A novel of unforgettable characters, surprising twists and satisfying payoff, The Wrong Man will stay with you long after you've heard the final sentence.
Sam Schuler is starting a new family, trying to begin a respectable life, and trying to extricate himself from the seedy people he once knew. But when his former best friend involves him in a petty drug theft, a local street gang is stirred to action and Sam finds himself the target of harassment from the gang's leader.
When the situation escalates from threats to violence to the worst transgression imaginable, Sam's reality is warped beyond recognition. Rules of conduct are forgotten and laws lose meaning as the young man attempts to salvage his sanity, his male pride and his family-to-be.
©2014 Matthew Louis (P)2014 Gutter Books LLC
The story is a thriller drawn out through a week in Sam's life. And while it seems at first there are key moments when he could have gone down one path to avoid problems or set things right, he makes one bad decision after the next. And the kicker is that you find yourself thinking you'd likely make the same dumb moves, too. I suppose that is how some of the best noir works, isn't it?
The most memorable scenes for me happen late in the book, and I'm not about to spoil what is a great piece about reluctant revenge. Early on, however, there is a scene where Sam is driving an old friend home from a party only to find out the little sleazeball stole a big bag of weed from the host. If that's not bad enough, the cops roll up on 'em and set off a series of events that send Sam's life plummeting right into the abyss. It's a great scene and sets the stakes in expert fashion.
Whether playing the exasperated and desperate Sam, his gruff and grizzled cousin Tommy, his stoner friend that dragged him into the mess, or the gang of thugs that terrorize Sam in the run of a week, Robert did one heckuva job keeping the pace moving along and offering unique and believable voices for each character. There were a couple moments where I had to remind myself that this was one guy and not an ensemble cast. He's that good and a narrator I'll have to watch out for in the future. An exemplary talent, much like Matthew Louis in the writing department.
If I could have I would have. There was never a dull moment and I could have been quite happy spending four hours or so of doing nothing but getting swept up in the story.
The book feels violent, but there's actually very little of the violence depicted on the page. When it does happen though, watch out.
"The Wrong Man" is by Matthew Lewis Narrated by Robert Neil DeVoe published by Out of the Gutter and is available at Audible.com
This is a modern throw back to books like Lawrence Blocks "Borderline". It is a gripping tale of how one bad decision can take you down a road of destruction.
Sam Schuler is trying to start a new life, one that is wholly respectable. He is in Junior College and working at a liquor store. When his oldest friend asks him to drive him to a party. It's his oldest friend he has to say yes. As they drive away from the party his friend pulls out a brick of marjuina that he stole from the party house. This one act by his friend drags him back into the gutter.
Sam has the local gang leader on his back for the stolen drugs because his low life friend once again has no money and no prospects. One situation after another happen to Sam, things out of his control. When the gang starts going after his family Sam has to confront the demons haunting him.
This is a quick audiobook that is narrated well by Robert Neil DeVoe. It pulls you in and keeps your attention to the very end.
This audiobook was gifted to me for an honest review.
This book was made to be read aloud. A superior listen! No endless lists of details. The story keeps moving and the pictures that Louis paints of his characters are vivid to eye and ear.
No spoilers here, so I struggle to offer opinions without giving the story away. This book is about male fear, male courage, and male stupidity. Louis can write. He focuses on people, their looks, their personalities, their speech, their place in society. You will find yourself saying at each plot turn, "Holy crap...you gotta be kidding!"
The flawless part of the audiobook The Wrong Man is the narration by Robert Neil DeVoe. DeVoe is destined to be recruited by today’s best writers and to win Audiofile and voiceover awards. If the successors to Grisham, Wouk, Dahl, and Poe do not scoop him up, then the world is not right. DeVoe’s voice is clean, masculine without pretense, and trained to dig up visceral interpretations of the young, old, accented, gendered, emotion-ridden requirements of the most challenging authors. I could not pull out my earphones until the last few words of the epilogue. You will probably agree that the story seemed to contain a live cast of actors, not just a narrator – the college-guy protagonist, his druggie friend, the girlfriend, the local Mexicans, his grandparents, and others. Each character should make you react as emotionally as the lead character must..
Louis’ main character, Sam, is highly opiniated and politically incorrect. I like that. My own world depresses me with hordes of easily offended people and The Wrong Man gave me delicious escape. Sam is equally disdainful of small-town people, Mexicans, middle-aged women, and old people – just for starters.Unfortunately, protagonist Sam’s thinking does not jive with his behavior. I think this problem could have been fixed if the entire story had been told in the third person instead of the first. How does a guy who spins words like Ian Fleming make such idiotic decisions?
Author Matthew Louis just started writing novels and should continue writing. The storytelling and imagery grab you in this novel and probably will for decades to come.
Dark & Fast Moving
I didn't see the ending coming!
What a great book! It was so descriptive that it made me feel like I was there with the characters. The characters are so believable, that I found myself "acting" along with them while listening.
I can't wait until the film comes out, it's going to translate so well to film.
The story’s best aspect is the escalation. It evolves from a simple misunderstanding into an all-out war. The tension and anticipation intensifies with each transgression until you’re literally out of your seat and pacing around the room, awaiting the next twist.
Tommy. Hands down. Everyone knows someone like Tommy, and often times it’s a relative. He may come across as a two-bit hustler and the black sheep of his family, but when Sam finds himself in real trouble, Tommy comes through for him in a way only the bond of blood can provide. The fact that he’s absolutely hilarious doesn’t hurt either.
DeVoe's reading maintains the slickness and intensity of the source material but adds an extra layer to the main character's internal monologue and "everyman" appeal.
I had every extreme reaction. At least for me, Sam is such a relatable character that there were times I couldn’t help but picture myself in his shoes. When he was afraid or enraged or tormented, I found myself right there with him, vicariously experiencing all of those emotions.
In an age when audiences are inundated with increasingly lame superhero and sci-fi/fantasy stories, "The Wrong Man" reaffirms that relatable human characters in extreme, real life situations will always be more engaging.
As this opens, as a book and even more so as an audio book, it just sets the mood of "normal guy"...and trouble to come. You can feel it, the set-up. The foreboding we all kind of fear.
And then the trap is set: "...why I was so desperate to leave..."
Classic noir hero...just gotta make the right decision and life might just turn out fine...Ha! Good luck with that.
Enjoyed this as a read and love hearing it while I work and drive and run. The story pulls you in from the jump, and keeps dragging you by your teeth. No matter where you pause, the story picks right up and you are there again. That's Louis's easy style. He stays loyal to voice and to character. Highly recommend to not just NOIR and CRIME fans but to those looking to catch a cool story that refuses to let up.
Most enjoyed Louis's easy "normal man" style. It's immediate appeal to a wide audience.
The descriptions in this story were wonderful. I found it incredibly easy to visualize the locations and what the characters looked like.
The twist was memorable to me. Without delving into spoilers, I enjoyed how things didn't go exactly as I thought they would.
I didn't really enjoy the narrator's voices for the characters. He left much to be desired. It's not that he didn't make good choices as far as gruff voice or a reserved and frightened tone, but it just irked me when he would transition from character to character during the dialogue. It felt forced and unnatural.
It's Easy to Muder People and Get Away With It
I enjoyed the story. I found myself chuckling about how uncomfortable I felt at certain moments due to the violence. Normally these things don't bother me, but the story really made me feel the consequences of the actions.
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