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The Guards | [Ken Bruen]

The Guards

Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda Siochana, and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. He is teetering on the brink of his life's sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future non-existent.
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Publisher's Summary

Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda Siochana, and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. He is teetering on the brink of his life's sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future non-existent.

Until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumour about Jack's talent for finding things. Odds are he won't be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he's getting into.

©2001 Ken Bruen; (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (96 )
5 star
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3.6 (81 )
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4.0 (79 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John Raynham, MA, United States 08-09-13
    John Raynham, MA, United States 08-09-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
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    "This is literature, not just crime fiction"

    A friend told me I should check out this book.
    I did.
    I was afraid I'd get hooked.
    I am.
    Friends tell me I now talk like Jack Taylor as rendered by the marvelous Gerry O'Brien
    I do.

    This is a wonderfully written, humorous and touching story. The crime is nearly beside the point. I'm lining up the Ken Bruen books now and plan to devour them one after another.

    Great stuff.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Avi Stachenfeld Berkeley, California USA 03-27-12
    Avi Stachenfeld Berkeley, California USA 03-27-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    "BRUEN...THE BEST"

    ...of all mystery writers, bruen is the best...writer, that is...the story is just along for the ride... a unique knack for dialogue, an unrivaled knowledge of music and literature... an ability to find a poignant phrase that speaks to the deepest parts of each of us...never a word in excess... orwell would be proud! the reader, gerry o'brien, a perfect complement to bruen's prose.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence San Francisco, USA 01-07-13
    Lawrence San Francisco, USA 01-07-13 Member Since 2012

    master-chef

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Almost flawless"

    Bruen captures the pathos and humour of a drunken Irish dick. Self destructive and so human, it is hard not to identify with the lead (I can't call him hero) of this book. Beckett meets Chandler and a stone bottle of cheap gin.

    Offered wine after a dinner of a six pack of beer, Jack says, "Ah fuckit man," then confides that that is the abridged version of the Serenity Prayer.

    You get the picture.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gavin Bayside, NY, United States 02-19-11
    Gavin Bayside, NY, United States 02-19-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book for alcoholics"

    ThIs is basically about drinking. The author is pretty funny, and the main character is likable. But something was missing.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Rapid City, SD, United States 10-08-13
    Terry Rapid City, SD, United States 10-08-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Hated this book."

    This book was not at all what is was portrayed to be about. This was more about the problems of alcoholism than a murder mystery.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 03-23-14
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A drunken hero . . . sounds lovely, huh?"

    I did not like the way that the author, Ken Bruen, continuely went on and on about Jack Taylor’s alcoholism. It took away from the plot of the story.

    The character, Jack, self-pitied himself, couldn’t find love, and couldn’t stop drinking. It got a little annoying and lost the focus of the plot, finding out who murdered the girl.

    I was definitely glad when the story was over. I don’t think that I will continue with the series “The Killing of the Tinkers.” I have a feeling the author will continue to have Jack’s alcoholism lead the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Iowa City, IA, United States 11-10-13
    Dan Iowa City, IA, United States 11-10-13 Member Since 2012

    btrangels

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    "Ireland's answer to Harry Hole"

    I really love Taylor's flawed character. The dialogue held the classic sort of Irish humor I'd hoped for. My only complaint is that I wished it had gone on longer.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    d. Pleasant View, TN, United States 08-25-13
    d. Pleasant View, TN, United States 08-25-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How to be a drunk and still stand..."

    Awful... No real mystery, no plot, no solution, just drunken stupor. Could not understand the accent. The book just meandered.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Deirdre
    Stepaside, Ireland
    8/26/12
    Overall
    "ok"

    I chose this book because i was looking for books narrated by Gerry O Brien. Enjoyable but forgettable. Not a patch on others he has narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heike
    Heidelberg, Germany
    4/15/11
    Overall
    "Undervalued Gem!"

    I cannot understand why Ken Bruen does no get the recognition he deserves. If you like scandinavian crime novels with slightly dysfunctional protagonists who have an unhealthy relationship with booze, you will love Jack Taylor. However in contrary to his nordic counterparts he is not permanently close to depression but displays a very Irish cynicism. The crime itself plausibly developed.
    Listening to Gerry O'Brien as a narrator is a pleasure (I hate it when Irish books are read by English narrators). If you are looking for an intelligent but witty crime novel, go for it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

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