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on 8 May 2012
Ken Bruen's books are dark and brooding affairs, written in a sparse, engaging literary prose. For me, sometimes the text feels a little too sparse, begging for a little more elaboration, but they are nonetheless engaging, powerful, layered tales. His stories rarely have complex puzzles, they are more structured as unfoldings. The Dramatist is no different. In it he demonstrates a keen observational eye, capturing the nuances of Irish society, especially the intricacies of inter-personal relations. There's a strong sense of place and the plot has some nicely interwoven strands and intertextuality. The resolution of the crimes is relatively straightforward, but that's hardly the point of his stories: they are about the journey not the destination. Though in The Dramatist, the destination is a powerful punch to the gut, despite it being well signposted. A fine slice of Irish noir.
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on 1 May 2013
Jack Taylor is amiable enough to be sure, if a little too self-absorbed about his smoking and drinking issues. The story itself I found rather weak and annoyingly peppered with literary and musical references which did little to enhance the plot. Overall an ok read but not exciting.
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on 11 June 2013
His Jack Taylor books are never long enough but good scene setting and characterisation short on cliche and not over formulaic.A major writer in term of contemporary Irish noir and wonderfully addictive.
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on 2 January 2015
I love the Jack Taylor novels and am steadily working my way through them having started with "The Guards".

"The Dramatist" is well up with the best of them. I could not really put this one down and I always feel slightly disappointed when I finish the last sentence because when you travel with Jack Taylor it is generally quite a roller coaster of a ride without a safety belt. But then I have "The Priest" waiting for me on my bookshelf and I cant wait to open up that first page.

Anyone new to Bruen should not expect a routine police procedural or a private tec methodically going through the clues and solving of the case. In most cases they seem to solve themselves as JT moves through the streets of Galway dishing out the dirt or getting it thrown back at him in spades.

Bruen has a very distinctive almost poetic style of writing which is such a joy to read. Often short sharp sentences delivered with a lot of humour. In some way he reminds me a little of James Ellroy.

A highly recommended series.

My only one regret was the final literary punch which came right out of the blue and in my opinion was a little OTT even for Bruen.
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on 29 December 2005
I read this in one sitting - I simply couldn't put it down. The style is unusual and very readable. I heartily recommend it and am looking forward to reading more by this author.
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on 14 February 2005
I would have to say that more than any of the other books in this series, this really is much more of a 'Jack Taylor Novel' than a traditional mystery. Taylor is living clean & sober, & it is in this novel that we are treated to an entirely different side of the character that is no less fascinating than the raging alcoholic persona we've all come to love & fear. I do have to say about 1/2 way through the novel I really ceased to care what the Dramatists' identity was, & was definitely much more involved with the themes of condemnation & redemption that Bruen weaves so expertly well. Lest you think that this may be one Bruen's more tame works however, I can honestly say I don't think he's ever written a more devastating finale. Hope ya like it, I loved it.
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on 8 December 2009
Just start with the Guards (1st in the Jack Taylor series) and work your way through the seven coolest crime fiction novels ever written. Enjoy.
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on 6 July 2015
huge fan and love this book,
Swift delivery
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on 10 June 2016
Good
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