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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 May 2017
Ideal for holiday reading. Great believable characters , and the constantly changing unexpected outcomes make for a brilliant entertaining story.
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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Eoin Colfer, best known for his YA Artemis Fowl novels, has written an adult novel. An adult crime novel at that. Fresh from his extension of the Hitch Hikers Guide To the Galaxy series he's moved on again to another genre. He's certainly a man not afraid of tackling new challenges. The problem is that Plugged seems a bit like a pastiche as well, or at the least someone copying genre tropes and producing a novel by rote from them.

That's not to say this is not an enjoyable novel. I whipped through it in a day at a gallop. I wasn't bored at all. I laughed a bit. And was pretty well entertained. I just can't see this being a worldwide bestseller like Artemis Fowl. Or it may well be because of his name, but it shouldn't be on it's merits. Plugged is a crime novel in the mould of Colin Bateman or Charlie Higson. That is comic crime, with a wisecracking first person narrative. A whole host of coincidences, a couple of gruesome deaths, strip clubs and drug dealing lawyers. On face value it all sounds good fun, and it is.

Daniel McEvoy is an ex-soldier. Relocated to a small New Jersey town to escape the horrors of what he saw as a UN peacekeeper in the Lebanon, he now works on the door of the town's dodgy strip club. When his friend (who is also the man responsible for his newly installed hair plugs) Zeb vanishes, one of the strippers is murdered and he accidentally becomes an accomplice to the death of a police woman McEvoy finds himself drawn into a world that is just as dangerous as the Lebanon of his past.

All pretty standard stuff. And in many ways that's not an issue, the fact that it stays so true to the genre tropes means you always get what you expect and are satisfied, there's just a suspicion that Colfer isn't really being true to himself as a writer and that tainted the book for me
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Eager to break away from his Artemis Fowl cash cow (and probably a bit resentful that he's forever associated with that series and as a writer of children's fiction while his other works are ignored) Eoin Colfer goes off in a totally unexpected direction with this surreal, tongue-in-cheek noir novel. It's got plenty of ideas and energy, but sadly never amounts to much.

Our lead character, and narrator, is Oirish Daniel McEvoy an ex-soldier scraping a living in New Jersey as casino bouncer. Life is quiet and uneventful until one of his hostess co-workers is murdered, which triggers a bizarre chain of events that turn his world upside-down. Colfer's writing seems too confident with its own sense of irreverence. It's a novel with many subplots and no main hook or common thread other than the main protagonist bumbling through the chapters and connecting the random madness together. Colfer even tries to cover up his own loose ends by using the old 'self reference' trick that is all to commonplace these days. Our narrator simply says 'I don't know where this is going' towards the end when a random plot thread literally cannot go any further.

I wanted it to be more, to build to a bigger climax, to end in the revelation of a big conspiracy. But Colfer never takes it seriously enough and despite the many chances and potential the book misses out on being expansive and is ultimately dissatisfying.

The style is full of wit and entertains on the go, but the end destination is let-down. At least the journey was fun.
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on 17 January 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm pretty fond of the odd bit of tartan/Celtic noir - Christopher Brookmyre, Colin Bateman, Ian Rankin et al, so I picked this anticipating a good pacy read, with humour and violence and a distinctly Celtic way of looking at the world. And despite the American setting of the book (it's based in New Jersey)- that's what I got.

Ex Irish Army Sergeant Daniel McEvoy is engaging, a hard man with a soft centre. And thinning hair. He's fairly sensitive about this. I've noticed a lot of men are (yes, dear boyfriend, I'm looking at you...)- and it explains why he gets involved with a seedy doctor who then disappears. Add to this an on/off girlfriend dead in an alley, and Daniel is in rather a sticky situation, especially when the local drugs boss gets involved.

Fast and furious, with a nice touch in one liners, this is a cracking and undemanding read, and I hope to read more from Colfer.
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VINE VOICEon 23 October 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'd read the first few of Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books so I had high hopes for Plugged and I have to say I wasn't disappointed.

Colfer's true strength lies in the fact his books deal with 'banter' rather than 'speech' and as such the talkie sections feel quite natural.

Plugged seems to be Colfer's attempt to write an Elmore Leonard novel, which may sound wrong but works perfectly, it's a very visual book and (as with Leonard) everything is very easy to picture and to relate to.

The lead chatacter, Dan, is an Irish bouncer and former special ops soldier, resentful of the hand life has dealt hum but at the same time very much at home until an unfortunate brush with local criminals drags him into someone else's mess. Dan has to deal with this while at the same time struggling to deal with his receding hairline... and trust me, you want to read how he copes!
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on 19 October 2017
i thought it was well written and i liked the character of Daniel however some of the other characters were a bit exaggerated. I would probably buy the next book to see if things improved.
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VINE VOICEon 17 November 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Let me start by saying that I love Colfer's Artemis Fowl books. Hugely entertaining, with fabulous characters and fantastic plots for younger readers (and their parents!)

This then is a bit of a sideways move for the author into grown-up crime fiction. The characters are amusing and well written as ever, and the story is a good one, noir in places, but a fairly straightforward attempt at a genre novel.

Entertaining, well written. Just don't expect anything earth-shattering.
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on 12 May 2011
Plugged represents something of a departure for the acclaimed author of Artemis Fowl and other young adult novels, his latest novel heading for the more adult territory of crime fiction. But while the tone and content is definitely adult - it features a semi-delusional bouncer at a pretty sleazy "hostess" (ie. stripper) club who manages to get himself uncomfortably immersed in the crime and drug dealing world of suburban New Jersey - the reader will be happy to find out that there is still plenty of humour to be had with the subject along the way.

