I think the intent may have been to give the feel for how painful and slow a murder investigation can go - but there were times it was just too slow, to be observing anyway. One of the few audio books i considered stopping (i didn't). For example, the overnight interview with the initial suspect took forever, with the same questions again and again... I guess this is how they wear a suspect down - but it wore me down too. Sorry, i just felt it was too tedious. Narration was good.
... okay story.
Cannavale's flawless. I'm not the biggest fan of the narrator speaking in ethnic voices, but he pulls it off brilliantly. Thanks to Cannavale and Price, you feel immersed in the world of the novel. The characters ring true. So do the interactions between them. The issue, for me, was the plot. It just didn't seem large enough to fill a novel. Also, at the beginning, we're introduced to so many different characters and situations, that it's a bit hard to follow. It was only until I was a third of the way in before I had a clear picture of things.
I'm a fan of Richard Price, so perhaps my expectations were too high and I'm judging the book harsher than I should.
Bobby Cannavale is a terrific voice actor in several different ways (doesn't exaggerate female voices in a demeaning way; captures accents and language decently). Price's descriptions of the Lower East Side and his specific points of view on change, history, men and women, race and class, and human behavior in general make this a good read; the book has some flaws in deeper character development and could have pushed the early experimentation of withholding of information through point of view more throughout. I recommend based on acting quality, description, point of view, politics, and street geography.
There are some problems with the audio production; the volume fades and amplifies significantly from chapter to chapter, section to section.
A masterful police procedural with a gritty look at the Lower East Side of New York. Only criticism is that the descriptions of the area circa the mid 2000s are so realistic, that when the author takes creative license, it seems glaringly obvious.
Highly recommended for police procedural fans especially those who have some connection to the area.
I listen to books all the time as I travel/drive with my job. I can usually muddle through if I don't get into or like what I am listening to. But I could not handle this one - I stopped listening early on as I could not figure out who the book or what this book was about....not my kind of listen. It's in my library but don't think I will be giving it another try. Wish I could get my credits back......
Great book, love Richard Price for the parallel tracks he keeps going. Bobby Cannavale jumps from to Hispanic woman to juvenile wallflower to hard-boiled detective with a sense of cool and completely convinces you he's the voice of each. Get it, it's good.
I have loved the gritty New York novels of Richard Price for as long as he has been writing them--several decades now. David Mamet has always gotten praise for the rough colloquial speech of his plays' characters, but, to my ears, no working writer captures real talk as does Price. (And so it's a gift to have a gifted Bobby Cannavale bring all these voices to life.)
On its surface, the novel is a police procedural, but it is character, not plot, that moves this book. The lives (victims, perpetrators, police, reporters) that bump into each other in its pages are anything but lush. Neither, of course, is the life of the Speaker in the Strayhorn-Ellington classic:
"I'll live a lush life in some small dive... /
And there I'll be, while I rot /
With the rest of those whose lives are lonely, too..."
But we come to care about these lonely, miserable people because Richard Price treats them all--even the villains--with understanding. I have always thought that no novelist outdid Anita Desai in authorial fairness to fictional characters. But Price runs the same amazing race in Lush Life making this a book with great writing and a great heart despite the bleakness of its landscape.
This was a good book, but it did not live up to the reviews it got when it was published. I found it hard to care about what happened....
Wow ! Can't wait to see the movie. Intellectual realism shows that the cops are our mindful thugs.
Don't lie to a cop. They have heard it all.
A livid case study showing how detectives lie to criminals to uncover the incriminating truth. Three swirling points of view; cop, criminal and witness.
How crimes are solved with a little luck and a lot of professional passion. Unsurpassed. Modern, frenetic "Crime and Punishment."