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Intruder Paperback – February 12, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416593578
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416593577
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Peter Blauner's dark thriller The Intruder centers on John Gates, a homeless man in Manhattan who has come to believe that a lawyer named Jake Schiff has stolen his family and ruined his life. When Schiff takes up extreme measures to put an end to Gates' harassment, the world is turned upside down for both men. Blauner's characterizations are taut and he excels at creating short, edgy scenes that fray at the nerves as this morality play careens toward its inevitable conclusion. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The Edgar-winning author of Slow Motion Riot (and of Casino Moon) makes an intense journey into Death Wish/Straw Dogs territory, producing an edged weapon of a novel that stabs at the fears of the urban middle class. Jacob Schiff is a successful Manhattan attorney. His wife, Dana, a psychiatric social worker, offers help and hope to a mentally disturbed homeless man named John Gates. When his feelings for Dana turn obsessional, Gates begins to stalk the family, generating violent confrontations and threats. The police offer no real solutions and so Schiff makes the mistake of his life: he recruits a day-laborer/street enforcer, Philip Cardi, to warn the homeless man off. But Cardi, in pursuit of Gates, brutalizes and kills another homeless man. In response, Gates, who witnesses the crime, runs away, leaving Schiff to face a murder charge on his own. The scenes of violence are horrifyingly real, rendered in stark imagery that marks Blauner as a genuine stylist. Adept characterization makes the violence even more effective, as Blauner constructs Schiff as a decent, intelligent, caring man who learns that his friends aren't friends, his associates don't care and that he and his family must slay dragons alone. The final scene, in which the Schiffs face off against an infuriated killer, is a tour de force of savagery. There is a lot of button-pushing going on here: a crazed homeless man and a bully from Bensonhurst make easy targets; the Schiffs make obvious victims/heroes. Even so, Blauner is a skillful manipulator, offering a disturbing thriller that won't be easily forgotten. 200,000 first printing; film rights sold to Mandalay Entertainment; foreign rights sales sold in U.K., Italy, France, Japan, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

When I was a kid, I quickly realized I didn't have much talent for throwing the baseball or playing a musical instrument or anything like that. What I had was a desire to write - which, of course, is not the same as having talent. That didn't stop me from focusing and honing in, practicing my writing the way other kids practiced free throws or 100-yard sprints.

Pretty early on, it occurred to me that I didn't want to run in the same race as everybody else anyway. A writer should have has her own slant on things. So I decided to go my own way. Even though I write what are classified as "crime novels," I don't have granite-jawed heroes or spunky heroines who always triumph over the bad guys. There are enough of those in the bookstores. I write about people with considerable flaws and consuming struggles, trying to make sense of their lives. I don't expect you to cuddle up to them or want to invite them to your Christmas dinner. But I think they have a lot of heart. Not in the sentimental sense. But in the raw, pulsing, heaving, still-beating-in-spite-of-everything sense.

I certainly don't mean to sound high-minded. After this many years in the game, I don't think a novel (particularly a "crime novel") can - or even should try to - cause great social change and upheaval. Most people just want a good story that can help pass the time on a plane. And that's my goal as well. But every once in a while, it can maybe also give you a slightly different way of looking at the world.

Customer Reviews

If you think you know the ending halfway through the book, you are probably right.
Bill Garrison
This book is a good read and has enough plot twists to satisfy all but the most jaded of readers.
DWD's Reviews
I am three quarters of the way through this book in two days and I can't put it down.
A. Roach

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews VINE VOICE on August 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
The title to this book is interesting and serves as a decent introduction to the story. Ostensibly, the Intruder in the story is the homeless man who fixates on Jake Schiff and determines, through his crack-induced haze, that Jake Schiff has somehow stolen his family and his home. But, as you read you notice that there are actually lots of intruders. Jake Schiff is a Jewish lawyer from a rough Brooklyn neighborhood who doesn't quite fit in with his WASP law firm and their snooty ways. His wife is a social worker who is an intruder in her work world because she cares more about the clients than the bureaucracy. There's a mobster named Phillip who is an intruder in his world because he's hiding his homosexual feelings in the very, very macho world of the mafia. He's also an intruder in Jake's world as he forces Jake to deal violently with the homeless madman who has laid siege to his life.

