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Lush Life: A Novel

Lush Life: A Novel

Scritto da Richard Price

Narrato da Bobby Cannavale


Lush Life: A Novel

Scritto da Richard Price

Narrato da Bobby Cannavale

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (55 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
13 ore
Pubblicato:
Mar 4, 2008
ISBN:
9781427203212
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

What do you do?

Whenever people asked him, Eric Cash used to have a dozen answers: artist, actor, screenwriter...But now he's 35 years old and he's still living downtown, still in the restaurant business, working night shifts and serving the people he always wanted to be. What does Eric do? He manages. Not like Ike Marcus. Ike Marcus had what the Lower East Side wanted: he was young, good-looking, people liked him. Ask him what he did, and he wouldn't say "tend bar". He was going places, and he was going to live forever — until two street kids stepped up to him and Eric on Eldridge Street one night and pulled a gun. Ike's last words were "Not tonight, my man".

At least, that's Eric's version.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Pubblicato:
Mar 4, 2008
ISBN:
9781427203212
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Richard Price spent four years with dealers and cops on the streets of urban America researching the raw material for Clockers. His first novel, The Wanderers, was a literary sensation when it was published in 1974. Three other novels followed - Bloodbrothers, Ladies' Man, and The Breaks, but more recently Price has become one of Hollywood's most successful screenwriters. The Color of Money - for which he received an Oscar Nomination - and Sea of Love are two of his credits. Clockers was directed by Spike Lee and starred Harvey Keitel and John Turturro.

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3.7
55 valutazioni / 54 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    I don't want to wave hyperbole around, but this might be one of my favorite novels of the past decade.
  • (1/5)
    Booklist top adult fiction book of 2008. I started this book, got about 15 pages in before giving up. I think this is just not my type of book. Gritty, tough, gangs, what I sometimes call a "man's book," for lack of a better description.
  • (2/5)
    I won't deny it had a certain gritty charm, but I found the ending anticlimactic to the extreme, and the wrap-up passages annoyingly pointless.
  • (4/5)
    Brilliant but very harsh dialogue. Very fun to read.
  • (5/5)
    Great mystery
  • (5/5)
    My first Richard Price but won't be my last. I was mesmerized by the dialog and the relentless pacing. Truly exceptional. I couldn't put it down.
  • (5/5)
    This is the first novel I read by Price. I would put this one on the level of No Country for Old Men. On its surface it's a standard police procedural, but we get a very real view into the lives of the cops in New York City. Everyone feels a little evil and a little good.
  • (5/5)
    An urban talke full of rhythm and life.
  • (4/5)
    There is nothing fancy or fussy about the prose in Lush Life. But Price paints an incomparable picture of a part of New York City where the wealthy, the wanna-be's, and the city's poor co-mingle. The conversations are extremely well written and Price's flawed characters feel like real people, not characters in a book.
  • (4/5)
    A little conventional in that whole Raymond Chandleresque mold, but pleasant reading. Plus that’s my old stomping grounds, and the familiar is always fun. Passing it on straight to the offspring, who I bet will love it.
  • (5/5)
    Let me first off say that I don’t believe I’ve read anything this good in American literature in a long, long time. Do I have my own share of nits ‘n’ crits? Of course I do. But Richard Price’s prose is solid; Richard Price’s story-telling is solid; shit, even Richard Price’s writing mechanics are solid.

    For starters, then, some nits ‘n’ crits….

    The first few pages sounded rather derivative of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. From that point on, it was either NYC cop jargon or ghetto patois – neither of which I’m particularly up on, even if I’ve been a resident of Brooklyn, New York for the past twenty years.

    My conclusion after the first hundred pages? If Richard Price is looking for a quick slam-dunk in Hippsterville (Williamsburg, Brooklyn), he’ll no doubt find it. ‘Problem is, the English-speaking world extends a bit beyond Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

    I shudder to think of all of those folks elsewhere on the planet who noticed that this book was a New York Times Bestseller … and decided to invest their hard-earned yuan, euros or pesos in the hope of learning something – i.e., either what sells in America (and why), or how to write contemporary fiction.

    I must confess, I can’t imagine translating this book even into Kansas-English, never mind into any other dialect outside the five boroughs of Metropolitan New York. It’s simply untranslatable. And yet … given that his writing mechanics are seemingly beyond reproach, I have to ask myself where this Bronx honky learned his nether-world vocabulary.

