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4.3 out of 5 stars8
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 17 November 2013
Dead Cat Bounce feels like it was heated up in a syringe and injected into the sensory cortex of your brain. Fast, brutal, with bitter honesty and at times searingly funny. The protagonist is utter unapologetic hatred for others and has a self destructive nature that makes Patrick Bateman look bland. Dead Cat Bounce for me is the book that American Psycho should have been. Just as dark and twisted, but with the protagonists time split between the city of London and becoming a Mossad agent in Israel, every thing within seems believable and reads like the journal of a schizophrenic addict. I say that as a huge complement. The most powerful aspect is how through all the ill will, you discover his hatred for his own sense of entitlement, a honestly lost man who is searching for something with meaning. At times the narrative becomes disjointed, and that amplifies the sense of distortion through a drink and drug haze. You find yourself empathising for the nameless protagonist and his racist views, early in the book you find him winding up Muslims online with Jewish supremacist views, because he loses is identity through trying to find it. The result is that he is hostile to the point of apathy to each faction. Dead Cat Bounce is a stunning and brutal, yet brilliant read.
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on 22 June 2013
The book's OK - I guess it would be a decent holiday read, but a few issues:
Main one is that the way it pilfers from Brett Easton Ellis (Less than Zero, Glamorama, and American Psycho) and James Frey (A million little pieces) is so obvious that it's kinda distracting.
It feels like 2 books jammed together into one. There's a terrible disconnect between his time in London, and his time in Israel.
His time in the City is puzzling - I don't even know why it made it into the book, if it was to be treated so perfunctorily.
The Mossad handlers just seem to be there to provide a way to shift the plot in any way that Freedman requires.
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on 30 September 2012
Wow. I was totally blown away by this tour de force of a novel. This is a new writer with a huge amount of talent, able to mine the darkest reaches of the human condition to create an anti-hero for our generation.

I loved the book, and feel dirty for it. Nothing about this novel is comfortable, you want to hope for redemption but know none is deserved. This is the underbelly, the grim road, the enemy at our gates. From start to finish we ride the rollercoaster of lies, drugs, deceit and descent. The protagonist thinks he is in control, and craves it. Control, however, is never found.

The influences of James Frey and Bret Easton Ellis are clear from the start, but the darker figure of Rodion Raskolnikov lurks behind our doomed protagonist. We are in the mind of a monster.

Freedman has a dark reading of modern life, of a life of plenty. This novel is a rejection of the world and values that so much of the world dream of. It is a slap in the face of conventional wisdom, or maybe a kid throwing his toys out of the pram.

A special mention for the parts of the book that flow like streams of consciousness, gambling, drugs, girls rush through pages like the high nights they are, the heart palpitates unnaturally, we are there, we feel it, we love it and we are guilty. Genius.

Read this book
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on 5 June 2014
If you like Bret Easton Ellis you should buy this book. The book is a great commentary on North West London and I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a punchy read. Not for the faint hearted.
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on 21 October 2012
This book really pushed me, and it was very challenging to read. The lead character is thoroughly unlikeable for large sections of the book. His flagrant disregard for others and his destructive lifestyle are almost enough to stop reading. However he feels real, with flaws, and this edge to the character keeps you coming back. It seems to be a search for identity and meaning in the life of a man hell bent on pushing his own agenda of addiction.

The pace, especially through the drink and drug fuelled sections, is frantic. Images come and go within seconds as the lead character gives his own insight into a version of hedonism that focuses on detachment and pain as his escape. The journey goes from West Hampstead, to the trading floor, through to the West Bank via a series of diary like entries into the world of an addict.

The tragedy of the piece is the feeling that for all of us there are aspects of this character that we can relate to, the feeling of 'what if I had grown up with that wealth?'. The lead character is a flawed, broken human who struggles for something to interest or grab him enough to focus on for any meaningful length of time. The inevitable march towards total self destruction is gripping to read.

I would whole heatedly recommend this book.
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on 27 March 2015
Got bored with this and gave up - too much just to shock. I felt nothing for the main character.
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on 2 January 2013
I started reading this expecting the break-necked narration to slow down. . . It didn't. Even though the narration is relentlessly fast, the pace of the plot undulates which helps pull you back, wanting to read more. As another reviewer said, the narrator of the book is impossible to like; he has no compassion for other people, and looks down on most of the world. But. . . despite this, you're pulled through the story wanting to read more, even if you can't decide whether you want it to end well or badly for the protagonist.

Highly recommended, and I look forward to reading more from this author.
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on 12 November 2012
An uncomfortable and thriling read, this novel delivers a shot in the arm and a slap on the wrist for our times. The fast pace pushes you on, but this book rewards scrutiny - there are some passages that both Hornby and Dostoyevsky would be proud of. Freedman is an exhilarating and intelligent writer who deserves a wide readership.
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