But, then again, maybe I'm reading symbolism in to places where it doesn't belong. What the heck, it's fun. This book is a good read and has enough plot twists to satisfy all but the most jaded of readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Gladstone on March 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
The best things about this book are how, despite its simplicity of circumstance, its main characters are richly three-dimensional and movingly shaded: John G., the raving homeless man who sets the plot in motion through his therapeutic obsession with Jakes' wife Dana is an extremely empathetic recovering heroin addict whose own family has been torn apart by violence - there has not been an urban homeless character more engaging since the titular fellow of 1993's Free by Todd Komarnicki (Doubleday); Phil is a Brooklyn tough who poorly harbors a guilt-inducing secret; and the book's greatest character, New York City itself, is drawn with a deft versimilitude, full of subtly etched class, race and sex distinctions.
The latter is no surprise coming from Blauner, whose finely textured and harrowing 1992 debut, Slow Motion Riot won that year's Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Novel. Blauner's books are as much about sociological observation as about thrills-and-chills. His keen journalist's eye and psychological insight make for terrifically pungent prose. Tricks of social perception amongst the characters make there be not one titular intruder in this book, but at least three as Jake, Phillip and John join in a dance that finds them accidentally and purposely stepping on each others' turf and toes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Butts HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
In this rather downer of a novel, Peter Blauner etches realistic and scathing portraits of a diverse cast: Jake Schiff, a power house lawyer who finds his life turned upside down by the invasion of a "street Person" with severe emotional problems; his wife, Dana, a psychiatric social worker whose involvement with this same person catapults her family into a vortex of danger; John Gates, the street person whose tragic past and dependence on drugs, spirals him into a maze of terror; Philip, a sly mafia man who insinuates himself into Jake's life and through a murder sets a path of irretrievable terror.
Blauner has a deft touch in creating seemingly hopeless situations, and though he redeems himself with characters finally doing something right, it ends on a rather dim vision of the future of our characters.
Well done but disheartening.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julie on March 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Intruder by Peter Blauner is the absolute best book I've EVER read. Even though it sounds like a typical storyline, Blauner twists and turns it so there is nothing typical about it. The story brought many thoughts into my head: what if that homeless guy was once happy, but lost his family? What if he was an everyday normal guy? What if that fancy lawyer was involved in a murder? What if.....they just kept coming with no end. It helped me try to think past the appearance and what's inside. It helped to think about morality. It has defiantely changed my outlook on everyone, maybe even myself. This ones a definite reader and keeper.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have read only two of the author's other books, but by now it's obvious that this is not another standard mass market thriller writer. Mr. Blauner's books have real character and individual texture. It's true that The Intruder is the most straight-forward and exciting of the novels of his that I've read, but the people in it are far more shaded, nuanced, and real than they are in most genre fiction. Readers who think they are cliches just aren't reading carefully enough or better yet should stick to Grisham novels. I read this book two years ago and still it haunts me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By annulla on August 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
I devoured this book's 449 pages in three days, unable to stop reading --- on the train, in the elevator, over dinner, and long past bedtime. Peter Blauner has contructed a realistic, shocking story that explores how far a man will go to protect those he loves, and, should he fail, how far he can fall. The characters are complex and believable, the situations plausible and the action non-stop. If you love stories that send a shiver up your spine, you must read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I expected the book to be about a wealthy family tormented by the crack-addicted bum from hell, with the cliched deadly confrontation. What I got was something totally unexpected and much more satisfying. The characters were real, the plot was unpredictable, and the tension was suffocating. This is a fluidly written book that stays with you long after you put it down.
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