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The Long Drunk (The Homeless Detective Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Eric Coyote
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

In Venice, California, the sun always shines, but that's not much help if you're a homeless drunk like James Murphy, a man with a past of shattered dreams and empty bottles. Murphy's life in the gutter was bad enough, but now bad gets worse. Murphy has one week to solve a cold-case murder that has police detectives stumped, or else his best friend dies. Inspired by Chandler, Steinbeck, and Quentin Tarantino, THE LONG DRUNK is a darkly comic crime/detective saga filled with sex, violence, booze, and plenty of foul street talk. Hard-boiled, heartbreaking, and gritty as hell, it thoroughly immerses the reader in the squalid yet resourceful underworld of the down-and-out. By juxtaposing the cruel realities of life on the street with the obscene wealth of the Hollywood elite, Eric Coyote creates an ultra noir masterpiece for the ages. THE LONG DRUNK, named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012, will leave you cringing, laughing, and begging for more.

Editorial Reviews


"An unshakable noir with a protagonist learning along the way, but beyond the more overt genre traits is a rewarding story of a man's unconditional love for his faithful companion." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review), named "Best of 2012." 

"An insanely great foul-mouthed drunken Raymond Chandler staggers through the cesspools of Venice Beach." -- Walt Morton, author of American Ghoul

"The Long Drunk punches you in the gut, drops you to your knees, and pisses in your face. It's a damn fine book filled with dipshits, dipsomania--and lest we forget, dogs. You can't help but love every filthy page." -- Stephen P. Lindsey, screenwriter of Hachi: A Dog's Tale

Product Details

  • File Size: 3567 KB
  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Eric Coyote (November 22, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006B99HXK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing window on Life in Venice Beach, CA March 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The trailer promoting the book calls it an 'ultra noir' murder mystery. Thanks to Google, I found out that I had already read an ultra noir novel (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) without knowing what the genre means. Compared with the Swedish mystery, 'The Long Drunk' feels a lot more 'noir', especially with the choice of its many homeless characters and the no-holds-barred, irreverent commentary on life in Venice Beach, California.

The novel is about James Murphy, a homeless guy in Venice, who suffers the misfortune of his beloved dog Betty being run over by an SUV and being badly maimed. Murphy takes the dog to Dr.Walters who tells him the still further bad news that Betty also suffers from acute Lymphoma and needs chemotherapy which would all end up costing Murphy some 15000 dollars. Murphy's love for his dog sets him on a course to find $15000 in one week. The rest of the story takes us through Murphy's attempts to get the $25000 prize money for solving the murder of a wannabe actor named Alan Tanner. Even though the story in part 1 ends rather sadly, since the author has billed this book as the first of his trilogy on the 'homeless detective', there is going be more to it than this.

The thing that appealed to me most in the book is the window it gave me on the life of the homeless in Venice. Not ever having been to LA to visit and never having had an opportunity to interact with the homeless in the US, I found the graphic descriptions of their lives, their street language and their drunken pre-occupations quite humorous, poignant and insightful. Coyote writes about them with much compassion and humor and is unsparing about the disparities of life in Venice between its genteel-half and that of the homeless.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Venice Misadventure May 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Disclosure: author Coyote contacted me and offered a copy of his book if I would review it. I accepted and promised a fair and honest review in return, and received a photocopy. Thank you for being patient, Mr. Coyote; just as I got into the book, we had to put our dog down, and didn't really want to finish this until just recently (we pick up Gurney on Thursday).

I actually enjoyed this book, until the last three pages. Then it quite disappointingly fell apart, kind of.

Synopsis: Homeless alcoholic and ex-pro football player Murphy lives on the streets of Venice, CA with his dog, Betty, and his colorful homeless crew. Betty gets hit by a car and Murphy needs a ton of money fast to save her, and the only way is to solve a local murder for the reward money. Gritty L. A. action, adventure and drama follow.

