Gun Monkeys Paperback – Dec 2001
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From Library Journal
Unusual protagonists, a bantering tone, and dark humor characterize this hard-boiled mystery by first novelist Gischler. Narrator Charlie "the Hook" Swift is primary enforcer/hit man for crime boss Stan, but a crew from Miami tries to "squeeze" them out of business. When Stan's targets at a strip club turn out to have been policemen, things begin to go haywire: the rivals move in, killing Stan's guys, and Charlie winds up with a sought-after set of crooked ledgers. Violent action and murder continue, with money laundering, an understanding mom, and the FBI thrown in for good measure. For collections of noir crime fiction.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
2001 Edgar Award Nominee for "Best First Novel by an American Author"See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Charlie Swift is a thug. He is a hit man for an Orlando gangster named Stan. When the leader of a rival gang wants to move into the territory, he calls for a hit on all of Stan's gang. The result is virtually all of Charlie's friends are killed in the attack. Stan, however, is missing and being the loyal soldier, Charlie devotes his energy into finding Stan and discovering what is going on. The path to the truth will be strewn with the blood of dead bodies.
Victor Gischler is a refreshingly new voice in noir crime fiction. Characters are tough, dialogue is gritty and the violence routine. Most important, he is a helluva good storyteller and his first effort never fails to entertain. The book is not perfect, however. There are several times the story proceeds in an endless fashion and it is quite evident the author didn't know where his characters were taking him. I would think that an editor from a large publisher would have identified and corrected that problem. Nonetheless, Victor Gischler has written an impressive book and one well worthy of Edgar recognition.
Seems like Charlie's boss goes missing. Seems like other guys in Charlie's crew are getting wasted, as in permanently. Seems like another guy, Beggar Johnson, wants to take over Stan's turf. Charlie manages to miss getting wiped out himself and goes after the guys who killed his compadre Bob. He's got friends--Lou the New Guy and Jimmy the Fix principally. And he's got his wits. Which are pretty sharp judging by the story here.
OK, here's some sacrilege. Gischler claims to have read a lot of John McDonald and been heavily influenced by him, but for my money, he writes better than McDonald who in my opinion a lot of the time is hard to get through--clunky prose that's dated now. But VG's writing is smooth as silk and tough as shoe leather with powder burns.
This is indeed a noir novel of the first ilk. It's a fast, exciting, easy read and holds the reader's interest until the inevitable showdown between Swift and Mercury (his counterpart as Beggar Johnson's head gun monkey).
If you are squeamish about descriptions of bloody violence or about raw language, stay away from this one. Otherwise, it's a really entertaining romp of a pulp novel.
Charlie owes Stan for "every nickel hidden in [Charlie's] safe deposit box", Charlie doesn't see that he has much of a choice.
So begins "Gun Monkeys", Victor Gischler's instant noir classic from Uglytown Press. Charlie's day starts off bad and gets steadily worse as someone decides to make a move on the aging Stan's territory, a business decision that involves whacking most of Charlie's crew. The only bright spot
in the day is Charlie's budding relationship with Rollo's widow Marcie. The widow Kramer is a tough, foxy redhead with an eye for Charlie and a talent for taxidermy. The latter trait has the fortunate effect of making her less squeamish around dead bodies, which is a good thing, considering.
Charlie's attempts to find out what happened to Stan, even the score, and incidentally take care of his Mom and his kid brother, make for a great read. If you're a fan of the dark humor of "The Sopranos" or the tough talk of Richard Stark's "Parker" books, you'll love "Gun Monkeys."
Most recent customer reviews
Pretty good. Gischler's style is cool. I'd recommend Gogo Girls of the Apocalypse over this one thoughPublished 15 months ago by Jeff Ray
Gun Monkeys is an action packed book about a hit man by the name of Charlie Swift. Charlie is to get ledger books that can bring a mob boss down, but everyone on his side starts... Read morePublished on April 1 2004 by richie
I agree with the reviewer below. This is an OK thriller, but the illogical actions of the "hero" ruin any realism. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2004
One of the most impressive debuts I've ever read, Gun Monkeys is a return to the two-fisted days of Mickey Spillaine and Richard Stark, with an important twist-it's funny as... Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2004 by J. A. KONRATH
This is a darn good read--a page turner from first to last. I like the premise and the writing so much I hope the author will correct the flaw in his next book. Read morePublished on Dec 31 2003 by mrarchiegoodwin
Gun Monkeys is a great first novel. I picked it up, intrigued by the name, and I didn't put it down till I'd read it from cover to cover. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2003 by Gun Chimp
It's hard not to. A professional killer works his way onto our good side, while being not so good himself. Enjoy.Published on Aug. 4 2003 by John Bowes
Gischler hasn't written detective fiction here, but criminal fiction. This is the kind of book neo-noir fans like, with its muscular prose, language of the day, and unadulterated... Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2003 by Doris Lane
If Victor can continue to churn out novels like GUN MONKEYS he will earn the title of "The new Elmore Leonard".Published on Nov. 29 2002 by Kent Westmoreland