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The Terror of Living

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The Terror of Living Cover

ISBN13: 9780316097895
ISBN10: 0316097896
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

Make sure you've got a few hours to kill the moment you pick up this book. Urban Waite has produced a breathlessly paced debut that's over-the-top in the best possible way, featuring a villain who's one of the most brutal, real, and haunting characters I've encountered, ever.
Recommended by Megan, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"If the phrase 'literary thriller' makes some of us wince, it's from fear of what some wise guy called 'more writin' than readin'.' But in The Terror of Living, Urban Waite's strong debut novel, that label is no oxymoron. In this case 'literary' means assured and skillful prose that explores more than a Looney Tunes view of good vs. evil, and primary characters far more nuanced than Popeye and Bluto, or Bond and Goldfinger." Katherine Dunn, The Oregonian (Read the entire Oregonian review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Phil Hunt is in deep trouble.

Hunt is on the run from two men: Drake, the deputy sheriff who intends to catch him, and Grady, the vicious hitman who means to kill him.

For twenty years Hunt has lived in Washington State, raising horses with his wife on his small farm. He's tried to stay out of trouble, wanting only to make a living and taking the occasional illicit job in order to do so.

Then his last delivery goes horribly wrong, and the chase is on from the mountains down into the Puget lowlands. To have any chance of rescuing his quiet life, Hunt will have to deal with deputy sheriff Bobby Drake, a good man determined to make up for his father's tainted legacy and Grady Fisher, a very bad man intent on making a name for himself in the most violent ways. With a fondness for blood, Grady takes pleasure in the use of knives, taking Hunt's life apart piece by piece, all the while leaving a trail of victims across the state.

Relentless and gorgeously written, with original characters and a vividly powerful sense of place, The Terror of Living heralds the arrival of a writer who will be compared with the great suspense novelists.

Review:

"Drug smuggling in the Pacific Northwest provides the backdrop for Waite's promising debut. Phil Hunt leads a quiet life with his wife, Nora, raising horses near Auburn, Wash., except when he's helping make drug deliveries through the mountains to Canada. Twenty years earlier, Phil killed a man during a botched robbery, and though he did his time, he's still serving the emotional sentence. Living in nearby Silver Lake is deputy Bobby Drake, the son of a legendary lawman who got arrested smuggling drugs just like Phil. Disaster results after Bobby, who hasn't seen the elder Drake in 10 years, inadvertently stumbles on Phil and his new partner during the middle of a drug exchange. Soon, Phil is on the run not only from the law but also a ruthless assassin sent by the smugglers. Waite eloquently depicts men in turmoil for whom the choice isn't necessarily between right and wrong but where to draw the line. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

"In a blood-spattered chase that winds from the Cascade Mountains in Central Washington to Seattle and back again, first-novelist Waite never eases the throttle, but even at high speed, it's the interplay between the characters that gives the novel its power. An outstanding debut." Booklist (starred review)

Review:

"[T]he meticulously calibrated prose, rushing narrative and sympathetic protagonists mark Waite as a rewarding, promising writer." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A hell of a good novel, relentlessly paced and beautifully narrated. There's just no let-up. An auspicious debut." Stephen King

Review:

"In the tradition of No Country for Old Men, Urban Waite has written a nail-biter that takes off from the get-go and never stops, a book chock full of memorable characters and kick-ass writing. Clear your calendar before reading this one, folks, because once you start there's no stopping until the end, which arrived much too quickly for this reader. A smashing debut." Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Review:

"The Terror of Living is a smart, swiftly-paced and bloody Western for our moment. Urban Waite is a writer who won't let a reader wander away — he keeps you reading, and reading, and rewards all your attention with a powerhouse story and prose to match." Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone and The Bayou Trilogy

Synopsis:

Phil Hunt supports his family by guiding an occasional illicit delivery through mountain passes he's known since birth. Bobby Drake is a sheriff who is living down the legacy of his father. The two men's paths cross in the mountains north of Seattle, when Drake ends up disrupting a shipment.

