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Galveston Hardcover – 15 Jun 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company; First Edition edition (15 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439166641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439166642
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


An often incandescent fever dream of low-rent, unbearable beauty ... "Galveston," in its authenticity and fearless humanism, recalls only the finest examples of the form (Dennis Lehane The New York Times)

Galveston is an assured debut full of hard truths, a throwback novel that ends up shouldering the noir genre forward (Chuck Hogan)

A carefully crafted work shrouded in dark Southern landscapes (Time Out Chicago)

Not for the faint-hearted ... a strong, gritty crime novel that marks Pizzolatto out as a rising star of the genre. (Herald Sun) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The richly atmospheric, Dennis Lehane-lauded debut thriller from the creator of the hit HBO series True Detective --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for Galveston. The tags are all there. The awards, nominations and reviews collected. The ball is in my park. It almost lived up to my expectations, too, only just not quite.
I have some mixed feelings about the book. I feel that the word-for-word writing is very good. That each vignette is well crafted and pitched in the required tone for the moment, this usually being in the minor key.
The central characters are strong and interesting and their lives haven’t been easy. I can say this because there’s plenty of back-story to back this up.
There’s also a pretty good plot in there. Hard man working for the mob falls foul of his bosses, is set up and manages to get out of a tight spot, goes on the run and picks up a prostitute who becomes his buddy along the way. The guy has just found out he has only a little time to live and the woman has no idea how to survive in the world if the sex is taken out of it.
What didn’t quite work for me was the way all of the individual parts were put together. The rhythms of the piece are a little erratic and the slower sections lumber in places. There are also elements to the story that seem overly contrived. An example of this is the relationship between the 2 runners which never seems to quite fit. They really shouldn’t stay together and even with their battered past and need for something in their lives, they make a pretty unlikely match.
The overall arc contains a tragic tale and the grim images and thoughts of the protagonist, Roy Cady, are often beautifully expressed. Some of the prose is truly stunning. There are many lines and expressions of pain and sadness that are remarkable and, to my mind, this is the big strength of the book. The ending is one of those seriously good moments and is quite sublime.
Recommended for the quality of the prose, the settings, tones and the vignettes rather than as a thriller.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is clear this novel shares DNA with the wonderful True Detective. Both are set in the sinister and atmospheric deep south. Both have troubled and alienated protagonists trying to navigate through this landscape whilst facing ghosts from their pasts. Both use structures that jump back and forward over decades to tell the story.

Galveston was deeply satisfying for me on various levels. The plot is really good and had me engaged right to the end and has kept me thinking about how neatly it all hangs together right to the end. But it is more than a tough guy redemption thriller. It also explores some interesting and thought-provoking themes.

A major part of this novel is based on how the protagonist's behaviour, attitudes and and world view change when he learns he is dying of cancer. This gangster hitman only starts making selfless and brave decisions when he thinks he is dying. He was perfectly capable of escaping the mess he was in provided he stuck to his professional methods. But this time he didn't. People often say that if they have just a few months to live they would party like it is the end of the world. I dont buy it. Maybe confronting our mortality makes us better people?

Another theme he toys with is the unreliablity of memories. His rose-coloured memories of his relationship with a long lost love were shaken back to reality when he tracked her down and she told it like it was. Again by shattering the story he had told himself about his own life focussed him on his present and creating a meaning for his life once freed from the myth.

Lookiing forward to the next one
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Format: Hardcover
Set mainly in 1987 this award-winning first novel by the creator of HBO's True Detective (not seen it) is a terrific read.

In the first few chapters the action moves quickly before changing pace, allowing the characters backstories, personalities and the plot to develop.

It's a story about Roy Cody. A hit-man with cancer and a drink problem. His girlfriend leaves him for his mobster boss, and Roy subsequently finds himself taking on a job for him that goes wrong, and he has to run- taking a teenage prostitute with him.

They head out of Louisiana for Texas, and ultimately, Galveston.

What follows is the story of people brought together by loss, tragedy and rejection. Cody remains on the run, haunted by his past, living his life out amongst out-casts and mis-fits, trying to second guess how long he can hold out against his condition and circumstances.

The description of the South is as cinematic as you'd expect from a screenwriter. You feel the intensity of the southern heat, the vastness of the plains, the trashiness of the port towns along the coast and the bleached weariness of the Emerald Shores Motel.

Things don't end well, but the thing that keeps you turning the page and caring for these characters are the glimpses of humanity they all exhibit.

These aren't cardboard noir cut-outs, but well-drawn characters wrapped up in a cracking read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
So a few nights ago I was wandering around my home town, singing the theme from True Detective at the top of my lungs and wondering what the hell happened to my Batman pyjamas. An acoustic accompaniment surged up from the brickwork and echoed along the inky blackness of the Leeds/Liverpool like the ghosts of dead navvies playing for their souls. And then I woke up, lurid trouserware restored. You can't get away from Nic Pizzolatto's enthralling tv series even in the embrace of Morpheus. Having reached episode three, further research revealed the writer and brainchild behind the series had written a fairly well received novel. So here it is. It tells the story of Roy Cady or rather Roy tells his own story. He's a bagman for a New Orleans loan shark named Stan Ptitko. Roy gets a double life changing alarm call in the shape of lung cancer and an attempt to set him up for the big sleep by his own boss. What our unreliable narrator steers our gaze away from is just how bad a man Roy Cady is, his job description often going way beyond threats with menaces. Roy is very good at making other people dead. He survives his date with death, killing everyone at the double cross and along with the only other survivor, a young prostitute, the two of them hit the road.
It would be a stretch to describe the book as a crime thriller though it certainly occupies the framework of a crime novel but like its protagonist it wants to be something else. Pizzolatto is far more committed to exploring human nature. Roy is the archetypal killer. It's the man's one true tallent. And he wants to change. Wants to draw a line. He's confronted with his own mortality which forces him to look into the shadows of his own character. He sees the young prostitute, Rocky, as being something still unminted.
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