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Samaritan

by

Samaritan Cover

 

Awards

Entertainment Weekly's Best Book of 2003

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

After a lucrative television writing career comes to an abrupt end, ex-high school teacher Ray Mitchell returns to the New Jersey city of his birth — to rethink his life, reconnect with his teenage daughter, and to spread the wealth on the housing project that reared him. He begins teaching again, embarks on an affair with a married woman from the old neighborhood, and becomes a mentor to a former student recently released from jail.

Then, disaster: he is found beaten nearly to death in his own apartment. He knows who did it, but he's not talking, and he refuses to press charges.

It is up to Detective Nerese Ammons — a childhood acquaintance from the projects — to get Ray to tell her what happened.

Alternating between investigations of the people in Ray's life most likely to do him harm and listening to his fevered ramblings about their shared past as he slips in and out of consciousness, Nerese is charged not only with uncovering the perpetrator of this assault but with understanding what kind of victim is more afraid of the truth than of his potential murderer.

The Washington Post Book World has hailed Richard Price as having "the best equipment a novelist can have — that combination of muscularity, insight and compassion we might call heart." Samaritan is an electrifying story of crime and punishment, of character and place, of children and their keepers — a novel of literary suspense that explores what happens when, caught up in the drama of one's own generosity, too little is given, too little is understood, and the results threaten to prove both tragic and deadly.

Review:

"The mastery of urban melodrama that Price demonstrated in literate blockbusters like Clockers and Freedomland keeps growing and deepening....Magnificent stuff. If Elmore Leonard broke out of genre and were 30 years younger, he'd be Richard Price." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[T]o call it a thriller would be selling it short....The author's forte has always been characterization, and Samaritan can be read by aspiring authors as a note-perfect example of how to make fictional characters jump off the page. (Grade: A)" Tom Sinclair, Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"I read Richard Price for the cool, spare sound of his writing, his words, the language he has in his bag that fits so exactly in his settings. The characters talk the talk; the main one, Nerese Ammons, a gem, 20 years a cop in the NY-NJ iron triangle, lays open the plot, scene after scene, at a beautiful pace. Richard Price has written a terrific novel." Elmore Leonard

Review:

"Samaritan blew my mind....I don't think anyone ever sent me a book in hopes of a comment that was this good....An absolutely riveting story. The reader is hooked from the first page." Stephen King

Review:

"Richard Price's Samaritan is gripping, ambitious, and resonant entertainment, everything you hope to find in an American novel and so rarely do. This is the work of a fiercely honest writer at the top of his game." George Pelecanos, author of Hell to Pay

Review:

"[A] sprawling cast of highly cinematic characters, an air of pungent menace, a full-to-bursting package held together by a strong, suspenseful plot." Mark Costello, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Richard Price's most insightful urban drama yet....[A] whodunit of the highest order....Thanks to his vivid documentary-like prose, readers feel what it's like to ride the faulty housing project elevators, to inhale the reek of cigarettes and urine in cinderblock halls." John Freeman, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"Giving new meaning to the term 'inner city,' Price yields up not just the familiar, blanched moonscape of urban blight but the inner lives and jackhammering hearts of those who pace and patrol it." The New Yorker

Review:

"[T]he voices of the individual characters in Samaritan (as in the two novels that preceded it) are as vivid and immediate as anything offered by his peers, and Price's own voice resonates through these books with a unique combination of weariness and urgency....[I]t seems to me that in reporting on some of society's bedrock institutions (in this case, prisons and the police) and on communities that many of us are either cut off from or see solely in terms of social problems (thus robbing the inhabitants of their individuality) Price is doing work that we should expect from our major novelists....Price focuses on making all his characters vivid, not just Ray and Nerese but the ones who float through a single scene....The characters come alive in a few paragraphs and remain living presences after they depart. And despite a few passages of purely expository dialogue, Price has an ear that is near faultless....Price is trodding on explosive territory. As a good novelist should, even one addressing social issues, Price avoids ideology. And though Samaritan is his bleakest book, you put it down convinced he is trying to find, in the midst of racial and economic divisions, the things that we share. He's the reporter-novelist as despairing humanist." Charles Taylor, Salon.com

Review:

"Nobody does urban grit better than Price....[Samaritan] doesn't belie that claim, but it isn't his best, despite some wonderful writing....[W]hile many will enjoy as well as admire the novel, most won't be blown away by it." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Whether celebrating black culture or the struggle of the white working class — his signature themes — [Price] proves himself to be one of our best chroniclers of big-city experience." Paul Evans, Book magazine

Review:

"The crime-solving framework pulls us forward but is unencumbered by the pedantic detail of a police procedural, and the depth of the characterizations is magnificent....Superb." Keir Graff, Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"A whodunit with substance and suspense....Price is known for terrific dialogue, and there are moments when you feel as if you are listening to [his characters] speak, not just reading words on a page." Anne Stephenson, USA Today

Review:

"Powerful....Wise....The novel is alive because writers like Price are crafting books like Samaritan..." Richard Lecayo, Time