Video

About the Author

Urban Waite, 30 years old, grew up in Seattle and attended the University of Washington. He went on to study writing at Western Washington University and Emerson College and now lives in Seattle with his wife. The Terror of Living is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

kitten60, June 8, 2011 (view all comments by kitten60)
the terror of Living is one of the best books I have read in my 66 years. I put my first edition on my SAVE bookshelf. Although hyperbole is often part of book reviews, I believe that this writer will become famous. His originality, gorgeous writing and feeling for suspense have me enthralled.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
skink, April 9, 2011 (view all comments by skink)
I bought this from Powells because it was heavily promoted and came with heavyweight comments on the cover - Steven King et al. It name checks 'No Country for Old Men' on the jacket, and the author thanks Cormac McCarthy in the afterword, but at what point does homage become plagiarism? It follows the same basic plot - drug smuggling deal goes wrong and hitman chases lovable loser who is holding the stash. Kind-hearted sheriff tries to stop the inevitable.

Waite swaps the Mexican border for the Canadian, replaces the desert with the forest, changes the hitman with the bolt gun to an assassin with a set of steak knives, Mexican gangsters for Vietnamese, and pastes verbatim the telephone conversation between the hunter and hunted: 'You know who this is.' He does however change things around by inserting the airport runway shootout from the movie 'Heat'

It's a pity, because Waite is a skilled wordsmith, but really, why didn't he put in a secret Masonic Code and a tattooed computer hacker and cover all his bases?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Mariposakg, February 15, 2011 (view all comments by Mariposakg)
I haven't read it yet, I usually read about the auther before I buy his book and from the interview he did with Powell's it looks like I'm going to have to read it!
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316097895
Author:
Waite, Urban
Publisher:
Little Brown and Company
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
Drug traffic
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Publication Date:
20110231
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
320

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Adventure
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

The Terror of Living Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316097895 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Make sure you've got a few hours to kill the moment you pick up this book. Urban Waite has produced a breathlessly paced debut that's over-the-top in the best possible way, featuring a villain who's one of the most brutal, real, and haunting characters I've encountered, ever.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Drug smuggling in the Pacific Northwest provides the backdrop for Waite's promising debut. Phil Hunt leads a quiet life with his wife, Nora, raising horses near Auburn, Wash., except when he's helping make drug deliveries through the mountains to Canada. Twenty years earlier, Phil killed a man during a botched robbery, and though he did his time, he's still serving the emotional sentence. Living in nearby Silver Lake is deputy Bobby Drake, the son of a legendary lawman who got arrested smuggling drugs just like Phil. Disaster results after Bobby, who hasn't seen the elder Drake in 10 years, inadvertently stumbles on Phil and his new partner during the middle of a drug exchange. Soon, Phil is on the run not only from the law but also a ruthless assassin sent by the smugglers. Waite eloquently depicts men in turmoil for whom the choice isn't necessarily between right and wrong but where to draw the line. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review A Day" by , "If the phrase 'literary thriller' makes some of us wince, it's from fear of what some wise guy called 'more writin' than readin'.' But in The Terror of Living, Urban Waite's strong debut novel, that label is no oxymoron. In this case 'literary' means assured and skillful prose that explores more than a Looney Tunes view of good vs. evil, and primary characters far more nuanced than Popeye and Bluto, or Bond and Goldfinger." (Read the entire Oregonian review)
"Review" by , "In a blood-spattered chase that winds from the Cascade Mountains in Central Washington to Seattle and back again, first-novelist Waite never eases the throttle, but even at high speed, it's the interplay between the characters that gives the novel its power. An outstanding debut."
"Review" by , "[T]he meticulously calibrated prose, rushing narrative and sympathetic protagonists mark Waite as a rewarding, promising writer."
"Review" by , "A hell of a good novel, relentlessly paced and beautifully narrated. There's just no let-up. An auspicious debut."
"Review" by , "In the tradition of No Country for Old Men, Urban Waite has written a nail-biter that takes off from the get-go and never stops, a book chock full of memorable characters and kick-ass writing. Clear your calendar before reading this one, folks, because once you start there's no stopping until the end, which arrived much too quickly for this reader. A smashing debut."
"Review" by , "The Terror of Living is a smart, swiftly-paced and bloody Western for our moment. Urban Waite is a writer who won't let a reader wander away — he keeps you reading, and reading, and rewards all your attention with a powerhouse story and prose to match."
"Synopsis" by , Phil Hunt supports his family by guiding an occasional illicit delivery through mountain passes he's known since birth. Bobby Drake is a sheriff who is living down the legacy of his father. The two men's paths cross in the mountains north of Seattle, when Drake ends up disrupting a shipment.
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