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Pink Vodka Blues [Mass Market Paperback]

Jr. Barrett Neal
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.; Reprint edition (Dec 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157566237X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575662374
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,627,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't make me laugh, just made me mad 29 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read a short story by Neil Barrett in an SF compilation and was impressed enough with the writing to try one of the novels. This one sure didn't do it for me, though. Besides the fact that the main character is an un-heroic drunk (which the author attempts to depict with humor), the plot is about as thin as they come. If they do make a movie of this trash, I won't be buying a ticket. The most aggravating device devised by lazy action authors (this is an action book) is to have "the day" saved by someone who walks in unexpectedly. Every action scene in this book is saved in this way. There are at least eight times in the book where the characters are in a sticky situation and are suddenly saved, not by their own wits, but by an improbable appearance by an unexpected acquaintance. It just kept happening over and over again! And over again! and Again! get it? So I was pretty disappointed in the plot. The MacGuffin turns out to be something that is not very savory to think about and is well beyond the limits of ANY good taste. In the end, the perpetrator of a sickening crime is portrayed as a powerful and respected character - able to get off scott-free with only the smallest hint of regret for a twisted crime. I'm sorry, but if I as a reader have to be subjected to sick ideas from an author, I at least expect atonement. Didn't get it. Finally, following the adventures of two drunks fighting most of the time (the hero and heroine of the novel) became extremely tiring. Bad plot, not-so-funny humor, and tasteless plot elements make for a page turner - because you just figure it's got to get better. Nope.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This was the first book from Neil Barrett I read. I read it in about 3 days, causing a bad lack of sleep... The author throws you right into the fast movements of the plot and you can't stop once you started reading it. This plot is very inpredictible and moving very fast. I can't understand how someone would not like the speed and the humor the genre is presented in.
This is not a book for people who have a problem with profanity, and the non-hero main character. But come on, non-heroes have been around in literature for a very long time, at least since 100 years! It is a great book for all people that like "road-movie" plots that take you all over the place like a roller coaster ride.
This is a book people either like or dislike. No shades of grey, obviously. Isn't this true for a lot of great works in art? Go and find out!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great murder mystery, and hilarious, too. 25 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Pink Vodka Blues is not your run-of-the-mill murder mystery. Neal Barrett, Jr. is known for his twisted Texan sense of humor, and this book will find you laughing out loud. The plot primarily takes place inside a substance abuse clinic, a setting which I have not seen utilized in any other novel. The movie rights were bought by David Brown, a well-known movie producer (Cocoon, et al.), but has yet to be made into a movie. Let's hope that Hollywood comes to its senses and finally makes it! If you love Kinky Friedman's mysteries, you'll like this more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun to read! Nothing for a conservative person though! 11 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This was the first book from Neil Barrett I read. I read it in about 3 days, causing a bad lack of sleep... The author throws you right into the fast movements of the plot and you can't stop once you started reading it. This plot is very inpredictible and moving very fast. I can't understand how someone would not like the speed and the humor the genre is presented in.
This is not a book for people who have a problem with profanity, and the non-hero main character. But come on, non-heroes have been around in literature for a very long time, at least since 100 years! It is a great book for all people that like "road-movie" plots that take you all over the place like a roller coaster ride.
This is a book people either like or dislike. No shades of grey, obviously. Isn't this true for a lot of great works in art? Go and find out!
3.0 out of 5 stars Scary, funny, mystery novel 10 Oct 2001
By Richard R. Horton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Neal Barrett, Jr. is well known to me as a SF/Fantasy writer, but until just recently I was unaware of his mystery novels. _Pink Vodka Blues_ is the first I have read. It would seem from internal evidence that it is not part of an ongoing series.
The lead character is Russell Murray, a seriously alcoholic writer for a literary magazine in Chicago. He returns from a trip to Dallas for his editor with absolute no memory of where he's been or what he's done. Worse, he wakes up in a hotel room with a woman he doesn't recognize -- and minutes later a couple of hitmen smash there way into the room and kill the woman -- Russell escapes in terror by sheer luck. Naturally enough, he is soon the prime suspect in the murder of the woman, and he is quickly on the run. He still has no idea what happened in Dallas -- he was supposedly delivering a manuscript to a reclusive author while his editor, who was supposed to do the job, spent the weekend with his girlfriend. Soon Russell learns that his editor is the nephew of a local mob boss, and that two factions in the mob want whatever Russell was supposed to deliver, which delivery apparently never happened. Russell can't help, because his memory is shot. He ends up in a rehab facility after passing out in his car -- and there he meets a beautiful and rich alcoholic woman. When the mob track him down, he and the woman escape, and rather clumsily and drunkenly wend their way across the US, to Dallas, Florida, and back to Chicago, chased by two strange sets of hit people, trying to figure out what Russell has forgotten.
The book is quite funny at times, though it's also a scary (and accurate seeming) portrayal of alcholism. The main characters are nice enough that we root for them, but they are by no means hero and heroine -- they are losers, and if they end up halfway solving their problem, only some of the bad guys get their due, and the good guys only partly get a happy ending also. Which qualifies as fairly realistic, I guess. This fits more or less into the Elmore Leonard end of the crime fiction genre, though I'd call it not as good as Leonard, but worth reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great murder mystery, and hilarious, too. 25 Mar 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Pink Vodka Blues is not your run-of-the-mill murder mystery. Neal Barrett, Jr. is known for his twisted Texan sense of humor, and this book will find you laughing out loud. The plot primarily takes place inside a substance abuse clinic, a setting which I have not seen utilized in any other novel. The movie rights were bought by David Brown, a well-known movie producer (Cocoon, et al.), but has yet to be made into a movie. Let's hope that Hollywood comes to its senses and finally makes it! If you love Kinky Friedman's mysteries, you'll like this more.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent caper in it's special category 28 July 2013
By carl brookins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a caper, or maybe it's two capers. It's fast, funny and pulls few punches. You are Russell Murray. You drink. You work around, doing nothing special. You're small time, hardly a blip on the Chicago streets. You drink. Sometimes you drink too much. If you're a serious drinker, you often drink too much. And you sometimes lose part of your life.

