This is the first in a one-of-a-kind, spectacularly well-written mystery series featuring Buck Schatz, an eighty-seven-year-old retired Memphis cop with a know-it-all, plugged-in grandson as his sidekick.
When Buck learns that an old adversary may have escaped Germany with a fortune in stolen gold, he decides to hunt down the fugitive and claim the loot. But lots of people want a piece of the stolen treasure, and Buck’s investigation quickly attracts unfriendly attention from a Mississippi loan shark, a seven-foot-tall Hasidic Jew, and a bloodthirsty maniac hell-bent on rubbing out everybody who knows anything about the stolen gold.
Readers who love Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosley, early Jonathan Lethem, and superlative detective fiction in general will not want to miss Don’t Ever Get Old.
Daniel Friedman is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the NYU School of Law. He lives in New York City.
What a terrific main character!! Buck Schatz is an 83 year old retired policeman who refuses to acknowledge that age can keep him down. He rages against the grass that he can no longer keep beautiful. He lights up a cigarette everywhere he goes, even in non-smoking areas. He keeps a memory notebook where he writes important things in his life in hopes of warding off dementia. A simple bump leaves his thin skin with multiple shades of bruising. He rages against, yet deeply loves, his grown grandson whenever technology and electronics are brought up, as Buck has no idea how to use these things. He keeps his gun handy at all times because of a directive from the late General Eisenhower. He has a deep abiding love for his wife of over 60 years. He's a determined curmudgeon and a hoot and a half!
When Buck hears a rumor that the Nazi that beat him nearly to death, while he was in a Nazi prison, may still be alive and hiding Nazi gold bars made from Jewish treasures, Buck goes on the chase. Buck and his grandson make an hilarious and poignant pair of detectives. There are many secrets, multiple murders and intriguing suspects, requiring Buck to use everything within him to answer questions, and to stay alive.
Daniel Friedman has captured everything bad and everything wonderful about "old people". This story is deeply serious, while keeping the funny bone busy. Definitely a book worthy of many accolades!! May this just be the beginning of a long line of such uniquely engaging books!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Very funny crime caper featuring an 88-year-old former cop, his wry, long-suffering wife and his violent yet geeky grandson. Violence runs in this family, although got to say, their adversaries have it coming.
Nick Sullivan is fabulous in a variety of voices. Loved it. Worth a credit? Hell yes.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I loved it. The main character "Buck" Shatz was the best thing about that book. He maybe 80 years old but he was completely believable as a hard nosed detectives who is willing to shoot to kill when necessary. I also enjoyed his relationship with his grandson which was both funny and sweet. The narrator was a good match for the story. He spoke in a southern accent which was not overdone and easy to understand.
I really enjoyed this book. But I don't know if I would have liked it half as much if the narrator hadn't have done such a great job.
Would you consider the audio edition of Don’t Ever Get Old to be better than the print version?
Excellent, would read and listen to more stories about Buc. Great story and the story teller has you visualize the story like movie in your mind.
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
The plot kept me wanting more of the story. It had unexpected plot and Buc' s thoughts added to a nice laugh.
What about Nick Sullivan’s performance did you like?
He is very engaging. He had me totally visualizing the whole story. Excellent.
What a hoot! Gotta love this ole codger. I had a Jewish friends growing up and found that the woven-in Jewish terms and history and lifestyle were perfect. Easily understood to someone who has never known anyone Jewish. There are so many laugh out loud moments. I went on line and ordered the paperback for my 82 year mother. Like Buck she just doesn't get Google, at all. Every time we talk I have to reexplain twitter. When any of these modern day techie things are mentioned I immediately think of my mom.
One question though to the author: where the hell has Buck been hiding since his retirement in what was it 1976?! You can't tell this was his first adventure into helping someone. There is no way whatsoever that this man has sat back quietly for 30+ years. You better write a couple of prequels for us Mr. Friedman!!!
I went right to audible and bought the 2nd Buck book. Equally as good and maybe even funnier.
If you could sum up Don’t Ever Get Old in three words, what would they be?
Clever, Funny, Cantankerous
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
Dirty Harry turns 88. Buck Schatz is a Jewish retired homicide detective with no inner monologue who was the inspiration for the Dirty Harry character. It's a hilarious combination, and I could not wait to see what Buck would say or do next.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
This book was so unexpectedly good that I am writing my first ever book review. I usually listen to faster paced mystery/thrillers but I so enjoyed the character of Buck and the clever dialogue that I have been thinking about this book since I read it. As mentioned in the book, older people are often relegated to a minor character, one whose role is to support and pass along wisdom to the younger protagonist, before they exit, quite literally. It is quite refreshing to see an outspoken robust old leading man (to say the least about him). Glad to see there is a sequel, can't wait to read it!
Have you seen the movie “Dirty Harry” with Clint Eastwood? This book’s main character (Buck) is Dirty Harry when he gets old. He’s growly, grumpy, and insults others. He doesn’t play nice with authority. Yet he still has his moral compass against those who do harm. (The Dirty Harry comparison is my interpretation, but I believe the author was inspired by him. The character’s name in the book is Buck Schatz.)
I was surprised at how often I was chuckling. A sample of the kind of humor follows. There might be a treasure of Nazi gold bars. Buck has nothing to do with it and wants nothing to do with it. But people keep coming to him because they think he’ll be able to find it. He doesn’t care.
I think the best stories start with unusual and intriguing characters. This book has that. It’s a treasure hunt, mystery, and murder. And it has an excellent ending for the good guys.
The narrator Nick Sullivan was good. But I was iffy about a couple of his voices. I would have preferred Clint Eastwood narrating because he is Dirty Harry - and he’s in his 80s - or a narrator who sounds like Clint Eastwood. I was thinking of Dirty Harry throughout the book.
Genre: mystery suspense
1 of 2 people found this review helpful