Even prison couldn’t stop former big-league pitcher Doc Miller from playing baseball. Jailed after a teenage girl overdosed on cocaine at one of his house parties, the former Detroit Tigers ace became a star at the Michigan State Prison, bringing home the institution’s first Midwestern Penal System championship. Now out on parole, his days of ballpark heroics are over for good. Miller’s brother gets him a job selling tractor parts for John Deere, work Doc finds even duller than life in the joint.
While moonlighting as a cab driver, he meets a bail bondsman who offers work as a bounty hunter. On their first job together, they find their target savagely murdered. His name was Ambrose X. Dryce, formerly Wilson McCoy, a Black Panther turned drug lord. Sucked back into the criminal underworld, Doc will need to make his best plays to stay alive without violating his parole.
Is there anything you would change about this book?
The whole series needs a director who cares enough to learn something about Detroit people and places.
What other book might you compare King of the Corner to and why?
It has a noirish feel. Nearly all of the characters are close to the ambiguous line between shady and legit..
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Charlie Thurston?
Someone who could pronounce the words he's reading. And probably someone who is not so in love with the dialects he tries that he puts some effort into matching them with the character speaking.
Was King of the Corner worth the listening time?
Any additional comments?
Coming from Detroit, I had an interest in this series. However, it appears that no one other than Estelman who had any connection with it has any knowledge of the place at all. The stories are well written, the characters are are interesting and well-drawn. However, this narrator is even worse than the one who did Whiskey River. He mis-pronounced the most basic local names. This includes the Penobscot Building, a deco masterpiece that is Detroit's Empire State Building and even Al Kaline, Hall of Fame Baseball player and local institution, whose name he pronounced as if it were the opposite of acidic. (Of course this may not be solely because of local ignorance. He couldn't pronounce Tyrolean, either.) I actually like the way Estelman writes, and will probably read the Amos Walker series. But I will read, and not listen to them. There is just no pleasure in being irritated every few pages by people who don't care enough about their work or the reader to do even the most basic research. If I were Loren Estelman, I would be plenty upset at the amount of respect my words are given.
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