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Galveston: A Novel | [Nic Pizzolatto]

Galveston: A Novel

From the creator, writer, and executive producer of the HBO series True Detective and soon to be a major motion picture comes a dark and visceral novel set along the wastelands of Galveston. On the same day Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he learns that his employer has put a hit out on him. After narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, Cady goes on the run with a young prostitute named Rocky and her three-year-old sister, from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas. But though they run, they cannot hide in this explosive, atmospheric, impossible-to-pause thrill ride.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Nic Pizzolatto has had a very respectable run as a writer of short stories, and this is his first effort at committing to a somewhat longer project. His main character, Roy Cady, is in much the same situation as the author. Roy has had a distinguished career as a bag man for a heavy duty criminal who owns a bar in the French Quarter, but when Roy discovers Stan wishes to prematurely and violently terminate their relationship, he is forced into plotting a long term escape back to Galveston. Narrating this classy character portrait punctuated by suspenseful spurts of action is veteran Michael Kramer, whose hard-boiled voicework has made the rounds on over a hundred other audiobooks to date.

Despite Roy's best intentions to hide out and then clean up his act, there are several things getting in the way in a major way. For example, the day Stan puts a hit out on him is the same day he learns he is also being killed by some blotches on an x-ray of his lungs. Hacking and coughing his way through the attempt on his life, he ends up saddled with a sneaky young hooker. Maybe he can clean up both their acts and come out a hero, but the weights keep piling on. The hooker stops to pick up her 3-year-old sister, there's a junky thief who tempts Roy into a risky job, they all stay in a cheap motel full of nosy old ladies keeping on eye on Roy's every move, and the truck's glove box contains a pile of papers detailing some illegal activities that could help Roy make a pile of money if he lets Stan know he's still alive.

Michael Kramer is just the man to tell this tale, which is really the inner monologue of a conflicted man who struggles to do right in the face of the baggage and demons that keep popping up from his past. Soaked in booze and southern swagger, Kramer keeps a tight hold on Roy's frustratedly optimistic musings, such that even his poor choices are ultimately charming ones. Pizzolatto, who grew up in Louisiana, has produced a terrific character sketch that Kramer embodies to deliver with ease. —Megan Volpert

Publisher's Summary

From the creator, writer, and executive producer of the HBO series True Detective and soon to be a major motion picture comes a dark and visceral novel set along the wastelands of Galveston.

On the same day that Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he senses that his boss, a dangerous loan-sharking bar-owner, wants him dead. Roy is alert to the possibility that a routine assignment could be a deathtrap. Yet what the would-be killers do to Roy Cady is not the same as what he does to them, and after a smoking spasm of violence, they are mostly dead and he is mostly alive.

Before Roy makes his getaway, he realizes there are two women in the apartment, one of them still breathing, and he sees something in her frightened, defiant eyes that causes a fateful decision. He takes her with him as he goes on the run from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas—an action as ill-advised as it is inescapable. The girl's name is Rocky, and she is too young, too tough, too sexy—and far too much trouble. Roy, Rocky, and her sister hide in the battered seascape of Galveston's country-western bars and seedy hotels, a world of treacherous drifters, pickup trucks, and ashed-out hopes.

Recalling the moody violence of the early novels of Cormac McCarthy and Denis Johnson, this powerful, potent, and atmospheric thriller is impossible to put down.

©2010 Nic Pizzolatto (P)2010 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Impressive.... Pizzolatto's insightful portrayal of the heroic Roy...is rough and tumble real." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (528 )
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3.9 (448 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stephanie Clearlake, CA, United States 11-17-12
    Stephanie Clearlake, CA, United States 11-17-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Richly Layered"

    This is a book that can be enjoyed on so many levels. The writing is first rate and the narrator couldn't be more perfect for the story. It is a pretty decent noir-type crime story but succeeds the most as a rich character study of a flawed man.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curt West Chester, PA, United States 05-07-11
    Curt West Chester, PA, United States 05-07-11 Member Since 2007
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    "A Great Read"

    This is a terrific book. I read a review of the novel, I believe, in the NYTimes before making the purchase. It described the book as possessing a rare combination of exceptional story-line and writing that rises to the level of literature. I couldn't agree more.

    Add a perfect narrator to the audio version of the text and you have something rather special.

    Over the past several years, I have listened to who knows how many books -- a lot. Only three have caused me to sit in my car to continue listening after arriving at my destination. This is one of the three books. (I even had someone at my office tap on my window to make sure that everything was okay.)

    Final note: I wondered if it was just me, so I purchased the CD version and asked a friend to give the book a listen. He reports that he listened to Galveston twice. During the second listen, he noted that the quality of the writing -- especially the subtle foreshadowing of what was to come -- was even better than he initially thought. The book became richer and more complex the second time around.

    27 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 09-14-10
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 09-14-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Easy Read and Compelling Characters"

    This is Pizzolatto's first novel and it is an interesting read. It involves a Roy Cady is a strong-arm man for a New Orleans gangster. He picks up a girl, Raquel Arceneaux, who is caught up in a job and flees to Galveston, Texas. Roy is dying of cancer and he is caught with Arceneaux who he just can't quite leave behind. If you are looking for a lot of Galveston in this book - you'll not find it. It is just the setting for Roy Cady's demise. If you are looking for an interesting story, this might be a story for you.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mindusq san francisco 03-10-14
    mindusq san francisco 03-10-14 Member Since 2008

    Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.

