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Brown by [Polster, James]
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Length: 239 pages

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A powerful mix of outrageous coincidence propels this bold, hilarious, essentially unclassifiable story. In the course of a few pages, East Coast sports scribe McGee Brown moves west to San Francisco, becomes a bogus psychologist (abetted by a friend who's a real one) and then a rookie shamus. As Dr. Brown, he meets with two patients: one is a troubled young woman who says her filthy-rich financier husband is trying to kill her; the other is a former TV producer who has adopted the persona of his 1960s series superhero, DangerMan. Brown turns investigator when he's hired by the newly widowed financier to find his missing daughter. Other colorful characters (many of whom are other than they first appear) mark a manic story line filled with car chases, shoot-outs and hedonistic delights; they include a robed priest named Rana Krishna, a chunky female sportswriter, bartenders with healing powers and disgruntled cops. Polster (A Guest in the Jungle) fits somewhere between Hiaasen and Vonnegut.

Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Polster's second novel (following A Guest in the Jungle, Mercury House, 1987) is disappointing. Brown, the "emerging dean of participatory sports journalists," quits his job on a whim and finds himself in San Francisco. When he links up with his old friend Fillmore, a clinical psychologist/ bartender, Brown's life will never be the same. Through Fillmore, he meets Daniel Quilp (see Charles Dickens), who might be a devil. In his greed for Quilp's $50,000 fee, Brown agrees to do some private investigating. Though full of promise, this novel is inconsistent and self-conscious, the characters are cardboard, and the humor sometimes juvenile. Polster forgets that readers must forge a bond with characters and their world, whatever the novel's style. Most libraries can pass.
Rebecca S. Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 347 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1935597523
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing; Reissue edition (May 17 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047O2S4G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #293,123 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9e0fa480) out of 5 stars 38 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e124e70) out of 5 stars weird, quirky, strange, dumb, your choice May 21 2011
By Regrae - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I really can't explain why I pick some books to read. Maybe the cover art get's my attention, or I know and like the author. When it came to BROWN by James Polster, it was the back of the book where it said the woman was found dead in the gorilla cage[ the fact that the gorilla was dead too was a plus]. The book came and I read the all the "reviews" on the cover,"Best book of the year," "Hilarious,"Recalls Mark Twain," I seriously wondered why I should even bother reviewing this book at all. It seemed that everyone who was anyone had already declared it a "winner." BROWN is only 225 pages in lenght that was good. The chapters were any where from 1 page to 4 pages in lenght, ahhhhh sort of good? The title character was a sports reporter of sports other that the normal four sports. This was different, a sports reporter that covers pool, cards, biking,etc. Oh yea, he drives an Austin Healy way cool, but that is only cool because I use to own one. Uh, Uh,.... welll that covers most of the good stuff.

Mr. Polster has managed to come up with the strangest characters that he could think of and put them all in the one "book" plus set the book in California so it would all make "sense." Then the author has all these weirdos do the "crazies" things, like break people out of jail with horses, drink ungodly amounts of booze,excuse me, expensive liquor, and have naked women, either drive expensive sports cars, or do some very usual sex while in the air and tied up. Let me stop and reread this last part a minute....yep that is about right. You have noticed that I haven't mention the dead gorilla, that is because that doesn't rank up there in the crazy department.

This "book" is a mystery story that is sort of lost in the weirdness. The author uses some of the strangest mixed metaphors I have read in awhile. There isn't much in the way of character developement. Whoa..there are "characters" but we don't get much of their backgrounds or know what, I didn't much care about the characters. McGee Brown and Fillmore were kind of dumb asses. As for the "bad" guy well he was the Devil. Hey why not, the author had stuffed this story with everything else, why not the Devil?

You have heard that some books are just movies waitng to be filmed and other books just can't be made into movies. Well this here is the problem I had with the book, no quotations this time, as I was reading it, I kept thinking I have read or seen this before. It drove me crazy, I had seen these characters or types of characters before, but where that was the question. I thought well this is sort of like FLETCH in reverse,instead of Fletch doing the the crazy characters, Brown was normal and the others were crazy. However this wasn't right either. Then I remembered a Charles Bronson movie. Now you are thinking that I am the crazy perosn, but no. Remember ST. IVES? This was one of Bronson's better movies. It was full of the same type of strange people. Also the movie SHAMUS with Burt Reynolds has simular characters too.

