4.0 out of 5 stars Vachss & Burke are back! And they are better than ever
Vachss is a man true to his passion, standing up for the abused children of New York or wherever he is called to help and he is one of the most intelligent people I have met. He uses his intelligence to create a way to make everyday people aware of the abuse that exists, call attention to his cause by using the written word and creating Burke, an instrument of revenge,...
Published on Dec 21 2002 by Legends Fine & Rare Books
3.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the Last, But still Flawed
Andrew Vachss lost the thread of his Burke books about five years ago. What he needs is a good editor again to tell him what's working and what isn't. I have to say, though, that he seemed to be getting back on track with this one, although there's about 80 pages of padding. I kept saying to myself, "Get to it, Vachhs, and stop babbling!" Finally I gave up...
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by Ann M Eadie
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vachss & Burke are back! And they are better than ever,
Stepping into Vachss' dark, raw world is like going to a place where I would not be able to survive. He takes us there for a reason: weaving true life horrific events so the reader can briefly and safely see his day to day world with the abuse raging in all its horrifying reality.
The new Burke book, number thirteen, titled Only Child, signals the return of the hero Burke. Upon returning to New York after a long absence and having recovered from injuries sustained in an attempt on his life, he must now cope with the loss of his love Pansy. Burke assembles the usual crew to investigate the murder of a Mafia man's sixteen-year-old love child. The fast paced, sharp dialogue, twists, and eventually the path Burke's investigation takes brings to mind the one of the most recent video horror of The Bums Fights. So weaving Burke's investigation with the truths that we, the citizens of the world know nothing of, Vachss takes us to a darker place indeed! The story delivers with his trade mark bluntness and leaves the reader coping with thoughts upon thoughts of bruised battered murdered children......and what can we do about this.
I appreciate Vachss' single-mindedness, his raw story telling, the depth of his characters, their hurt damaged souls, still able to empathize feel and lash out trying to right a wrong, payback for so much damage. Vachss understand the dark and is talented enough to show us, to make us feel it.
This book is a winner! Vachss' early works are collectable while his later works for some reason are not. This book puts him back here where he belongs: at the top; an extremely intelligent man with a lot to say.
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!,
This review is from: Only Child (Paperback)This book is the greatest! The author's critique of movie worshippers is the best ever.
3.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the Last, But still Flawed,
5.0 out of 5 stars Try To Put It Down, I Dare You!,
Now that we have established that little fact, let me tell you a little bit about my reading habits. I have a library full of books. Heck, I work in a book store. I adore books. A nice little chunk of every day is spent reading something. Since my son was born almost a year ago, this reading mostly takes place at the foot of the stairs to my apartment while I draw on a pipe so the smoke won't offend anyone else in the house. I usually read in twenty to forty minute sessions, usually enough for a bowl or two of Vanilla Cavendish. After that I put the book down and go about my day (or night as it usually turns out). It is like my own little sanctuary, and that is where I leave it. There is a stack of books at the foot of the stairs I am currently working through. In the last year I have never brought a book back up with me to continue. There is always a good spot to put a book down, believe me. At least I thought so until I started Only Child today. I read while I smoked, then I came up to the living room and read while my wife watched TV, then I returned to the spot and smoked some more (at least with a pipe I am looking at lip and throat cancer rather than that lung stuff), followed by a stint in the rocking chair and finally finishing with a last smoke while the book raced to its conclusion. I am not a fast reader either. I tend to savor books. The closer this book got to the final pages, however, the faster I read. I read as I walked up and down the stairs. I read as I went to the kitchen for a soda. I just couldn't look away from this book. In my younger days, I might have read a book straight through, but age (and being an aging father) has caught up with me. Now it is an unknown experience. Until I started Only Child today.
I am not going to go into plot elements and how wonderful and engaging and hard Mr. Vachss writing is or even how amazing the character of Burke is at he has evolved over the years and in the pages (and you should read the Burke novels in order as there is definite evolution and continuity). You probably know all that. I am simply going to tell you that in years of reading some really wonderful books, the experience of having found one so intriguing that I couldn't put it down until it was done is an experience I haven't had in a very long while.
It is 4:30 in the morning, and I couldn't be happier. Or more blown away.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Classic" Burke,
4.0 out of 5 stars Burke, Back in Town,
This time out, Burke is hired by a closeted homosexual gangster to investigate the murder of his teenage daughter. Burke enlists his usual crew: The Mole, The Prof, Michelle, Mama, Max the Silent, etc., to help him track the killer. The investigation eventually leads to a video ring that is taping violent "reality" encounters featuring local teenagers.
Once again, Vachss has managed to mine the depths of human depravity to lend additional weight to his story. Crime novels simply don't get much grittier than this. Though some of his dialog still tends to be a bit over the top (the worst offenders this time out are the two lesbian porno queens), no other mystery writer working today writes with such cuttingly sharp prose or with a better feel for the streets.
Overall, "Only Child" is a winning entry in a veteran mystery/crime series.
5.0 out of 5 stars the hardest writing author in the world,
5.0 out of 5 stars Vachss Fascinates ...,
No one is better than Andrew Vachss in laying out the problem, then making us mad enough to think about a solution. He's the only novelist that forces me to think about how to make my reality better as soon as I finish the book.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Watch me, watch me close.",
So the first part of 'Only Child' is a homecoming, one as joy filled as a Vachss story is ever allowed to get. Burke's family - Michelle the transsexual, Mama, the Professor, the Mole, Clarence, Max, Terry, and the countless others that Burke has helped all reappear. It is unusual to speak of love in the dark side of the city that Vachss' characters inhabit, but it is there, ready to lend one of the shadow knight all the strength he needs.
The case Burke becomes a reflection of Burke's one need for family. Two men, both important in the organized crime world come to Burke with a grim problem. One of them had and interracial daughter at a time that is organization could not tolerate that behavior. He gave in to his fears and detached from the woman, and now, 18 years later she is dead, stabbed repeatedly and the police are useless. Giovanni doesn't know if the killing was a sex crime or an attempt at getting to him, but he wants revenge. And he and his lover want Burke to find the killer.
The story turns into an intricate piece of detection, which is rare for a Vachss novel. In order to penetrate the world the girl lived in, Burke must hatch scheme after scheme, including an outstanding effort as a casting director. This is really one of Vachss more interesting plots, a shade less noir than usual. Think of it as an anti-heroic procedural.
It has been a while since a Burke story has been this light on its feet, and the change is refreshing. The dialog is sharp, Vachss knack for making the reader feel the ghostly presence of the darkness is at a peak. As is his ability to penetrate to the essence of the victims and their predators. I think many old fans who have been less than happy lately will find this one a source of great delight.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Splendid Read from Andrew Vachss,
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Only Child by Andrew Vachss (Paperback - Oct. 14 2003)
CDN$ 15.95 CDN$ 11.51