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Name of the Game is Death Paperback – Jul 1988

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jul 1988
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Black Lizard Books (July 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887390420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887390425
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.8 x 0.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,193,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"Beautifully tough-minded, tensely plotted, vigorous, first-rate story telling."-The New York Times Book Review "Nobody wrote tougher prose than Dan J. Marlowe. Nobody." -Barry Gifford "Hardest of the hard-boiled."-Stephen King --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dan J. Marlowe was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1914, the son of a printing press mechanic. He received an accounting certificate from Bentley School of Accounting and Finance in Boston in 1934, and lived alternately as a professional gambler and an office manager until 1956, when he decided to try his hand at writing. By the end of 1958 he had sold his first two books, featuring detective Johnny Killain. In 1962, Marlowe produced his masterpiece, The Name of the Game is Death, which so impressed a real bank robber, Al Nussbaum, that the two of them started corresponding and eventually became friends and collaborators. At the height of Marlowe’s career, having already won the 1971 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original, he suffered an attack of amnesia. Moving to Los Angeles with Nussbaum, he tried to regain his writing skills. He passed away of heart failure in Tarzana, Calif., in August of 1986. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
To give credit where credit is due this was another recommendation from Gorman's "The Big Book of Noir" and it was right on point. As Gorman says about Marlowe "his best stuff just explodes every thirty pages or so".
Here's an exciting litle excerpt-the protaginost Drake ("the man with nobody's face")is in a motel room with Lucille who-as it turns out-gets her jollies by seducing men and then watching as her boyfriend barges in on them and beats the ... out of the man that Lucille just seduced. Drake, being a tough and smart guy, figures this out and ends up suckering Lucille's boyfriend into breaking into an empty motel room-he leaves frustrated and now Drake has Lucille all to himself."Now what are you going to do?", Lucille asks Drake.To quote the book:"I'll show you," I said. It was four in the morning before we left there. Fifty percent of us had enjoyed it."
What can I say-great book that they just don't make like this anymore.
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Format: Paperback
A career bank robber becomes a detective in order to investigate the disappearance of his partner after a job goes awry. This book is dark, gritty and full of suspense. The book is really well written and has a strong plot. There are many twists and exciting characters. Although the book is a little hard to find it's worth the read. It's the first book in a series of 12. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f16590c) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e0260c0) out of 5 stars At The Hard End Of Hard-Boiled Feb. 16 2002
By POP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To give credit where credit is due this was another recommendation from Gorman's "The Big Book of Noir" and it was right on point. As Gorman says about Marlowe "his best stuff just explodes every thirty pages or so".
Here's an exciting litle excerpt-the protaginost Drake ("the man with nobody's face")is in a motel room with Lucille who-as it turns out-gets her jollies by seducing men and then watching as her boyfriend barges in on them and beats the ... out of the man that Lucille just seduced. Drake, being a tough and smart guy, figures this out and ends up suckering Lucille's boyfriend into breaking into an empty motel room-he leaves frustrated and now Drake has Lucille all to himself."Now what are you going to do?", Lucille asks Drake.To quote the book:"I'll show you," I said. It was four in the morning before we left there. Fifty percent of us had enjoyed it."
What can I say-great book that they just don't make like this anymore.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f0531bc) out of 5 stars The Name of the Game is Death Dec 1 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A career bank robber becomes a detective in order to investigate the disappearance of his partner after a job goes awry. This book is dark, gritty and full of suspense. The book is really well written and has a strong plot. There are many twists and exciting characters. Although the book is a little hard to find it's worth the read. It's the first book in a series of 12. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9de0fbc4) out of 5 stars sock on the jaw, sap to the head Dec 27 2007
By D. Sturm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I thought I knew from hard-boiled until I ran into this nasty little gem. It's a cliche, but they simply do not write 'em like this anymore. The level of ruthlessness has you almost shaking your head in wonder. Yet our "hero" does have rules and we come to respect them. By the last page my jaw was so clenched my teeth hurt and I wished I could hand the guy a gun and see what happens next.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dddd7e0) out of 5 stars Hard Core and Hard Boiled Oct. 15 2013
By Ronin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Not long ago I was rummaging through a box of old paperback novels from my college years and came across "Operation Whiplash", a `tense, blood-pounding tale of mayhem, murder, and the mafia' featuring as its main character Drake -The Man with Nobody's Face. Re-reading it after all these years, I found it mildly interesting in the sense that it was clearly an effort by one of the `second string' authors from the Fawcett Gold Medal stable in the 60s and the 70s - the writers that you fell back on when you'd already read all of the Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald or the Parker novels by Donald Westlake. Even so, I found myself tracking down the two novels that set up the initial premise behind those later, weaker "Operation this or that' novels - The Name of the Game is Death and then the follow-up novel, One Endless Hour. And, as other reviewers have pointed out, those two books stand out as being among the better hard-boiled noir efforts of that period. Which is not to say that the early works (much less the later ones) are polished gems. Marlowe has an annoying tic of using `upon' when most people would favor `on'. And his descriptions can get pretty clunky and would have benefitted from the scrutiny of a good editor. "It oozed out of every ounce of her without her realizing it that she just couldn't wait to drag down into the dust the nose of this loud-mouthed braggart who had abused her." Too, Marlowe had a tacky tendency to recycle into new books whole chapters from a previous book, often relying on the thinnest of subterfuges for padding his word count - e.g. "I dreamed about how I got my new face". Despite that, the first two novels in this series are well worth checking out for at least two reasons. The first is that the story lines are strong and are a good reflection of the earlier noir sensibility of the movies that had first established the genre. The second is that the early novels do a better job of bringing the flawed characters to life and reflecting the social attitudes of an era. In terms of the heister who would go on to become "Drake, the Man with Nobody's Face" Marlowe humanizes him by including a scene where he experiences - apparently a pretty common thing for him - a bout of erectile dysfunction. In terms of the heister's love interest, Marlowe doesn't glamorize her too much but feels free to throw in details about her 'solid' figure and gold front teeth. And, in terms of the society where those flawed individuals live and love, the gold-toothed love interest can ask - after she tries to seduce the heister and he fails to rise to the occasion - whether he's `some kind of queer'. Drinks are served at a rich man's house by "a colored boy". And in One Endless Hour a developmentally delayed teen-age girl is routinely referred to as `the idiot'. Everyone smokes constantly and the women all have luxuriant pubic bushes. Ah, the 60s and 70s. So... bottom line is that The Name of the Game is Death and One Endless Hour garner strong recommendations, with the later, more generic and watered-down efforts in the "Operation..." series deserving a much lesser degree of praise.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dbc7738) out of 5 stars Double Dosage of Dan J. Marlowe Nov. 12 2014
By Benjamin Boulden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dan J. Marlowe. The name alone brings an echo of the hardboiled—

