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A Firing Offense Paperback – Sep 1 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (Sept. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852427159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852427153
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #827,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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By JW on Jan. 25 2004
Format: Paperback
Nick Stefanos is an ad manager at a Washington DC electronic store. He is asked to find a missing teenager named Jimmy Broda by the boys grandfather and soon uncovers a plot involving murder and drug running.
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.
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Format: Paperback
'A Firing Offense', as judged by many amazon.com reviewers, is not the most thrilling of crime novels by Pelecanos. In fact the criminal aspect of this story, which only comes to light towards the end (..no spoilers), is somewhat thin. However this book simply oozes with atmosphere. 1980s wasted youth, drug culture, with the lead character (Nick Stephanos) definitely in a "desperately seeking something" mode. I felt transported back in time to a different place. There is something also of a Jack Kerouac feel to it also as much of the book takes place on the road.
Bottom line: perhaps not a stellar Pelecanos novel but I enjoyed the ride. Recommended.
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By Judith Lindenau on June 8 2003
Format: Paperback
This first book in the "Nick Stefanos" series is definately a guy book: lots of drinking and drugs, fistfights, all-night drives, hamburgers, and sex on the couch. Excellent descriptions and some fine writing, to be sure, but a little more author's energy spent on character development would have helped me relate to Nick and his buddies, and actually invest some energy in caring what happened to them.
"A Firing Offense" is a good story, however, and one well worth reading if you like action and plot.
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Format: Paperback
When I started reading Pelecanos, it began with "Right As Rain" after seeing him at a book signing in Philadelphia a few years ago. After that reading experience, I knew I had to read some more of his books so I turned to his Nick Stefanos' series. Someone suggested I read them in chronological order as opposed to the order in which he wrote them. Based on that recommendation, I began with The Big Blowdown, which takes place in the 1930's and 1940's. I thought this book was phenomenal. Chronologically, the next three books were King Suckerman, which takes place in 1976, The Sweet Forever, which takes place in 1986 and A Firing Offense which takes place in the early 1990's -- all of which I've now read.
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 ›
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Format: Paperback
As a lover of the crime genre I was keen to read this having had Pelecanos recommended to me by more than one person. I bought an omnibus edition with A firing Offence, Nick's Trip and Down By The River Where The Dead Men Go in one book. I finished A Firing Offence on the first day and I'm about three quarters of the way through Nick's Trip. In a nushell I found this book to be quick and easy to read, interesting in that I have not read anything set in Washington DC before and it certainly had a good plot with a well paced story. The characters did nothing for me. I thought Stefanos was boring and dull. On the one hand he is meant to be exciting with a bit of drug taking in his past (who hasn't?) and the ability to have a bit of a scuffle, in reality he is a single alcoholic with few if any friends who spends most of his time driving around in a drunken stupor. The gunfight scene in the warehouse is not particularly believable and Stefanos' demeanour directly afterwards is far too composed.... the whole thing is a little to unbelievable for me as well as being somewhat trite. I won't bother with the third book in the series. Not bad but hardly great.
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Format: Paperback
I first read Right as Rain, and Hell to Pay. Those are great books. I can't wait to read the new one in that series. A Firing Offense, and the others in this early series by Stefanos is very mediocre. The protagonist is drinks, smokes pot (an interesting twist), and likes getting laid. The writing just plain isn't that good. Just another private i book. Nothing to get excited about. His recent series with Right as Rain, Hell to Pay, and the new one, Soul Circus, are worth getting excited about. Read those.
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