To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
David J. Keaton
3.0 out of 5 starsquickly devoured
Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2013
A fast read. Be warned though, this book does have some unflinchingly brutal dog-fight passages, and that kind of thing can be a lotta no fun. But luckily Pelecanos takes some satisfying shots at the culture, calling out posers who think of a scary dog as a status symbol, as well as the idiotic `90s dog fighting boom, where everyone who wasn't fighting a pit bull certainly wanted you to think they were. In fact, even though this book was published in 2005, it feels very grounded in the `90s, full of that era's music, sometimes in flashbacks, sometimes not. The main characters are memorable, too. The two major players, slow burning ex-con Lorenzo and Rachel (day and night versions), are both introduced efficiently and effectively, and the author does wonders with Lorenzo early on by having the reader ride along on his thankless day job for the Humane Society, as he works to convince deadbeat dog owners to improve their beasts' low standard of living. The plight of the canines in the book mirrors the humans, of course ("You can't save every animal."), and even though the main plot regarding a childhood friend's drug dealing empire circling the drain and the young, hot-headed psycho all headed for a showdown is well-worn territory, I still stuck around for the finale. As far as the prose, it's suitably rough, slang-ridden, and unpolished but never distracting, although there was that unintentionally hilarious metonymy where the author kept referring to a particular body part as a woman's "sex." But it is a confident book, so much so that you may get the feeling Pelecanos wrote it one-handed. Quickly devoured.
5.0 out of 5 starsA superb crime story about redemption and second chances
Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2011
One of the things I've come to love about George Pelecanos is the way he can take simple, even archetypal stories and spin them into profound, moving portraits of human, flawed characters, and Drama City is no exception. The story here revolves around an ex-con named Lorenzo Brown who is working with the Humane Society to put his life back on track, his parole officer, whose alcohol abuse is starting to affect her day-to-day life, and Brown's old partner in crime, whose drug operation is starting to bump into that of an up-and-comer who's ready to take on more of the world. The intersections between these stories are simple ones, but as always with Pelecanos, the plot is mainly a structure to hang a rich, vibrant, complex world in which these characters live. From discussions about addiction to the life of a paroled offender, from the choices of young boys in the projects to the realities of dog fighting, Pelecanos invests every aspect of his book with honest emotion, unflinching honesty, and a human compassion that makes the book profoundly moving and affecting in ways I didn't expect. Some will complain that not much happens here, and while I concede that point, I disagree that it makes it a weak book. This is a book about people struggling with their choices, their environments, and those who control them, and the cumulative impact is quietly devastating in its own quiet way. Drama City probably moves to the top of my Pelecanos rankings; I found myself unable to stop thinking about it after I finished it, and even now, a few days later, its characters and their choices still resonate with me and leave me thinking about them.
5.0 out of 5 starsNo one can tell the story like George P. !!
Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2013
I'm convinced George Pelecanos is unlike all other humans, based on how he tells the story and how he draws me in to read. He never gets mushy or sentimental, which i appreciate in a story. I could read the whole book without stopping and still feel refreshed, because his writing has that strength. His powers of observation and understanding of all different kinds of people exceed that of every other person i've ever known. His understanding tells me how, to a certain extent, he's lived his own life. If I could be reincarnated as any author, it would be George P. In this deep tale, the character Miller is much like a certain dog taken in by the Humane society--a dog and a young man who both can't make it in this world, based on all they've ever known in their painful lives. I rooted hard for the main character to make it in Drama City. I want to say that this is my favorite of his novels, but I always think that when I read a different one. But really, this one has to be...