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The Getaway Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) [Paperback]

Andrew Vachss
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb 2003 Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Eddie starts stealing cars long before he's old enough to get a license, driven by a force so compelling that he never questions, just obeys. After a series of false starts, interrupted by stays in juvenile institutions and a state prison term, Eddie's skills and loyalty attract the attention of J.C., a near-legendary hijacker. When he gets out, Eddie becomes the driver for J.C.'s ultra-professional crew. J.C., the master planner, is finally ready to pull off that one huge job every con dreams of ... the Retirement Score. But some roads have twists even a professional getaway man couldn't foresee ...

Andrew Vachss, a writer widely acclaimed for breathing new life and death into the crime genre, here presents a classic noir tale, relentlessly displaying and dissecting not guilt, but innocence.

Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books USA; First THUS edition (Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400031192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400031191
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 13 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,240,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Vachss has been a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a social-services caseworker, a labor organizer, and has directed a maximum-security prison for "aggressive-violent" youth. Now a lawyer in private practice, he represents children and youth exclusively. He is the author of numerous novels, including the Burke series, two collections of short stories, and a wide variety of other material including song lyrics, graphic novels, essays, and a "children's book for adults." His books have been translated into twenty languages, and his work has appeared in Parade, Antaeus, Esquire, Playboy, The New York Times, and many other forums. His books have been awarded the Grand Prix de Littérature Policiére, the Falcon Award, Deutschen Krimi Preis, Die Jury des Bochumer Krimi Archivs and the Raymond Chandler Award (per Giurìa a Noir in Festival, Courmayeur, Italy). Andrew Vachss' forthcoming books include Heart Transplant (Dark Horse Books, October 2010), a collaboration with Frank Caruso that attempts to reset the cultural software as it pertains to bullying, and The Weight (Pantheon, November 2010), a crime novel. The dedicated Web site for Vachss and his work is

Product Description

From the Back Cover

"Vachss is a contemporary master." - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Vachss has updated the classic noir thriller, and set a new standard. The Getaway Man is taut and understated.." - Robert Ferrigno

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Every outfit needs a getaway man. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far From A One-Tracked Story 10 Dec 2003
From a very early age Eddie only ever had one dream and that was to be a driver. This is the story of how he realised that dream and how he came to earn the respect of his peers, which was one of the few things in life he valued. It seems that it didn't matter how good or bad someone was according to Eddie, if they complimented him on his driving, then they were okay in his book.
Eddie makes a very interesting character. He was a mixture of extreme naivety when it came to common emotional issues, but he had an instinctive cunning when it came to survival. It gives him a much deeper level of complexity than was first apparent and is one of the great strengths of the book.
I found this to be a very quick read and is modelled off the old pulps of yesteryear, both in external appearance and in content. The writing is succinct and to the point and the story moves along at great pace before reaching a shattering conclusion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHEEEEEEEEW 12 April 2003
Andrew Vachss is in my view the best crime fiction writer alive.
His Burke series is a must for anyone who likes the genre.
Vachss doesn't dissapoint in his new novel. His writing as always is strong and taut, prose that hits you like the proverbial sledgehammer.
In "The Getawayman" Eddie lives to drive and begins stealing cars at a very young age. He dreams of becoming a getaway driver for a professional crew. After many false starts, as a young boy in juvinile prison and later in a state prison Eddie finally ends up a driver for J.C. a legendary hi-jacker and robber. J.C. and his crew have in mind the ultimate job, the retirement score and Eddie is to be the getawayman.
Eddie is an innocent, a simple person whom you can't help but like. you will be rooting for him to succed in his dream.
I read this book in one sitting. Go out buy it and read. You'll love it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars First rate 3 April 2014
The language is economical and much is left unsaid. This fires the imagination and that's the secret of good noir writing.

We don't need shedloads of words to make us realise that our man Eddie is in with some very unpleasant characters indeed and that his life is on the line at all times if he messes up.

The author does keep us in the dark a bit towards the end but what the hell. The sting is worth it.
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By J A
Having exhausted Iceberg Slim, Donald Goines, Richard Smitten and other of the top crime writers books, I got a tip to try this writer and was not dissapointed.