Review:

"Price has a great way with dialogue, [and] a better-developed-than-usual sense of structure....Anyone who thinks fiction or literature too small a shelf to include the other stands to learn a lot from Richard Price." David Kipen, San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Engaging...provocative....Price has a fine ear for the subtle tension between sentimentality and real devotion, and he understands the way that chronic black poverty plays into the needs of 'the selflessly selfish.'" Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"A whodunit only in format, Samaritan is that rarity, a novel of race relations written with authority, panache and heart." Dan Cryer, Newsday

Review:

"The perfect pace of a superb storyteller is but one of the gifts Mr. Price brings to Samaritan. Razor-sharp dialogue is another....It all makes for an extraordinary novel, with the gritty plot of a hard-edged thriller and the cosmic concerns of a streetcorner Dostoyevsky." Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal

Review:

"On the narrative journey from mystery to resolution, Price demonstrates his usual gifts for dialogue, detail and empathetic portraiture....When a novelist stays that close to the ground, there is no confusing illusion with actuality." Samuel G. Freedman, Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Richard Price is, without a doubt, one of our greatest living novelists. His voice is comic, skeptical, and at all times, deeply humane. Samaritan is a masterpiece, a novel that is actually about — surprise of surprises — the world we live in now. Violent, tender, hilarious, and heartbreaking, it is a world that, in Price's hands, is so ably rendered that even its smallest truths attain the power of universal myth." Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River

Review:

"It seems to me that Richard Price has taken his gifts for rendering human speech and for describing the jittery uncertainty of life at the bottom, and created a narrative filled with the sweet despair such as would come from angels looking down on us and watching us suffer." Scott Spencer, author of A Ship Made of Paper

Review:

"The great literature of the world is derived from the mean streets, and no American writer knows them better, or can drive a story line harder, than Richard Price. Samaritan burns, not only with stylistic eloquence but with relentless certainty — from each richly evocative scene, each amazingly felt character, to the next. Price writes the way an architect builds, sketching out his plan, thinking it over to the most minute details. Thus the foundations of Samaritan are so fundamentally valid that its presentation is a masterpiece of the form. Price has artfully concealed a haunting treatise on the nuances and ambiguities of human decency, compassion, and generosity in the guise of a superlative thriller. Samaritan is Price's best book to date." Thom Jones, author of The Pugilist at Rest

Review:

"One has come to expect from Richard Price, the most brilliant of sardonic ironists, an eye for revelation in the commonplace, even a kind of modern social history. But Samaritan is also a subtle story of seduction and abandonment, of the dangerous luxury of responsibility, and the risks that are inevitable when one is capable of love." Susanna Moore, author of In the Cut

Synopsis:

From the author of the bestselling Clockers and Freedomland comes a brilliant new novel of literary suspense — a story of crime, punishment, and the impulse to do good. Samaritan explores what happens when, caught up in the drama of one's own generosity, too little is given, too little is understood, and the result turns both tragic and potentially deadly.

About the Author

Richard Price is the author of six previous novels, including the national best-sellers Freedomland and Clockers, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1999 he received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His fiction, articles and essays have appeared in Best American Essays 2002, the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Esquire, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. He has also written numerous screenplays, including Sea of Love, Ransom, and The Color of Money. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter Judith Hudson, and his two daughters.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375411151
Author:
Price, Richard
Publisher:
Random House
Location:
New York
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Police
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
High school teachers
Subject:
New jersey
Subject:
Policewomen
Subject:
Victims of violent crimes
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
062-02
Publication Date:
January 2003
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
377 p.
Dimensions:
9.04x7.00x1.37 in. 1.66 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

