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Headlong Paperback – October 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A winning hybrid of warm family tale and murder mystery. --Chuck Hogan, author of THE TOWN

A gripping, timely novel about the news business, labor politics, protest, and murder, beautifully told and smartly concluded. --Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net

Dive into Headlong, a page-turning thriller about a Boston summer that boils over. Protagonist Nick Young is a noir hero for the twenty-first century. --Barbara Ross, author of CLAMMED UP

A gripping, timely novel about the news business, labor politics, protest, and murder, beautifully told and smartly concluded. --Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net

Dive into Headlong, a page-turning thriller about a Boston summer that boils over. Protagonist Nick Young is a noir hero for the twenty-first century. --Barbara Ross, author of CLAMMED UP

A gripping, timely novel about the news business, labor politics, protest, and murder, beautifully told and smartly concluded. --Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net

Dive into Headlong, a page-turning thriller about a Boston summer that boils over. Protagonist Nick Young is a noir hero for the twenty-first century. --Barbara Ross, author of CLAMMED UP

About the Author

Ron MacLean's fiction has appeared in GQ, Greensboro Review, Prism International, Night Train and other quarterlies. He is a recipient of the Frederick Exley Award for Short Fiction and a Pushcart Prize nominee. He is the author of BLUE WINNETKA SKIES (Swank Books, 2004), WHY THE LONG FACE? (Swank Books, 2008) and HEADLONG (Last Light Studio, 2013). He holds a Doctor of Arts from the University at Albany, SUNY, and teaches at Grub Street in Boston.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Last Light Studio (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938692985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938692987
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,252,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NancyS on October 27, 2013
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I could easily relate to Nick's mid-life conflict between honoring family commitments (perceived or real), his desire to protect those around him and his need to find his own directon. The story captured the upheaval of our current political and social landscape ntertwined with murder and other crimes. I found the multiple story lines interesting and wondered how they would come together - I was not disappointed. Ron MacLean's characters realistically showed the unsettled feelings in all generations navigating these changes. The ending stayed with me for several days as I found myself wanting to circle back with these characters in a few years to see how they are doing. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in murder mysteries, relationship exploration or social justice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By walkthedog on October 20, 2013
I frequently choose a book based on its opening paragraph. If I love it, if I'm intrigued, if it's surprising or delightful, I'll take a chance. Headlong had me with its first sentence, "I came home to bury my father, but he wouldn't die." C'mon..., I'm in.

To my delight, the rest of the book delivered on the promise of that sentence. I loved Headlong's tone, its language, its rendering of the streets and neighborhoods of Boston, it's central mystery, Nick Young's stuck-ed-ness (yep, pretty sure I made that one up), his honest ambivalence and anger about his deadbeat father, but mostly I loved Nick's relationship with Bo, his friend's teenage son. Their relationship played out in a complex and beautiful way that delivered a surprisingly emotional ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Abigail J. Carter on January 8, 2014
I so enjoyed this book and thought about the characters for a long time after I finished the book. I loved how flawed the protagonist was, and how, little by little he triumphs over his demons almost in spite of himself. I thought the subject of union strife and anarchy was very timely (I live in Boeing town) and even learned a little about the issues, which was cool.

I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable read and would recommend to anyone who likes a bit of intrigue mixed in with some very compelling and memorable characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anjali K. Gupta on January 2, 2014
I have been a fan of Ron MacLean's writing for some time; with Headlong, he takes his prose style in a new direction with great success. While the narrative is taught and, at times, brittle, there is an underlying humanity that gives poignancy to the story. Well plotted, vivid scenes, with characters you are likely to "recognize" in your own life in one respect or another, Headlong propels the reader forward as the title implies. My only dismay was in arriving at the end too soon!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shari Friedman on October 15, 2013
This gritty page-turner kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. MacLean's characters and dialogue are so true-to-life and natural, and the situations in which he places them are fascinating, thought-provoking and exciting. I always felt like I was in the moment. A great read!
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MacLean can make good sentences, and has been doing so for a while. And here he shows how very well he can honor the conventions of a hard-boiled political thriller. But what sets MacLean apart, is that his people transcend even the best of genre characterization. Along with urban political insight and page-turning threat, MacLean gives us people who have wrong edges and unlikely weaknesses and accidental moments of heroism, and these things matter not as accessories to the crime but as vitally important intimacies of soul. Plenty of serious writers would like to produce a thriller that can reach us as literature even as we're racing to find out what happens next. Few writers manage it. MacLean, with this fine novel HEADLONG, is one of the few.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William on September 30, 2013
Headlong clearly delivers on the thriller promise, with surprising twists and turns even as you near the story's conclusion. But even as I raced through the pages--I couldn't put it down--I was time and again forced to linger on the utter humanness of the characters, all flawed and complex in their own ways. You go from rooting for them in one scene to pretty sure you'd never want to meet them in the next. MacLean has a gift for getting after the things we'd rather not think too long about, and in Headlong, he's poking around both deeply personal and broader social issues, seeming to revel in the fact that the answers are never simple, if they exist at all.
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