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The Intruder [Mass Market Paperback]

Peter Blauner
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars STREET JUSTICE March 2 2004
In this rather downer of a novel, Peter Blauner etches realistic and scathing portraits of a diverse cast: Jake Schiff, a power house lawyer who finds his life turned upside down by the invasion of a "street Person" with severe emotional problems; his wife, Dana, a psychiatric social worker whose involvement with this same person catapults her family into a vortex of danger; John Gates, the street person whose tragic past and dependence on drugs, spirals him into a maze of terror; Philip, a sly mafia man who insinuates himself into Jake's life and through a murder sets a path of irretrievable terror.
Blauner has a deft touch in creating seemingly hopeless situations, and though he redeems himself with characters finally doing something right, it ends on a rather dim vision of the future of our characters.
Well done but disheartening.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner! Sept. 25 2003
This was the first book I've read by Peter Blauner and it will not be the last.
At one time, John Gates felt that he had it all, a family and job of his own. But after his daughter was killed in an accident right before his eyes he experiences severe depression. Soon, he finds himself unemployed and on the streets. He meets Dana Schiff, a psychiatric social worker and he's convinced that Dana is really his exwife. Soon John G. begins to stalk her family. Jake, her husband and also a lawyer, decides to take matters into his own hands to protect his family. Unfortunately, the decision he makes, could cost him his life.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Awful... March 7 2003
By A Customer
I picked up this book to read during a long flight, and I am so sorry I did. It is supposed to be gripping and exciting, but all I did was yawn! And I read some 200 pages before I gave up. I always take books on overseas flights because I usually cannot sleep to save my life. I wish I had taken another-any other-book besides this one! That flight, I can assure you, was dreadfully long.
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2.0 out of 5 stars There have been better, there have been worse.. Jan. 25 2002
There is some originality in Blauner's subject matter. Blauners tale would have made an excellent low-grade, realistic,
daylight horror short story. Unfortunately the desire for sensationalistic hero gets the bad guy takes over and spoils the read.
The book begins with the thoughtful and sometimes heartbreaking description of the downward spiral of a train conductor into homelessness, then crescendos into the thrilling tale of a couple being terrorized by this man who has begun to fixate on them. Just when you think this story is going somewhere, Blauner adds in a stereotyped Mafioso in the mix for some bizarre reason and this ultimately takes the story in a
completely uninteresting direction.
Overall, I believe the first half book is worth reading. Once mafia guy enters the picture - feel safe in closing the book and calling it a day.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This book stinks Nov. 11 2001
By A Customer
This book stinks, stinks, stinks. Maudlin, contrived, cliched characters, and wretched similes.
Here's a good one for you. The broken-hearted, AIDS infested, crack-smoking homeless guy describing his now deceased daughter.
"She looked like a fairy princess and wrestled like a seminole alligator." Are you kidding me?
I was going to stop after the homeless guy kept mumbling about "the molecules." (Like wow. That's deep dude.)
I finally pitched it when the generic mafia character started a very long, slow shakedown in the hero's office. Did this guy eventually blurt out "I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse."? Don't tell me. I don't want know.
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The best things about this book are how, despite its simplicity of circumstance, its main characters are richly three-dimensional and movingly shaded: John G., the raving homeless man who sets the plot in motion through his therapeutic obsession with Jakes' wife Dana is an extremely empathetic recovering heroin addict whose own family has been torn apart by violence - there has not been an urban homeless character more engaging since the titular fellow of 1993's Free by Todd Komarnicki (Doubleday); Phil is a Brooklyn tough who poorly harbors a guilt-inducing secret; and the book's greatest character, New York City itself, is drawn with a deft versimilitude, full of subtly etched class, race and sex distinctions.
The latter is no surprise coming from Blauner, whose finely textured and harrowing 1992 debut, Slow Motion Riot won that year's Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Novel. Blauner's books are as much about sociological observation as about thrills-and-chills. His keen journalist's eye and psychological insight make for terrifically pungent prose. Tricks of social perception amongst the characters make there be not one titular intruder in this book, but at least three as Jake, Phillip and John join in a dance that finds them accidentally and purposely stepping on each others' turf and toes.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King was paid off Feb. 21 2001
By Bart
First, the write-up on the back cover of this book is definitely more exciting than the actual story. I felt like I had been deceived after reading this snore-inducer. This book is not about a "malevolent stranger" terrorizing a family - it is about a cardboard-character Mafioso terrorizing a family (and doing it slooooooooowly). This is nothing but a very blaw tale - flat characters, boring plot, stereotypical bad-guys. It wasn't completely awful, but there was nothing new or exciting to the whole book. Avoid at all costs.
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