Samaritan Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 377 p. pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780375411151 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The mastery of urban melodrama that Price demonstrated in literate blockbusters like Clockers and Freedomland keeps growing and deepening....Magnificent stuff. If Elmore Leonard broke out of genre and were 30 years younger, he'd be Richard Price."
"Review" by , "[T]o call it a thriller would be selling it short....The author's forte has always been characterization, and Samaritan can be read by aspiring authors as a note-perfect example of how to make fictional characters jump off the page. (Grade: A)"
"Review" by , "I read Richard Price for the cool, spare sound of his writing, his words, the language he has in his bag that fits so exactly in his settings. The characters talk the talk; the main one, Nerese Ammons, a gem, 20 years a cop in the NY-NJ iron triangle, lays open the plot, scene after scene, at a beautiful pace. Richard Price has written a terrific novel."
"Review" by , "Samaritan blew my mind....I don't think anyone ever sent me a book in hopes of a comment that was this good....An absolutely riveting story. The reader is hooked from the first page."
"Review" by , "Richard Price's Samaritan is gripping, ambitious, and resonant entertainment, everything you hope to find in an American novel and so rarely do. This is the work of a fiercely honest writer at the top of his game."
"Review" by , "[A] sprawling cast of highly cinematic characters, an air of pungent menace, a full-to-bursting package held together by a strong, suspenseful plot."
"Review" by , "Richard Price's most insightful urban drama yet....[A] whodunit of the highest order....Thanks to his vivid documentary-like prose, readers feel what it's like to ride the faulty housing project elevators, to inhale the reek of cigarettes and urine in cinderblock halls."
"Review" by , "Giving new meaning to the term 'inner city,' Price yields up not just the familiar, blanched moonscape of urban blight but the inner lives and jackhammering hearts of those who pace and patrol it."
"Review" by , "[T]he voices of the individual characters in Samaritan (as in the two novels that preceded it) are as vivid and immediate as anything offered by his peers, and Price's own voice resonates through these books with a unique combination of weariness and urgency....[I]t seems to me that in reporting on some of society's bedrock institutions (in this case, prisons and the police) and on communities that many of us are either cut off from or see solely in terms of social problems (thus robbing the inhabitants of their individuality) Price is doing work that we should expect from our major novelists....Price focuses on making all his characters vivid, not just Ray and Nerese but the ones who float through a single scene....The characters come alive in a few paragraphs and remain living presences after they depart. And despite a few passages of purely expository dialogue, Price has an ear that is near faultless....Price is trodding on explosive territory. As a good novelist should, even one addressing social issues, Price avoids ideology. And though Samaritan is his bleakest book, you put it down convinced he is trying to find, in the midst of racial and economic divisions, the things that we share. He's the reporter-novelist as despairing humanist."
"Review" by , "Nobody does urban grit better than Price....[Samaritan] doesn't belie that claim, but it isn't his best, despite some wonderful writing....[W]hile many will enjoy as well as admire the novel, most won't be blown away by it."
"Review" by , "Whether celebrating black culture or the struggle of the white working class — his signature themes — [Price] proves himself to be one of our best chroniclers of big-city experience."
"Review" by , "The crime-solving framework pulls us forward but is unencumbered by the pedantic detail of a police procedural, and the depth of the characterizations is magnificent....Superb."
"Review" by , "A whodunit with substance and suspense....Price is known for terrific dialogue, and there are moments when you feel as if you are listening to [his characters] speak, not just reading words on a page."
"Review" by , "Powerful....Wise....The novel is alive because writers like Price are crafting books like Samaritan..."
"Review" by , "Price has a great way with dialogue, [and] a better-developed-than-usual sense of structure....Anyone who thinks fiction or literature too small a shelf to include the other stands to learn a lot from Richard Price."
"Review" by , "Engaging...provocative....Price has a fine ear for the subtle tension between sentimentality and real devotion, and he understands the way that chronic black poverty plays into the needs of 'the selflessly selfish.'"
"Review" by , "A whodunit only in format, Samaritan is that rarity, a novel of race relations written with authority, panache and heart."
"Review" by , "The perfect pace of a superb storyteller is but one of the gifts Mr. Price brings to Samaritan. Razor-sharp dialogue is another....It all makes for an extraordinary novel, with the gritty plot of a hard-edged thriller and the cosmic concerns of a streetcorner Dostoyevsky."
"Review" by , "On the narrative journey from mystery to resolution, Price demonstrates his usual gifts for dialogue, detail and empathetic portraiture....When a novelist stays that close to the ground, there is no confusing illusion with actuality."
"Review" by , "Richard Price is, without a doubt, one of our greatest living novelists. His voice is comic, skeptical, and at all times, deeply humane. Samaritan is a masterpiece, a novel that is actually about — surprise of surprises — the world we live in now. Violent, tender, hilarious, and heartbreaking, it is a world that, in Price's hands, is so ably rendered that even its smallest truths attain the power of universal myth."
"Review" by , "It seems to me that Richard Price has taken his gifts for rendering human speech and for describing the jittery uncertainty of life at the bottom, and created a narrative filled with the sweet despair such as would come from angels looking down on us and watching us suffer."
"Review" by , "The great literature of the world is derived from the mean streets, and no American writer knows them better, or can drive a story line harder, than Richard Price. Samaritan burns, not only with stylistic eloquence but with relentless certainty — from each richly evocative scene, each amazingly felt character, to the next. Price writes the way an architect builds, sketching out his plan, thinking it over to the most minute details. Thus the foundations of Samaritan are so fundamentally valid that its presentation is a masterpiece of the form. Price has artfully concealed a haunting treatise on the nuances and ambiguities of human decency, compassion, and generosity in the guise of a superlative thriller. Samaritan is Price's best book to date."
"Review" by , "One has come to expect from Richard Price, the most brilliant of sardonic ironists, an eye for revelation in the commonplace, even a kind of modern social history. But Samaritan is also a subtle story of seduction and abandonment, of the dangerous luxury of responsibility, and the risks that are inevitable when one is capable of love."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the bestselling Clockers and Freedomland comes a brilliant new novel of literary suspense — a story of crime, punishment, and the impulse to do good. Samaritan explores what happens when, caught up in the drama of one's own generosity, too little is given, too little is understood, and the result turns both tragic and potentially deadly.
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