Shunned by his community...locked up for trying to help an innocent girl...ambushed by rivals and left for dead in the Detroit River, Joe Bernstein has a few scores to settle, and a bold plan to seize control of the Motor City in its booming 1920s heyday. With his faithful "agent", Abie; his brilliant but fragile brother, Max; and an out-of-control enforcer named Grabowski (not to mention a couple of carnivorous creatures known as "the babies"), Bernstein gives rise to the infamous Purple Gang - so named by local merchants because the gang's members were said to be "tainted, like spoiled meat".
Bernstein's boys set their sights on taking over the Detroit River, the pipeline connecting dry America to wet Canada. But Joe also must contend with having "a sweetheart in the nut house" and rising tensions within his gang. Worst of all, the D.A.'s office has brought in an amputee war hero named Riley - who seems to be one step ahead of Joe's big plans....
A fast-paced thriller that builds to the climactic Collingwood Massacre (a seminal event that changed Detroit forever), The Purples blends richly detailed historical fiction with nonstop action, all narrated in the wry voice of the smart, self-deluding, and unforgettable Joe Bernstein.
©2010 W. K. Berger (P)2013 W. K. Berger
Yes. The narrator did a great job with this period, being the 20's in Detroit. I really felt like I was there. And I'm new to Audible, but I'm a big audiobook fan, and I really like when the right narrator gets matched with the right material. That definitely happened with The Purples.
The way it shed light on a real part of history. A Jewish gang in Detroit? The fact that it existed is crazy enough, not to mention all the scary, gory stuff they actually did. I'm a student of history, so when I can be dramatized like this, it's really cool.
He's a really good storyteller. I listened to another one of his audiobooks recently, Two Serpents Rise. I liked it a lot, and then I saw this one, and I realized it was a really different backdrop. But his characters were all very real, but really entertaining, and all had their own cool individual qualities. Some very scary ones, actually. He's really good with the darker stuff.
Sure, but I really enjoy listening while I drive, and it is 14 hrs long I think. And this read is pretty rough, so I'm sure it isn't for everybody. But I'm a big fan of the old gumshoe stuff, and of Dick Hill, and this reminded me a little of his grittier stuff.
It tells an interesting story about a hidden part of history. Some rights, a lot of wrongs. The author, WK Berger, really brings these characters and the story alive for you for sure.
The storyline was intricate enough to hold my interest, but not so much so as to be confusing (I'm looking at you, Jonathan Franzen), which made it an excellent choice for listening to in the car. Really, though, the narrator was great. His reading was rhythmic, melodious and pitch-perfect, and really seemed to capture the essence of what the author was trying to convey.
I suppose "The Purples" belongs in the same general category as the Elmore Leonard books or maybe Michael Chabon's "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."
I have not, but I will definitely look for more stuff that he's done. As I've noted, his narration was simply excellent.
Detroit is a rough town, and always has been.
Say something about yourself!
This is my first narrated ebook that actually kept me interested. The story kept me wanting more and reminds me of Bordwalk Empire.
Yes! Definitely a thriller and lots of action to keep you wanting more.
Chapter 19 - Very deep and many things come together.
Very happy with the overall experience and look forward to another!
The darkness of that time. I know this is a dramatization, but the brutality of that age...I identify with stories and movies like this.
Grabowski. Not the most likable guy, for obvious reasons. But he was fun to listen to, in his environment. Loved his names for his dogs, too. But I also liked Clark, the cop. He was a well-done foil.
It was visceral. And it had a good amount of subdued energy. And was very consistent thru the whole story. Nice variation from the characters. Nice job.
When Joe and Abie had their moment before... I don't want to give too much away, but it was sad to hear the team breaking apart.
Visceral, rough stuff. The way I like it.
I have a short attention span so the book needs to be compelling to keep my attention.
Yes by far
The lead as he has an arrogance about him I just liked
Chris's voice was fantastic.
The book was intriguing.
I could not stop listening, was very compelling.
I identified more with the community that shunned the gang than I could with the lead characters. Trying to make antisocial behavior more palatable by casting Joe Bernstein as a Robin Hood belies the outright cruel violence that was used to gain vengance. The story of the Purple Gang was much more black and white - they were bad people that did terrible things for money and power. At that time, Detroit was the town where actually working hard could help you rise above poverty and injustice. Henry Ford was a businessman and anti-semite, but using him as the great villian is lazy and inane.
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