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The Way Home by George Pelecanos
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The Way Home (edition 2009)

by George Pelecanos

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4192925,318 (3.58)44
Member:whiteriot
Title:The Way Home
Authors:George Pelecanos
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2009), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:washingtonDC, noir, father-son, crime

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The Way Home by George Pelecanos

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» See also 44 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Taking the synopsis at face value one would assume this was a fast moving tale of robbery and revenge, but as it turns out a fair chunk of it takes place inside a youth offenders' institution, and the main action described on the back cover is confined to the later stages. Not a criticism, but I found it difficult to concentrate in the early stages because of too many characters with names beginning with L or B that I struggled to keep track of. In terms of the incarcerated characters I assumed there were some we were meant to sympathise with and others who were frankly bang to rights, and though there was some handy signalling in this regard, I still had to go back and re-read some sections just to get all the characters straight in my head.

What I admired most about this book was the portrayal of Chris's parents and their dismay at his wayward behaviour. As the parent of a troubled teen (though nowhere near this scale!) I appreciated it and felt it was done well. On the other hand I found the story less dramatic and more plodding than I had hoped at the start. ( )
  jayne_charles | May 11, 2017 |

Redemption...A story of love between a father and son, but a sort of a clunker.

Pelecanos’s fiction has for a while now been decidedly more upbeat, less bleak and, I dare say, a little too predictable.

What's also getting on my nerves is his skewed syntax and more than a few strangely constructed sentences that stand out a mile away. And it's getting more pronounced with each book. Rush jobs for a paycheque?

It was also very preachy (like some of his late books).

While reading the book, I was expecting something to throw me off. Didn't happen. It also did not succeed in creating a memorable world full of interesting characters and a credible story-line.

It was a bit of a bore for me.
( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
Totally dig this guy ( )
  jimifenway | Feb 2, 2016 |
Characters felt real and human. Setting was accurate to the real DC and convincingly detailed. But the plot seemed like several I've seen on TV lately and there were a few moments of preaching on what must be issues of concern to the author. Prefer for the moral to arise organically from the story and not feel like I'm being beaten over the head with it. ( )
  WildMaggie | Nov 28, 2015 |
Chris Flynn has gone of the rails and has to spend time in a juvenile centre. When he is released he goes to work for dads firm laying carpet. When on a job he discovers a bag of money under some floorboards, so what is Chris going to do. Will he take the money or will he walk away.

I liked this book. I found it very easy to read and not too taxing considering it's storyline. The main character Chris is bought up in a decent home and goes wild. His dad is disappointed in him but loves him all the same. I don't think there was enough of the father -son relationship for me in the book. The story for me was more about Chris and how he tries to turn his life around.

The story is a thriller because of the life Chris lived. I felt the two baddies were like those characters from 'Home Alone' and at times were quite laughable and didn't seem real to me. There wad plenty going on in the book to hold my interest till the end.

First time for me with this author, and I have to say I haven't watched ' The Wire' . I would probably read more by this author as I felt it was an ok read. ( )
  tina1969 | Jan 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my father, Pete Pelecanos
First words
No one could say why it was called Pine Ridge.
Quotations
Last night I dreamed that I was a child
out where the pines grow wild and tall.
I was trying to make it home through the forest
before the darkness falls

- Bruce Springsteen, 'My father's House'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Beneath the floorboards in a house he's remodeling, Christopher Flynn discovers something very tempting--and troubling. Summoning every bit of maturity and every lesson he's learned the hard way, Chris leaves what he found where he found it and tells his job partner to forget it, too. Knowing trouble when he sees it--and walking the other way--is a habit Chris is still learning.

Chris's father, Thomas Flynn, runs the family business where Chris and his friends have found work. Thomas is just getting comfortable with the idea that his son is grown, and on the right path at last. Then one day Chris doesn't show up for work--and his fatner knows deep in his bones that danger has found him. Although he wishes it weren't so, he also knows that no parent can protect a child from all the world's evils. Sometimes you have to let them find their own way home.

The Way Home is the most powerful novel yet from the electrifying George Pelecanos, whose work has been compared to that of Dennis Lehane and Richard Price, writers "who push the boundaries of crime writing into literary territory" (New York Times). As profound and engrossing as Pelecano's work as a writer and producer on The Wire, The Way Home is an unforgettable novel of fathers' hopes and sons' ambitions, of love, drive, and forgiveness. [from the jacket]
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Christopher Flynn is trying to get it right. After years of trouble and rebellion that enraged his father and nearly cost him his life, he has a steady job in his father's company, he's seriously dating a woman he respects, and, aside from the distrust that lingers in his father's eyes, his mistakes are firmly in the past. One day on the job, Chris and his partner come across a temptation almost too big to resist. Chris does the right thing, but old habits and instincts rise to the surface, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With his father and his most trusted friends, he takes one last chance to blast past the demons trying to pull him back. Like Richard Price or William Kennedy, Pelecanos pushes his characters to the extremes, their redemption that much sweeter because it is so hard fought. Pelecanos has long been celebrated for his unerring ability to portray the conflicts men feel as they search and struggle for power and love in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving but can ultimately be filled with beauty.… (more)

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