Whiplash River: A Novel

Whiplash River: A Novel

by Lou Berney

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062115287
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/10/2012
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 286,588
Product dimensions: 5.44(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Lou Berney is the author of three previous novels, Gutshot Straight, Whiplash River, and multiple prize-winning The Long and Faraway Gone. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

What People are Saying About This

Marcus Sakey

“Slick, sleek, and wildly entertaining, Whiplash River is pure pleasure. I’m a snob for prose, and these words sing, managing to be at once lean and evocative, confident and wry. Lou Berney is that kind of annoyingly skilled stylist who makes everything look easy.”

Timothy Hallinan

“Some writers can make me laugh and some can make me gasp, but Lou Berney can make me do both at the same time, and then get me all misty, too. Whiplash River belongs at the very top of the bestseller list.”

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Whiplash River 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Whiplash River is the second book for Lou Berney. It picks up the story of 'Shake' Bouchon, the lead character from Berney's first book - Gutshot Straight. Now I hadn't read the first book, but had no problem getting caught up in Shake's story. He's an ex con who has pursued and captured his dream of owning a restaurant in Belize. At last, he can live a nice quiet life on the up and up, earning his money legitimately. Except....he borrowed the money for the restaurant from local crime boss Baby Jesus and he's having trouble making payments - business is a bit slow. But the pace of Shake's life picks up when a masked gunman attempts to kill Quinn, one of his customers. This is just the opening gambit for a roller coaster ride of a read involving a rogue FBI agent, the miffed girlfriend of the gunman, Baby Jesus and his goons, the mob and more. And travel too! The book careens from Belize to San Francisco to Egypt. I chose to listen to Whiplash River and I'm glad I did. The reader was Jeff Gurner and he was an excellent choice. The dialogue in Whiplash River is a huge part of the appeal of this quirky book. Gurner adopted many different and unique voices and accents that brought the whip smart patter to life. I think my favourite was Quinn - who has a story and an anecdote for every situation - I could just see him warming up to share his wisdom. His pacing was great and matched the speed of the action. His speaking voice is clear and easy to listen to. I think I enjoyed the audio more than I would have the book - listening to it just really brought it to life. Berney has concocted a great fun read that doesn't take itself too seriously, but will keep you entertained. Comparisons have been made to Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen and I would have to agree. I'd happily listen to another of Berney's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read his first novel afew weeks ago. I found it on the free list and enjoyed it. I promised myself I would gladly pay for his next book. I bought this as soon as it came out. Besides the main character, one character carries over. You probably should read them in order so as to fully understand the relationship, but you wouldn't miss much if you did not. This story spans exotic locations on two continents. Lots of action. Big cast of characters. Maybe a few too many characters.
Normal_Reader More than 1 year ago
More Shake Please! I thoroughly enjoyed Gunshot Straight and looked forward to Whiplash River. It didn't disappoint. Shake is now one of my favorite anti-heroes. Keep him coming, Mr. Berney!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read! Enjoyable story, but not as good as first one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great seqel. Looking forward to the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First time I read a book by this author . I probably will buy book by him in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good writing and interesting plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Take a story with unrealistic characters and the only thing tying the plot together are unbelievable coincidences and you have this book. I found true fantasy stories more believable than this story. There was some occasional interesting action but when the author did not know how to carry the plot forward, he threw in some change of unimaginable events.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quite enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
321 pages. Murder mystery. Adult topics. An over abundance of characters. Book two of a series. Free Friday offering. Mystery solved, but conclusion will be continued into next book. Lots of action. Lots of details. Not chick lit. Enjoyable. The reviewer, Twink, told the entire plot. What a shame. AD
TadAD on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Start with an inept hit man trying to take out a customer in a ramshackle restaurant in Belize. Take a little Carl Hiaasen-esque humor (not his really zany stuff, more like Skinny Dip). Add in a wise-cracking romance such as Richard Ross put in A French Finish. Now a world-weary protagonist who's got that bad-guy-who-is-actually-good aura that Donald Westlake had down pat. Maybe you remember an Elmore Leonard book you read? That's sort of the vibe here.However, don't interpret that as, "a totally derivative novel"¿that's not what I'm saying. This was enjoyable and fresh and didn't suck at all. It just made me think of those other authors in between chuckles.This is summer reading of the action variety that does its job: it's comic, it's fast, the characters are likeable (where they should be) and hateable (where they shouldn't) and it doesn't tax your brain much after a few cervezas.It was fun.
mrsbubble on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Someone else described this as a good "summer read", and that's exactly how I felt. I enjoyed the rollicking, somewhat improbable story line, and the quick-tongued characters. I didn't find the story romantic in the least, but thought that was a nice change of pace. There was nothing heavy about this book, either in physical weight or in moral tone. Even the "bad" guys were enjoyable. I would read another book by this author, especially if I was poolside.
ORTeacher on LibraryThing 5 months ago
It would be hard to review this book without comparing it to the works of Elmore Leonard. You have the best of Leonard's saucy women characters - smart, fearless, sexy - and the stand up guy who soldiers through tough situations. You are fairly sure that our protagonist, Shake Bouchon, is going to make out OK, but there is enough suspense and action that you appreciate the ride. I enjoyed the locales, the interactions with the characters, and the sense of humor throughout the book. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy a good romp through light fiction.
rufusraider on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I found this to be a very good read for the summer season. It is a quick interesting read. It is a thriller without all of the belief suspending action in a lot of other thrillers. The characters are kind of quirky that makes the novel a fun read. The love interests of Shake in the book are another nice feature.
mrmapcase on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book features exotic locals that are described beautifully. It¿s too bad that the rest of the book couldn¿t be as good. The storytelling was disjointed and would abruptly end with characters popping up out of nowhere with no real explanation of what actually happened.
zmagic69 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Whiplash River takes the reader on a wild ride from the beach paradise of Belize to Cairo Egypt. The adventure begins when a masked gunman tries to kill a diner in Shake Bouchon's seaside restaurant, and from then on the adventure never stops. Readers of the author's first book Gutshot Straight will remember Shake and will be happy to know that his girlfriend from that book Gina is in this one as well. The man the gunman was trying to kill is named Quinn and after Shake spends some time with Quinn he probably wants to kill him too. Everyone seems to want both Shake and Quinn dead. Baby Jesus the cocaine kingpin in Belize who loaned money to Shake to but the restaurant wants Shake dead, the assassin who with his partner wants both Shake and Quinn dead, the assasins boss wants all loose ends dead. Add to this an FBI agent who wants Shake to flip on his former mafia boss, the entire liar¿s cheats and schemers in this book and you have a great summer read!
Anonymous 6 months ago
If you enjoy Elmore Leonard’s style in crime-novels, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this. Great characters, great story, great dialogue, great descriptions & observations. I’m very much looking forward to what’s next from Mr. Berney.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never did find the non-stop humor in this book, as promised by both the Editorial reviews and most of the reader reviews. It did seem to be (as suggested by another reviewer) a few short stories patched together. It needs editing for punctuation and short choppy sentences. I gave it three stars instead of two, in case I'm wrong and everybody else is right.
m9r3v13w5 More than 1 year ago
I didn't read the first book but had no trouble getting into the characters. They are interesting and enjoyable. Lots of fun twists and turns in this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago