Shank

Shank

5.0 1
by Roderick Anscombe
     
 

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Dan Cody loved his wife Janie. He loved her so much that he killed her. She was HIV-positive, and she begged him to do it. Or so he says. Now Dan's on the run with a new romantic obsession--Carol, the prison nurse. Their daring breakout had made the evening news, and Dan wants to set the record straight--he did it for love. This is Dan's story. And if Dan holds back

Overview

Dan Cody loved his wife Janie. He loved her so much that he killed her. She was HIV-positive, and she begged him to do it. Or so he says. Now Dan's on the run with a new romantic obsession--Carol, the prison nurse. Their daring breakout had made the evening news, and Dan wants to set the record straight--he did it for love. This is Dan's story. And if Dan holds back some crucial part of the story, or even lies, you can be sure he has his reasons.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dan Cody, this strange and gripping novel's storyteller, is a man who needs to be in lovepassionately, recklessly, torturously in lovebut it's clear from the outset that truth is not one of his love objects. A former high-school teacher, Cody was serving a life sentence at Denning State Prison for murdering his wife. He claimed that she asked him to kill her because she was HIV-positive, and he loved her too much to watch her die of AIDS. At his trial, however, it couldn't be proved that she was even sick. Now, Cody has escaped with the help of the new object of his raptures, a prison nurse named Carol, whom the reader is meant to see as a thoroughly ordinary, even slatternly woman. Cody confesses the details of his jailbreak and expresses his frantic adoration of Carol in letters to the host of a talk show, who reads them aloud nightly to an enthralled TV audience. It becomes clear from the letters that Carol broke Cody out of prison for money, not for love, and that she was a mere helper, not the escape's real engineer. From this revelation onward, a creepily fascinating, eloquent portrait of a man nursing his delusions among some very rough trade spirals away into mayhem. Psychiatrist and novelist Anscombe (The Secret Life of Laszlo, Count Dracula) writes compellingly enough to make readers care about the ordeal of his intensely strange protagonist, though some will balk at certain detailsa nearly unendurable torture scene, and acts of self-sacrifice that defy belief. What begins as a memoir of powerful love ends up as a meditation on masochismand seems to suggest that they are much the same. $250,000 ad/promo; film rights optioned by Kevin Costner's TIG Productions/Warner Brothers; foreign rights sold in the U.K., Japan, France, Brazil, Holland and Sweden; author tour. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
A mesmerizing, blackly comic confessional from a man whose troubles are just beginning when he kills his wife.

Even though he's just a schoolteacher, things happen to Dan Cody. He gets life in Denning State for shooting his wife Janie; he gets isolated in Max One for kicking another inmate in the face; he engineers an audacious escape plot, murders a guard, and disappears with the nurse he's taken hostage. But as he keeps insisting to Sandy, the TV newscaster he's writing letters to, none of this is his fault: Everybody's been telling him what to do. He killed Janie only because she was HIV-positive and begged him to. The inmate he attacked was trying to get him involved in running drugs; later on, long after he'd become an unwilling mule, he had to kill another inmate to survive, and found himself controlling the prison drug trade almost by accident. "All I want is for someone to understand what I've gone through in order to keep my spirit alive," he confides to Sandy, hoping she'll read his latest installment on tomorrow's broadcast. He tells her how he was drawn into the escape by Carol Ambrosino, the nurse who was just using him. All right, he was using her, but "if I wanted to stay human, I had to escape," and he never thought anybody would get hurt. It's not till Dan's well away from Denning with Carol, his willing hostage, that Anscombe (The Secret Life of Laszlo, Count Dracula, 1994) begins to hint that there may be something to this plausible scoundrel's self- excuses: Just because you're paranoid, after all, doesn't mean they're not really out to get you.

Showing a deeply disturbing insight into all those parts of yourself you'd rather not think about, Anscombe's produced an alarmingly off-kilter odyssey that starts as chastely as The Collector before ending up like one of Jim Thompson's wilder nightmares.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786889198
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
08/15/1997
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.93(d)

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Shank 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is an excellent book. It gave me an idea as to how prison life is through a prisoner's eyes. I also think that this book hepls people to realize how precious and important life is and how we should take adavantage of every singe day that we have on this earth. This includes: every breath you take, every time you can move freely and do as you please, and most of all the loved ones around you. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading novels that have a lesson or moral to it that would help us in every day life. I loved this book and I look forward to reading many more of his books.