Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors

4.1 15
by Ryan David Jahn, Paul Costanzo
     
 

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At 4:00 A.M. on March 13, 1964, a young woman returning home from her shift at a local bar is attacked in the courtyard of her Queens apartment building. Her neighbors hear her cries; no one calls for help.Unfolding over the course of the two hours, Good Neighbors is the story of the woman's last night. It is also the story of her neighbors, the bystanders who

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Overview

At 4:00 A.M. on March 13, 1964, a young woman returning home from her shift at a local bar is attacked in the courtyard of her Queens apartment building. Her neighbors hear her cries; no one calls for help.Unfolding over the course of the two hours, Good Neighbors is the story of the woman's last night. It is also the story of her neighbors, the bystanders who kept to themselves: the anxious Vietnam draftee; the former soldier planning suicide; the woman who thinks she's killed a child; and her husband, who will risk everything for her. Revealing a fascinating cross-section of American society in expertly interlocking plotlines, Good Neighbors calls to mind the Oscar-winning movie Crash, and its suspense and profound sense of urban menace rank it with Hitchcock's Rear Window and the gritty crime novels of Dennis Lehane, Richard Price, and James Ellroy.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Debut novelist Jahn inhabits these people and their problems so completely and convincingly that they don't seem like monsters even as they ignore the woman who's dying only a few yards away." —Kirkus
Publishers Weekly
For his crime novel debut (which won the CWA John Creasy Dagger Award), Jahn fictionalizes the horrific 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese, whose cries for help during a lengthy stabbing assault went unanswered, but the execution falls a bit short of the intriguing concept. When Katrina Marino returns late one night to her Queens apartment complex from her bar job, a man attacks her in the building's courtyard with a knife. Kat's neighbors hear her screams, but no one bothers to call the police, assuming someone else already has. The intersection of the lives of the people who witness the crime will call to mind films such as Crash, but some readers will wish that the author had explored what led to their fatal indifference. The horror of their apathy occasionally comes through—as when one character turns from his window to mix a drink—but given the raw material to work with, the overall impact is less disturbing than it could have been. (June)
Kirkus Reviews

A darkly powerful fictionalization of the last two hours in the life of Kitty Genovese, attacked and killed outside her New York apartment in the early morning hours of March 13, 1964, while her neighbors did nothing.

Only steps from her door in a typical Queens neighborhood, Katrina Marino, 28, returning from her job as night manager of a sports bar, is stabbed by an unknown man. Kat is a fighter, and she doesn't take the assault lying down. She fights back; she screams; she begs her neighbors in the building for help. Although four different people hear her and consider phoning the police, none of them does, simply because they're all so involved with their own problems. Patrick Donaldson weighs how to tell his bedridden mother that he's been drafted. Diane Myers waits to confront her husband Larry about his obvious adultery. Thomas Marlowe, Larry's bowling teammate, contemplates suicide. Peter and Anne Adams indulge in their first taste of spouse-swapping with Ron and Bettie Paulson. Frank Riva, terrified that his wife Erin may have struck a child with her car, sets off to see what he can learn. Emergency Medical Technician David White catches up with the molester who abused him as a child. Officer Alan Kees takes steps to deal with an extortionist. Debut novelist Jahn inhabits these people and their problems so completely and convincingly that they don't seem like monsters even as they ignore the woman who's dying only a few yards away.

Since Kat Marino is, for better or worse, the least-interesting person here, it's well worth watching to see what Jahn can do in a novel that isn't based on a real-life person.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452602837
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
06/06/2011
Edition description:
Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Debut novelist Jahn inhabits these people and their problems so completely and convincingly that they don't seem like monsters even as they ignore the woman who's dying only a few yards away." —-Kirkus

Meet the Author

Educated at Juilliard, Paul Costanzo brings the sensitivity and nuance of a classical music background to his twenty-five-plus years of voice acting, and AudioFile magazine has called his narration "superb."

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