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Nobody Move Hardcover – 5 Jun 2009


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Hardcover, 5 Jun 2009
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; First Edition edition (5 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330508865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330508865
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,928,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A fast-paced, violent, hugely entertaining crime caper, packed with terrific set pieces and crackling dialogue.' -- Sunday Telegraph

'Beyond its ferocious action, noisy gun-play and relentless wisecracking, is an understanding of a bleak, inhospitable world.'
-- Uncut

'In the style of a wittier Cormac McCarthy... The adventures come thick and fast, as do the wisecracking baddies and sexy, dangerous, kooky women' -- City AM

'It's a fast-paced, violent, hugely entertaining crime caper, packed with terrific set pieces and crackling dialogue.'
-- Sunday Telegraph

'Johnson's jokes are wonderfully deadpan and copious' -- Times Literary Supplement

'Johnson's jokes are wonderfully deadpan and copious... And Johnson does write well, bringing us inside the mind of a character' -- Times Literary Supplement

'One of America's great undiscovered novelists... Fast and relentless, humorous and tragic.'
-- Catholic Herald

'sharp, and written in the snappy prose of which Elmore Leonard is the master and Johnson the number one disciple.' -- Waterstone's Books Quarterly

`One of America's great undiscovered novelists... Fast and relentless, humorous and tragic... Pure undiluted fun'
-- Catholic Herald

`Short, sharp, and written in the snappy prose of which Elmore Leonard is the master and Johnson the number one disciple' -- Waterstone's Book Quarterly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'sharp, and written in the snappy prose of which Elmore Leonard is the master and Johnson the number one disciple.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Wright VINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was my first dip into Denis Johnson's fiction, and I have been left somewhat perplexed. This novel is not bad by any means, but it is somewhat slight; the plot is fairly insubstantial and nothing much happens. Jimmy Luntz is a man on the run, trying to escape a gambling debt and a heavy he shot. On the way, he bumps into a woman who is running from the law after being framed by her husband. They team up and work together to beat those who are chasing them.

The first thing to note about the novel is that it is very cinematic, seeming more like a Tarantino film, complete with the same dark atmosphere and over the top violence, and a slight hint of the West - replace the Chevys and shotguns for horses and revolvers and the story would be just as at home - and this is both a strong point and a hindrance. The detail that Johnson will use to describe a scene is at times fantastic, but there is a sense of space in some instances as the novel does not move anywhere quickly. The action is so fast-paced that it leaves the reader feeling bored when the characters are given a back story. It is more like a screenplay than a novel, albeit one with a few excellent scenes, such as the cops in the motel room talking to Jimmy.

On the whole this style is enjoyable, and there is a black humour that can at least draw a smile throughout the novel. The major criticism is the ending though: it feels as though the writer just ran out of ideas and left the book unfinished, it ends so abruptly. This is what really lets it down; in most other respects the book is fairly solid. I will be looking out for more of his books as I enjoyed this one, but I hope that they have a more concrete ending.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mingo Bingo VINE VOICE on 8 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this book because of Denis Johnson's short stories. They have a fantastic quality of the bar room to them, amoral and quick and shocking.

This novel doesn't quite have the same feel as them. The short stories have such a chaotic, verbal story telling sense to them that can only come from meticulous planning, but here you can see the plotting.

Although Nobody Move is fairly episodic in nature it feels much more structured and within genre than the stories that I'd previously read. In many ways it reads like an Elmore Leonard book, the same sharp mouth, the same gruffness and distance from the characters, but it lacks the intricate twists and turns that Leonard gives us.

The plot is very simple. Very fast paced, very violent, often funny, but very simple.

Jimmy Luntz owes a bad gambling debt Juarez. Juarez sends Gambol to extract the money from Luntz, with violence if necessary. Luntz sees it coming and shoots Gambol in the leg and goes on the run. On the way he meets Anita, the ex-wife of a Judge, who is due in court to be charged with embezzling some money. She too is on the run. She doesn't have the money, but knows where it is. Gambol and Juarez chase, Luntz and Anita run. That's it.

What has remained from the short stories is a moral ambiguity, you are never sure who to empathise with, if anyone. Luntz is supposedly the main character, yet you can't help liking Gambol. But Gambol once cut off a mans testicles and ate them, so you shouldn't empathise with him, and so on.

I enjoyed this unpredictability of characterisation, it reminded me of Point Blank and Parker. And what this book lacks in plot it makes up for in punchy dialogue and interesting characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 May 2010
Format: Paperback
The title of this lean, mean, exemplar of modern noir comes from a lyric its protagonist overhears -- "Nobody move, nobody get hurt." (It's not clear to me if he overheard the original 1984 Yelloman song, or the 1988 Easy-E version off Eazy-Duz-It -- most likely the latter). Of course, in noir, even if protagonists are existentially stuck in their lives, they are always trying to move. And of course, they get hurt. Here, that role is played by Luntz (a name that in and of itself, tells you pretty much everything you need to know about his station in life), a wanna-be singer with a gambling problem who's in way over his head with an L.A. loanshark.

Somewhere around Bakersfield, Luntz encounters the enforcer sent to collect, a sexy dame with an inside line on $2 million in cash, and a few other colorful characters (ex-bikers, corrupt judges, etc.). What unfolds is unlikely to be surprising to anyone likes crime fiction that features losers, but Johnson makes the exercise look pretty effortless. He mixes styles effectively, ranging from ultra-bleak Jim Thompson territory to the rat-a-tat caper riffing of Elmore Leonard, without veering too deeply into either. There's nothing new here, but then again, that's kind of the point of noir -- losers keep making the same mistakes, and we keep reading about them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arheddis Varkenjaab TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Really enjoyed this. If you enjoyed stories like 'No Country for Old Men', or 'The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada' then you'll really love this one. Action filled, yet slow burning, with beautifully drawn characters and a believable story this is a dark, funny, and a little bit disturbing story.

This is a tight tale, being a short book with no excess fat, but it captures a sort of dreaminess, of things moving slowly and yet events spiralling out of control too fast. This story is a slice of the characters life and as such there is no 'ending'. Things, as in life, don't wrap up neatly with the guy getting the girl and everyone living happily ever after - or perhaps here they do, we not told. I can't decide if I like this way of not-ending a book, as real life doesn't wrap up into chapters and so neither does this tale. It feels real, yet a little unsatisfying, hence the four stars from me. Highly recommended though, and I'm sure we'll see a film version before long, probably with Tommy Lee Jones in it.
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