That's not to say that Colfer doesn't take Plugged seriously, or that he approaches the crime genre in any way half-hearted or tongue-in-cheek. Well, maybe just a little, since the hardboiled title could also refer to the hair-transplant treatment that Daniel McEvoy, the Irish-born bouncer at Slotz nightclub, and former soldier in the Peace Keeping forces in Lebanon, has been receiving from an old friend and doctor of dubious qualifications, Zeb. Zeb however has gone missing, seemingly mixed up with the worst of Cloisters' organised crime gangs, but before Dan can look for him, another incident at the nightclub involving one of the hostesses presents him with potentially a lot more trouble.

Colfer's venture into the crime genre doesn't sound like it offers anything new, not even the fact that Dan is a little bit deranged, suffering flashbacks to his time in Lebanon and hearing voices in his head - an imaginary Zeb constantly berating him for getting distracted from the case - but Colfer's angle is managing to make these problems witty and amusing. There is some amount of parody of the noir genre, but it's affectionate rather than poking fun at the genre, and not quite as broad in the humour as Bateman's Mystery Man novels, for example. When you're dealing with a crazy world however - and Dan comes across many entertainingly deranged characters - you have to laugh in order to survive.

You also have to laugh at yourself, particularly when you are Irish, are getting on in years and having something of a mid-life crisis, as Dan is here. That makes Dan an entertaining character to be with as he navigates the murky New Jersey underworld, and tries to keep on the right side of the not so perfect law enforcement services - to say nothing of the rather strange women who throw themselves at him. Nothing new then, but Plugged is a fast-paced and entertaining read that plays well within the crime genre while finding a new outlet for the author's trademark wit and humour.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 August 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Eoin Colfer's plugged is a blackly comic, adult crime thriller. If I had to draw comparisons to other authors I'd probably say it was in the vein of Christopher Brookmyre but minus the satire, Colin Bateman but transposed from Northern Ireland to New Jersey, a harder edged, grimier Carl Hiaasen or a lighter Elmore Leonard. It doesn't come close to matching those authors' best works but with its mixture of profanity, crime, violence, gonzo characters, comedy, farce and general air of seediness its reminicent of all of them to one extent or another.

How much you enjoy it will depend to a great extent on your capacity for spending your time in the company of various low-lifes and in the squalid world they inhabit. All the characters on display are messed up to some extent, from the hero/narrator Dan to the wannabe gangsters, back street doctors and corrupt lawyers he interacts with. You'll also need be accepting of both violence and profanity because the book is packed with both. All this grittiness however, is offset by a rich seam of comedy that makes this a genuinely funny read, even if you sometimes find yourself wincing as you laugh.

Still I can understand that it will not be to everyone's taste and it remains a pretty lightweight affair, never achieving the depth of characterisation or biting satire of the likes of Elmore Leonard. As an enjoyable albeit blackly comic crime novel however, its fine and I would be happy to read more of Dan's adventures if Colfer chooses to write them.
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VINE VOICEon 14 April 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Many people know Eoin Colfer for his childrens books, including the great Artemis Fowl series. I read a number of his books whilst gorwing up, and always enjoyed the quirky, surrealist nature of his plots. In moving to the adult realm, none of this witty, quirky style is lost. The text is dotted with witty one liners and a great internal monologue written throughout the book as a great back and forth. However, Colfer does seem to struggle slightly in the move to the adult market, where the plot has to hold up to more scrutiny.

Plugged tells of an ex-soldier from Ireland, Daniel McEvoy, now a bouncer in a seedy nightclub in New Jersey. McEvoy is a wisecracking, fiery character with a well fleshed out backstory and is a thoroughly entertaining narrator to the story. McEvoy is a character that really allows Colfer's wit to flourish and delight the reader, there are few characters I'd rather follow through a tale than him. However, in one respect Colfer's lack of experience in the adult sector does rear its head - he is scared to allow his lead character to kill anyone. This is understandable when writing for teenagers, but in an adult novel this leads to scenarios which push suspension of disbelief too far. For instance, our hero is surrounded with incapacitated enemies, clearly intent on killing him; McEvoy walks into a building where he will clearly be cornered, and yet leaves all of his enemies alive. For an ex-soldier, this is frankly unreaslistic and really sullied the excitement of the ensuing scene as it just felt crowbarred in.

Other characters are also well fleshed out, if erring on the side of stereotype. The vile boss, his kiss-ass second in command, the dodgy doctor, small-time gangster aspiring to bigger things, Dan's ex army friends. Even characters that only appear for a few paragraphs seem to have been well-thought out and their actions are believable. For the most part. Aside from the aformentioned reluctance for his hero to kill anyone, there is also a character integral to a major plot forming twist towards the beginning of the book that could have done with a buit more justifying. This is only a minor niggle though, and it is clear that Colfer's true skill lies in developing characters.

That's not to say that the plot is especially lacking. Injected with the trademark zaniness of his other works, giving just the right amount of character to the piece without shattering realism, Colfer has succeeded in crafting a great yarn. Upon first considering this book, I did have concerns that this wouldn't translate - an adult author can get away with far fewer loose ends and needs a tighter plot and more fleshed out characters. These worries were not borne out, however, and Colfer truly has sculpted a great work that I would recommend to anyone looking for something different to the normal crime fiction fare.
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