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The Pusher (Penguin Books. no. 1970.) [Unknown Binding]

Ed McBain
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B0014LN83A
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,991,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ed McBain was one of the many pen names of the successful and prolific crime fiction author Evan Hunter (1926 - 2005). Born Salvatore Lambino in New York, McBain served aboard a destroyer in the US Navy during World War II and then earned a degree from Hunter College in English and Psychology. After a short stint teaching in a high school, McBain went to work for a literary agency in New York, working with authors such as Arthur C. Clarke and P.G. Wodehouse all the while working on his own writing on nights and weekends. He had his first breakthrough in 1954 with the novel The Blackboard Jungle, which was published under his newly legal name Evan Hunter and based on his time teaching in the Bronx.

Perhaps his most popular work, the 87th Precinct series (released mainly under the name Ed McBain) is one of the longest running crime series ever published, debuting in 1956 with Cop Hater and featuring over fifty novels. The series is set in a fictional locale called Isola and features a wide cast of detectives including the prevalent Detective Steve Carella.

McBain was also known as a screenwriter. Most famously he adapted a short story from Daphne Du Maurier into the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963). In addition to writing for the silver screen, he wrote for many television series, including Columbo and the NBC series 87th Precinct (1961-1962), based on his popular novels.

McBain was awarded the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement in 1986 by the Mystery Writers of America and was the first American to receive the Cartier Diamond Dagger award from the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain. He passed away in 2005 in his home in Connecticut after a battle with larynx cancer.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McBain is in top form! 8 Nov 2003
By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Published in 1956, "Pusher" by Ed McBain, one of the author's famed 87th Precinct mysteries,
may be a bit dated, but the sheer power of writing and the abilitiy of the author makes this one a
worthy read. McBain's legions of fans (most of whom have, no doubt, already read this one)
certainly found this one to be a choice selection.
This time we find Steve Carella and Lieutenant Peter Byrnes again up to their precinct necks in
crime. As the title suggests, they're investigating the death of a drug dealer. The autopsy had said
suicide, but Carella and Byrnes know better. And with the speed of some sound writing style and
excellent plot development, Mc Bain carries his readers full tilt. There's no resting; the pace is
terrific!
Aided by first-class dialogue development "Pusher" is quick and easy to read. One doesn't
have to be totally dedicated to McBain to enjoy this one. Remember: it's quick and easy. And good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard boiled and still relevant 9 Dec 2013
By Jl Adcock TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"The Pusher" is the third novel in McBain's 87th Precinct series, and also the third book he produced in the series that appeared in 1956. As with its predecesors, it's punchy, of its time and yet still relevant even today, almost 60 years after original publication. Here, McBain delves into the underworld of drug pushers and the consequences of a life hooked on dope - both for those that push and those that receive.

Set in the lead up to Christmas, the story also reveals that disillusionment with the overly commercial nature of the festive season is nothing new. Read this one in December any year and you'll enjoy reflections on universal themes as well another well-crafted police procedural along the way.

The afterword from McBain also makes interesting reading. The series could have taken a very different direction indeed from how it panned out, so this too adds interesting context to how the early 87th Precinct stories were originally conceived and later changed.

Annoyingly, "The Pusher" has only just appeared in the latest batch of Kindle releases, so anyone working through the series in order (which is recommended), will have to backtrack if they've skipped it, but it's worth doing. The e-book contains one chapter where a paragraph is repeated twice, which once more proves that there is scope to improve the quality of proof reading before release. But in terms of content - another fine read from McBain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Pusher 18 Oct 2009
By Rich
Format:Paperback
Again, another fast-moving read from McBain. Surprisingly tough for it's time, this whiles away a few hours very pleasantly. Perhaps the resolution is a little simplistic given the build up but this is still a satisfying read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 10 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 22 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's been a while and many books since I last read Ed McBain so I'm amazed all over again at how simple he makes it appear. There is one plotline, in this case, the apparent suicide of a junkie, and very spare but poetic prose which manages to cover plenty of social commentary and psychology but it is the introduction which really grabbed me - nobody sets the scene by describing the weather better than Mr McBain. This book is a little old fashioned now, especially about the role of women, but it is a product of its time and has plenty to say which is still relevant and well worth a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A bit dated but still a good read 13 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading "The Mugger", the 2nd in the 87th Precinct series, which didn't feature Steve Carella at all, it was great to read this, the third in the series. While The Mugger was a good read, somehow there was some key element lacking without Carella, and so it was great so see him back in the series in a "starring" role. The story was good, although some of the hoodlum element in the story feels a little "West Side Story," but then this was written in the fifties and society has moved on. What was quite impressive about this story is the very intense light shined on a character's personal life and probably the first time the series really honed in on personal tragedies/crises suffered by the cast, a trend that would pop up occasionally through the series. Not the most elaborate plot but the personal crises of characters in the 87th lifts it above the ordinary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars MdBain the master. 8 Jun 2014
By Carl
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the third in the 87th precinct series, written at a time when short books were king. I first bought it way back when and, as usual, thoroughly enjoyed it. At that time Mr McBain was writing 3 or four books a year, but this not dilute the quality of the writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars still the best 19 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first read an 87th Precinct novel many,many years ago and was immediately hooked. Contrary to Ed McBain's assertion about Steve Carella, he IS the hero. That much is clear. However Lall the characters, their relationships,their loves
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