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Never Count Out the Dead Paperback – 7 Feb 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; New edition edition (7 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330491040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330491044
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,120,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Near midnight and no moon. Read the first page
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Jun 2001
Format: Hardcover
The publicist for Boston Teran's NEVER COUNT OUT THE DEAD calls it "a cross between 'Chinatown' and 'Macbeth,'" and for once the hyperbole is right on the money. Just as the theft of water from the Owens Valley provided the perfect real-life backdrop for Robert Towne's classic filmscript, so the equally greedy plans to build Belmont High School on a particulary toxic patch of Los Angeles real estate gives Teran's story a jolt of vile verisimilitude. And Dee Storey, a once-lovely woman whose brains and beauty have been frazzled down to grotesque caricatures by speed and Southern Comfort, is the ideal Lady Macbeth -- a creature so full of dangerous venom that she threatens to explode at any moment. As he did in his spectacular debut mystery, "God Is A Bullet," the reclusive (and pseudonymous) Teran manages to create a fistful of memorable characters while telling a terrific story in a smart, yeasty, poetic, totally original voice. "To Terry, William has always resembled this androgenous George Armstrong Custer," he says of a major character, an investigative journalist who calls himself Landshark. "Too intense for his own flesh. Driven hard by sad, desperate needs that might bring about his own destruction. And angry to a point he doesn't recognize." It's Landshark who literally brings back from the dead John Victor Sully, a police officer from Baker ("one of those atrocious desert landmarks dry-docked on the northern border of the Mojave") who 11 years before was shot and buried by Dee Storey and her 13-year-old daughter, Shay, as part of a complicated coverup plot involving Belmont. Shay is another stunning creation, a young woman attached to her increasingly-wretched mother by bonds of hate as strong as any love.Read more ›
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Butler on 7 April 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Quite brilliant but the central charachters are a bit of a re-hash of those in 'God is a Bullet'. Also the same kind of geography - which I suppose is Boston Teran's neck of the woods and works for him. No surprises at the end but still one of those novels you don't want to end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Darkly Disturbing Tale of Revenge 5 April 2002
By Gary Griffiths - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With all the subtlety of a sledge hammer, Boston Teran's second novel again stuns and shocks, while spinning a story that is nearly impossible to put down. As in his first novel (God is a Bullet), Teran sets the scene in the gritty southern California desert wasteland. The bleakness of the desert diners and roadhouses proves the perfect setting for a new cast of Teran characters: hard women, bad cops, an agoraphobic writer. Unlike "Bullet", in which sometimes Teran's overly rich language gets in the way of his story, the prose in "Dead" is lean, tight, and gripping. If you like the happy plastic people found in James Patterson and other popular "thriller" writers, either of Boston Teran's novels will likely disturb and possibly offend your senses. But if you're looking for an in-your-face, by-the-throat, modern tale of noir and raw-boned terror, THIS is your ride.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Wish I liked it more--Characters never really come to life. 22 May 2001
By Craig Larson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is the sort of book that's usually right up my alley. I love the darker, grimmer side of crime writing. James Ellroy's one of my favorites. But I just couldn't get into Boston Teran's latest. His characters are tragic and haunted by life. They make grand speeches about how pointless everything is. Dee Storey, the hellish monster/mother at the center of the story, should be much more frightening/horrifying than she is. For whatever reason, the characters just lie there, flat on the page, never truly coming to life. This could have been a great, great book, but just doesn't quite make it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Cinematic Prose 8 July 2001
By Perry M. Smith - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Boston Teran's NEVER COUNT OUT THE DEAD is an amazing and enviable feat for any writer, but a wildly successful accomplishment for a novelist fixated on the seedier byways of human relationships. There is not one badly drawn character in this novel, not one implausible moment, but Teran is most successful with Dee and Shay Storey, a pair who make Clytemnestra and Elektra seem like Girl Scouts. Dee, especially, is the sort of character that any actress of a certain age would give her capped eye teeth to play. This is a fully formed living, breathing pathology, wholly unreedemed and as elemental as lava. I would love to see this book on the big screen. It would make an absolutely terrific (in every sense) movie.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An enthralling work 21 April 2001
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In 1987, Baker, California Sheriff John Sully is to testify against Charlie Foreman on a drug charge. Charlie conspires with a gang of thugs to destroy John's reputation even as one of the gang plans to kill him. Teenager Shay Storey obtains John's help in taking her back to a relative in the deserted Mojave Preserve. However, Shay's mother shoots John. They bury him in a grave, but he survives. John's reputation has also been trashed as they plant solid collaborated proof that he sold coke. A helpless John disappears into the night.

Almost eleven years later, New Weekly reporter Landshark calls Victor Trey, a quiet person living in El Paso. Landshark informs Victor that he knows he is actually John and has evidence that points towards a criminal conspiracy to desecrate his name. John returns to Los Angeles with one thing on his mind: revenge.

As with his previous modern day noir, GOD IS A BULLET, Boston Teran paints a portrait of the uglier side of humanity in NEVER COUNT OUT THE DEAD. The story line breaks into two related tales. The first part centers on the success of the conspiracy against John; the latter segment focuses on his belated counterattack. This novel is excellent as the audience can see inside the heads of the key players to better understand whom did what and why. Mr. Teran owns the sub-genre with his gritty underbelly look at the success of dregs and drones in our graying world.

Harriet Klausner
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Never Count Out that prose! 3 Sep 2002
By RachelWalker - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I love, just love, the style he writes in. I don't agree with the critcism that this novel, nor his first, got for the style of the prose. It's simply marvellous. it's unusual, quirky, eccentric, casts wonderful images into the mind, and is just plain genius. I cant get enough of it. You have to read every word to get the full brilliant picture that his writing is trying to paint, otherwise you can get lost.
The characters are great, although there are many of them, and if you dont read concentratingly, you may get them confused in your own mind. Also, they don't jump off the page with realism as much as those in God is A Bullet did. (In particular Dee Storey, the murderous mother, who is not as scary and terrifying as she is made out. Most of the time, she seems just to be empty threats.) But Shay Storey is a brilliant character (somewhat similar to Case Hardin in GIAB) as is John Victor Sully, whose story of revenge and resurrection is the main theme of this book.
The plotting is taut, the atmosphere of the book is a cloud covered night, and the tone is as black as black.
Boston Teran's books are simply marvellous (All two of them!) i cannot wait to see where this young author takes himself to within a few years time.
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