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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Backwoods folk as sharp and as deadly as knives
Told in the first person in the accents of the Arkansas hills this is the tale of Jerry, a deputy in the local sheriff's office, in a locality where drug trafficking and attendant corruption seem to be something of a way of life, though as long as you don't get involved, say nothing and keep your head down, you will most likely not come to any harm. If you are involved,...
Published 23 months ago by Ghostgrey51

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An overdose of dialect.
(Disclosure #1, I live in the South and am quite "country". I can y'all with the best. So, my comments about this book are not from lack of association with the characters or setting. In fact, I live in an even smaller town which is about a hundred miles from where this story takes place.)

(Disclosure #2, after four tries, I only read the first 83 pages before...
Published 22 months ago by Dick Johnson


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An overdose of dialect., 13 Sep 2012
By 
Dick Johnson (Texas USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Wowzer (Paperback)
(Disclosure #1, I live in the South and am quite "country". I can y'all with the best. So, my comments about this book are not from lack of association with the characters or setting. In fact, I live in an even smaller town which is about a hundred miles from where this story takes place.)

(Disclosure #2, after four tries, I only read the first 83 pages before giving up. The reasons follow.)

This story is told in first-person. Unfortunately, that means that the main character and the narrator have the same flaws. Those flaws were a big turnoff. The "I's" done this and that are belied by the rest of the book being grammatically correct. This artificial gimmick was not only uninteresting, but also unnecessary.

Had this been written in a third-person "as told to and cleaned up by the narrator" book, it would have been a lot better. Then the dialogue could be "aw shucks" as can be without hitting the reader with it in every sentence. As is, what might be a decent story is hidden.

Too much of anything quite often turns out to be just too much.

I didn't like it. Per Amazon that's two stars.

(I received an Advance Reader's Copy from the Amazon US Vine program.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Backwoods folk as sharp and as deadly as knives, 11 Aug 2012
By 
Ghostgrey51 (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wowzer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Told in the first person in the accents of the Arkansas hills this is the tale of Jerry, a deputy in the local sheriff's office, in a locality where drug trafficking and attendant corruption seem to be something of a way of life, though as long as you don't get involved, say nothing and keep your head down, you will most likely not come to any harm. If you are involved, well now that's a different story, double and triple crosses abound, damaged folk drift in and out in a scenario that is as deadly as anything you would find in Urban Mean Streets.
The title references of mythical backwoods beast that'll take your head off if you stray too far into its land. At times when the game is at its deadliest Jerry identifies with this beast.
Central character Jerry might talk like a hick, but he is constantly one step ahead as a born survivor. A nice touch to illustrate how sharp he is, is the habit he has of describing those he meets as if in a police profile; age, height, weight. He kills or injures without any remorse those who are also involved in this dangerous game; it is never really clear whether he need to kill some of these folk or not, he just does this to be safe, it is how he views the world. Unhinged yes, but not repellent, you get the impression as long as you didn't cross him, you'd be safe.
In Jerry's labyrinthine world is his girlfriend Maggie, with her own demons and scared out of her wits when she learns the truth of his other side, angry at her desertion of him, he still remains loving to her, trying his best to win her back in his own version of tenderness, this relationship continues despite the pressures but whether it will be continuing beyond this book is never made clear.
I wish the author well; it would be nice to read a follow-up book of Jerry (and hopefully Maggies)'s further exploits. Yes this was graphically violent with a high body count and a clutch of unlikeable characters but Frank Wheeler jr has produced and crafted a very richly noir world in an easy to read style which does not offend the intelligence, in fact it down right demands you to keep alert when reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A COP. A VERY DANGEROUS COP, 8 July 2012
By 
Mr. William Oxley "oxenblocks" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wowzer (Paperback)
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I was intrigued by a story that introduces itself as one part Dexter, Dexter : Complete Season 1 [DVD], one part Southern gothic, with a dash of psychosis for good measure! The title itself was also intriguing, Wowzer. A Wowzer being a giant creature of the woods that decapitates it's victims. So I was ready to be thrown into the deep end of a story that could go anywhere.

To be honest there is not much similarity with Dexter as Jerry is more of a lethal thug enforcer to ensure the local drug traders remain king of the hill. Jerry is a likeable guy, but he is a cop. A cop that abuses his power for personal gain. Maybe this is how society works these days as everybody seems to be out for themselves, make a huge wedge, and then sail off into the sunset. Never mind the bloodshed or chaos left behind. But Jerry is not going to retire if his boss has his own way...

Jerry is also in love. But his girlfriend is being drawn into the crossfire, and she has misgivings about Jerry. Will Jerry be able to hold onto his girl?

