The Carrion Birds from Urban Waite, author of the highly acclaimed The Terror of Living, is a remarkable work of literary noir.
Hired gun Ray Lamar is ready to put his past behind him. He wants to see his twelve-year-old son and start a new life—away from the violence of the last ten years. One last heist will take him there. All he has to do is steal a rival’s stash. Simple, easy, clean.
But when things start to go very wrong, Ray realizes the path to redemption isn’t always easy.
A soulful tale of violence, vengeance, and contrition, The Carrion Birds is an elegant depiction of one man’s last chance to make things right.
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About the Author
Urban Waite is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Carrion Birds and The Terror of Living, which was named one of Esquire's Ten Best Books of 2011. His work has been a finalist for the New Mexico and Arizona Book Awards, has been translated in nine languages, and is sold worldwide. He lives in Seattle with his wife.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A starkly eloquent and soulful thriller in the noir tradition that is sure to appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy and Daniel Woodrell. The scenes of startling, cinematic violence—and there are many—are followed by unexpected bursts of lyricism and beauty, lending a certain poetic quality to the writing. I absolutely loved it and Urban Waite is most definitely a writer to watch!!!
Dull, dull, dull. Boring and repetitious. Most of the time one doesn't know know what's going on and why. The constant repetition of "times have changed" gets on your nerves, without being specific what did change. Took me a week to read hardly 190 pages without falling asleep.
Okay so honestly I got 12 pages in and had to stop. I have nothing against the story itself I don't think? Not up to that point anyway. I'm sure the plot, etc. is fine. It's the writing style itself I just couldn't take anymore.. There are SO many sentence fragments. Um. I don't know if that's the correct term. Incomplete sentences? Or maybe I just mean confusing sentences. I'll just give some examples because I'm totally blanking here: "Ray with no real idea what to expect." "All that more than ten years ago, since he'd taken the job with Memo." "No work anywhere in the valley and Ray with a real need to put away some money." "The chalk-dry mouth that went along with his drinking." "The mirror grown heavy with steam, obscuring the round face that looked back at him." "The close cut of his hair outlining his thick eyebrows and muscled Mexican face." You get the idea. In the first 10 pages alone, there are at least 25 sentences like that. See the thing is, with me personally... when I read a sentence that doesn't make sense, isn't quite a sentence, is confusing, etc. my mind is like "Whoa hold up a minute, what?" And I have to go back and re-read the sentence. So with this book, I was doing that crazy often and it was becoming tedious and time-consuming. It was becoming super distracting from the story itself and I found I could barely follow along. Like, I actually ended up checking to see if this book was originally written in another language and just happened to be relatively poorly translated. As far as I can tell, that's not the case. Anyone is more than welcome to correct me if I'm wrong about that. I WILL say right now that this could just be me. Maybe other people like the writing style. I mean, there's even a quote from Stephen King on the front cover, so if he liked it I'm pretty sure others do/will too. But me? Not so much. I told myself to try getting at least 25-30 pages in to give the book a chance but I really just couldn't.
Sad tale of drugwars, cartels, crime, families torn apart, etc.