All in all this book just didn't read well and it didn't read smoothly. The choppy chapters and jarring action had me stopping and rereading parts to get just didn't work for me.

I did like the dead gorilla and the alligator in the bedroom, but then again I am a little strang myself.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e456f24) out of 5 stars Starts Well then Goes Downhill May 22 2011
By HeavyMetalManitou - Published on
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the first few chapters of 'Brown' so much that it was on course for a definite 5-star review; I liked the short chapters, fast pace and easy humour, plus the subject matter and events were reminiscent of Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently novels. By half way through, however, the humour had worn thin, as had the plot. There were still occasional moments of genius, such as the introduction of the character Mr Casbarian, whose sporadic appearances livened up some of the book's duller passages. James Polster has an interesting writing style: very minimalist. This works for dialogue, allowing conversations to move quickly and flow in a natural way. When it comes to description, though, Polster's bare prose - which is almost entirely lacking in sensual detail - fails to evoke emotional responses in the reader. His minimalist style, therefore, is a double-edged sword. By the end of the book, I found myself happy that it was over, and looking forward to reading something with more substance and descriptive flair. At its best, 'Brown' melds humour and cleverness to excellent effect. Too often, though, the story struggles. At these times, Polster often throws in preposterous situations, relying on the ridiculous to keep the reader interested. It doesn't always work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e126450) out of 5 stars 2 books in 1? Feb. 13 2013
By Allen Smalling - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I put off reading BROWN, a VINE acquisition, for too long because I wasn't sure about a neo-noir set in San Francisco. Imagine my delight when the book first develops as a faking-it-in-California narrative, about an untrained interloper who, at a friend's advice, decides to just fake it as a psychotherapist. I love the CATCH ME IF YOU CAN type of narrative and thought this would be great fun. Imagine my dismay when the let's-pretend narrative served merely as a loading chute into an attempted postmodern variation on a Raymond Chandler-type murder theme. Notice I say "attempted" as I am not sure it worked. Raymond Chandler is difficult to imitate, and running that approach through a Hunter Thompson-type post-modernism doubly so. BROWN did not really work for me, though if the author decided to expand the early part of the book (and only that part) into a satirical screenplay about a fraudulent psychologist and the kooky types he encounters, I would cheer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e0f96fc) out of 5 stars characters are not believable even though in California June 15 2012
By carol irvin - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
the author here seems to believe that if you keep making the point that the characters live in California and thus are crazy because of that, that is believable character development. that may marginally work in some movies but it really doesn't work in fiction writing. This book is about a sports writer who writes about second tier sports (not the big four). he heads out to california and meets an assortment of characters all of whom get him into one madcap escapade after another (which of course ALL californians do so that suffices as believable character development). frankly, i am not even sure why someone would feel the need to write this book much less read it! i can't say it is badly written but i for one do need character development plus characters i like and who make me care.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e2e342c) out of 5 stars Not particularly colorful.... April 14 2011
By Quixote010 - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Don't be mislead.... Hunter Thompson, this book is not.

James Polster has written a so-so book about a dissatisied sportswriter who seems to be disallusioned with life. So much so that he heads to California...loses his almost-wife along the way... and then associates with various characters the writer seems to think should appear because, after all, it is California.

There's the apparently affluent, but feast-driven former college friend, psychologist Dr. Fillmore (in San Franciso no less?) who encourages him to take on a psychologist's workload for $95.00 an hour, a quasi-hari krishna neighbor who prefers to wear oven mitts, a successful, but demented television producer who envisions himself as a superhero, a spontainious relationship with the mayor of San Francisco, an obligatory murder in a mansion full of wild animals...... well, you get the picture.

Perhaps what bothers me most about this book is that nothing really seems to bother McGee Brown, not being seduced by his employer's secretary, arrested and then finding himself broken out of jail by the crazy producer, or discovering why the world's richest man is the devil.

Don't plan on gaining much more than a few chuckles out of this one. It's only slightly more than 200 pages, so I guess we should be thankful for little pleasures.