Customer Reviews for

The Turnaround

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    WHEN THE PAST CANNOT BE BURIED

    Who among us hasn't done something dumb and lived to regret it? Hopefully none of our blunders have been as blindly, irrationally stupid as the act of three young white men, Alex Pappas, Pete Whitten, and Billy Cachoris. Their decision sets the stage for one more haunting, richly configured story by George Pelecanos 'The Night Gardener'. Alex is in the backseat when Pete and Billy decide that a sure cure for their boredom is to go over the tracks into the black area of Washington, D.C., and cause some trouble. They get more than they bargained for when they find themselves in a dead-end facing a tough trio - Charles Baker and brothers Raymond and James Monroe. Perhaps the devil-take-the-hindmost interlopers didn't know that they'd been preceded by other white boys who got their jollies by shouting racial epithets and tossing garbage at residents. Tired of this treatment one of the black boys had something new - a gun. It was fired and lives were irrevocably changed. Skipping ahead decades we find Alex, still bearing the facial scars of that night, has married and taken over his father's lunch business. Raymond had served time for the shooting but is now employed as a Walter Reed Hospital physical therapist. Life had not been kind to Charles nor was he kind to life - he became a full-time dangerous criminal. Pete is now an attorney, and Billy who died that night is long in his grave. Some are trying to forget the past, one wants vengeance. What happens when two who were once enemies meet again? Dion Graham, whom we know from HBO's The Wire, delivers a powerful narration, artfully relating the dreadful night as well as what the years will bring. - Gail Cooke

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Premise

    I'm torn on how to rate this one. On writing alone, Pelecanos is a 5+. He instantly breathes life into his characters. The dialogue has a perfect rhythm and sounds real. He brings more than entertainment, by tackling a difficult topic and never shying away from the dirt within.

    What I had a problem with was the volume of characters and the constant game of leapfrog from one to another. Because there were so many characters, as a reader I was never able to truly latch on to one and invest completely in that person's story. The characters all eventually connected, their lives interweaving in both the past and the present. But the jump in time, combined with the number of characters involved, for me, took away that emotional investment I like to have in a story.

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    Posted July 17, 2011

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    Posted November 9, 2008

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