So Russell Murray isn't very surprised when he wakes up in an unknown hotel with a girl he doesn't know. And he's not surprised when the hanging aftermath of too much booze sends him staggering to the bathroom. But he is seriously surprised when the hotel room door blows in and two large thugs spray the room with machine pistol slugs. They kill the naked woman in the bed and Murray escapes in only his skin, with his skin intact. Barely.

The pace rarely slows down. Murray has to sober up and try to piece together what happened over the past week or so. He discovers that not only is the Chicago mob looking for him, so are the cops. He doesn't know why and he doesn't know who the dead woman was. In fact, after while he's unable to even locate the hotel or the room.

This a funny, wry, clever novel, peopled with odd and even endearing characters. But this is not your nice, clean, neat suburb; this is a rollicking, roaring, Chicago-like story that keeps you reading through several twists and surprises to a satisfying ending. Bartender. Set 'em up again.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't make me laugh, just made me mad 29 Aug 1998
By Jim Heale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read a short story by Neil Barrett in an SF compilation and was impressed enough with the writing to try one of the novels. This one sure didn't do it for me, though. Besides the fact that the main character is an un-heroic drunk (which the author attempts to depict with humor), the plot is about as thin as they come. If they do make a movie of this trash, I won't be buying a ticket. The most aggravating device devised by lazy action authors (this is an action book) is to have "the day" saved by someone who walks in unexpectedly. Every action scene in this book is saved in this way. There are at least eight times in the book where the characters are in a sticky situation and are suddenly saved, not by their own wits, but by an improbable appearance by an unexpected acquaintance. It just kept happening over and over again! And over again! and Again! get it? So I was pretty disappointed in the plot. The MacGuffin turns out to be something that is not very savory to think about and is well beyond the limits of ANY good taste. In the end, the perpetrator of a sickening crime is portrayed as a powerful and respected character - able to get off scott-free with only the smallest hint of regret for a twisted crime. I'm sorry, but if I as a reader have to be subjected to sick ideas from an author, I at least expect atonement. Didn't get it. Finally, following the adventures of two drunks fighting most of the time (the hero and heroine of the novel) became extremely tiring. Bad plot, not-so-funny humor, and tasteless plot elements make for a page turner - because you just figure it's got to get better. Nope.
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