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Dog Eats Dog Paperback – 15 May 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press (15 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904738311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904738312
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,216,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


PRAISE FOR IAIN LEVISON, author of A Working Stiff's Manifesto and Since the Layoffs"The real deal ... bracing, hilarious and dead on." New York Times Book Review"Witty, deft, well-conceived writing that combines sharp satire with real suspense." Kirkus Reviews"There is naked, pitiless power in his work" USA Today"Levison writes tight, punchy prose, with deadpan humor and savvy." Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Iain Levison was born is Aberdeen, Scotland in 1963 and came to the US in 1974. After graduating high school, he returned to the UK to join the British Army. He was promptly sent to Peru to burn cocaine fields. Three years later he returned to the US where he has worked as a truck driver, house painter, Alaskan crab fisherman and an Emergency Medical Technician. He is the author of the widely reviewed and commercially successful novels 'Working Stiff's Manifesto' and 'Since the Layoffs' He currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Middleton on 21 July 2008
Format: Paperback
Excellent - intelligent criminal hides out in house of small-town professor, while an FBI agent tries to track him down. Some violence, hilarity and sharply-drawn observations of modern Americans and their ambitions and greed, where probably the nicest guy is the criminal hiding in the basement. I won't spoil the rest - but this is well worth your cash!
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By Claretta VINE VOICE on 26 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I'd never heard of Iain Levison until a friend lent me this book. My husband read it first and laughed all the way through. When I could get it off him, I read it in a day. It takes a fairly cliched situation - a bank robber, a hostage and an FBI agent - and does something hugely fresh and original with it. It's very funny and you will be surprised at who you find yourself rooting for. This is a really exceptional noir thriller and I hope it will gradually find the wide readership it deserves.
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By CJ on 22 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am addicted to Levisons' books and hope he's still writing. This is a twisty-turny edge-of-your-seat story, with a hefty dollop of cynicism. Brilliant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A satirical look at modern society 1 Sept. 2008
By Avid Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
Phil Dixon, on the run after his latest bank robbery, desperately needs a place to stay. When he spots young college professor Elias White naked with his clearly underage neighbor, Dixon knows he's in, and he really, really wants to be in. He's determined to get out of his criminal lifestyle with this money, but he has to recover from his gun wound first. What Dixon doesn't expect is just how well that lifestyle will click with Elias, and this unexpected encounter leads to some unlikely consequences for both parties, especially when FBI Agent Denise Lupo comes to town, hunting Dixon down.

I didn't expect that this book would be hilarious, but it often is. It adds in little touches of sarcasm on nearly every page, sardonic commentary on the way we live. This is at its heart a critical look at our world - everyone is out for themselves, and the best men (or women) win no matter what it takes. I was expecting a mystery, but I got so much more out of this. It's a great story with a message. I enjoyed it throughout and the plot consistently surprised me as I found I was misled and turned just slightly off track so that Levinson could really deliver his message. In Levinson's world, you just have to be clever and wily to get by - not smart or hard-working. It's a depressing theory, but he delivers it in such a way that you don't mind. You're too busy having fun, and only when the book ends do you ponder this deeper message. Or so it went for me.

This is a really entertaining book with a more fundamental level of meaning. I read it in a day. I'd recommend it to anyone seeking a quick, satirical read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An original and creative thriller 8 Sept. 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
When a teacher goes too far with a student, consequences are to be expected. And sometimes they aren't what one would expect. "Dog Eat Dog" follows bank robber Dixon as he flees to a quiet town in New England where he finds a Professor White with a high school student. Using his savvy and lack of morality, he blackmails White into doing his bidding, including hiding him from the cops. Dixon thinks he's safe for now and enjoyed several hundred thousand for his hard work, but a certain FBI agent won't give up and Professor White isn't as dense as he seems. "Dog Eat Dog" is an original and creative thriller, sure to please readers who want a story of intrigue and suspense.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Everyone has problems 29 Feb. 2012
By Fred Camfield - Published on
Verified Purchase
Elias White is in a dead end teaching job at a small New England college. Philip Turner Dixon had his escape from a bank robbery go bad when he is wounded, and he needs a place to hide. FBI agent Denise Lupo is in a dead end job tracing money from bank robberies, and looking for a way out. And then there are some supporting characters like Elias' student Jenny Hingston - not to bright but there are other ways to get an A, and the college nurse who is willing to turn a blind eye for enough cash - after all, money talks.

