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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: 12.7 x 1.5 x 19.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,026,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Thirtysomething Nick Stefanos, up-from-the-sales-floor ad manager at a Washington, D.C., electronics chain, has quit smoking and considerably reduced his drug intake but still drinks pretty heavily. When the grandfather of Jimmy Broda, a stockboy Nick has befriended, asks him to help find the missing boy, Nick reluctantly agrees. Jimmy has been hanging out with skinheads and Nick begins plumbing that world after he's fired from his job. With time and severance pay on his hands he follows Jimmy's trail to the resorts of the Carolina Outer Banks, moving back to Washington to unravel a plot that involves drugs, violence and murder. Besides offering an inside look at electronics retailing, dreary skinheads, a nostalgic list of late baby-boomers' pop songs and quite a lot of drinking (including a solo binge by Nick that feels gratuitous), Pelacanos also delivers a blazing, climactic shoot-out. Nick's weltschmerz is saved from excess by the cool, controlled prose and the realistic, rather bleak resolution.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Meet Nick Stefanos, hard-drinking, heavy-metal-loving D.C. appliance salesman who talks so much like a private eye that stockboy Jimmy Broda's grandfather insists that he find the missing boy, who was fired after he stopped showing up for work--and who was last seen with novice druggie Eddie ``Redman'' Shultz and dangerously experienced Kim Lazarus. Despite Nick's marathon sessions with drink, drugs, and women, the seamiest stuff goes down on the retail floor of Nutty Nathan's, a milieu that Pelecanos limns with such tell-all relish that it's obvious Jimmy's troubles stem from his job--and it's a shame (though no surprise) that, by the time this loosely plotted tale has run its course, Nick has left retail for the comparatively wholesome world of the professional shamus. Nick's as robust as his mystery is anemic. This debut is promising--but better wait for Pelecanos to throw better stuff. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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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.
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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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By Angel L. Soto on June 17 2002
Format: Paperback
George Pelecanos's novel A FIRING OFFENSE introduces private detective-in-the-making, Nick Stefanos. Nick is a thirty-something advertising director for Nutty Nathan's, an electronics chain store. He is responsible for buying advertising space from newspapers and radio stations and providing the necessary copy and art for the store's ads. He is good at his job even though he feels he is at a dead end. This changes when he meets James Pence.
James Pence is searching for his grandson, Jimmy Broda, who used to work at one of the Nutty Nathan's in Washington, D.C. He has been gone for three weeks and no one has heard from him. He is hoping that Nick might be able to find out what happened to Jimmy. Nick feels a certain kinship to Broda and he feels that he needs to try to find him. Nick goes to work at the store Jimmy used to work for and gets involved in a drug-smuggling operation.
Pelecanos's tries to show the gritty side of Washington, D.C by focusing on the youth who live and work in the city. The employees at Nutty Nathan's show contempt and disrespect for the customers they serve. They lie and trick them and get drunk and stoned during business hours and they find ways to screw their customers. Nick gets involved with skinheads and the punk culture as it is in the early nineties when the story takes place. This book might not be every person's cup of tea but it takes more than one book to achieve a following.
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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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