A Fifth of Bruen: Early Crime Fiction of Ken Bruen

Open Road Media
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A collection of novellas and stories from Shamus Award winner Ken Bruen, author of the Jack Taylor series and the “godfather of the modern Irish crime novel” (The Irish Times).

An Irishman with an ebullient love of life draws inspiration from the literature and poetry of death. A born loser with an “ex-wife, an ex-child, and no excuses” accompanies his alcoholic brother on a startling plunge into liberating despair. A self-styled vigilante avenges the death of his wife and child by waging a one-man war against the London underworld. A whiskey-sotted cleric sets out to battle his sexual demons with a resolve that borders on the malevolent.

“Nobody writes like Ken Bruen,” says the New York Times Book Review, and here, the author of The Emerald Lie and The Guards offers a taste of his wide-ranging skills. With his acrid barstool wit, literary allusions, and gut-punching twists, Bruen captures the Irish state of mind with bracing authenticity. Now, enthusiasts of his long-running series featuring Irish PI Jack Taylor—seven of which have been adapted for the screen—and new fans alike can discover Bruen’s early works in an omnibus shaded with the crazy, violent, and melancholy poetry that has become his trademark.

Hailed by the Los Angeles Book Review as one of “the most original and innovative noir voices of the last two decades,” Bruen is a two-time Shamus Award winner, an Edgar Award finalist, and a recipient of the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière.

A Fifth of Bruen includes: Funeral: Tales of Irish Morbidities, Martyrs, Shades of Grace, Sherry and Other Stories, All the Old Songs and Nothing to Lose, and The Time of Serena May &Upon the Third Cross.
 
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About the author

Ken Bruen (b. 1951) is one of the most prominent Irish crime writers of the last two decades. Born in Galway, he spent twenty-five years traveling the world before he began writing in the mid 1990s. As an English teacher, Bruen worked in South Africa, Japan, and South America, where he once spent a short time in a Brazilian jail. He has two long-running series: one starring a disgraced former policeman named Jack Taylor, the other a London police detective named Inspector Brant. Praised for their sharp insight into the darker side of today’s prosperous Ireland, Bruen’s novels are marked by grim atmosphere and clipped prose. Among the best known are his White Trilogy (1998–2000) and The Guards (2001), the Shamus award­–winning first novel in the Jack Taylor series. Along with his wife and daughter, Bruen continues to live and work in Galway.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Feb 28, 2017
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Pages
365
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ISBN
9781504042543
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Collections & Anthologies
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Hard-Boiled
Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The biggest, the boldest, the most comprehensive collection of Pulp writing ever assembled.

 

Weighing in at over a thousand pages, containing over forty-seven stories and two novels, this book is big baby, bigger and more powerful than a freight train—a bullet couldn’t pass through it. Here are the best stories and every major writer who ever appeared in celebrated Pulps like Black Mask, Dime Detective, Detective Fiction Weekly, and more. These are the classic tales that created the genre and gave birth to hard-hitting detectives who smoke criminals like packs of cigarettes; sultry dames whose looks are as lethal as a dagger to the chest; and gin-soaked hideouts where conversations are just preludes to murder. This is crime fiction at its gritty best.

 

Including:

 

• Three stories by Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Dashiell Hammett.

• Complete novels from Carroll John Daly, the man who invented the hard-boiled detective, and Fredrick Nebel,

one of the masters of the form.

• A never before published Dashiell Hammett story.

• Every other major pulp writer of the time, including Paul Cain, Steve Fisher, James M. Cain, Horace McCoy, and many

many more of whom you’ve probably never heard.

• Three deadly sections–The Crimefighters, The Villains, and Dames–with three unstoppable introductions by Harlan Coben,

Harlan Ellison, and Laura Lippman

 

Featuring:

 

• Plenty of reasons for murder, all of them good.

• A kid so smart–he’ll die of it.

• A soft-hearted loan shark’s legman learning–the hard way–never to buy a strange blonde a hamburger.

• The uncanny “Moon Man” and his mad-money victims.

In celebration of our 20th anniversary, Poisoned Pen Press has commissioned original short stories from thirty-five of its authors, past and present. Some names will be immediately recognizable to mystery aficionados-Kerry Greenwood with her Phryne Fisher mysteries, now also a popular television program, or Laurie R. King who has charmed Sherlockians worldwide with her beloved Mary Russell series. Some have gone on to big deals with the big leagues-Carolyn Wall, whose debut novel, Sweeping Up Glass, was purchased by Penguin Random House, or James Sallis, whose novella, Drive, was critically acclaimed and made into major motion picture starring Ryan Gosling. Several have been translated into other languages with foreign publishers. Some authors have been on hiatus, and are writing something new for the first time in years. Most have remained comfortably ensconced with us here at the Press, enjoying a modicum of fame and a steadily growing base of loyal readers who eagerly anticipate their next-in-series. This anthology celebrates our authors, their talent, and their diversity. Some have chosen to feature characters well-established within their own series-protagonists, supporting cast, and even one villain-turned-hero. Others have gone in totally different directions, inventing new characters and going dark or cozy for the first time, with chilling and delightful results. Yet as different as these authors and their stories are, they all share a common passion for finely crafted tales of crime and murder. From Greece to Italy, India to Australia, Great Britain to Canada; from the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest and New Mexico to the Savannah low country, they are a community Bound by Mystery, and we are proud to present their short fiction to you for the first time ever.
Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda Síochána—the Guards, Ireland's police force—and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. In his sober moments Jack aspires to become Ireland's best private investigator, not to mention its first—Irish history, full of betrayal and espionage, discourages any profession so closely related to informing. But in truth Jack is teetering on the brink of his life's sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future nonexistent.

Nonexistent, that is, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack's talent for finding things. Odds are he won't be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved with his radiant new client, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he's getting into.

Stark, violent, sharp, and funny, The Guards is an exceptional novel, one that leaves you stunned and breathless, flipping back to the beginning in a mad dash to find Jack Taylor and enter his world all over again. It's an unforgettable story that's gritty, absorbing, and saturated with the rough-edged rhythms of the Galway streets. Praised by authors and critics around the globe, The Guards heralds the arrival of an essential new novelist in contemporary crime fiction.

Ken Bruen's The Guards is a 2004 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel.

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