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Book Details

Title:   The Night Gardener
Author:   George Pelecanos
Times Read:   1
Last Read:   08.27.06

Other Books Read By This Author (16)
- The Big Blowdown
- The Cut
- Down by the River Where the Dead Men Go
- Drama City
- A Firing Offense
- Hard Revolution
- King Suckerman
- The Man Who Came Uptown
- The Martini Shot
- Nick's Trip
- Shame the Devil
- Shoedog
- The Sweet Forever
- The Turnaround
- The Way Home
- What it Was

Notes History
Date Read Note
08.27.06 The latest from George... is really great. Where I think Drama City showed an influence on season three of The Wire, season three of The Wire definitely bears weight on The Night Gardener... to the point where one character delivers a little monologue almost verbatim from Bunny Colvin on The Wire... but that's really not a bad thing. The big thing with this book is he seems to finally tackle the big archetype of mystery and crime fiction: homicide cops. It's great because, similar to how realistically he treated the whole private detective thing in his last series of books, Pelecanos sets up several situations which traditionally end a certain way, then treats them with 100% authenticity and reality and shows us how they'd really end up. In this case, the body of a kid is found in a public garden that seems to match with a series of murders gone unsolved back in the 80s. All the kids names are palindromes (like Eve, Otto, etc.) and the three main characters of the book are the lead detective in those cases, now retired and old, and two cops who were rookies back then, one now a senior detective and the other washed out. What's really great about this book is that premise sounds interesting in a certain kind of way, but the book spends every page making it interesting in completely different kinds of ways. Also in typical Pelecanos fashion, we simultaneously follow the exploits of an antagonist, although the paths of the pros and ants usually only cross at the very end of the book. Here, he gives perhaps the least substantial conenction between all the characters, almost making it like two completely separate stories going on, but the connection is more on a character level and proves to be really great for one of the characters... Really great book... ...until the last two paragraphs. He gives us an answer that by the end I was really hoping he wouldn't spell out. Again, this is a sort of Wire-esque thing that seems to happen every season with characters coming very close to making a critical connection but then rocicheting away from it, not knowing how close they came to tying up all the loose ends... but in this case I really think he doesn't need it. It's enough to go on the faith of how everything else ends up... without having to tell us the reader the ultimate answer. that kinda bugged me. Everything else about it though is excellent. I do think he's getting better with every book... I really liked Drama City a lot and think I like this one more... Can't wait for the new season of The Wire and then hopefully another Pelecanos book! also, I think i'll be catching up on his back catalog too...



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