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The Sweet Forever Mass Market Paperback – Aug 10 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (Aug. 10 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044023493X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440234937
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,168,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By Sean on April 24 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first time reading a pelecanos book, not even sure why I chose to read it. I have to admit, that I read the first 100 pages, sporadically over a week. I really was not being pulled in by the plot, but I wanted to keep reading because of the characters. They are realistic, in language, habits and all have depth.
The characters do stay with you long after the book. The ending may have been a little too clean, but it was still realistic. The details about the music and the streets seemd to take away from the story. It was just too much detail. It was DC in 1988, so the backdrop of a Presedential election seems to be completely ignored, considering how much detail he put into other areas.
The Len Bias backdrop was a great backstory.
i definitely want to read mroe from Pelecanos.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
'The Sweet Forever' is one of several novels from Pelecanos based in urban Washington, this time in the mid-1980s. The city is an absolute mess; violence, drugs and corruption reign supreme. In this backdrop Pelecanos weaves a story of inter-racial strife, heartbreak, disillusionment, and despair. Yes, this books packs it all in without appearing to be forced, preachy, or sentimental. While most books from Pelecanos sort of delve into these areas in one way or another 'The Sweet Forever' really succeeds in every way. [As you can tell, I really liked it. :-)]
But the book isn't perfect. Without trying to explain its somewhat complex and interwoven story let me just say the ending seems to fit together just a bit too nicely. I would have liked a least one loose end, which would a been a better reflection of reality. The ending wasn't disappointing, but rather it could have been just a bit more powerful.
Bottom line: my favorite so far from Pelecanos after reading nearly of his books. Strongly recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Sweet Forever is a well done and engrossing crime novel. Pelecanos' story shifts from the Washington DC gang members to the corrupt cops to honest people just trying to get by and back again. It's not really about one crime, like a murder that must be solved. Rather it concerns a chain reaction of events which occur after a bag of drug money is taken from a flaming car. The characters are real and will stay with you after you put the novel down. The resolution is satisfying--nothing canned or predictible here. The Sweet Forever is an enjoyable, engrossing read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pelecanos is one of those elusive writers who avoids (either by design or subject matter) the spotlight. Like James Crumley, his body of work is substantial and applauded by those who continually seek him out. He seemingly has yet to break into the Top 40, to coin a music phrase he would probably agree with, but it seems inevitable.
Marcus Clay, up from mean streets, is a successful record store owner. Actually four record stores. So successful, Pelecanos points out, his wife Elaine has left him.
Right there is an extraordinary subtlety. Pelecanos paints his black characters with the same confusing mish-mosh of emotional color as he does his white characters, saying, 'we are all the same, all confused, all looking for love, losing it, trying to recapture it.'
Marcus resists the encroachment of drug dealers in the location of his stores and that resistance turns not surprisingly to bloodshed.
Karras, his colorblind Greek friend, suffers the moral dilemma of his own drug habit and recognition of the consequences of his acts.
Very compelling; very noir. Highly recommensded.
The only caveat I might suggest is that you may want to read some of the earlier works to get a better grip on the personality of the characters. Kudos.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a flat out terrific book. Pelecanos weaves an intriguing story about a search for some stolen drug money, a battle for control of a neighborhood and a number of characters looking for a different direction for their lives. The scene descriptions are vivid and the character development is superb. Exactly what else would you be looking for in a crime novel?
As a confirmed Pelecanos fan now after reading several of his books, I'd recommend a couple of things to anyone considering reading his work. First, if you like tough, gritty crime novels, definitely read his work. It is excellent. Second, I think you're better off by reading the old stuff before the newer work. The reason for this is that a number of the characters appear in multiple books and if you know a character will show up in a later work as an older person, you know they didn't get killed in the earlier work.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I must be shallow or something, because I just don't see what the big deal is about Sweet Forever. Before I go on, however, let me qualify my statements by telling you that Sweet Forever is the only G.P. novel I've picked up so far, and so maybe my opinion is based upon a small-scale conclusion.
That out of the way, let me just say, Pelacanos seems to be 80% setting, 10% Characters, 10% story.
After finishing Sweet Forever, I didn't want to hear another reference to an 80's band for the next several weeks. Pelacanos seems compelled to remind the reader that it is 1986, roughly fifteen times per page. He mentions cars every now and again. He mentions political figures sometimes. But mainly, he establishes setting through music, and Basketball.
And it's silly, if you ask me.
Every one of his characters, at some point in the story - which only takes place over a couple of days - goes to some sort of music show. Music seems to be the most important thing each of the characters lives. And the College Basetball thing? Come on. It was popular, I don't deny that, but he makes it seem as though it - and Len Bias - were bigger than life. Maybe he should have made the setting 1987, and used the Redskins as a Prop. Anyway, after all was said and done, I wanted to yell at the author, "Enough! I KNOW it's 1986; I get the point, already."
The characters were OK, but I couldn't identify with any of them.
The story was TV cop show quality at best.
All in all. The novel was readable. If you're Pelacanos, and you happen to read this review: Sorry. I get the feeling yo can do much better.
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