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D.B.: A Novel Hardcover – July 13, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Reid, the author of a story collection (What Salmon Know) and a football novel (If I Don't Six), here tackles the real-life 1971 case of notorious skyjacker D.B. Cooper. The novel is a hit-or-miss effort, made memorable by athletic prose and forgettable by a meandering plot. Cooper, who was never apprehended, is in this telling a Vietnam vet named Fitch, a man so disillusioned with his life that he decides to risk everything on one big criminal gamble. The plan is successful, and Cooper/Fitch reaps nearly a quarter of a million dollars before parachuting from the Boeing 727 straight into legend. His nomadic existence in Mexico is intercut with scenes from the life of Frank Marshall, a retired FBI agent who was among the many pursuers stymied by Fitch's disappearance. In the middle of the book, particularly, atmosphere and delayed flashback take center stage and the story suffers. Every minor character is provided with an exhaustive list of quirky traits and the inevitable meshing of the two plot lines is stalled for too long. The novel's denouement, however, is handled with alacrity and will reward the persistent reader.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Reid’s previous novels earned him comparisons to Joseph Conrad and Raymond Carver. With powerful prose, he invites readers to witness the exploits of two men struggling to come to terms with their place in the world. Most critics agree that Reid pulls off that major task successfully, but The Oregonian remains unimpressed with the secondary story of D.B.’s nemesis. Still, D.B., more of a psychological drama than a dramatic thriller, is an effective cautionary tale for anyone who’s ever daydreamed of opting out of the rat race.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (July 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385497385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385497381
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,720,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on July 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Admittedly, I'm biased. I've been a Reid fan for years. His hard-boiled, testosterone-filled stuff is exactly the kind of literature I thrive on, particularly because there isn't much of it out there.
So Reid fans will find all of that - plenty of beer, more than a few stops at beaten-up trailers, and some good old fashioned violence, but the pleasant surprise was Reid's humor, which has been turned up to the Nth degree.
Don't get me wrong - Reid's always been a clever writer, but it was more of the type of humor where you caught yourself smiling. There are passages in this book that are gut-splitting hilarious. I'm not going to quote them - if I was a real reviewer, I would, but this is just a guy talking about a book here. But it was great to see a new weapon in Reid's already potent arsenal.
In What Salmon Know, Reid proved himself to be a brilliant writer. In Midnight Sun, he came across as a brilliant writer learning to write a novel (which was still better than most other authors). In DB, he proves his mastery of the medium. Awesome stuff, Elwood!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Standiford VINE VOICE on November 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What a great idea! A novel that takes on the legend of D.B. Cooper. What if he did survive? Where did he go and what did he do? That's half of this interesting book by Elwood Reid and by far the best half of the book. He has created a great historical fiction character that was worth the price of this book.

Unfortunately, the story of D.B. in this book gets intertwined with the life of a newly retired FBI officer who was actually on the Cooper case when it happened. Years later, immediately after retiring he is pulled back into the case by another FBI officer who harbors a long-held interest in the case. I won't reveal how D.B. and the FBI come together in this book, but I'm afraid it detracts from the story.

Every once in awhile you come across a book that is written exceptionally well but has plot problems. This is one of those books where the main character comes alive, the descriptions and flow of the account is great but in the end, it just comes off as too improbable. Moreover, the other characters in the book just aren't as interesting as D.B. himself.

Still, I liked the book enough to recommend it and will give the author another try in the future.
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Format: Paperback
A criminally underrated novel. Reid's prose is lush and rhythmic and, when at its best, divine. His imagining of the impossibly elusive D.B. Cooper is intriguing, and the character himself remains something of an enigma throughout his own story as the character of Frank, a retired FBI investigator, takes over. The narrative is evenly balanced between the two, and though the story does wander off the tracks at times, Reid's prowess with character and language make the detours worthwhile. The longer the story goes, the more I grew to appreciate Frank as one of the more incredibly realistic lawman/agent characters I've read in recent memory, while Cooper almost paradoxically becomes familiar, yet still distant, much like the character of Lee Harvey Oswald in DeLillo's novel Libra--another novel attempting to rewrite a famously mysterious historical crime.
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By Gary L. Rodgers on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For all those DB Cooper's out there, this is a great book and interesting read. I was on a plane reading it and finished it prior to landing. A great book!
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