Don't Ever Get Old (Buck Schatz Series #1)

Don't Ever Get Old (Buck Schatz Series #1)

by Daniel Friedman
4.3 19

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Don't Ever Get Old 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Andrew_Shaffer More than 1 year ago
I read an advance copy of this book over a year ago, and have been counting down the days until the rest of the world could read it. I don't normally read a lot of noir or thrillers, but Friedman won me over with his crackling storytelling. If you read only one novel featuring a gun-toting, wise-cracking, octogenarian protagonist this year, make it "Don't Ever Get Old." Friedman is a master storyteller who can speed your heart up and stop it on a dime.
Bookmobile_Driver More than 1 year ago
Warning: This is not a book for my usual Christian fiction readers. Not because it isn't an interesting book and not because it isn't as inspirational as the books I usually review. I loved it. But, it involves some pretty ugly murders and what I think may be typical police language, including the four-letter words not found in family fiction. Okay. So if you're still reading you may wonder why I read the book in the first place. Actually, it was by mistake. I get most of my books free from several Christian publishers and when I received an email about this book, I assumed the message was from one of the regular publishers. Then, by the time I figured out it wasn't, it was too late. I had to read the rest of the book to find out what happens. This story is about an eighty-seven year old Jewish retired policeman by the name of Baruch Schatz, who goes by Buck Schatz. The advanced age and the Jewish angle are both important because Buck and his friend Jim Wallace were prisoners of war in World War II. On his deathbed, Jim Wallace confesses to Buck that he had accepted a bribe from Heinrich Ziegler, the SS officer in charge of the POW camp where Buck and Jim where held. After the war, Buck searched for Ziegler to get revenge for the way he had been treated. Jim, while working as a guard, allowed Ziegler to pass through a road check for a gold brick. Before his death, Jim asks Buck for forgiveness. The rest of the book is about Buck and his grandson Tequila tracking down Ziegler, who is now living in the United States. Tequila and Jim's son-in-law, Norris Feely, as well as Jim's pastor, Larry Kind, are mostly interested in what gold may still be in Ziegler's possession, but Buck would still like to find him for revengeful reasons. Buck, who has been retired from the police force in Memphis for more than thirty years, knows nothing about computers and the latest investigative techniques. But, he still has his instincts for finding criminals. The gold worth millions is an incentive for all sorts of evil human behavior and this takes the story off in that direction. But, Buck is not distracted by the treasure. As a story teller, I've worried about making my main character too old out of fear of limiting my readers to people of a certain age. But as I read this book I realized it didn't matter how old the person is. What matters is his or her character. Buck is a one you'll not soon forget. I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
CKCrigger More than 1 year ago
Great Characters! I loved this book. Buck, with all his foibles and supposedly deteriorating mental acuity is a real kick in the pants. And the reader just knows that Tequila is sure to one day become as interesting as his grandfather. The mystery is good, but it’s the characters who make this book. Author Friedman brings them to life with sharp dialogue and just the right amount of description.
EnoMary More than 1 year ago
Highly Recommended. Excellent! Since the protagonist is 85 w/mild dementia, I don't think this will be a series with 20 books - but a girl can dream. Buck Schatz is not someone I would like to meet in real life, but I've certainly enjoyed his company on the printed page. I'm a senior citizen, and I think that has increased my enjoyment of this book. Am not sure I would have liked it when I was 20, but I sure do love it now..
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
Daniel Friedman’s debut novel introduces Baruch “Buck” Schatz, an 87-year-old Jewish ex-cop from Memphis who is told, at the bedside of a long-time acquaintance trying to clear his conscience as he lies dying, about an ex-SS officer who’d been in charge of the prison camp where they were interred in 1944, from whom he’d accepted a bribe to allow him to escape from Germany after the camps were liberated. Buck had nearly been killed by the Nazi during the war, and still bears the emotional and physical scars. He vows to try to track down the man, apparently now living in the US and ostensibly carrying a fortune in stolen gold bars. The protagonist is an unforgettable character, self-described as “grumpy more for sport than out of necessity.” No less unforgettable is his grandson, a student at NYU Law School named William Tecumseh Schatz, whose nickname is Tequila (apparently a frat thing). (Of his grandson, Buck says “Maybe because he was family, I disliked him less than most other people.”) Buck and Rose, his beloved wife of 64 years, still dealing with the loss of their only son