A Firing Offense Review à 102

Summary A Firing Offense

A Firing Offense Review à 102 ¸ As advertising director of Nutty Nathan's Nick Stefanos knows all the tricks of the electronics business Blow out sales and shady deals are his life When a stockroom boy hooked on speed metal and the fast life disappears Nick has to help find himAs advertising director of Nutty Nathan's Nick Stefanos knows all the tricks of th. When an old man that knew his grandfather asks Nick Stefanos to find his missing grandson Nick agrees out of a feeling of kinship for the boy But what does an ad man in an electronics store know about detective workHere we are George Pelecanos first novel The Pelecanos I read the higher he is elevated in my esteem A Firing Offense is no exceptionA Firing Offense starts off with a standard hard boiled plot someone is missing In this case it's Jimmy Broda a young man that reminds Nick way too much of himself at that age Nick embarks on an investigation that is eual parts The Long Goodbye and the Last Good Kiss an investigation that mostly consists of driving around talking to people and drinking a small lake of alcohol For most of the story Nick was in the dark as much as I was What sets Pelecanos apart from a lot of his contemporaries is his sense of time and place Washington DC is as much a character in the book as Nick Stefanos and the pop culture references mostly the music paint a good picture of the time the story was occurringThe music references lead me to believe George Pelecanos might have run into each other if I'd been going to shows in DC bars in the 90's He mentions Night Boat to Cairo by Madness a song I've listened to myself at the tail end of a long night out and The Raybeats a obscure Link Wray inspired band featuring Danny Amis who is now one of the guitar players for Los StraitjacketsIt's an easy four star read Washington DC is as much a character in Pelecanos' books as New York is in Lawrence Block's

George Pelecanos Å 2 Summary

E electronics business Blow out sales and shady deals are his life When a stockroo. I’ve been meaning to read George Pelecanos for uite a long time His books receive a lot of glowing reviews in the press and here on Goodreads I got a a little push this month from the pulp group and here I am There is something appealing for me in starting a new author from his debut and following his development over the years but the first Nick Stefanos novel was a bit of a disappointment mostly due to the high expectations mentioned above I imagine Pelecanos later books are accomplished but for the moment I thought both the main character and the plot were underwhelming The writing though is really good I liked how the author developed a distinct voice modern but with solid roots in the classics of noir era He moves with self assurance within his chosen location Washington has a natural feel for dialogue throws good hooks to the reader with his pop culture references “Music and movies play a large role in our everyday lives You’re going to see it creep into the fiction of younger writers with mre freuency because it is the natural element of our generation’s psyche” knows how to write powerful action scenes although there’s really only one worthy of the name in this episode The title is uite smart too a wordplay between Nick getting fired from his job and him geting involved in a shootout for messing with the wrong people in the course of his investigationsOverall though I was mostly annoyed by Nick Stefanos the pace took a really long time to build up a head of steam and the plot was so standard and predictable I was often bored by our improvised private investigator beating around the bush and not reading the obvious clues The most interesting chapters in the novel turned out to be the ones describing the underhanded tactics used by retail salesmen in the electronics mall in order to confuse and rip off clientsOne Washington Post reviewer uiped Think of it as Chinatown meets Glengarry Glen Ross There is some merit to the comparison as we are treated to a dark portrait of the Washington underworld coupled with the retail hijinks that I found funny and rowdy enough to make the whole journey worthwhileAnother highpoint of the lecture for me came actually after I finished the book while I was reading the afterwod interview with Pelecanos where he talks about his influences his pop references his method of writing Since I don’t outline it’s a matter of finding your characters and then your plot which passage actually spells out my main gripe with the story namely Nick He is a thirty someting self made man in the retail industry who pulled himself up by his bootstraps from the shop floor to a management position He is supossed to be good at finding people but this aspect of his talents was poorly argumented in here His real talent appears to be a cocky atitude a fast tongue and a huge apetite for booze junk food and drugs And since every good noir novel must have some gratuitous sex there’s a couple of steaming scenes included view spoilerWhat bothered me in particular about Nick and felt out of character was not so much those sex scenes as him beating a witness informer to a pulp and then smugly strutting like Macho Machete and kissing the first bimbo he lays eyes on bragging later to a friend about the blood on his clothes not belonging to him Details like this one switch me off emotionally from a story and make it difficult to relate to the character when later he gets in trouble hide spoiler

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A Firing OffenseM boy hooked on speed metal and the fast life disappears Nick has to help find him. I've read a few of George Pelecanos's recent novels and liked them very much so I decided to go back to the beginning This was his first book published in 1992 and while one can see the seeds of greatness in it one can also see how much he has learned in the intervening years The protagonist Nick Stefanos is Greek American like so many of Pelecanos's main characters He works in a discount electronics chain as Pelecanos himself did according to the dust jacket He's thirty years old but hasn't really grown up yet and that was the main problem I had with the book In the last Pelecanos I read his most recentThe Cut the protagonist has some similarities to Nick Stefanos but is a much likable and admirable character I was never much interested in the details of drunken binges even when I was younger and still less now; and there's way too much of that in A Firing Offense The plot is fairly complicated and at least I didn't figure it all out before the end Pelecanos loves his details He wants the reader to know exactly what music the character has on the car's cassette player and what streets of DC and environs he's driving on; he also uses a lot of retail sales and restaurant jargon though it's not difficult to pick up on In this book that got a bit tedious unlike the recent ones in which this style is still noticeable but doesn't detract from the story I'm glad someone saw something in this story and published it so that Pelecanos could keep writing and become the fine writer he is today