The Wheelman, Duane Swierczynski

I was really grumpy after I finished this novel for two reasons. First, it kept me up until really late because I couldn’t let the story go, and second, I was astounded at the ending and quite unsettled.

So I did something I hardly ever do, I emailed the author and demanded a few answers. Those of you who have emailed me over the years wanting to know what’s up with one of my characters: you see, it happens to me too. Go ahead, submerge yourself in Schadenfreude, soak in it until your fingers get all wrinkled.

Duane (who has a good website*) was kind enough to email me back and not answer my question. That is, he didn’t answer it in such a way that the answer was clear anyway. And now I’m satisfied, and I recommend this novel to anybody who likes gritty, noir type stories that lean toward the absurd in terms of humor. I keep thinking of the movie Snatch (one of my favorites; Jason Statham as Turkish, Vinnie Jones as Bullet Tooth Tony, Benicio Del Toro as Franky Four Fingers and Brad Pitt as a Pikey, really, what more could you want in a movie?). This novel has that same kind of energy and quirkiness, all quick turns and odd characters. But Duane isn’t nice to his characters, so if you’re soft hearted, this might not be the book for you.

Oh, and: the cover is great, too.

*just read on Duane’s website that he’s got a new two book deal, so congratulations to him, and I hope he writes faster than I do.

5 Replies to “The Wheelman, Duane Swierczynski”

  1. Oh, I have that on my TBR shelf here. I’ll have to drag it out. I just finished reading Gregg Hurwitz’s THE KILL CLAUSE. Wordy and dense, but loved the story.

  2. Sara, I’m starting to think you REALLY like red white and black in your covers,no? Sounds like my kind of novel. Thanks for all the reviews.

  3. And just another quick question. Since you do seem to read so many books, do you read or listen? Real book vs audiobook? Or is there some percentage of each? Which do you prefer? Does one work better than the other in terms of absorbing the story? Are there some books that just have to be read? Just curious as I have never listened to an audiobook but my husband now has an iPod and I just might take the plunge. Sorry, more than one question .

  4. I read and listen, both. I always have some audiobook going in the car, or if I’m working out of doors. In the house, I read.

    For some reason only certain kinds of books work for me in audio format. I can’t concentrate on non-fiction in audio format. And quiet, dense novels are also not so good unless the narrator is somebody really spectacular.

    I use, which works really well for me, as I have an ipod.

  5. I read and enjoyed this book. I am curious about what questions you asked the author and what his response was.
    Also, have you read Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan? I read it a month or so ago and was blown away; another good bank robber book.

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