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Three to Kill Paperback – Feb 2 2007


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Paperback, Feb 2 2007
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (Feb. 2 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852424753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852424756
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,227,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
And sometimes what used to happen was what is happening now: Georges Gerfaut is driving on Paris's outer ring road. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
Only two Manchette books have been translated into English and this is the first one I read. The book is tightly written and exciting, which, of course, is why one would read a crime noir book in the first place. The lean plot provides enough to explain the episodic spurts of violence contained within, but is not so detailed as to turn the book into a traditional mystery. My complaints, which prevent a five star rating, are that the main character takes a hiatus away from the action which I found a bit unrealistic (I don't want to provide more details and spoil anything) and the ending was a bit more loose and unresolved than the rest of the book. Nonetheless, I look forward to reading Manchette's other translated book, The Prone Gunman, and hope other translations will follow.
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Format: Paperback
Originally published in 1976, this slim French crime novel has just now been translated into English. The story follows a typical noir theme: an average man thrown into an underworld intrigue entirely by chance. Georges is a mid-level manager in Paris with a wife, two young daughters, and a collection of West coast jazz records. His life has gotten a little humdrum, and so fate thrusts him in the path of two nasty and well-drawn hitmen. After he unwittingly witnesses a murder, the duo track him down in order to tie up loose ends. Although the plot trods a familiar path, Manchette's terse prose, filled with dark humor and ably translated, keeps it fresh and absorbing. And as in much noir, Manchette exhibits an underlying thread of anti-confomism. Manchette wrote nine other crime novels for Gallimard's legendary Série Noir imprint, another of which (The Prone Gunman) is also being published by City Lights.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Still Fresh 25 Years Later July 21 2002
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Originally published in 1976, this slim French crime novel has just now been translated into English. The story follows a typical noir theme: an average man thrown into an underworld intrigue entirely by chance. Georges is a mid-level manager in Paris with a wife, two young daughters, and a collection of West coast jazz records. His life has gotten a little humdrum, and so fate thrusts him in the path of two nasty and well-drawn hitmen. After he unwittingly witnesses a murder, the duo track him down in order to tie up loose ends. Although the plot trods a familiar path, Manchette's terse prose, filled with dark humor and ably translated, keeps it fresh and absorbing. And as in much noir, Manchette exhibits an underlying thread of anti-confomism. Manchette wrote nine other crime novels for Gallimard's legendary Série Noir imprint, another of which (The Prone Gunman) is also being published by City Lights.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good New Discovery Dec 1 2003
By Dash Manchette - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only two Manchette books have been translated into English and this is the first one I read. The book is tightly written and exciting, which, of course, is why one would read a crime noir book in the first place. The lean plot provides enough to explain the episodic spurts of violence contained within, but is not so detailed as to turn the book into a traditional mystery. My complaints, which prevent a five star rating, are that the main character takes a hiatus away from the action which I found a bit unrealistic (I don't want to provide more details and spoil anything) and the ending was a bit more loose and unresolved than the rest of the book. Nonetheless, I look forward to reading Manchette's other translated book, The Prone Gunman, and hope other translations will follow.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A richly layered thriller Jan. 21 2010
By Jonathan S. Bernstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An interesting and quick read that goes a long way towards providing social and political context without bogging down the plot. The story itself is very simple, the protagonist a bit more complex, but I loved how the riots of 1968 and France's ongoing labor issues are a persistent background without impacting the plot, it provides a sense of realism and implies a sort of national mood that makes this type of character possible. I also love the way that music is constantly mentioned. American readers might be put off by some of the references if they are unfamiliar with France's history during the 1960's and 70's but even so I think the style and the nature of the protagonist will be appealing for many. I read Jacques Tardi's graphic novel version of this first (recommended below), which is also pretty good, though lacking in much of the background.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One for the List Jan. 31 2006
By A. McNary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Neo-noir and a touch existentialist, 3 to Kill reads a bit like a Charles Willeford and James M. Cain novel. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I found the veering plotline to be the most satisfying aspect of the novel. Protagonist Georges Gerfaut is a traveling salesman pursued by hitmen--this experience, in isolation, and the choices he makes in response, inform the socio-political critique, albeit an ironic one, of the novel. 3 to Kill is also reminiscent of a story within the story in The Maltese Falcon where Marlowe recounts a missing person case: A man, nearly killed by a falling beam as he walks down the sidewalk turns up missing. When Marlowe finds him he is living in a nearby town with a new life nearly identical to his former one. Marlowe's point, and one of Manchette's as well, is that while our response to a life-changing event might be dramatic, in the end, the change in our character is nominal. This dense, fast-moving read is something that any reader of Hammett, Chandler, Cain, Goodis, Willeford and Derek Raymond will want to check out.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4 1/2 stars. April 30 2007
By fluffy, the human being. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
a gloriously fun read this was. jean-patrick manchette is a gas. "3 to kill" is a fresh, startling crime novel, completely free of cliche. georges gerfaut, the main character, is quite unlike any other creation i have encountered in a thriller. i finished this book in one evening, and immediately purchased another manchette book, "the prone gunman." highly recommended to fans of noir fiction.

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