    Let’s start with just a couple or three zingers….

    On p. 68, “‘I don’t know,’ Eric shrugged. ‘Why does someone strike you as Irish rather than Italian?’

    ‘Because they’d rather drink than fuck,’ Yolanda said.”

    Or on p. 290, “‘This kid ever had an original thought, it would die of loneliness.’”

    And on p. 338, “‘Perception, reality, whatever. They’re not happy, and shit rolls downhill. They’re at the peak, I’m like mid-mountain, and you’re in this, this arroyo at the bottom. If I can be any more picturesque than that, let me know.’”

    All of these excerpts are from dialogue. And while I don’t know enough to confirm or refute Michiko Kakutani’s (critic of The New York Times) assertion that "no one writes better dialogue than Richard Price – not Elmore Leonard, not David Mamet, not even David Chase,” what I can say is that Price’s dialogue is damned good!

    And yes, Richard Price is indeed the scion of Raymond Chandler and Saul Bellow – and does them proud. As proof, I’d have you read pp. 151 – 156, Chapter Three (“First Bird – a Few Butterflies”) and/or pp. 451 – 455, Chapter Nine (“She’ll be Apples”). But don’t read Chapter Nine (the conclusion) and spoil it for yourself. First read pp. 1 – 450; then, decide for yourself.

    By way of conclusion, I’ll risk saying that Richard Price’s prose is both exhilarating and exhausting. Find yourself a quiet corner in the library in which you can settle down and concentrate. You’ll need the corner -- and the quiet.


    RRB
    05/28/14
    Brooklyn, NY

  • (4/5)
    Listening to this audiobook is analogous to looking out a window with Venetian blinds and outside, is NYC. The language is shuttered too, completely reflecting the characters without being verbose. The narrator has a rich voice and an ear for the cadence and vocabulary. Character differentiation isn't great, but the strength of the writing takes care of that. Within a few seconds or a few words, setting and characters are quickly established, as well as the immediacy of the plot. It's a realistically presented view of NYC and for those who don't groove on urban tales, this may not be a good pick. Also, there's a lot of slang that may be even more alien than a British accent for those who may have issues negotiating anything other than a neutral American voice.
  • (3/5)
    Overall, I liked this book. By the end I enjoyed the characters, was hoping for the best for them.

    But I didn't love this book. Which is okay. There wasn't much of a mystery to this, it was more of waiting to see how they were going to find out who did it.
  • (3/5)
    It has appeared at the top of many lists for the best book of 2008. Both retailers and newspapers hailed it as one of the top novels of the year. Apparently, Richard Price's Lush Life is the shit. I disagree. In fact, the only list I can think of I'd add Lush Life to would be "Most Overrated Novels."

    Lush Life begins horribly with a story that is incoherent and a setting that isn't based on description, rather just a long string of locations. Sorry, Mr. Price, but listing the names of the stores you drove by this morning does not exempt you from making an effort at creating a visual for the reader. Pete's Bar & Grill has no meaning to me whatsoever.

    Wade through (and ignore) the book's rocky start and things pick up, you could say they even begin to make sense. Unfortunately it doesn't last, and soon the book is thrown back into poorly written, witless drivel. Begin with the crime, read through the early stages of the investigation, and finish with Eric Cash's scene on the balcony and you have a pretty good book. Unfortunately, that eliminates more than 300 pages from Price's original work.

    As a whole, Lush Life is a gritty crime novel with no hope. The author's obsession with sex, guns, and the streets darkens every page. Its characters start with potential, but eventually fall into one of three categories, underdeveloped (Tristan), Stereotype (Yolanda), and misdeveloped (Eric).

    The novel's best quality is its well-developed dialogue. The letters that fall between quotations are the words of cops and the language of the streets. It is not enough, though, to save this Life.

    There were very slight shimmers of potential in Price's most recent book, but unfortunately, there were no glimmers of hope, and that is what this novel needed most in order to shine.
  • (4/5)
    A solid novel, recommended. Cops, robbers and hipsters in the LES, NYC -- things get messy and, well, lushy. Price's prose can be a bit chewy sometimes, but the action moves along and the characters come off the page and cuff you now and then. I think Price should include a slang glossary so I know what the hell some of his characters are talking about.