I liked the story. Some twists and turns. Recommended for those who want to read something different than the usual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty modern American noir, 29 Jun 2012
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wowzer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is NOT a supernatural or horror story, despite the way the blurb is written. Ignore the title for a while.
This is a modern-day crime thriller set in the backwoods of the Ozarks. It's the tale of a bad man whose life unravels into a cascade of conflict and conspiracy. It reeks of violence and gunshot residue, of blood and bitterness. It speaks with an authentic authority about corruption in small-town America, about drugs, about love, and about the peculiar nature of the sociopath.
The protagonist is a very bad man indeed, but he's also a compelling character. And his relationship with the woman he ... `loves' ... is beautifully portrayed. His fixation upon her is so fierce that you don't quite know how they will both survive it; and she's no flim-flam floozy, but is another credible creation, a fully-rounded and complicated person. Who just happens to have gotten involved with a psycho nutter enforcer, small cog in an illegal drug operation which blows up in his face. Literally, at times.

This is (I believe) a first novel, and it's wonderfully accomplished for that. Some readers will hate the first-person narrative which is written in drawled, accented English. At first that style got between me and the story but it became part of the texture after a couple of chapters, and I was glad I stuck with it.
The body-count reaches epic proportions in the latter chapters, which kinda stretches the credibility of the tale, but overall I romped along with the plot, desperate to see how the protagonist could fight his way out of the corner he'd backed in to.
The Wowzer reminded me of the early tales of the Swagger family (Pale Horse Coming), especially in its attention to detail in the practical aspects of murder and mayhem, and of Natural Born Killers for its delight in unrestrained episodes of backstreet spree-killing.

It kept me enthralled throughout. When I finished, I immediately went to find something else by the same author - and that's possibly the best recommendation I can give. Hope the follow-up arrives soon.
8/10
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3.0 out of 5 stars What's with the accent?, 8 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Wowzer (Kindle Edition)
A good story, well written but ruined for me by the needless dialect dialogue. Maybe this will not bother other readers.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not wow, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Wowzer (Kindle Edition)
Couldn't get on with the style of writing at all, though maybe needed to persist until the plot caught me?!
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4.0 out of 5 stars different, 9 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Wowzer (Kindle Edition)
Enjoyed the book, It had some quite terrifying moments which made one feel that not every one has a easy life,I must say I am looking forward to this authors next book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Bestial Behaviour, 17 Sep 2013
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wowzer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If it is possible to describe a book as `ugly' then `The Wowzer' is most certainly ugly. Perhaps use of the `wowzer' is a clever reference to a child frightening `bogeyman' element, but overall the poorly constructed plot takes the form of a relentless succession of horrific violent acts. The main protagonist is a psychopathic beast barbarically involved with other brutes and misfits, and he is employed clumsily and irritatingly by author Frank Wheeler Jr. to narrate in the first person using a colloquial slang type American drawl. The story and the characters are ugly, but if readers want a mindless gun crazy thriller then `The Wowzer' may be to their taste.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gratuitous violence., 4 Jun 2013
By 
Dave (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wowzer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a story mainly about Jerry, a sheriff's deputy who uses extreme violence in pursuing his drug dealing and other criminal activities. He is without doubt an extreme psychopath.

When I started this book I found the attempt by the author to give a southern accent to the main character, Jerry, was very annoying. An extreme example would be "Nawlins" rather than "New Orleans". This did really spoil the book for me.

This dislike stayed with me for the entire book and was just about tolerated as the book developed. At this point the story was quite good with Jerry's relationships with his co- workers, partners in crime, acquaintances and most of all Maggie, the love of his life. This middle part the story fairly rattled along and was quite absorbing despite the excessive violence.

Unfortunately the ending was quite poor with even more over the top violence and death which all became a bit silly and this silliness was dragged out quite unnecessarily for quite a few pages.

Overall this book is just about a passable read for people not offended by both bad grammar and gratuitous violence.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking dark comedy, 5 April 2013
By 
Zola fan "Nana" (Hants, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wowzer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Jerry had been mentored for the post of Deputy by Sheriff Haskell who needed a special kind of man to help him keep the local drug trafficking trade in order. Sheriff Haskell likes things to be in order especially as he is running the local drug trade.

The Wowzer is set in a small town in rural Arkansas where parking is plentiful at the local drug store and diner, it's a place where not much happens and serious crime is something that occurs elsewhere. The characters' dialect really helps to set the scene of this `good `ol boy' type of community. I really liked the title of one chapter - `Like a tick in a tar pot'.

Outwardly Jerry seems a thoughtful young fella, he lives with his ancient grandma and makes the time to take his simple-minded uncle out fishing.
Jerry has a particular talent, one that Sheriff Haskell spotted before he coached him for his recruitment exams and the reason why he chose a morphine- addicted psychiatrist to get him through the `psych' test. Jerry can kill without any remorse.

For all its backwater setting, this is a fast-paced black comedy and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The main protagonist reminded me a little of Jim Thompson's book `The Killer Inside Me' though don't let this influence you, it's a small similarity.
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The Wowzer
The Wowzer by Frank Wheeler Jr.
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