Ordered this one because it was cheap and was pleasantly suprised. Hit men and crime thrillers are not usually my thing but this one had just enough humor and plot twists to more than satisfy. The reader was perfect voice for Keller's ruminations on life death patriotism and pet ownership. Would have given five stars but it wasn't that deep. Still, great fun.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book, in part due to the actual story(s) and in part due to the excellent narration. In fact, without the right narrator, several stars could have been lost here! It's so enjoyable. Highly recommend!
I loved this book. It was not an action thriller like I figured but I loved the character and the narrator. The main character is a quirky hit man who faces comical moral dilemmas in carrying out his jobs.
This book was wonderful. Could not stop listening. With the narrators voice and the authors great writing I could see Keller in hs day to day activities of killing people. This is by far one of the best books I have listened to/read in a long time. This book is far from predictable. I am usually a murder medical mystery type of reader, so this was different from my usual. I could listen to a million books about Keller by Block.
This book has got to be the bargain of the year! Robert Forster's read was exceptional. I will look for other books read by him in the future. In "The Hit Man," Lawrence Block created a character that is both believable and surprisingly likeable. The casual, everyday approach to the subject of murder will surprise and entertain the reader. My only regret with this book is that it had to end!
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
The narrator sounds exactly like what you'd expect Keller to sound like - he is perfect for the role.
I was very surprised at how much I liked this story. It is cheap in price and so I expected it to be cheap in other ways too, but it is not. It's not a mystery/thriller... and it's not much like a true crime novel either - it's sorta like a character study, except the character you're studying happens to be a contract killer. He isn't cruel at all, but also is not soft n' cuddly either.
The book does not explore the morals or reasons behind Keller's job, or even go much into details on how he kills (it's not gory at all)... it's more like an insight into some guy's mind that you would expect to be abnormal or exciting, or something, but turns out that he really isn't that much different from other people who don't happen to kill for a living.
I thoroughly enjoyed both the story and the narration and would have paid way more for it than Audible charges.
Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton. In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!!
I loved this book! I just finished reading Andrew Peterson's latest Nathan McBride (#4) installment "Ready a To Kill". I was mad as heck! No sniper action until the book was almost over! But THIS assassin, Keller, is just like I love my assassins: deadly, dour, and incredibly funny. Block weaves a great tale here with plenty of killings. Keller goes about his job as if he works at the post office. He tries to act heartless but he's a killer with a bit of a conscious. If not actually sorry for taking folks out, he yearns to own a house with a yard for a dog. To sit in front of the television, watching HBO and doing crossword puzzles. Or talking for a full 30 minutes on stamp collecting. Yet he is a deadly killer! A charming unassuming guy who gets his targets to trust him, even inviting Keller to dinner. Then.....WHAM! No one saw it coming! And his partner in crime, the assignment "scheduler", a woman named Dot is the perfect "Charley" to his "Angel". Narrator Robert Forster is the perfect choice - although the author steps in for the next book. I HATE IT WHEN AUTHORS READ THEIR WORKS! But we'll see......
Andrew Peterson needs to take a page from Block's play book. I want a book about assassins who complete their assignments satisfactory, quick, and efficient. Not a bunch of generic ex-CIA snipers whom Peterson failed to take the time to develop. Now I'm on to the next book in this outstanding series! Well played, Block!
Reader, Listener, Optimist
Robert Forster's gravelly, blue collar voice is perfect in his depiction of Keller, the low key, just-get-the-job-done assassin.
The book's title led me to believe that I might be in for a gritty tale of suspense, probably with a surprise ending or a moral dilemma. It's nothing like that! Instead I was treated to a look at the quirky life of an average professional business man, just doing his job. However, his assignments are never straightforward or predictable.
The author sends his character into odd situations where the contract kills are often open to interpretation or require adjustments. Keller the killer, has a dog; a girlfriend; a therapist; a sensible retirement plan; and when his work takes him to new places, he checks to see if there might be someone in the local phonebook that happens to share his name. He is a very likable hit man.
This is audio noir.
I had originally started reading this book, but something just didn't click for me and I put the book aside. Robert Forster (a great, underrated and underused Hollywood actor), does a phenomenal job with this book. His droll reading gives the character of the Hit Man a wry sense of humor and depth that makes you empathize with someone who, in the eyes of many, is a fairly unscrupulous character. I realize that this comes from the writing of Mr. Block, but it wasn't until I heard Mr. Forster's interpretation of the words that I could truly appreciate what the writer had intended. I can't recommend this audio book enough.
I kept waiting for a plot to develop. There was a bit of one - sort of. It mostly was a series of chapters where the hit man has to find a new and clever way to do his job. However,each time you do get a little deeper into his character. In the end a satisfying plot never really developed but somehow, in some way that is hard to explain, I did enjoy the book and looked forward to learning more about Keller. I think the writing was just so good that it made you want to listen despite the lack of action in the usual sense. The characters were well developed and the narration was perfect for the book. The moral dilemmas within the immoral actions were also interesting.
I know this will come off as a mixed review, and I guess it is, bit I did rate it 4 stars, am glad I listened to it, and probably will buy at least one more sequel.