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The Big Blowdown Paperback – Sep 24 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Sept. 24 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312242913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312242916
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #345,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Peter Karras learned to swim one afternoon at the tail end of heat wave in early June. Read the first page
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on March 11 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is really good. I liked the characters, their stories and the relationships between them.
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Format: Paperback
George Pelecanos must really love or hate his home town of Washington. He always seems to write about it, but what he writes about won't appear in any Chamber of Commerce brochure. Druggies, organized crime, and ethnic violence seemingly permeate the lives of all Washingtonians.
"The Big Blowdown" departs from the author's other works in that much of it reads as a biopic. We are given a "Reader's Digest" biography of a young Greek-American man raised in 1930s/1940s Washington. While it is all not uninteresting even fans of the author will find it to be a prosaic. Fortunately halfway through the book all the characters from this man's childhood come together for a very violent, and well-written, conclusion. The author deftly tackles subjects like loyalty and personal ethics along the way.
Bottom line: despite its slow start this book ultimately comes together with "oomph". Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This is the fourth Pelecanos book I have read and I have to say I was blown away. No pun intended with regard to the title of the book.
Pete Karras has to be one of the most complete and flawed characters I have read in a long time. His constant struggle in life (from surviving the battle in Leyte to surviving the beating he received from members of organized crime) makes him all that more appealing. He is always searching for the meaning of his life.
This book just reaches out and hits in the gut. Pelecanos really does transport you back to the 40s. I felt like I was there as much as when I read Chandler.
Couldn't put this one down. A must read. I enjoyed this one more than Right as Rain and Hell to Pay combined. And both of those books were excellent also.
I'll have to rent an old John Hodiak movie to see what he looks like since Pete favors Hodiak.
Thanks for a great read.
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Format: Paperback
Pelecanos continues to deliver the goods, this time stepping back even further in time from his earlier books--the novel stretches from immediately before WWII, interweaves the characters' experiences in the war, and tells a sordid tale of ruined lives in postwar D.C.
The author continues his trademark use of very specific places and period music, and once again creates flawed but wonderful characters and believable situations. The violence still has the capacity to shock and the reader really feels for the characters. This is as gripping and intense as anything he has written and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Pelecanos continues to amaze me. The thing that particularly struck me about this book was the way he is able to transfer his scene writing skills to an earlier era. He's just as effective in putting the reader in a scene in the 1940's as he is in writing more modern material. Other than that, this book is just what I've come to expect from this author: great character development with complex personalities, gritty people and places, a twisting, hard story that truly holds your interest, etc.
I particularly liked the way the author worked World War II service into the lives of these characters, along with the fear of the big bomb being dropped on Washington, D.C. Also, as usual, the good guys are not even close to being all good and not everything turns out OK in the end.
Let me just sum up my thoughts on this book and this writer like this: If you think you like crime fiction and you're not reading everything Pelecanos has written, it's your loss.
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