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Outlaws [Paperback]

Kevin Sampson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 July 2001
Gun law rules in Liverpool. Organised gangs fight for control of clubland and with it, regulation of the lucrative supply of narcotics. Supremacy in this violent world is short-lived as more and hungrier gangs move in. Against this brutal backdrop, three South End villains pursue a dying trade...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; Fifth Edition edition (5 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224060058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224060059
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 12.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,452,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

In Outlaws, Moby and his brothers-in-arms, Ged and Ratter revel in the glory of being "Faces", respected kingpins of the Mersey underworld. As Moby, a fast-living, wisecracking Scouse entrepreneur with a flexible attitude to the law, and a crippling fondness for lap-dancers, says, "I do not half mind being a Somebody in Liverpool."But as the season of goodwill approaches, and the need to make fast cash looms like an old enemy, the Outlaws see that their world is changing. A new breed of somebodies is clamouring at the gates of their little kingdom--a growing army of ruthless young wannabes, trigger-happy upstarts for whom words such as Honour and Loyalty are best consigned to the history books. Retirement and respectability suddenly seem like enticing prospects for the Outlaws, but can they get out alive before their own petty rivalries tear them apart? The "noble thief" is a cliché, and so is the formula of villains killing themselves in their bid to become pillars of the local Golf Club. But Sampson's fourth novel offers a thoroughly fresh take on a timeless story. Outlaws transcends the dreary preoccupations of gangsta fiction through two things: its vividly drawn characters and its ceaselessly witty use of language. Its trio of narrators are not "Goodfellas" with Brookside accents, but complex men struggling to conquer a thoroughly real world. They do so with a mixture of charm, cunning and unforgivable viciousness--and the result, for the reader, is an exhilarating battle between sympathy and revulsion. Fans of Awaydays and Powder will relish a further excursion into the mysteries of modern-day Merseyside, and everyone looking for a comic, intelligent gangster yarn can stop searching. Ged, Ratter and Moby might be struggling to pull off the Big One, but Kevin Sampson has done it in spades. --Matthew Baylis


"Real drama... A crime caper story told with a Scouse accent." - "Independent on Sunday
Praise for "Powder:
"Tells it like it is... Sampson is never better than when revelling in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll." - "The Times

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real return to form. 20 Feb 2002
Sampson's first two novels ("Awaydays" and "Powder") were brilliant, savage, witty, and had a marvellous sense of time and place. He dropped the ball horribly with "Leisure", but I'm happy to say that he's returned to brilliance with "Outlaws".
Whereas "Awaydays" touched on the fringes of the world of organised crime, "Outlaws" is firmly located there. A bunch of ageing Liverpool hard men who for various reasons want to pull off that last job... this is almost "Reservoir Dogs" with tracksuits and expensive trainers in some respects.
Sampson's real gift is for language, and in "Outlaws" his protagonists all have distinctive voices, different ways of thinking. The inevitability of the climax is perhaps a little disappointing, but the way we get there is highly entertaining.
As a thriller with a high degree of social insight, this stands comparison with Jake Arnott; as a Merseyside tale, Sampson admits of no equals. A fine book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pure brilliant. That is a fact 4 Sep 2005
Encountered this book after reading 'Awaydays,' by the way, and its a great read to be fair. know where I'm going. No two ways about it this book is pure brilliant.That is a fact. The way it evokes working class life in Liverpool by the way, the crime, it's characters, their verbal tics makes it seem real rather than mere caricature in fairness, knowmean. Others in line with the blurb on the book have described it as Goodfellas on the Mersey, Scorcese with a scouse ascent, know where I'm going, and while I can see what they're saying in fairness, its more Roddy Doyle with a scouse ascent and violent tendencies, and thats the God's honest truth. That is a fact. End of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply spectacular 30 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One if the best fiction novels I have ever read. Mr Sampson captures the Liverpool dialect amazingly well on paper and it's a story that keeps you gripped to the final page. Another classic from an outstanding author
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4.0 out of 5 stars I preferred Freshers! 19 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book after finishing Freshers by Kevin Sampson, which is an excellent book if you enjoyed this one.

Outlaws is set in Liverpool, where a group of middle aged men are plotting the con to end all cons; their retirement job. They've worked together for years, each with a different agenda, and their differing agendas are snowballing into this book and the finale of their career.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 18 July 2013
By Paul
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Could not put this down and immediately bought the follow up. Superb penmanship by Sampson. Now going to read all of his books
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5.0 out of 5 stars Till Death Us Do Part 1 Feb 2009
The best book I have read since The Punk Poet by Garry Johnson.
It is witty, gritty and pretty heavy stuff with more characters than a decade of Eastenders.
This book would make a fantastic film.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiercely Entertaining 14 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Easily the best book I have read all year. To me, good fiction has to be both entertaining and informative. Outlaws exceeds both these expectations. It gives us an insight into an arcane world, a subculture within a local culture that most of us can never approach, let alone enter. It is written in a rythmic street language that is both authentic and uncomprimising. The characters - Ged, Moby and Ratter are so vivid that not only are you suctioned into their world but they seep into your world too. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with an affinity for the more dangerous and gritty element of Sampson's work.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Liverpool Noir at its finest 28 Jun 2002
This is a truly stunning book. If you're a fan of hard boiled lo-life fiction then this is one you must not miss. Sampson is the Scally Scorsese and this is his Mean Streets. OUTLAWS is an utterly compelling tale of three South Liverpool hardmen who've been left behind by the new wave of sophisticated drug crime. They're old-skool stick up men with all the archaic morality that comes with it. When they run into lumber with a slick new firm over an incident in a lap-dance bar, all hell lets loose. And does it! The action is tautly scripted, the plotting masterfully handled. OUTLAWS would make a wonderful film and, from me (a gangsta film snob) there can be no higher compliment. This is definitely my book of the year so far.
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