Shoedog

Shoedog

3.5 4
by George Pelecanos
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

From "the poet laureate of the D.C. crime world" ("Esquire") comes this powerful early novel, now available in paperback for the first time—the noirish story of how a Washington, D.C., liquor store heist shows a drifter named Constantine what it means to be a shoedog. Martin's Press.

Overview

From "the poet laureate of the D.C. crime world" ("Esquire") comes this powerful early novel, now available in paperback for the first time—the noirish story of how a Washington, D.C., liquor store heist shows a drifter named Constantine what it means to be a shoedog. Martin's Press.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sixty years ago, in The Postman Always Rings Twice , James M. Cain established the drifter as a dark knight of American crime fiction. Pelecanos ( Nick's Trip ) continues that tradition here, following Constantine, an enigmatic wanderer who falls into a den of thieves and disproves the adage that there's no honor among them. Hitchhiking south from Maryland to nowhere, Constantine takes a lift from an old man who stops at a country mansion to get some money. There Grimes, an equally old but wealthy man who organizes heists as a hobby, invites the pair to help rob two D.C. liquor stores. Swayed by ``the Beat'' (``the Beat was knowing that he was into something wrong, and the fear of it, and the point when the fear was no longer there. It was a hot buzz . . .''), Constantine signs on as a driver. He and his colleagues, who are all being blackmailed by Grimes, drink, plan and pick up women, with Constantine dangerously zeroing in on Grimes's young lover (``there was a freshness in her like newly printed money''). The robberies themselves, marred by a doublecross, go down fast and bad, leading Constantine to avenge his fallen partners by taking justice into his own hands. All sinners, none saints, the small-time hoods in this authentic world are crisply limned here in their fallible humanity. (May)
Emily Melton
Constantine is a burned-out, jive-loving, booze-guzzling, sex-junkie, chain-smoking, longhaired druggie loner who's searching for something he'll never find. Leaving his Washington, D.C., home at age 17, Constantine has circled the globe, traveling light, sleeping in fleabags and flophouses, working every kind of odd job from slinging hash to cleaning toilets. Back in the U.S. after years of roaming, Constantine hitches a ride with Polk, an old geezer headed for Florida. But there's one stop Polk needs to make, and it turns out to be a stop that changes Constantine's life forever. Grimes, an old army buddy of Polk's, offers the two men big bucks if they'll rob a liquor store--an easy, quick, in-and-out holdup. But things go badly wrong, and in the aftermath of the violence come tragedy and death. In the best tradition of hard-boiled fiction, Pelecanos' haunting, gritty story works its way deep into his readers' collective psyches, simultaneously shocking, attracting, and repelling us with its unvarnished, unbeautiful realism and its explosive, stomach-churning violence. An exceptional, memorable book from a fine writer who is also the author of the equally impressive Nick Stefanos series, which includes "Nick's Trip".

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312110611
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
03/28/1994
Pages:
216

Meet the Author

George Pelecanos is the author of several highly praised and bestselling novels, including The Cut, What It Was, The Way Home, The Turnaround, and The Night Gardener. He is also an independent-film producer, an essayist, and the recipient of numerous international writing awards. He was a producer and Emmy-nominated writer for The Wire and currently writes for the acclaimed HBO series Treme. He lives in Maryland.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Silver Spring, Maryland
Date of Birth:
February 18, 1957
Place of Birth:
Washington, D.C.
Education:
B.A., University of Maryland at College Park, 1980
Website:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/georgepelecanos/

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Shoedog 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why is the $6.99 copy " not availale for purchase at this time" but the $9.99 one is ? Whats that about ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
McCarthy92 More than 1 year ago
George Pelecanos is my favorite author. All of his books are incredibly fun and are like watching a great movie. Shoedog is not a series novel, so it has a different feel to his Strange, D.C, or Stefanos novels, and Pelecanos wanted to go for that 70's action/hard-boiled novel feel and the reader can easily see that he succeeds. I read this in less than half a day because I couldn't put it down. This was a fun book, as are all of Pelecanos' books are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the ending was too abrupt. Many characters storlines went nowhere(Weiner for example and Shoedog himself). Also the title was misleading. It wasn't even the lead character.