The book that introduces Nick Stefanos. The Pelecanos market continues to grow.
The story in this relatively short novel is rather straightforward. Nick however makes a fairly interesting anti-hero. He is an aimless, un-ambitious misanthrope, prone to drug-fuelled drinking binges. The prose is tough, atmospheric and realistic: "This section of town had its own smell in the early evening, of dried spit and alley dirt in the wedges of cracked concrete." There's a well-drawn supporting cast of characters, particularly the floor salesmen at "Nutty Nathans", the electronics chain where Nick works. The ending is dark and uncompromising, there are no happy ever afters here.
This is the first book by George P. Pelecanos that I've read and afterwards I wanted to read more. It is a fine crime novel in the tradition of Jim Thompson or David Goodis.
Bottom line: perhaps not a stellar Pelecanos novel but I enjoyed the ride. Recommended.
"A Firing Offense" is a good story, however, and one well worth reading if you like action and plot.
But here is my problem...does Pelecanos write these books only to attract a male audience? I've gotten this feeling with each of these books since there's always some inside male jokes, references to sport's figures and trivia that only guys would know, gratuitous and gritty sex and over the top drinking and drug binges. All of the characters are trying to be so cooler than cool. They don't just leave a tip....they "drop a twenty on a fifteen dollar tab." The first time Pelecanos writes this, it's clever...by the fifth or sixth time, it's old already.
I'm sure this will incite Pelecanos' fans but I mean this sincerely when I say that "I am a fan." I just wish he wouldn't be so exclusive of the opposite sex when he writes. I can understand that he's probably a real man's man -- the kind of guy other guys want to hang out with. But I want to join the party and I get the feeling with these last three books I've read that it's an "all boy's club" and I'm not invited.
Other reviewers have said that The Firing Offense is one of the weaker books in the series.Read more ›