Vachss' takes you into the viewpoint of a rather "special" career criminal, and a fast paced no-nonsense story. But this is also an exploration of innocence, a snapshot of life of crime from childhood onwards from a unique perspective. Personal values and criminal values are explored. The protagonist is not the sharpest tool in the box... it seems... or is he just different? Surrounded by all the wrong people he seems to be in demand for some qualities and at the same time vulnerable because of them. Read it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A change of pace for a great crime writer 13 Feb 2003
By C. Williamson - Published on
Readers used to novels featuring Vachss's continuing character Burke will find this book a true change of pace. Vachss alters his literary voice completely in his creation of Eddie, a professional getaway driver. Eddie is as far from Burke as can be imagined, an innocent in a world of corruption, a man who is a criminal mainly because his talents are best suited for that particular job. He is a driver who lives to drive, and spends his evenings watching old movies that he likes to think parallel his own life (like Thunder Road and Moonshine Highway). Loyal and honorable, realistic but trusting, Eddie seems a sweet child in an evil man's world until, as in the classic plots of James M. Cain, a woman makes him reexamine his priorities and loyalties. To say more would give away too much of the plot, but Vachss never takes a wrong turn on Eddie's drive away from innocence.
The tight prose and simple style suit the subject perfectly. Eddie isn't nearly as eloquent with language as Burke, and there are frequent grammatical errors in this first-person narrative which only add to the richly drawn portrait. Nor is Eddie as outwardly intense as Burke. There's no crusader in these pages, only a guy trying to make a living doing what he loves to do, and trying to deal with the temptations and moral dilemmas that go with the job. The sense of the 1950s predominates, although there are frequent references to contemporary technology.
The book is short, less than 200 pages, and they fly effortlessly by, with Vachss's trademark style of using simple breaks rather than the artificiality of chapter heads. The trade paperback package is totally simpatico with the novel's spirit, displaying stylish 50's cover artwork and logo, and even creases printed on the covers, to give that stuck-in-the-back-pocket paperback feel (you'll have to break the spine yourself). It's a terrific book that ends with a perfectly measured body blow to the gut, and those who appreciate crime fiction at its best would be fools to miss it.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulls No Punches... 10 Feb 2003
By R. Pettie - Published on
This short novel offering from world renowned author Andrew Vachss is sure to please the reader of "hard boiled" crime fiction. Direct and to the point (as most Vachss offerings are)this "novella" is a proverbial page turner. I felt like a kid as I delved into this story. I didn't say kid...well read the book and you'll know what I 'm talking about,
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vachss Proves It Yet Again 14 Feb 2003
By D W - Published on
Andrew Vachss doesn't need his iconic protagonist Burke to knock the reader for a loop. This book was a pleasure from the cover to the core; action-packed and smooth as silk. It's the first in Vintage's new line, and for sure every other author who produces for the series will have one hell of a high level to live up to.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Your Time 10 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on
You just can't go wrong with Vachss. This tightly woven noir novel drags you into its world quickly and won't let you go. Vachss is a master of drawing seemingly round characters with only a few quick strokes, then immersing them in an action-filled story that keeps you guessing. Although this book less openly didactic than the Burke series, its ethical foundation is no less solid and no less clear than that of his other works.
If you haven't read Vachss before, this is a fine place to start--a quick read that reveals his terse yet gripping style and uncompromising honesty. If you are a fan of Vachss, this one won't let you down.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andrew Vachss Has Crafted Yet Another Impressive Story 22 Mar 2003
By Bookreporter - Published on
The latest effort in the impressive body of work from Andrew Vachss, THE GETAWAY MAN, tells the story of Eddie, a character whose outwardly simple nature masks a complex psychology that reveals itself in the subtext of this carefully crafted story.
Eddie is determined to fulfill his dream of becoming a getaway driver. That is the extent of his ambition. Eddie is not in the game for easy money or for the thrills --- he just wants to drive. He is a simple and likeable character, whose dedication to his craft and loyalty to those who hire him for his abilities is admirable, if misguided. But that's a good deal of what makes Eddie so fascinating. He takes to the outlaw's life in a manner so unassuming and natural that it's as if "Life of Crime" was a booth he visited on Career Day in high school. For Eddie, a straight life was never a consideration --- it wasn't even on the radar.
Despite his chosen profession, there isn't the slightest hint of menace in Eddie. This sets him apart from Burke, the main character in several of Vachss's previous books. Burke is a bad guy, an anti-hero whose moral matrix occasionally syncs-up with the law. Burke oozes a streetwise menace that is as impressive as it is frightening. Eddie, on the other hand, is as threatening as a cocker spaniel, yet he and Burke follow a similar moral code. But where Burke survives on projecting this menace and on the judicious delivery of the violence it presages, Eddie gets by on a keen ability to read people and tell them what they want to hear. Yet, there's nothing insincere about Eddie. He's not manipulative; he's desperate for approval. There's a childlike quality about this need that hints at some hidden tragedy. This is something that Eddie and Burke share: a dark and troubled psyche that is implied rather than revealed. Vachss trusts his readers to look not just at the characters in the spotlight, but also at the shadows they cast. It's there where Eddie takes shape, where his form is filled in and it's there that Eddie gets into your head.
Eddie's story is told in first person, in a narrative that describes his evolution from misguided teen to career criminal. The story is a remarkable distillation of detail and action into a form so crisp and concise that reading it is a bit like pouring water onto a dried sponge --- it expands before your eyes. In the end, you're astonished that a story so rich was contained in so small a package.
--- Reviewed by Bob Rhubart
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