All of this comes together when Dixon, looking for a place to hide out, happens to look through White's window and spots him en flagrant delecto with the neighbor's teenage daughter. Dixon wants to blackmail White for a place to stay. Dixon needs some medical attention (enter the nurse). Some stolen money gets spent, and that brings FBI agent Lupo to town. Events have everyone doing things that they should not be doing. For some people, things work out well in the end.

This is a delightful story about people looking for ways to have things work out to their advantage. There are always winners and losers.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Smart and Scathing! Can't Put It Down! 24 Sept. 2008
By Op. 133 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
(Posting for the second time, hopefully this will show up...)

Levison truly earns his "black belt" with this book and in the process may have created his own subgenre: Caustic Crime (?)

The characters are spot-on: hilarious, dangerous, sad and fed-up. I enjoyed his other two books about the hell of dead-end jobs and a laid-off worker who becomes an assassin, but this one tops them both. Satiric, but always believable. A caustic condemnation of the way the world works (especially in light of the recent financial meltdown!).

There's the intelligent ex-con, Dixon, who resorts to bank robbery because he's smart enough to know that the banks are the real crooks; the female Fed, Denise, whose idealism has rusted over because all she does is protect the "fantastically wealthy and well-insured"; and finally, Elias, the stymied college prof, who will do anything for recognition -- anything.

Levison absolutely nails the personas of these characters, from all the stresses and details involved in trying to successfully evade cops to the "ennui" suffered by a female FBI agent trapped in an office full of jerks. The guy certainly did his research.

Here's an excerpt that illustrates the book's dark, but telling humor. Elisas is talking about Dixon, the bank robber he's harboring, while lamenting the staid, pretentious world of academia (hilarious!) as represented by his girlfriend, Ann:

"This maniac [Dixon] was a less intrusive guest than Ann's friends. Perhaps Elias would invite him over one day when Ann came back. If she came back. That would be a fun evening, Dixon running around screaming "f**k" at everyone while they walked around with their wineglasses held high, pinkies extended, discussing the stunning revelations of Salinger's mistress or the latest issue of LitReview Quarterly."


But it's also poignant. The characters are fully realized. We see points in their lives that proved so impacting. The robber's blown relationship with a café waitress and the prof's memories of his mother are especially affecting. And, oh, Iain does an awesome job bringing to life a female character (the FBI agent). Thus disproving the myth that men can't fully capture a woman's POV.

In this book, nothing is what it seems and you'll find your allegiances shifting back and forth. And the ending is a true shocker...the sort that really exposes human nature. I myself was rooting for Dixon in the end.

The writing style is punchy, direct and captures just the right amount of detail. Never flags.

This is one of those "under the radar" books that truly deserves much wider attention. The weird thing though is that I read this book came out in France in translation two years ago and is only now being published in the states. I guess the French still have a taste for Noir...

Buy it. Read it. You won't be disappointed if you're any fan of the crime genre or simply looking for a kick butt read that peels back the truth on "good guys" and "bad guys" in today's world.

Iain, if you're reading this -- great job, man! :) Look forward to anything else you might write.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Neglected Masterpiece 27 Nov. 2013
By Joseph Hirsch - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Iain Levison started his career as a sharp-eyed critic who documented the unfairness of the life alloted to America's working class stiffs. In "Dog Eats Dog" he still retains his sharp eye for social commentary, but he has matured as a writer, certainly having grown by leaps and bounds stylistically in the intervening years between "Since the Layoffs" and this book.

This novel centers around basically four characters, an ex-con on the run from the law after a botched bank robbery, a slightly smarmy college professor who has some idiosyncratic ideas about the Third Reich, the college professor's Lolita-esque neighbor, and a field agent sent to find the man who robbed the bank and is now on the run. The book works well as a straightforward tale, with believable characters and dialogue that rings true to the ear. But what really sets the book apart is its seamless subtext about how class works in America, how dishonest intellectuals can be (even the well-meaning ones), and how, in real life, injustice not only goes unpunished, but is sometimes rewarded.

For those familiar Levison from his earlier polemics, I can only urge you to put aside what you think you know about the man and his work. Take my word for it: this book, as well as his novel "How to Rob an Armored Car", are minor masterpieces of the crime genre, and they are also astute takes on America, containing the kind of insight that only a foreigner can bring to our particular (and flawed) democracy.
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