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Nick's Trip Paperback – June 29, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (June 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031607960X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316079600
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This hip and sometimes nasty booze-dope-and-good-times tale follows A Firing Offense, the first appearance of Washington, D.C., sleuth Nick Stefanos. It offers breezy, slightly uneven entertainment and some well-aimed criticism of the current music scene. Nick tends bar at the Spot, makes athletic love with his girlfriend, Lee, and agrees to impregnate his lesbian pal Jackie as a favor. Then a former road-trip buddy named Billy shows up at the Spot one night and announces that his wife is missing, as is $200,000 that belongs to a minor-league numbers runner. Nick trails the wife to the backwoods south of the city, where a mean former lover of hers slaughters pigs for kicks and a living. Then the father of the numbers runner gives Nick an unexpected lead in the unsolved murder of his journalist pal, William Henry. A cast of sharply etched minor characters, including a liquored-up, burned-out cop who plays a part in the credible, sobering conclusion, adds to the pleasures offered by the offbeat Nick, with his gruff sensibilities and fine taste in women and music.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Two cases for D.C. shamus Nick Stefanos, who's left his job at Nutty Nathan's (A Firing Offense, 1992) to patrol the bar at the Spot. First, his high-school friend Billy Goodrich walks in and asks him to find his wife April, who he says skedaddled with small-time crime boss Joey DiGeordano. Wrong: April actually rode off into the southern Maryland sunset with hog farmer/bondage freak Tommy Crane and, it turns out, with $200,000 of DiGeordano family money. In between boozy car trips with Billy, present and remembered, Nick finds time to reopen the murder of William Henry, his reporter friend killed because he was learning too much about a trio of pizza kings--and to impregnate his lesbian friend Jackie Kahn, who's decided it's time for a baby. Pelecanos's retake on The Long Goodbye requires Nick to shed the snakelike charm he showed in his debut in favor of a more modish lament for things past, and the split between separate cases doesn't make the book any stronger. But there are still some great scenes, great people, and great background music. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

George P. Pelecanos was born in Washington, DC in 1957. His first novel was published in 1992 and alongside his consequential success as an author, he has also worked as producer, writer and story editor for the acclaimed and award-winning US crime series, The Wire. His writing for the show earned him an Emmy nomination.

He is the author of fifteen crime novels set in and around Washington, DC. The Big Blowdown was the recipient of the International Crime Novel of the Year award in both Germany and Japan; King Suckerman was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger Award in the UK. His short fiction has appeared in Esquire and the collections Unusual Suspects and Best American Mystery Stories of 1997. He is an award-winning journalist and pop-culture essayist who has written for the Washington Post.

Pelecanos can also claim credit for involvement in the production of several feature films. Most recently, as a screenwriter for film, he has written an adaptation of King Suckerman for Dimension Films, and was co-writer on the Paid in Full.

His novel Right as Rain is currently in development with director Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential, Wonder Boys) and Warner Brothers. He is a writer on the upcoming World War II miniseries The Pacific, to be produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and HBO. Pelecanos lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and three children. He is at work on his next novel.

Customer Reviews

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  • "Funny" 3
  • "Suspense" 3
  • "Writing" 3
  • "Emotional" 2
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on January 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
The three Nick Stefanos mysteries (of which this is the second) follow the linear descent of their hero from rebellious career stiff to hard drinking private eye to hopeless alcoholic. Along the way, Nick bares his soul more completely than do most first person narrative P.I.'s. His stories are also among the most darkly violent and gritty that I've come across in the genre. "Nick's Trip" is better than "A Firing Offense," the first Stefanos book, if only because it is more plausible and more focussed. Along the way, Nick reunites with an old friend who has become an obnoxious yuppie and whose wife has disappered. He also manages to lose his girlfriend and become a surrogate father. The whole book has an overwhelming feeling of lonliness to it, like a late night country song. It is definately NOT for readers of light mainstream fiction.
Overall, a must read for fans of authors such as James Crumley and Andrew Vachss and anyone else who likes their P.I. fiction truly hard boiled.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Simmons on June 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Pelecanos' novels. He is one of the best mystery writers around. His stories are character driven, well written, and full of atmosphere. So what's wrong with Nick's Trip? There's too much trip. We spend too much time driving around and drinking and slumming in sleazy bars. Now in real life that's fun, but in the novel it eventually gets boring. One scene reminds us of another, one bar smells like another, one morning-after feels like another, and eventually we beg Pelecanos to stop the car and let us out. Nick's Trip is a good novel, better than a lot of other mystery novels out there, but it's not Pelecanos' best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Author Ty on June 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
This was the first Pelecanos book I ever read, and it had me snared from the very beginning. This guy is so talented, so funny, and so adept at capturing the raw feel of average daily life for a simple bartender who occasionally plays private detective. I found myself in awe of the writing in this book; so original, so humorous...with characters so real that you can't help rooting for them. Pelecanos has now gone on to write books which are far more serious and not nearly as good, in my opinion. His first three books, featuring PI Nick Stefanos, are really fantastic and to me, this is the best of the three. A far cry from the usual tale of the down-and-out PI who drinks too much and cries in his beer all day. This book is truly original, a real gem, and fans of PI fiction (and blue-collar literature) will love it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Untouchable on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Nick Stefanos is a private eye who helps make ends meet by working behind the bar at a place called the Spot. An old buddy from school tracks him down and asks him to find his wife. While working the case we are continually taken back to Nick's youth as he remembers old friends and family. The storyline lurches from chapter to chapter. One minute he's working on the case in search of a missing woman, the next he's running down leads about a murdered friend leaving us to make the necessary mental adjustments.
Nick's a hard-drinking, hard-smoking bloke who's marching to the beat of his own drummer. This is not a light hearted romp, rather, we trudge through the seedier parts of town with a character who tends to fit right in. The method of chasing up leads seems to be an endless series of visits to bars throughout the D.C. area with a necessary shot and a beer at each. You've got to be prepared to accept that Nick Stefanos has many faults and weaknesses and is not your average private investigator. Oh, by the way, even with all his faults, I still found the story quite enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neil on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Pelecanos's pace, plotting, and ear for street talk are light years beyond most mystery fare with plodding dialog and flat characters. Like him or not, and like a lot of alkies, there's something about him ya gotta love, Nick's trip is one you want to tbe on. The DC locales are depicted with a neat folding in of history and the contemporary scene. The locales hum with etched characters and sharp dialog. The writing has restraint, dark humor, and a relentless complex and ultimately satisfying plot. The lesbian sex scene is a classic, anti-erotic but pinging on male and female sexuality and aspects of relationship that invoke something deeper. Everyman whose been with a woman whose interest was somewhere else can take something from it. Did I say it was funny as hell?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Pantaleoni on February 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Nick's trip is a well written but structurally flawed piece of work. Mr. Pelecanos has a real gift for creating characters and displays it well here. My only gripe is that he fails in trying to keep 3 story lines going simultaneously. Instead of each story successfully reflecting and adding to the others to build a stronger whole, the book winds up feeling slightly disjointed and episodic. Despite this caveat it is definitely worth reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By brazos49 VINE VOICE on July 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Another fine effort by Pelecanos. I had run across Nick in some of the author's other work, but I didn't really appreciate him until I read Nick's Trip. Nick Stefanos is a strong character in his own right - witty, versatile and resourceful. He handles a pretty tough situation in this well crafted story.
Better than any other crime mystery writer I'm familiar with, Pelecanos knows how to develop characters, paint interesting word pictures of what's going on and produce a fine story. If he writes it, I'm reading it and I'd recommend you check him out. This book is as good a place as any to start.
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