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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    68
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    5
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Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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  • John
  • Raynham, MA, United States
  • 08-09-13

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.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

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

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  • Performance
  • Story

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

  • Overall
  • Gavin
  • Bayside, NY, United States
  • 02-19-11

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

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  • Dan
  • Iowa City, IA, United States
  • 11-10-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Terry
  • Rapid City, SD, United States
  • 10-08-13

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

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Cheryl
  • Douglasville, GA, United States
  • 03-23-14

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

  • Overall

The Guards

Don't read Brien until you are ready to read all of his work. If you start reading him you can't stop. You won't want to stop. I have read them all many times. I frequently quote him. This is the first audio book of his I have tried. I read better myself.

  • Overall
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  • Story

Lots of great quotes

Clear description of alcoholic thinking n behavior character love able enuf to make me want to listen to series. Always love Irish brogue but reader is easily understood.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

TV series is much more interesting

Would you try another book from Ken Bruen and/or Gerry O'Brien?

Unfortunately ordered two for a trip. Did not listen to second.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

A little more enthusiasm and sharper character portrayal.

What didn’t you like about Gerry O'Brien’s performance?

Monotone.

Could you see The Guards being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Already is.

Any additional comments?

Dont waste your $$

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  • Mr StuartC67
  • 02-09-17

Watched the TV show.

Watched the TV show, So I had to get the book. I really enjoyed both but as you all know so much more detail in the book.

  • Overall
  • Deirdre
  • 08-26-12

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.

  • Overall
  • Heike
  • 04-15-11

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!