  • (3/5)
    All I know about gritty real world "police procedurals" I learned from Joseph Wambaugh, whose "The Choirboys" does for urban police work what “Catch-22” does for World War II. Yes it's that good. So I came to read Lush Life by Richard Price a novel from 2008 about urban crime, I had my fingers crossed to maybe discover a writer who could do for New York City - my home town - what Wambaugh did for East Los Angeles. Perhaps that's asking too much. Three yuppies are bopping down the street at 4AM on the Lower East Side, the last great melting pot of the city, when they are set upon by two young black kids, one with a gun. Most people get this – you give the guy with the gun your wallet, and maybe live to fight another day.But curiously, one of the kids waves off the muggers with an almost mystical “Not tonight my man” and the kid panics and pulls the trigger. Pop Pop! The police come and make some mistakes and ball things up seriously. But you know - they're trying. It ain't as easy as it looks on TV.Everyone in this book has a dream I think but good luck on getting anywhere realizing them. We get a good look at what urban police work and police office politics looks like in New York City post Giuliani.We get a good look at the yuppies and the white kids who have invaded the Lower East Side, and their rather pathetic posturing and their rather childish dreams.We get an inside baseball look into the lives of people working the yuppie restaurant racket on the "gentrified" part of the Lower East Side.We get a good look at our shooter, not to excuse him or to explain him, but merely as reportage, to complete the story.It’s a grim dark story, without the mordant wit of Wambaugh (although there are some bitterly funny things in it) and overall I think it's a swing and a miss. It’s hard to care about and get involved with a gang of mopes like this. Some dazzling dialogue ( the author wrote for the HBO series ‘The Wire” and it shows) doesn’t quite make it all worth the journey.If Weegee the famous crime photographer wrote a book instead of taking photographs it might come out something like this. But the writer captures well the many layers of culture and society that churn around the LES, and if you're not from around here, that's going to be an eye opener.
  • (4/5)
    Is Price the Shakespeare of crime novels? Yes. But really I'm not that into crime novels so can't give this one five stars. It feels like a really really long episode of NYPD Blue. Price can bring the verbal pizzazz, but in the end I can't say I care about Matty Clark's personal drama and isn't what is supposed to make this better than average right?Five stars to Bobby Cannavale. His reading is superb.
  • (5/5)
    I picked up this novel once I'd finished watching my way through "The Wire." I was missing the grit and complexity of the show, and so I thought I'd investigate a novel by one of the show's screenwriters. I wasn't disappointed: although it's set in New York and not Baltimore, this book has all the rich dialogue and complicated interplay between individuals and institutions that I'd gotten accustomed to. Price's prose is dense and often lovely.
  • (2/5)
    I had high hopes for this book. I really only know Price's work from films (Clockers, Life Lessons (which is the first part of New York Stories)) and TV (The Wire), but I was looking forward to reading a book of his. I got a galley of this one (due out in March) and figured I'd give it a shot.Lush Life follows several characters around the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the wake of a murder. The characters are well drawn and three dimensional, even some of the minor characters (I'm thinking of a beat cop of Chinese descent who appears at various points in the book). It's not hard to see why Price can successfully write for a show as complex as The Wire. My complaint with this book really comes down to personal taste. The character I was least convinced by (and, therefore, least compelled by) was the father of the murder victim, who stumbles around this foreign neighborhood trying to avoid putting his life together by solving the murder. Price is fascinated by the man's grief, but I found him tiresome after only a few scenes. Perhaps this is because I'm still relatively young and don't have a kid of my own, but I couldn't access his grief. Unfortunately for me, the book lingered on him for huge stretches at a time. Lush Life is evocatively written, bringing to life a specific slice of New York, one that represents the conflict many cities face, as the tide of gentrification pushes into more and more neighborhoods. It's worth a read, especially if you're a fan of The Wire (there's a hotel in the book named The Landsman), but it didn't set my world on fire.
  • (4/5)
    When I first starting reading this book, I thought - oh, no . . . too many characters and scenarios in the first 40 pages. But between pages 50 and 75 things started to smooth out and I wound up liking this book a lot. I'm glad I stuck with it. I really got into the characters a lot more than I thought I would. Based on this book, I would pick up another title by this author.
