Whether they're cops or conmen, savage killers or creative types, gangsters or God-fearing citizens, George Pelecanos' characters are always engaged in a fight for their lives. Read more...
- [-] Other Available FormatsOur PriceNew & Used MarketplaceThe Martini Shot (Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged)
Publisher: Little Brown and Company$30.00
Whether they're cops or conmen, savage killers or creative types, gangsters or God-fearing citizens, George Pelecanos' characters are always engaged in a fight for their lives. They fight to advance or simply to survive; they fight against odds, against enemies, even against themselves. In this, his first collection of stories, the acclaimed novelist introduces readers to a vivid and eclectic cast of combatants.
A seasoned claims investigator tracks a supposedly dead man from Miami to Brazil, only to be thrown off his game by a kid from the local slum. An aging loser takes a last stab at respectability by becoming a police informant. A Greek-American couple adopts an interracial trio of sons and then struggles to keep their family together, giving us a stirring bit of background on one of Pelecanos' most beloved protagonists, Spero Lucas. In the title novella - which takes its name from Hollywood slang for the last shot of the day, the one that comes before the liquor shots begin - we go behind the scenes of a television cop show, where a writer gets caught up in a drama more real than anything he could have conjured for a script.
By turns heartbreaking and humane, brutal and funny, these finely constructed tales expose the violence and striving beneath the surface of any city and within any human heart. Tough, sexy, fast-paced, and crackling with energy, The Martini Shot is Pelecanos at his very best.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-11-03
- Reviewer: Staff
Edgar-finalist Pelecanos (Drama City) showcases his formidable skills in his first story collection. Among the standouts is the unforgettable “The Confidential Informant,” in which a Washington, D.C., man who lives in the shadow of his aging Vietnam vet father attempts to prove himself to the old man by helping the police “solve a homicide.” Fans of Pelecanos’s Spero Lucas series will welcome the emotionally charged “Chosen,” which fills in the back story of Lucas’s mixed-race family. In “The Dead Their Eyes Implore Us,” a raucous Depression-era story, a Greek immigrant gets mixed up with a corrupt Pinkerton agent. In the title novella, the life of Victor Ohanion—who, like Pelecanos, is a writer and producer for a cable TV crime show—begins to resemble his scripts after a set worker is murdered; Ohanion decides to settle the score. While these eight tales are not as deep as the author’s novels, the collection is still a winner. Agent: Sloan Harris, ICM. (Jan.)