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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
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Big build-up results in huge disappointment. Feb. 17 1997
By A Customer
Looking for a fresh, entertaining thriller, I took this little wonder home, having been thoroughly convinced of its merits by nothing more than the dozens of glowing quotes from famous authors and critics. By page 100, however, I realized I had been taken by those savvy Warners marketeers. All I'd found was shallow character development riding a boring, cliche-riddled plot - irritatingly presented in the present tense (read, screenplay). Trusting that the blurbs weren't all just some hack's fantasies, I skipped ahead a hundred pages. No improvement. Fuming, I scanned the last dozen pages.... even the big finale fizzled. I was thankful that I hadn't wasted time reading the whole thing.

I can't blame Mr. Blauser. Like most of us, he's gotta eat. Let's give him the benefit of a doubt. THE INTRUDER probably started out in life as a screenplay for a TV movie and would've been OK if left at that. But evidently somebody at Warner's convinced his agent that with very little effort they could crank up the PR machine and make more in 3 months on the paperback BS list than they could on TV. That's Showbiz... I just wonder if any of the Names quoted on the cover ever really read this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, but somewhat disappointing Aug. 14 2000
Blauner's novel starts with a gripping premise: What would you do if a ragged, homeless person insists that you have stolen his wife, family, and home? Blauner's main character Jake, a New York lawyer, finds himself in such a tight spot. I won't disclose any further plot details, but I think that most readers will find the story fast-paced and exciting for the first half of the book. I was disappointed, however, in how the story developed in the second half of the book: I thought it was somewhat predictable and also thought the ending presented more problems than it solved. (Perhaps this was Blauner's intent.) The relationship between Jake and his family include some very good moments, but the scenes of conflict don't really lead anywhere. Blauner is obviously a talented writer with an exciting style, but the ending for me was a disappointment.
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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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars PALM SWEATING, HEART STOPPING SUSPENSE Feb. 5 1997
By A Customer
I am a mother of two teenagers, a wife, and work full time. That I was able to read this 400 + page book in two days says it all. This book has something to please everyone who enjoys thrillers. There is plently of psychological suspense, graphic violence, legal action and courtroom drama, even the Mob thrown in, to cover just about anybody. The present tense delivery makes the book move even faster, enhancing the feeling that you are right there. Bad guys turn into good guys and good guys into bad, until you don't know who's who anymore. It is both a tragedy and a story of redemption. There is sharp humor and deep pathos. The range of emotions that this book elicits in the reader makes it a step above most thrillers. I give it a two thumbs up. Do not miss this important book
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner!
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. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2003 by A. Vegan
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful...
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! Read more
Published on March 7 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars This book stinks
This book stinks, stinks, stinks. Maudlin, contrived, cliched characters, and wretched similes.
Here's a good one for you. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King was paid off
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2001 by Bart
4.0 out of 5 stars moral ambiguity
compelling storyline, fluid prose and deftly depicted contemporary nyc setting.homelessness and pride in nest-building come crashing together in a hauntingly plausible way in... Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2000 by "donatdeux"
5.0 out of 5 stars The Intruder Will Deliver
Peter Blauner has a way in scaring the heck out of you with this book. The intruder in the novel will surprise you, as well as put fear in your thoughts. Read more
Published on June 13 2000 by Joe McDonald
2.0 out of 5 stars Story revolves around only three characters
This novel was just average and it took me forever to get excited about it. I finally started enjoying the last 100 pages. Read more
Published on May 31 2000 by Bill Garrison
1.0 out of 5 stars Junk!
I had seens ads for this book all over the subway a few years back. The plot looked cool and it had some good reviews on the covers. Read more
Published on May 3 2000 by Crossfit Len
4.0 out of 5 stars A thriller worthy of Hitchcock
What makes this book so good is that the characters are so well drawn. We hate a very human bad guy, and root for very flawed, very human good guys. Read more
Published on April 30 2000 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
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