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Hit Man | [Lawrence Block]

Hit Man

Keller possesses all the qualities of a professional killer. He's cool, confident, reclusive, icy, and ruthlessly efficient. But this seasoned hit man is also prone to self-doubt as he finds himself caught in the clutches of a mid-life crisis.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: After hearing Robert Forster's narration, it would be hard to imagine anyone else playing Keller, the contract killer suffering a mid-life crisis. Forster manages to elicit empathy for a cold-blooded murderer, while perfectly capturing the wry wit of Lawrence Block's writing. —Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

Keller possesses all the qualities of a professional killer. He's cool, confident, reclusive, icy, and ruthlessly efficient. But this seasoned hit man is also prone to self-doubt as he finds himself caught in the clutches of a mid-life crisis. Between contracts, he learns a few crucial truths about himself and the ways of the world he's become detached from, and winds up a wiser - if not better - man.

Copyright ©1998 by Lawrence Block; Copyright (P)1998 by Dove Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1405 )
5 star
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3.9 (464 )
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4.2 (466 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Barbara A. Russell Sedona, AZ United States 02-15-03
    Barbara A. Russell Sedona, AZ United States 02-15-03 Member Since 2002

    Triadbooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprisingly Terrific"

    Was sorry to see this one end. How the author wrote such a delightful story of a 'Hit Man' is amazing, but you will love this gentle character. Fast paced, filled with humor and pathos. A really great book.

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 05-05-03
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 05-05-03 Member Since 2002

    Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration.

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    "Perfect"

    A perfect marriage of the written and spoken word. Robert Forster's narration adds a new dimension to the characters that make up the ordinary life of "Hit Man", making the wry wit of Lawrence Block even more enjoyable.
    Different from Block's Matt Scudder series or "The Burglar" books, this is nevertheless a true Block gem.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard San Francisco, CA, United States 01-17-08
    Howard San Francisco, CA, United States 01-17-08
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    "Not what you expect"

    I bought this audiobook because it sounded like a murder mystery, one of my favorite genres. But it's not. It's a human interest story about a guy who is a professional hit man (surprise!). I thought to myself: I'm not going to like this, but it turned out to be one of my favorite reads. The story is very original; the main character is engaging. It's interesting how you wind up liking a guy you don't approve of, probably because you perceive motives that you may either find inside yourself, or that you can at least understand and relate to.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Seattle, WA, USA 02-03-03
    Bob Seattle, WA, USA 02-03-03
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    "God Bless You, Robert Forster"

    I think that this is the first audio book that I've ever given five stars.

    If you are a fan of detective fiction or suspense novels, you can purchase this book without worry. Well-written. Nicely paced. Extrememly well read. You'll wish that it was double the length.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Parusski Jackson TN 06-28-09
    Parusski Jackson TN 06-28-09 Member Since 2000
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    "Character study & FUNNY"

    Killing is not the important part of this great collection of stories. The study of Keller's character is key to everything. Keller is first and foremost a mundane person who just happens to be a hitman. Most of the time he contemplates life, eats at boring cafes, collects stamps, watches tv and walks his dog. Occasionally Dot calls him to White Plains, where the two of them sip lemonade. The conversations between Dot and Keller are clever and insightful(you learn a lot about each character during these meetings.) Dot gives him his assignment, he flys to some city, carrys out the murder and returns to his boring life. Keller does a lot of sole searching in an attempt to justify why a person might need to die. He does this everytime he gets a job. Just listen carefully to Hitman and you really will see how much depth there is to Keller and Dot. Great fun.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 04-29-04
    Kevin 04-29-04
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    "A Very Different Approach"

    Block breaks a ton of rules, especially for the subject matter. And he does it brilliantly. The story isn't so much about an assassin as it is about a man who kills for his day job. It might sound like semantics, but it makes for a very enjoyable change of pace. Sometimes, the author summarizes an action scene, to go into a very detailed internal monologue in Keller's head: he might be thinking of buying a house or taking up a hobby.

    This is the sort of thing any teacher or book on writing will tell you not to do. The thing is, it works beautifully! Really.

    The narrator does the best job for any audiobook I've ever read. I've listened to it twice, and will probably listen to it again. (Unusual for me and audiobooks.)

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Blassingame Tulsa, OK 02-18-09
    Jill Blassingame Tulsa, OK 02-18-09 Member Since 2003
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    "Surprising..."

    I ordered this book because I needed a relatively short listen and it was on sale. What a bargain I got. This is a very strange book that makes you think about ethics, morals, right and wrong in a little bit different light. The narrator is perfect for this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose 03-20-08
    Jose 03-20-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Hit again!"

    Excelent series of distinct episodes perfectly seamed together and revealing the personality of the main character thorugh its mood evolution, a likable, witty and funny person who happens to be a hit man. Superb narration.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 01-23-14
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2010
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    "I do not enjoy watching murder of good/normal"

    people, but it kept my interest.

    The only reason I gave this 3 stars instead of 2 was because I did not feel I wanted it to be over. It kept my interest because I was waiting for something more. But by the end, more never came. The character does not change. And there is no overall plot. It is a series of short stories written for a magazine.

    It’s a different take on the work and life of a hit man. Some readers will find this humorous, but I did not. I was unsettled. In contrast I did enjoy two other series about anti-heroes: Dexter a serial killer, and Parker an armed robber who occasionally killed. The difference is Keller (in Hit Man) kills anyone including good guys. Dexter only kills bad guys. Parker robs anyone and occasionally kills bad guys .

    The author skips too many things. For example, Keller has a dog and lives with a girl. Then in one scene he says the girl left him a month ago and took the dog. I wanted to hear why the girl left him. It was not explained.

    Another example, Baskin pretends to be someone he is not and hires Keller to kill some people. There is a problem, so Keller needs to find Baskin. All of a sudden Keller is in Baskin’s house waiting for him. I never saw how Keller learned who Baskin was and how he found him.

    Another example, receptionist tells Keller to wait on the porch until boss is done with another meeting. Next sentence says twenty minutes later Keller is on a train returning home. I assume he met with the boss. I wanted to hear his conversation with the boss.

    I didn’t like those gaps. It felt like I was missing things.

    There were about three sex scene references, but no details. They were like “she took off her clothes.” Then it’s the next day.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Robert Forster was good. He used one of the Chicago-thug-type accents.

    Genre: crime fiction

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renato West Linn, OR, USA 08-13-08
    Renato West Linn, OR, USA 08-13-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Surprisingly fun listen"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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