  • (5/5)
    Cops, restaurants, actors, waiters, restaurant entrepreneurs, after-hour clubs, illegal Fukienese migrants, legal Yemeni convenience store operators, Lower East Side tenement history, coke dealing, pot dealing, teenage criminals, good kids going bad, the whole messy melting pot, *how everybody talks* ... does anybody do a large swathe of New York any better? (Definitely not Tom Wolfe)The murder plot .. yeah, well, this ain't Clockers, but who cares? It's how Price gets there.
  • (2/5)
    I heard a great interview with Richard Price on the radio when this book first come out. I was prepared to love it. Perhaps because I had to read it in little bits, I just couldn't ever enjoy it. I read the whole book, but I never cared a bit about any of the characters. I kept noticing the writing (which is beautiful and technically superior), but I don't read books just to notice how great a craftsman the author is. The premise was quite interesting and it does capture the Lower East Side, but this just wasn't too interesting, ultimately.
  • (1/5)
    I tried very hard, but just could not get into this book. All that precious yakkety-yak-yak. Nope.
  • (1/5)
    I randomly selected this book from Powell's in Portland, Oregon. It had all the appearances of being a popular, interesting, relatively fast-past diversion... unfortunately, it turned out to be a frivolous, boring, ultimately pointless waste of time. In other words, it is a typical police procedural. The story takes place in the the lower east side of Manhattan (which is apparently the center of the universe), and revolves around the meaningless murder of a meaningless character. Chapter after chapter unfolds in tandem with the dawning recognition that there is nothing - absolutely nothing - worth caring about in this stupid, idiotic story. You're welcome.
  • (4/5)
    Richard Price is a master of the American pathos. Although his perfect pitch for language and speech are his trademark, it's the underlying dreams, and aspirations, and folly, that he renders with great humor and utter precision. This book is a shining example of that rare talent.
  • (4/5)
    It's 2003, and after eight years downtown, Eric Cash is falling further and further behind in his plans to become an actor. Or a writer, Or a restauranteur. To become anything but what he is - the oldest employee at Cafe Berkmann. So if the new bartender pissed him off, who could blame him? Ike Marcus had confidence. He had hustle. Most of all, in a neighborhood where thirty is the new fifty, Ike was young. Then one evening a street kid from the "other" Lower East Side stepped up to them and pulled a gun. Ike's last words were "Not tonight, my man." At least, that's Eric's version.
  • (4/5)
    First fiction I've read in years - not much to compare it to but if I read it all the way through, that must be worth something. I picked this one up after watching all 5 seasons of The Wire in quick succession; I found myself looking for another multi-perspective crime story. But the crime story is just a frame in which to paint pictures of Manhattan's vibrant Lower East Side -- a setting rich with mismatched cultural interactions -- and for examining the creatively ambitious psychography of Generation Y.
  • (5/5)
    There’s a corpse, but this is not your daddy’s Law and Order. Price slices apart the tendons and ligaments of New York City, fussily dissecting the bubbling chaos of class, race, and human nastiness with the delicate care of a master taxidermist. He’s got an unmatched ear for dialogue and an enviably articulate voice; there’re few, if any, stylistic curlicues. Price writes with manful, broad, impatient strokes, which makes the book rocket fuel to read. But as always, he slaughters any grand heroics; deeply aware of the banality of police work, the murder case ends with a feeble sputter, the sigh of someone giving in. It’s heartbreaking, sordid and genuine. God this was good.
  • (4/5)
    A young artist living and working as a waiter in the lower East side of New York City is shot dead in a botched mugging after a night of drinking with two others from the restaurant where he works. Police mistakenly first suspect one of the drinking buddies; the murder--and the police's errant attention on the colleague--set in motion a series of turmoils around the victim's relatives and colleagues in one of the fastest-changing neighborhoods in Manhattan. The Lower East Side has always been a locus to new immigrants. At the turn of the century, Italians, Jews, and Chinese built and lived in the area's first tenements; in the 1960s public housing for African Americans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans was built along the East River. In the late 1990s artists and digital entrepreneurs began moving in, along with Chinese from Fijian province, creating yet more distinct subcultures that seldom interacted one another, unless forced to. Price exquisitely paints a riveting police procedural, against the backdrop of a neighborhood under going seismic change.
  • (5/5)
    Perfect well crafted contemporary crime. Do you like "The Wire"? Read this.