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Cutter and Bone (Midnight Classics) [Paperback]

Newton Thornburg , George Pelecanos
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Mar 2001 Midnight Classics
The headline reads ? LOCAL GIRL SLAIN, BODY FOUND IN TRASHCAN. When Richard Bone sees a picture of conglomerate tycoon J.J. Wolfe in the newspaper, he's struck by how closely he resembles the man Bone saw dumping the body: could this millionaire redneck be the killer? Bone's close friend Cutter, a crippled Vietnam vet, is convinced that Wolfe is the killer. With nothing much more to lose, the reckless Cutter and handsome gigolo Bone hit the road to the Wolfe headquarters in the Ozarks, totally unprepared for what awaits them. Cutter and Bone are two of the most brilliantly drawn characters in modern American fiction. Cutter and Bone is a brilliant look at the underbelly of post-Vietnam America. Filmed and immortalized as Cutter's Way, this new edition marks the return of one of the greatest American post-war novels.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; New edition edition (16 Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852426764
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852426767
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 672,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


‘Brilliant and terrifying’ -- Uncut

‘The story twists and turns on itself until its final, startling sentence’ -- Glasgow Herald

About the Author

George P. Pelecanos is the author of eleven crime novels including the 'Nick Stefanos Trilogy' and the 'Washington DC Quartet'. Hell to Pay won the best novel of The Gumshoe Awards 2002. King Suckerman was shortlisted for the 1998 Crime Writers' Association Golden Dagger Award. As an independent film producer, George Pelecanos has handled the movies of the Coen Brothers and other cutting edge movie mavericks.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IT WAS NOT THE FIRST TIME RICHARD BONE HAD SHAVED WITH A Lady Remington, nor did he expect it to be the last. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars to the bone 10 April 2003
A stunning,visceral trip down the mean streets of the American dream.The nightmare that was Vietnam drips of every page and haunts each character.
The novel's premise is quite simple, a murder and the almost demonic quest on behalf of Cutter and Bone to bring the killer to justice. It is this journey that leads to a quite disturbing conclusion, believe me it will leave you breathless.
A classic
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Souls 19 Mar 2003
One of the best depictions of mid-'70s America I've come across, this powerful novel was written when the country was struggling to recover from the Vietnam War and remains as a vivid reminder of that time. Set mostly in Santa Barbara, the story follows two men firmly stuck in cycles of self-destruction. Bone dropped out of the corporate life and left his wife and kids in Minnesota to float around California as a gigolo, while Cutter came back from Vietnam minus an arm and a leg and teeters on the brink of insanity. Both are utterly disillusioned with the world around them and spend a great deal of time drinking and trying to blot out their rapidly suburbanizing, strip-mallifying, consumerist surroundings. The third member of this circle of dead souls is the sarcastic, Quaalude popping Mo, Cutter's live-in girlfriend and mother to his baby.
The whole book reads like one big hangover—the party (late '60s free love, rebellion, Vietnam, etc.) is over, and someone's gotta pay. One evening Bone unknowingly witnesses a murderer disposing of a victim, and what he half saw leads to a half-baked scheme to make some money. In another writer's hands, this could have lead to a comic caper, but Thornburg is intent on showing the county's loss of innocence through the bitter, maimed, and reckless Cutter, and his guilt-ridden and aimless buddy Bone. One problem I had with the story was the friendship between the two men. The book unfolds from Bone's perspective, and it's hard to fathom why he keeps returning to Cutter's side, other than guilt and/or a self-destructive streak.
In any event, the book starts fairly slow and there were a few times I considered ditching it. By the second half though, the lean prose gets more and more compelling, and the dilemmas get a bit more interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cuts To The Bone 9 Nov 2006
By Nick
This book's one of my all-time favourites. Like James Crumley's 'The Last Good Kiss', this is a dark, profane but huge hurt-hearted trawl through 70s America, with damaged characters making the most of their lots, usually badly. The characterisation is searingly vivid, leading the plot rather than the other way around. What does happen to the characters had me - in several places - almost howling at the book with emotion, shock, sadness, anger, and the ending left me blinking into space for several minutes. I immediately ordered more Thornburg off amazon but'll be happy if it's even half as good as this magnificent, ugly beautiful, powerhouse of a novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cult Noir 23 Oct 2002
The greatest crime/noir novel of the 1970's perhaps the most devastating ever.Cutter and Bone like Robert Stones's Dog Soldiers is THE post vietnam novel, telling the tale of crippled psycho viet-vet Cutter and his slacker gigolo friend Bone,Thornburg tells us what vietnam did to the american psyche without ever becoming preachy.He writes with a disturbing clarity and crispness leaving you dizzy and briused at its shocking finale and angry at what america has become, where laws are broken and the rich are above the law.Not just an indictment of post watergate/vietnam america but one of the most brilliant and disturbing mysteries ever written. Shocking and Brilliant.
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