one star will call SOMEBODY'S attention to the excerpt insanity that has gotten totally out of control here.
You see, the novel itself is only 277 pages long... but has been puffed up with no less than thirty pages of advertising, including excerpts from not one, not two, but THREE of Dennis Lehane's books.
'OK, you say,' 'that's pretty gross, but is it really worth ranting about?'

Get this. The book includes excerpts from 'A Drink Before the War,' 'Darkness, Take My Hand,' and 'Sacred.' No, no, you say, that's a misprint, this book IS 'A Drink Before the War.'
No mistake. This book includes an excerpt FROM ITSELF. Chapter Two appears in its proper place at pages 11 through 16. Then it appears again as an excerpt on pages 281 through 286.
I guess they think that after you've read the book, you'll forget which book you've just read, hit the excerpts, say, 'Gee, that sounds good,' and run out and buy a second copy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love to read and I am always looking for good mysteries and science fiction. Amazon.com and Waldenbooks both listed Dennis Lehane on my account under recommendations. I read the first few pages of three of his books and bought them, now I wish I had read a little further. Lehane gets rave reviews from quite a few sources and nowhere in those reviews have I seen one word about Lehane being ignorant, disrespectful and downright prejudiced, which he is. You see Lehane refers to black people with that old ugly word, yes the 'n' word. He is consistent and most of the characters in this book use that ugly archaic term. It must make things easier for Lehane in terms of characther development, look at all the time he saves in fleshing out a character by simply describing them as a nigger. Well Lehane, I am Black and definitely not a nigger. I am a consumer, a consumer who loves to spend money on books and one who will never again enrich you coffers with even ten cents of my money. If anyone is looking for a detective to love try teaming up with Elvis Cole, a series of books by Robert Crais. If you see people as people, good and bad, don't buy books from this author who sees people in terms of color and if the color isn't white then the person couldn't possibly be a good worthwhile human being.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh, the novel itself is great, and normally I'd give it five stars. But I'm hoping that giving it one star will call SOMEBODY'S attention to the excerpt insanity that has gotten totally out of control here.
You see, the novel itself is only 277 pages long... but has been puffed up with no less than thirty pages of advertising, including excerpts from not one, not two, but THREE of Dennis Lehane's books.
'OK, you say,' 'that's pretty gross, but is it really worth ranting about?'

Get this. The book includes excerpts from 'A Drink Before the War,' 'Darkness, Take My Hand,' and 'Sacred.' No, no, you say, that's a misprint, this book IS 'A Drink Before the War.'
No mistake. This book includes an excerpt FROM ITSELF. Chapter Two appears in its proper place at pages 11 through 16. Then it appears again as an excerpt on pages 281 through 286.
I guess they think that after you've read the book, you'll forget which book you've just read, hit the excerpts, say, 'Gee, that sounds good,' and run out and buy a second copy.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Veronica on July 4 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Drink Before The War is an exciting and thrilling novel which fuses so many different elements; crime, violence, romance and humour. I read the book really quickly because it was so compelling and found myself laughing out loud at the one-liners.
The main character Patrick Kenzie tells the story in first person narrative. He gets more and more interesting and complex as the book progresses, and the insights into his childhood were fantastic. This book is the start of the Kenzie/Gennaro series, and it really is very promising. I've already read the last in the series - Prayers for Rain, and I can't wait to read the others to see what happens to them in between.
I thought Angie Gennaro, Patrick's PI partner and unrequited (?) love, was fantastic. Other reviews have commented that the sparks between them didn't fly, but I feel the exact opposite. I thought the romance between them was realistic and great. The part near the end where they kiss after the bomb scare was really touching. There was one point where Patrick says 'At that moment, I think I knew what love was', when Angie smiled at him. Perfect :-)
Overall this is a fantastic book which is witty and gritty. From a personal perspective, I was a little disturbed by just how violent it was sometimes. One particular scene where Patrick and Angie listen to someone being tortured on a cassette recording was particularly horrific. On reflection I think the book needed some of this violence to justify the lengths that Patrick and Angie go to later on, and to show the reader how bad the situation in the neighbourhood really was. In other words, the violence was not gratuitous, but I didn't like it either. I would recommend this to those who want to read down-to-earth crime and have a good laugh at the same time.
JoAnne
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