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Gutshot Straight Audiobook

Gutshot Straight

When Charles "Shake" Bouchon, professional wheel man, walks out of prison after a three-year stretch for grand theft auto, he's got only two problems: he's too nice a guy for the life he's led and not nice enough for any other. So he says yes when he's asked to run a simple errand for his former boss and lover, Alexandra Ilandryan, the formidable pakhan of the Armenian mob in Los Angeles.
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Publisher's Summary

A crime caper in the tradition of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen, this fast and funny debut is the story of "Shake" Bouchon, fresh out of prison and ready for life on the straight and narrow—well, maybe after one last job....

When Charles "Shake" Bouchon, professional wheel man, walks out of prison after a three-year stretch for grand theft auto, he's got only two problems: he's too nice a guy for the life he's led and not nice enough for any other. So he says yes when he's asked to run a simple errand for his former boss and lover, Alexandra Ilandryan, the formidable pakhan of the Armenian mob in Los Angeles. All Shake has to do is deliver a package to Las Vegas and pick up a briefcase. Only the package turns out to be a wholesome young housewife named Gina whose husband has run afoul of Dick Moby, aka "The Whale", an unpleasant 400-pound Vegas strip-club owner. Shake hates to think what's going to happen to Gina when he delivers her to The Whale, so in a move that's as noble as it is boneheaded, he decides to set her free.

Now Shake and Gina are on the run to Panama, hoping to unload the very valuable—and highly unusual—contents of The Whale's briefcase. Shake could end up a rich man, but first he'll have to outmaneuver two angry crime bosses, a murderous Armenian thug plagued by erectile superfunction, a former pro football player who blames Shake for his romantic woes, and a billionaire swindler with a flair for the theatrical. Not to mention, and not the least, Shake will need to survive his own heart, since he's going to discover that wholesome housewife Gina is even more intriguing, and a lot more complicated, than he ever imagined.

Full of blindsided double-crosses and hard shots to the head, Gutshot Straight is a tale of love, luck, and larceny against the odds.

©2010 Lou Berney (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A highly entertaining caper novel.... Like Carl Hiaasen, Berney delights in the cartoonish. Like Elmore Leonard, he can drive a plot. What sets him apart is how well he evokes love, making the romance at the heart of this cinematic novel as compelling as the mystery." (The Boston Globe)

“This book is full of crooks, murderers, Mafia, strippers, and assorted villains, and Ballerini gives each character his or her own identity. This book is smart and sexy, and easily could be turned into a movie. Nonetheless, with Ballerini's performance, you don't need a screen—you can see it come together just by listening.” (AudioFile)

"The plot turns are constant, and the dialogue is sharp. The bad guys are wonderfully scary, and the locales—Las Vegas and Panama—are vividly drawn. The estimable Elmore Leonard might be very pleased to call Gutshot Straight his own." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (440 )
5 star
 (121)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
3.9 (367 )
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4.3 (370 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Carolyn Carrollton, TX, United States 07-31-12
    Carolyn Carrollton, TX, United States 07-31-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    11
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "I wish I liked them"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The book was well crafted. But, the characters were very difficult to care about. By the end I was in a hurry for it to end so I could move on.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I had a hard time caring because the characters as a whole were so unlikable. The twists didn't quite twist and the turns didn't turn far enough. There was nothing really endearing or incredibly awful about any of the characters.


    Did Edoardo Ballerini do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He is a very good narrator. I will be willing to listen to other narrations by him.


    Was Gutshot Straight worth the listening time?

    No.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    green ice cream garden miramar, FL United States 04-30-15
    green ice cream garden miramar, FL United States 04-30-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    136
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    184
    183
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    8
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Jump back, what's that sound?...Panama..."

    Charles Atkinson (reader I follow) does it again - another on point recommendation. Thanks!

    It's like Get Shorty. It's Like Pulp Fiction. It's a little Hiaasen. The story is a witty and suspense-filled weave of characters and sub-plots all after double crossing each other for the sake of some "stamps" worth over 5 million dollars. Hoping there is a sequel that's how much I enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickie 12-26-13
    Vickie 12-26-13

    I'm an avid reader who now listens to books on tape. I'm a bit late to the game but enjoying the hands free reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    "Loved it!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I stayed in the story the entire time. Often I lose my place or can't remember what last happened but in this story, I never forgot the story line. I listened to it not only in the car but at home.
    Characters were realistic and likable. Pick it up!


    Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Edoardo is the perfect reader. I'm listening to Berney's second book as the narrator lacks the chops to do the book justice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Montara, CA, United States 07-13-13
    Larry Montara, CA, United States 07-13-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
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    95
    38
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    Story
    "Close, but no Maltese Falcon"

    This was overall an entertaining book, but will not bear the scrutiny of those who like their stories to be logical. There are definite plot similarities to the Maltese Falcon, but the lead character "Shake" is no Sam Spade and the lead heavy, Dick Moby, is no Kaspar Gutman. On the other hand the femme fatale, Gina, would have done Dashiell Hammett proud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Warren Westchester, NY USA 06-29-13
    R. Warren Westchester, NY USA 06-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    51
    16
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    "Entertaining"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Of course it is not great literature but, for its genre, it is right up there with Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen and Donald Westlake. The narration was spot on and enhanced the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    7
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    0
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    "just one of those nicely written noire type novel"
    What did you love best about Gutshot Straight?

    The plot had good twists, the main characters had some wise develpment, and the story was just a pleasure.. We are not talking great novels, but a most pleasant way to distract yourself and get lost in a comfortable book. The narration was great and fit the characters very well. The laconic style of the narrator matched the pace of the book. Good job, that.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gutshot Straight?

    The first realizations that all is not what you thought and the different reality of the characters supplies just the right amount of frisson to make it fun and to entice you to want to get to know the characters.


    Which character – as performed by Edoardo Ballerini – was your favorite?

    Shake, of course. But he did well overall with the rest of the characters.


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

    yes, the way that love or lust can change you from doing whats logical to the desire to follow your heart instead.


    Any additional comments?

    Just liked it. A rare mix of good narration, good characters, and a fun plot that comes together to make you want to relax and enjoy the storytelling. Its what I like about audiobooks when I want to enjoy having a great story read to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam K. Big Pine, Ca USA 01-15-13
    Pam K. Big Pine, Ca USA 01-15-13 Member Since 2011

    calincal

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This was a great listen.."
    If you could sum up Gutshot Straight in three words, what would they be?

    We enjoyed it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Twist and turns we didn't expect..


    Any additional comments?

    I wish there were more books by this author

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miguel Estoril, Portugal 12-04-12
    Miguel Estoril, Portugal 12-04-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    147
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    "Pure entertainment"
    What made the experience of listening to Gutshot Straight the most enjoyable?

    This listening kept my attention throughout and the narrator is just fine I found this very easy to listen to. The story line itself is like a movie script, the action was mostly fast paced with lots of twists and turns. Resuming the book is good, reading is good. You move quickly through the story and feel drawn into it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 07-10-12
    Mike 07-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    269
    18
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    0
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    Story
    "Funny!"

    Listening to this book is like watching an early Guy Ritchie movie (before his Sherlock Holmes films). Enough said....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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