six years prior at age 52, are now dealing with matters having to do with escalating frailty, both mental and physical. A few murders take place as Buck tries to track down the ex-Nazi and the gold, and Buck and his grandson try to find the killer as the body count rises, as various suspects, including a Mississippi loan shark, a 300-pound Russian, and the Mossad, cross their path, often engulfing them both in threatening situations. We are frequently reminded by Buck that “nobody’s innocent.” Interspersed from time to time are brief passages from Buck’s notebook of “Things I Don’t Want to Forget” (primary among which is a reminder that “paranoia was an early symptom of dementia in the elderly,” important for him to remember since paranoia seems to be recurring with worrisome frequency). These are often more like ruminations than part of any story, but they are intrinsic to knowledge of the man, as well as occasional historical details. Having somehow let the hardcover edition of this book escape me, I was delighted to see the paperback edition hit the shelves. I had seen the starred reviews the book had received from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews, and after it won the prestigious Macavity Award for Best First Novel, I said ‘this is a book I must read!!” And once I started it I was hardly able to stop reading, till today, when I put the book down, still smiling. The author does not shy away from the occasional difficult and wrenching truths. Alternately laugh-out-loud funny, often poignant, frequently touching, and with a whale of an ending, the book is highly recommended. Parenthetically, of the title, I have two comments: (1) I agree completely; and (2) it’s too late :-(
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
What a terrific main character!!  Buck  Schatz is an 83 year old retired policeman who refuses to acknowledge that age can keep him down.  He rages against the grass that he can no longer keep beautiful.  He lights up a cigarette everywhere he goes, even in non-smoking areas.  He keeps a memory notebook where he writes important things in his life in hopes of warding off dementia.  A simple bump leaves his thin skin with multiple shades of bruising. He rages against, yet deeply loves, his grown grandson whenever technology and electronics are brought up, as Buck has no idea how to use these things. He keeps his gun handy at all times because of a directive from the late General Eisenhower. He has a deep abiding love for his wife of over 60 years. He's a determined curmudgeon and a hoot and a half! When Buck hears a rumor that the Nazi that beat him nearly to death, while he was in a Nazi prison, may still be alive and hiding Nazi gold bars made from Jewish treasures, Buck goes on the chase.  Buck and his grandson make an hilarious and poignant pair of detectives. There are many secrets, multiple murders and intriguing suspects, requiring Buck to use everything within him to answer questions, and to stay alive.   Daniel Friedman has captured everything bad and everything wonderful about "old people".  This story is deeply serious, while keeping the funny bone busy. Definitely a book worthy of many accolades!!  May this just be the beginning of a long line of such uniquely engaging books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have recommended this mystery to all my friends--a must read novel•
Ma-Bat More than 1 year ago
Senior citizen hero--how refreshing. Much more interesting character than the beautiful, bland, impossibly perfect younger guys!
1dachsmom More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend! It's a very different type of book. Couldn't put it down. A must read!!
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TdeV More than 1 year ago
DON'T EVER GET OLD is a remarkable story. Buck Schatz is a wise-cracking, foulmouthed, cigarette smoking, eighty-seven-year-old, Jewish curmudgeon. The story is captivating, but I’m not sure if one reads because one needs to follow the story or because one needs to see what Buck says next. God, do I want to be like him when I grow up!
tanckpa More than 1 year ago
Excellent storytelling. Unique. Entertaining. What a great idea for a detective story. And we'll told. I keep checking back to see if Book 2 is out yet. I can't wait.
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
We are so accustomed to our cop heroes being young and tough, or middle-aged and tough. So it's a unique experience reading about a cop who's retired - and 87 years old. Buck Schatz is a feisty veteran who as a Jewish soldier in WW II, managed to survive brutal treatment at a POW camp run by the Germans. And he'd still like to get his hands on the Nazi officer who beat him nearly to death. When the opportunity comes, it brings a whole new set of complications, involving millions of dollars of gold bars stolen at the end of the war. Not surprisingly, once others learn of it, they want a piece of it, too. Murder and mayhem ensue as Buck and his grandson Tequila try to stay one step ahead of both criminals and the law. A totally different kind of book - with the most cantankerous, unrepentant protagonist you'll ever meet - and the most unforgettable.
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