I liked this book, and had it set for a solid four stars, right up to the end. Then it just sort of ended. I don't want to give it away, but of the two interwoven stories you're following, one just evaporates. It's moving right along, crests, takes a very nice and realistic twist, gets some new legs and direction, and then just ends, with no resolution. The other story resolves more or less fully, epilogue and all.

This really bothered me, but thinking on it some more, it's clear from the very solid writing that Coyote is no hack, that he has thought through a complete story, but it's not quite what you think, and not what you're waiting for at the end. It's not a tease, not a trick, but easily could be taken as such. This is a story of Murphy's Sisyphean journey, and the tidy resolution of questions of the supporting stories, while aggravating, isn't the point. I get it, I think.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Modern Noir Meets Bukowski April 3, 2012
By RW High
Format:Kindle Edition
In "The Long Drunk," modern noir meets Bukowski...but it's better than "Pulp," Bukowski's own attempt at noir. This is a gritty, hardscrabble story of a football pro-turned-homeless guy who tries to put aside his drunkenness to (or use it to the advantage of) solving a murder. Though his ulterior motives are surprising and almost too unbelievably exaggerated, it serves well as the catalyst that starts and finishes the piece. Murph - the protagonist - makes a great "long drunk" speech at the end of the book that clinches his character. He's the perfect protagonist with that pleasant mix of good boy, bad boy that hooks us but lets us sympathize with and root for him. You'll see what I mean when you read it.

Which, if you have a Kindle and some time and a little taste for the gritty side of the City of Angels, then you should.

"The Long Drunk" is a good debut novel - I stumbled upon an advert for it in the LA Weekly and took a chance, seeing as it was an affordable, instant buy. Coyote's story shows a lot of promise and really draws me into the Venice/homeless community more than anything else. He had some uncompromising dialogue, scenarios, and no-nonsense, and parts of the story definitely gripped me. Because some parts of the story were so realistically gritty and uncompromising, it make the "forced/fake" portions that much more difficult to swallow. Parts seemed forced, fake, or overexaggerated. There was a lot of repetitious description of the protagonist's pre-homeless backstory as a college/NFL superstar who met an untimely career termination and ended up on the streets. I will definitely give the author a sophomore try, looking for him to smooth dialogue, cut descriptions, and not ultimately backfire on the grizzled realism he's trying so earnestly to portray.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by Allen Cameron
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Drunken Psuedo Detective Novel I've Read
This was probably the best noir book I've read this year and I would say that it's noir-lite. Another reviewer invoked Charles Bukowski, and Eric Coyote has obviously read Bukowski... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sal Paradise
4.0 out of 5 stars *This* close to being a classic
Murphy is a terrific central character, and his adventures are very funny. The raunchy dialogue in particular is hilarious, and the crew of other hoboes is a kick. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mets6986
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Gritty and down to earth. Do not read if you are easily offended. A protagonist who is a loser but still has redeeming qualities. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Shari Oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars Alchohol makes for strange bedfellows
Crazy fun with crazy people. This one made me laugh out loud more than a few times. The politicians in DC couldn't handle the politics of the street. Read more
Published 5 months ago by g3amazon
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it a lot
Liked it a lot, the characters are really well written, and the setting is thoughtfully drawn. One star off for a dissapointing ending, Though I wouldn't even call it that, the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Homelessness
This was a good read. Although it started out slow, it finally started to get interesting around the fourth chapter. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lenora Laverty
4.0 out of 5 stars The Long Drunk
I enjoyed the story. It was, as to be expected, pretty gritty in places. I would definitely read another in this series. Read more
Published 8 months ago by W. K. Browning
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
who could resist a book like this? well done
Published 8 months ago by Irene K. Fetrow
4.0 out of 5 stars Homeless Doesn't Mean You're Not Human
The life of a homeless alchoholic in Los Angeles is vividly described in this story. That each of his companions is a real live person seems to be sincerely depicted. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Paul A. Maxey
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More About the Author

Author Eric Coyote currently lives in Venice, California, with two cats and his dog Pickle. The Long Drunk, named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012, is his first novel. Eric can be reached via his website, You can also follow his ultra exploits on Facebook at, on Twitter at, and on Instagram at

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