Norman Green Shooting Dr. Jack

ISBN 13: 9780060888305

Shooting Dr. Jack

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9780060888305: Shooting Dr. Jack

SHOOTING DOCTOR JACK is a stylish and powerful novel that combines the elegant economy of Elmore Leonard with the narrative fireworks of Richard Price. Now in mass market for the first time!

This is the story of three men. There's Fat Tommy Roselli, also known as Tommy Bagadonuts, whose flamboyant style and open heart belie his sharp eye for a quick deal.

Then there's Stoney, Fat Tommy's partner in a shady junk–yard business on Troutman Street, whose cynicism and brutality almost save him from his alcoholism.

Finally there's Tuco, their young, street–smart apprentice, whose bravado and cunning hide his innocence, his insecurity and his desperate desire to belong.

Three men on an inevitable collision course with violence, on "a one–way street that runs from nowhere to nowhere. A street of failures. Fall through the cracks of a better or kinder world, and you find yourself on Troutman Street." Three men in search of redemption and for each of them, there seems to be only one way out.

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Review:

It takes considerable skill to craft a gripping novel approaching 300 pages in which nothing much happens during the first 150. Fortunately for the readers of Norman Green's first book, Shooting Dr. Jack, Green's got the knack, in spades. His characters aren't drawn, they're acid-etched. His landscape, seamlessly rendered, is a gray, emotionless void:

Fall through the cracks of a better and kinder world, and you find yourself on Troutman Street. Dreams of a new world die in her sweatshops, cars and trucks die in her chop shops and junkyards, children die in her vacant lots, shooting one another for the right to sell crack on the two or three big intersections, junkies die wherever they happen to be when they shoot up--hallways, alleys, parking lots.

Tommy Rosselli, a.k.a. Fat Tommy, a.k.a. Tommy Bagadonuts, is a relatively brilliant entrepreneur who, while largely operating beyond the law, nonetheless owns a good and honest heart. Stoney, Tommy's brutal partner in a shady Brooklyn junkyard, is a smoldering alcoholic struggling to bring his body, soul, wife, and kids into some approximation of normalcy. And 18-year-old Eddie Tuco, an illiterate "Nuyorican" who works for Tommy and Stoney, faces temptation, redemption, and loss as a result.

Tommy and Stoney need to find out who left two dead teenagers in the junkyard, who killed their accountant, who ambushed Tommy in his apartment, who's been shadowing their employees, and why. Tuco does too, but he's got some demons to wrestle and scores to settle on his own. Rounding out this vision of desperation are the eponymous Dr. Jack--the name of both a drug and its dealer, which affect their users as Dr. Kevorkian affects his patients--and the junkyard's blighted Troutman Street landscape itself.

Not a mystery in the truest sense and not a thriller by most standards, Shooting Dr. Jack is both of those things and more. It's intelligent, it grabs like a vice in due course, and its dialogue and narrative resonate with urban grit and truth. --Michael Hudson

About the Author:

Norman Green reports this about himself: "I have always been careful, as Mark Twain advised, not to let schooling interfere with my education. Too careful, maybe. I have been, at various times, a truck driver, a construction worker, a project engineer, a factory rep, and a plant engineer, but never, until now, a writer." He lives in Emerson, New Jersey, with his wife, and is hard at work on his second novel.

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