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Low Town 01 - The Straight Razor Cure by…
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Low Town 01 - The Straight Razor Cure (edition 2011)

by Daniel Polansky

Series: Low Town (1)

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134None89,299 (3.62)25
Member:drachenbraut23
Title:Low Town 01 - The Straight Razor Cure
Authors:Daniel Polansky
Info:Hodder Export (2011), Paperback
Collections:Your library, 2013
Rating:****
Tags:Fantasy

Work details

Low Town: A novel by Daniel Polansky

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Please note: I read this in June 2011 from a copy I received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

About the Story: In "Low Town," Daniel Polansky has done something few authors have done - taken a noir mystery thriller and placed it in a fantasy world. I've only seen one other author make use of this type of story-telling idea, and have no idea why, because it is really a fabulous idea that allows a much broader range of ideas to be expressed. Low Town has it all - drugs, vice, violence - and sorcery.

My Synopsis: Known as The Warden, the main character (a true anti-hero if I ever met one) has run Low Town's drug trade by himself for the five years since he was pushed out of Black House (the secret police), where he had worked since after the Dren wars. However, his established routine is shaken up by the disappearance and then murder of a young girl - ending up in the limelight after finding her body, he is forced to ally himself with Black House in order to try to stop further murders.

My Thoughts and Recommendations: This was an amazing book and there is a twist at the end that I never once saw coming - it was very well done and I have to congratulate the author on so successfully fooling me. The characters are all well-done with developed personalities and separate natures, even if they are minor characters - this is always a trait I much admire in a writer. Overall, this is a must-read for fantasy, mystery, thriller, suspense AND noir fans - definitely pick this one up! ( )
  Katyas | May 6, 2013 |
testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing testing
  miketopper | Mar 29, 2013 |
A pretty good debut novel. It is refreshing to have a tightly focused fantasy novel instead of the vast sprawling epics that seem so popular at the moment. I did enjoy most of the story and the central character, Warden, was interesting. Unfortunately the other characters were not as well developed. Also some of the clues to the mystery were heavily signposted to the reader. I will pick up the next in the series though and look forward to learning more about Warden and his world. ( )
  calm | Feb 15, 2013 |
[Low Town] by [[Daniel Polansky]] was a good read, and an impressive debut in the fantasy field. The main character is Warden, a 30-something drug dealer, and part-time user, who once was a good guy cop-type but ran afoul of the powers that be. The book is an interesting combination of crime novel and gritty fantasy that reminded me somehow of [[Patrick Rothfuss]]'s books. A friend convinces Warden to take on investigating the murder of a girl which the powers that be would just as soon ignore. It turns out her murder is just part of a larger sordid plan.
.
Most of the characters are fairly standard fare, like a large, intimidating innkeeper, a kind wizard, and so on. Warden is more complex, and will be worth following in sequels, which seem to be contemplated - although this one is totally a standalone. Polansky's pulled together some familiar and not-so-familiar elements into a very entertaining story. It's a standout in this genre and a good time for those who enjoy this kind of novel. ( )
3 vote jnwelch | Jan 31, 2013 |
“I remember the lightning in the air, and the lovers bidding goodbye to each other in the streets, and I can tell you what I think. We went to war because going to war is fun, because there's something in the human breast that trills at the thought, although perhaps not the reality, of murdering its fellows in vast numbers. Fighting a war ain't fun - fighting a war is pretty miserable. But starting a war? Hell, starting a war is better than a night floating on daeva's honey.”

This was definately a very enjoyable read, gritty, dark, compelling. More or less a fascinating crime story packed into a fantasy environment. Low Town is an ugly, dirty city full of violence where crime rules the day and the night.The main character Warden, who was once a soldier, then a special service agent, now a drug dealer, addicted to his own products, fits this environment perfectly. He is an ugly man with violent tendencies, but when you look underneath all these disturbing qualities you find an intelligent, determined and very fascinating character. Mostly, I loved his humour and sarcasm which was ever present, and the skilled observations he made of others were very colourful.

Then a child, he knows, gets murdered and he is drawn into the investigations. Unfortunately, after a second child gets murdered he comes under suspicion himself and therefore he has to continue the investigations to save his own hide, and to protect himself from further attention from the authorities of the city. Although, Low Town is a city of low morals and his own rules, the killing of the children stirs the city into action.
There was some use of magic in this story, but it was more less low key, which worked well for the pace and the setting of the story.
I can recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories who are a bit more gritty with flawed, interesting characters. ( )
2 vote drachenbraut23 | Jan 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
The first chapter of Low Town, Daniel Polansky’s debut novel, opens with a piss and closes with a puke. Between the two are terse introductions to thugs, pimps, pushers, and Low Town itself, the corrupt borough they infest. All this would be standard if Low Town were just a hardboiled detective yarn. It’s not. Instead, Polansky transplants his love of crime noir into a magic-steeped, secondary-world fantasy setting. It’s an inherently troublesome mash-up that could only work in the hands of a silly satirist or a deft, sensitive dramatist with the blackest sense of humor. Polansky is wholeheartedly the latter—and Low Town is brilliant proof.
added by ShelfMonkey | editThe AV Club, Jason Heller (Aug 24, 2011)
 
A strong debut novel with a hero who doesn’t waste time worrying about the moral implications of cutting someone’s throat.
added by ShelfMonkey | editKirkus Reviews (Jul 1, 2011)
 
Polansky hits all the right notes in his intelligent first novel, a blend of dystopian fantasy and hard-boiled crime . . . Sharp, noir-tinged dialogue and astute insights into class struggle mark Polansky as a writer with a future.
added by ShelfMonkey | editPublishers Weekly (Jun 6, 2011)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385534469, Hardcover)

Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.

In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.

Daniel Polansky has crafted a thrilling novel steeped in noir sensibilities and relentless action, and set in an original world of stunning imagination, leading to a gut-wrenching, unforeseeable conclusion. Low Town is an attention-grabbing debut that will leave readers riveted . . . and hun­gry for more.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, is Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its champion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition. The Warden's life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his discovery of a murdered child down a dead-end street, setting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House--the secret police--he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn't get investigated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psychotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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