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Never Fuck Up: A Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – April 8, 2014


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Frequently Bought Together

Never Fuck Up: A Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) + Easy Money: A Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) + Life Deluxe: A Novel (Stockholm Noir Trilogy)
Price for all three: $46.66

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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (April 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307390241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307390240
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This second novel in the Stockholm Noir Trilogy (following Easy Money, 2012) intertwines three perspectives of Stockholm’s underworld, showcasing contradictions in Swedish society, where idealism, racism, hope, and corruption all swirl. Mahmud, an Arab immigrant just released from prison, longs to be free of gangland clutches even while ­shaking hands with one kingpin to escape another’s wrath. Thomas is a hardened, violent, surprisingly idealistic cop who turns to the Serbian Mafia when the Stockholm police betray him. And Nicklas, recently returned from a mercenary tour in Afghanistan, is convinced that Sweden’s true enemy is its epidemic of violence against women, prompting him to launch an obsessive mission to avenge those wrongs. These stories orbit the murder of an unidentified man discovered by Thomas and his partner in Nicklas’ mother’s building. Lapidus contrasts personal violence with a powerful criminal conspiracy by linking the victim to both Nicklas’ childhood and the assassination of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme in 1986. A grand-scale portrait of Stockholm’s criminal world that shares James Ellroy’s hyperrealism and Richard Price’s blend of atmosphere and sociology. --Christine Tran --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“A world whose vocabulary is shaped by American gangsta rap but whose greed and ambition is familiar to anybody who ever cracked open a Mario Puzo crime novel."--The Wall Street Journal
  
"An entirely new criminal world, beautifully rendered." --James Ellroy
  
 "[Lapidus] sheds light on a rarely seen Stockholm—a city that is a 'Mecca of thieves, drug dealers, and gangs,' buzzing with ethnic tensions and social unrest."—The New Yorker
 
"A grand-scale portrait of Stockholm's criminal world that shares James Ellroy's hyperrealism and Richard Price's blend of atmosphere and sociology."—Booklist 


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Customer Reviews

There is a nice pace and the characters are well developed.
David Emanuel
The N-word appeared several times as a descriptive word from either the narrator or the translator, and in any case I found it offensive.
J.E. Ocean
I felt as if I was trapped in a parallel universe where people randomly act out of character.
Penfist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Phillips VINE VOICE on June 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What's up with the Scandinavians? Either there are a lot of imaginative authors or a lot of truly twisted criminal minds. I've enjoyed Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander, and several of Jo Nesbo's books, as well as Stig Larsson's Girl series. So along comes Jens Lapidus, and of course I'm interested. Unfortunately, while his book mimics the content and style of some of the better books, it misses the heart and soul of what makes Wallander successful - a character to root for.

The "Girl" series had very flawed protagonists but ones you could and did root for. Likewise Wallander. Lapidus' book has three story lines, each with a protagonist, none of which are interesting or viable. You've got a dirty cop who has potentially stumbled on to evidence about Olaf Palme's murder. You've got a weight-lifting, porn crazed, drug dealing Muslim youth, who turns on his own kind, and a guy returning from war as a contractor who seems to be losing his mind. These three and their stories cross paths, but there's no energy or heat to the story. There are more pharmaceutical brand names in the book than I could count, and hundreds of references to prostitution, pornography and stupid sex. Much of it is unnecessary and doesn't do anything for the story.

In the end I found myself pushing through simply to finish the book. I didn't care about the characters and parts of the novel require a suspension of disbelief. Why would a gang member side with an enemy and turn over one of his own? Why would the only person to find evidence on Palme's murder - the most significant crime in Sweden in 30 years - be a dirty cop more interested in fixing cars and pornography than police work?

If you enjoy reading about how twisted the criminal mind is in Sweden and Norway - read Mankell or Nesbo or Larsson. This book feels derivative and uses a lot of gimmicks that should be beneath the author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Ellsworth VINE VOICE on March 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this police procedural, Jens Lapidus and his translator, Astri von Arbin Ahlander, combine to expose Sweden's social problems with drug abuse, native reaction to immigration, gender issues, robbery and, of course, a murder that is not easy to solve. As a well-known criminal defense lawyer, Lapidus knows every facet of this background well. He also is the best-selling crime novelist in Sweden today, when read in his native language.

I'd like to add something different to earlier reviews. The blatant title could have been translated 'Never Mess Up.' The novel is almost an essay on the ways someone can do that. Arab immigrant Mahmud has stolen drugs from his criminal employer; contract soldier Niklas may be involved in a home-town murder. Police patrolman Thomas has 'messed up' by seriously investigating a homicide his superiors don't want to know about. Even Swedish society has 'messed up.' Well-intentioned and progressive social programs to aid those with problems aren't working as planned.

All of this becomes evident during the reading of this basically enjoyable novel. The book is well-written, well-constructed and well-thought through. It provides more than an 'adrenalin rush' for the reader. I found the 'story' here to be about how the major characters deal with the fall out from their various mess-ups. This is where the action and suspense in the novel comes from.

There is a translation issue when trying to render the argot of an Arabic culture into something Americans can connect with. Astri von Arbin Ahlander has chosen to use a very few Arabic words and to flesh out the rest in the idiom of African American and Hispanic street culture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregory McMahan VINE VOICE on September 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book tells the gritty noir escapades of three different men, each of whom have a dubious moral compass. One is a crook, and is trying desperately to stay alive after failing to make his book. One is a cop who has a rather cavalier attitude towards the law- especially as it applies to minorities. Finally, the most interesting of the lot is a mercenary with a twisted sense of justice. When these three intersect, violent mayhem ensues.

This book definitely rides the wave of Scandinavian crime fiction. Although it takes a while for the story to really begin, it nonetheless delivers a satisfying romp. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from Jens Lapidus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. B. MULLIGAN TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What's not to like? Well, my dad would have loved this premise - me not so much. I grabbed the novel because the title was catchy and it was described as "from Sweden's internationally best-selling crime novelist" and a "riveting second installment of the Stockholm Noir Trilogy."

I found the story unrelentingly depressing and violent so I will probably give the next book a pass.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on July 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I quite liked EASY MONEY, Jens Lapidus' previous book to be translated into English, and this one is no disappointment. This is rougher and tougher than most Scandinavian noir, but just as deep and perceptive in going inside the heads of the three characters. The pattern of this book is the same as in the earlier one...three characters who are respectively the main one in alternate 1-2-3 order through the book. A variation is that Thomas is more of a good guy although definitely flawed.

Just expect this to be a lot grittier than most Scandinavian noir and you won't be disappointed.
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