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Miami Blues Paperback – August 10, 2004


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Miami Blues + New Hope for the Dead + Sideswipe: A Hoke Moseley Detective Thriller
Price for all three: $33.18

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (August 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400032466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400032464
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“If you are looking for a master’s insight into the humid decadence of South Florida and its polygot tribes, nobody does it better than Mr. Willeford.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Extraordinarily winning. . . . Pure pleasure. . . . Mr. Willeford never puts a foot wrong.” —The New Yorker

“No one write a better crime novel than Charles Willeford.” —Elmore Leonard

“A tempo so relentless, words practically fly off the page.” —The Village Voice

“The prose is clean and tough and flows easily.” --The New York Times Book Review

“A Graham Greene-like entertainment, but tougher and funnier, softened by neither simile nor sentiment. This is probably as close to the real now Miami as any thriller is likely to come.” --Donald Justice

“Terse, scary, and evocative, Miami Blues is a thriller with cold blood. . . . Snap up Miami Blues.” --The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Nobody writes like Charles Willeford . . . he is an original–funny and weird and wonderful.” --James Crumley

“A nasty crime-comedy that’s full of casual violence, outrageous coincidences, and hilariously rude dialogue. . . . Willeford has a marvelously deadpan way with losers on both sides of the law.” --Kirkus Reviews

“Absolutely brilliant in every regard–the definitive Miami novel.” --Stanley Ellin

“Bone-deep satire . . . terrific.” --Publishers Weekly

“A marvelous read. Do yourself a favor and go buy Miami Blues immediately.” --Harry Crews

“A top notch crime novel . . . both tough and funny.” —The Washington Post (refers to New Hope)

“Hoke Moseley is a magnificently battered hero. Willeford brings him to us lean and hard and brand-new.” --Donald E. Westlake

From the Publisher

"If you are looking for a master's insight into the humid decandence of South Florida and its polyglot tribes, nobody does that as well as Mr. Willeford."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Harrowing and surprising."
--Publishers Weekly

"The best book on the mystery racks these days [is] Charles Willeford's Miami Blues."
--The Village Voice

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Fast-paced, entertaining, a good backyard or summer read.
Nanda
It was a good read, fast paced, characters well developed and interesting story line.
cheryl gerhold
Charles Willeford is one heck of a writer, and Miami Blues is one heck of a book.
Matthew Dyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. Harbin on May 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Charles Willeford wrote wonderful true to life's absurdities crime fiction, among his many other accomplishments. This novel (which was made in a movie starring Alec Baldwin) is the first in his only series, starring a much put upon Miami detective named Hoke Moseley. In this initial adventure Hoke runs afoul of an intelligent pyschopath named Freddy Frenger and his ditzy hooker girlfriend while investigating the murder of a Hare Krishna. Along the way Hoke loses his teeth, badge, gun and some of his pride, but never his determination. A mere description of the plot wouldn't begin to do justice to this ironic superb book, full as it is of madcap characters coupled with doses of deadly realism. Very few writers can pull off a mix of the comic and hard boiled, but Willeford was one of those few. Indeed, he was one of the best at it. Read the rest of the books in this series if you can find them, then move on to Willeford's other works and his biography penned by Don Herron.
A 5 stars for sure on this tale of Miami mayhem, murder and mischief.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Wendy K. Laubach on May 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you've seen the excellent movie made from this novel, get ready for an original that's not only funnier but about ten shades grimmer. Dead-pan doesn't even begin to describe Willeford. He never condescends or winks, but his tone is devastating.
You can't go wrong with any of his other books, either, or his memoirs.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By lazza on November 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Miami Blues is my first Charles Willeford novel but it certainly won't be my last. I remember the film Miami Blues (with Alex Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh). I enjoyed it and hoped the novel would be at least half as good. Thankfully it was even better than the film.
In Miami Blues we have a young psychopathic criminal from California landing at Miami International Airport. All he wants is to steal enough money to live on easy street, and he will not let anything get in his way. Unfortunately bad luck and stupidity are stacked against him. Worse, he partners up with an incredibly sweet yet dumb local girl who doesn't offer value for achieving his goals ... no matter how he manipulates her. Worse still, there is a rather crusty old cop out to get him. No spoilers here, but suffice to say Miami Blues has a good ending.
The best part of Miami Blues is Willeford's excellent capturing of the "feel" of Miami. It's very much like Carl Hiaasen material without the caustic satire (..oh, I should add Miami Blues does have funny bits also). And it doesn't take itself too seriously, as if Charles Willeford wasn't planning to write fine literature but simply a good story. He succeeded very nicely.
Bottom line: a minor jewel amongst the masses of mystery novels. Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By clifford on September 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Hey, is Willeford the man or what? I have spent the last few years devouring mystery/thriller/procedural books and had not come across Hoke Moseley until recently. I can't tell you how refreshing and cool it is to come across perhaps the greatest writer of this genre purely accidentally. Why isn't Willeford celebrated as the great author he is astounds me. Instead of millions reading James Patterson novels, it should be Willeford receiving the accolades. I just wish he were still around writing more books.

Miami Blues is a heck of a good novel; it's the first in the Hoke Moseley series and probably the worst, though it is still five stars all the way. If you have seen the entertaining movie Miami Blues with Baldwin, don't feel like this movie will compromise the reading experience, because it won't. Willeford's genius as an author comes forth here in the way that he plots the story line. Utterly original. His characters weave in and out of situations and conversations with a grace of a quick prizefighter. At one moment you are reading the very best of Bukowski and the next you are in an existential conversation mode ala McBain in his prime years. The opening gambit of a plot will resolve itself in the end, but the story here is about so much more, it's the journey along the way that brings the extra oomph.

I would not hesitate for a moment, buy this book, read the others in the series. You won't find a better mystery writer out there. Willeford is a god of prose and story telling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter on November 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Charles Willeford was a great writer but one whose writing was an acquired taste (as the divergent reviews here testify). I personally find his Hoke Moseley books to be classics and maybe my favourite series ever (I am not as fond of his other books).

Willeford creates a feeling of normality in his writing mixed with black humour that I find adds to the stories. It is not a case of the star of the book being wealthy and all powerful, but a situation where Hoke is all too human. Really good stuff.

If you like Carl Hiaasen, you will like Charles Willeford (although the latter is a lot darker).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill Mueller on October 7, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Charles Willeford has written great works of genre specific literature since the 1950's where he was spawned among the greats - Hammett, Chandler, Thompson, Woolrich, etc. Finally, Willeford got the recognition he deserved with the Hoke Moseley novels and in the process created what is now the popular Miami crime novel genre. This first in the series is a masterpiece and each novel in the series gets successfully better. Willeford's knack for creating immensely interesting characters with an edge and his rare yet insightful perspective on life should not be missed.
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