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    "Butcher's Boy + Nobody Move + True Detective"

    Southern, ooze-y, boozy and bleak with the kind of protagonist we love to root for. Michael Kramer is pitch perfect, confessing a hit man's philosophy through a story of botched redemption.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 12-06-12
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 12-06-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful, tough and inexplicable"

    Michael Kramer is the reader you want for tough-guy noir, and this is an excellent species in the genre. His coarse, unemotional voice never lets the hero down, and Kramer is good with nuance in support players, especially women.

    Nic Pizzolatto is a great writer. His images linger long after Kramer utters them. Characters are deep as wells, even the briefly met.

    My only problem, and it might just be my problem, is that I had a really tough time following the narrative, which skips around. What happened, I constantly asked myself, pushing the backwards button.

    I prefer my crime stories laid out, head to toe-tag, like bodies in a morgue, not the knee, then the head, then somebody else's head, then the body up and moving, before demise.

    23 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh Graham 05-16-14
    Josh Graham 05-16-14 Member Since 2014
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    "I bought this because I loved True Detective"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, it's slow and predictable


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect has to be that Nic wrote this and somehow wrote True Detective. The least interesting was the man saves young prostitute trope.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Sure


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Re watch True Detective, it's better than this

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 03-23-14
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2005

    Addicted to Audible!

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    "Extremely mediocre with terrible narration"

    I guess I am one of the few who was very disappointed in this audio. Perhaps reading it would have been better. I had really high hopes as a big fan of the True Detective Series that Nic PIzzolatto wrote for HBO.The narration was absolutely monotone in my opinion, one dimensional and BORING. I was tempted to stop listening and then re-read some of the reviews and thought, "well maybe I am missing something". So I perservered till the end. What a waste of time. The storyline was nothing original and I really did not care what happened to any of the characters as they were mostly unlikeable. I will agree that his writing is very descriptive and at times beautiful, you can see and feel the places he describes. However, the reader ruined it for me- with his monotone drawl. Glad that this was a special bargain book and I didnt waste an entire credit on this one. Perhaps the movie will be better or maybe he will evolve as a novelist in the future. He certainly did a great job with True Detective!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawna AVA, MO 03-10-14
    Shawna AVA, MO 03-10-14 Member Since 2013

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ingenious! C. McCarthy w/his own originality! Yes!"
    What made the experience of listening to Galveston the most enjoyable?

    I couldn't put this down! It's been a long while since I've listened/read a book this good. Please write, and write, and.... The number one best thing on HBO this year has been "True Detective" written by Nic Piaaolatto. This sequence, with Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson, was written by Mr. Pizzolatto, and is like nothing I've ever seen before, so I was thrilled there was a book by the same writer who wrote the show. "Galveston" is so good, I had to check the author out on the internet and the good news is, he's just getting started.
    Today, it seems we only have writers that can pen an imaginary/make-believe world, with a demon of sorts, coming down to terrorize the people on earth. No, now we have what we all know to be a man who can sit down and tell a story.Thank you Mr. P.
    As for "Galveston", each scene takes you there, the characters he uses, and the locations are dead-on. The only problem with this book: it ends with the protagonist in his later years, suggesting there will be no sequels.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Galveston?

    I'm from central Texas, and lived in New Orleans, so I'm familiar with the area of the book. For me, because of this, it was all memorable. He paints the hotel, where they live and you feel as if you, too, are a tenant, interacting with the people staying there. Some of the scenes like when they go to Rocky's home. You see it so clearly. And oh, when she's telling about the rabbits.....oh my....


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kramer – was your favorite?

    Michael Krammer is Roy Cody; nabbed him dead on. The perfect reader for the part! Do not change him if Roy Cody shows up again some where in another book. Please!!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending, along with the rest of the book, is SO WELL DONE!!


    Any additional comments?

    I also have to thank the publishers/Audible for using Micheal Krammer, the reader of the book. He, with his voice, makes you believe you're listening to the real Roy Cody, the main character of the book. This is the first time I've listened to any of the books he's written. After the book was finished, I immediately checked him out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Moore Springfield, IL 05-08-14
    Anthony Moore Springfield, IL 05-08-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow moving,"
    What did you like best about Galveston? What did you like least?

    nothing, and the pace of the story is what I liked least.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Nic Pizzolatto? Why or why not?

    maybe


    What didn’t you like about Michael Kramer’s performance?

    He talked to slooooowwwwww..


    Do you think Galveston needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no, because this was boring enough


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine J. Pondozzi Laurel, Maryland 04-01-14
    Catherine J. Pondozzi Laurel, Maryland 04-01-14 Member Since 2012

    I am someone who enjoys audible books very much now that they exist. As a young student (real young) I can remember a teacher telling me how books can transport people to different places & open up a whole new world. This is how listening to audible books make me feel. Now if I can just stop falling asleep while listening to them at night I would be fine. Ha ha

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book if you want to get depressed"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Not having the man character dying of cancer, being a murderer, or being in such an unbelievable story line. And the other characters in the book were not any better.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Nic Pizzolatto again?

    Yes if he could narrate a book not so God awful depressing.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment big time! I couldn't even finish it.


    Any additional comments?

    When a story makes me want to jump off a bridge it is time to stop listening to it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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