“I’ll be leaving one of these days, and the day I do they’ll never forget it.”

He wrote in the heyday of the paperback original. His best work was published by Gold Medal, and his novels stand above most of his contemporaries as hard, uncompromising masterpieces of hardboiled crime and suspense.

His life was as strange as his fiction: he is likely the plainest womanizer exported by Massachusetts; he gambled professionally for several years; he befriended, lived with, and co-wrote several short stories with the notorious bank robber Al Nussbaum; and late in life he developed memory loss and something called aphasia—“partial or total inability to write and understand words.”

And all that is only the beginning. Not to mention it was parroted from the introduction, written by Marlowe’s biographer Charles Kelly, to the new trade paperback double published by Stark House Press. It features two of Marlowe’s best novels, which really, are two halves a single story: The Name of the Game is Death (Gold Medal 1962), and One Endless Hour (Gold Medal 1969).

The novels tell the genesis story of Marlowe’s Earl Drake series character. Drake is not a likable man. He is a bank robber with a predilection for killing people. He doesn’t kill simply to kill, but kill he does. The Name of the Game is Death opens at the scene of a botched bank robbery with Drake shot in the escape. He and his partner split up, and Drake finds a doctor and a dark place to hide until he is recuperated and the heat is off, which is when the story really begins. His partner went missing with the money, and Drake is broke. The rest of Name of the Game is Drake’s search for his partner, and the money, and One Endless Hour is the fallout.

The two novels merge into one complete and engrossing story, which is not to say either is dependent on the other; both are complete with beginning, middle, and end. However the plot in One Endless Hour is built directly from Name of the Game. In fact, the final chapter of Name of the Game is included, with a few adjustments as the Prologue to One Endless Hour.

Name of the Game is the stronger of the two novels. It includes an exposition of Drake’s childhood, explaining (without apologizing) for Drake’s seeming amoral character. Its backstory emphasis and character development is reminiscent of John D. MacDonald, but only just. Its prose is raw and hardboiled—

“I swear both his feet were off the ground when he fired at me. The odds must have been sixty thousand to one, but he took me in the left upper arm. It smashed me back against the car. I steadied myself with a hand on the roof and put two a yard behind each other right through his belt buckle. If they had their windows open they could have heard him across town.”

—and it is more thematically related to Jim Thompson than John D.

One Endless Hour is more of a straight caper novel. It lacks Name of the Game’s character development, and backstory, but it flashes pure action. And, if you consider the two novels as one story, it is the climactic resolution. The differences in pacing and plotting act to strengthen the two novels’ impact rather than diminish it, and the new Stark House edition is the perfect way to experience the story arc.


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