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Run Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Penzler Pick, May 2000: This first novel reads like an adrenaline rush. From the first page, the reader will inhale this story of a gun run from Washington, D.C., to New York, exhaling 288 pages later.

Burdon Lane is not a man to admire. He makes his living transporting guns into those areas of the city where the authorities turn a blind eye to residents shooting each other with some regularity. The purpose of his latest run to Harlem is to arm one gang against another. What Burdon does not know is that the government has a man, maybe more than one, inside the run. What the authorities don't know is that someone has a plan of his own. Just as the deal is about to go down, Lane's own people start shooting each other, the gun merchants begin killing their own, and men in police uniforms who are obviously not police show up. Suddenly a prominent civil rights leader marching in a parade nearby is assassinated. When all the shooting stops, Lane finds himself in possession of $2 million intended for the purchase of the guns. He has no idea what has just happened. All he knows is that he must run.

This, then, is the story of a run within a run, and it's one of the most original first novels to come along in a while. Winter has an extraordinary voice, but he also has an underlying message about our gun culture. It is not just about gangsters selling guns; it is about who sells, who buys, and, ultimately, who cares and who doesn't. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Relentlessly paced, this chase novel impressively captures the frantic energy and emotional panic experienced by an East Coast gunrunner forced to flee both his own gang and the law. Written in rough, gritty street vernacular, the story covers about 24 hours in the life of 40-something Burdon Lane, who is part of a large group of criminals transporting a shipment of guns from Washington, D.C., to New York City. Just as the deal is about to go down in a Manhattan tenement, bedlam erupts. As Lane takes cover, his own people start shooting each other, the gun merchants begin killing their own and men dressed in police uniforms but not acting like police mysteriously show up. Meanwhile, somebody assassinates a prominent civil rights leader marching in a parade nearby. When the shooting stops, Lane finds himself in possession of the $2 million intended for the purchase of the guns. He has no idea, however, what has just happened. All he knows is that he must run. Winter sets a torrid tempo for his electric narrative as the plot unfolds. Using cars, trains and his own feet, Lane escapes death time and time again as he makes his way back home to confront his boss about whether the gun deal was merely a diversion in a larger scheme, orchestrated by larger powers, to kill the black political leader. Winter, a noted horror critic and anthologist, has written a memorable debut novel. His otherwise fine outing bogs down only at the end, during a protracted, bloody battle that, for its impact, relies on violence rather than on cunning plot dexterity. BOMC and QPB selections. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Onyx (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451409809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451409805
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I warn you that you probably won't get this book the first time that you read it.
J. Harris
This would seem to be an attempt to pad out the size of the book so that it appears that you are getting more than you really are.
S. N. Gaines
I don't know what else to say except that if you like intense, hardcore violence, read this book!
Mike Kazmierczak

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Amari on March 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Douglas Winter updates and deconstructs - nearly vivisects - the chiaroscuro of the classic noir style. The protagonist is gunrunner along Interstate 95. When a big shipment to a NYC gang goes haywire, an adrenaline surge propels the book - through the unraveling of scheme after scheme - to the necropolis of its cataclysmic conclusion. For good measure, a baroque quantity of minutia concerning firearms is peppered throughout. Suspenseful, stark, and startling, 'Run' includes the key hallmarks of the noir genre: taut, rapid-fire prose and an overarching existential nihilism. Like Highsmith's 'The Talented Mr. Ripley,' Goodis's 'Down There,' and Thompson's 'The Grifters,' Winter's neo-noir deserves to be put on screen, but get a copy of the book first - copies are disappearing faster than a pack of smokes at an AA meeting.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I could not better this excellent review by Kate Muir, as it distills the book to it's core
With gunrunners, drug dealers, and a political assassination, lawyer Douglas E. Winter's powerful first novel is no courtroom drama. Kate Muir finds out why :-
Shooting back Run by Douglas E. Winter Being trapped in an office with a pile of dry legal briefs tends to induce diversionary activity, which is why so many American lawyers have been forced to write popular novels on the side. Here comes another one: Douglas E. Winter and his speedy thriller, Run. The lawyer-turned-novelist, a late developer at 49, has a beard and a black turtleneck so we know he's not just another suit. And he has earned the right to jettison his tie: Run is a powerful all-nighter of a novel about a bunch of illegal arms dealers whose $2 million "milk run" between D.C. and New York becomes entangled in a political assassination and a bloodbath that Caligula would be proud of. Plots within plots open up like a set of Russian dolls, as the hero-of-sorts runs to save his life. Much of his book is unquotable in a family newspaper. Indeed, one American reviewer wrote that the book "reads like it was written from a prison cell" rather than a law office. It's an effect Winter sought out. "There is a commercial way of rendering dialogue in thrillers which is in fact not as spoken. So instead I listened to people talking here in the city." Dealing with white gunrunners who are forced to work alongside black drug dealers, Run pits gangsters v gangstas, and much of the dialogue also echoes the urban rhythms of hip-hop, pretty ambitious for a white guy from Granite City, Illinois. It is Winter's fine collection of rap music that let him pull it off.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "pbousquet" on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Douglas E. Winter's RUN is indeed one of the best books so far this year. It took me 20 minutes to catch my breath after reading it. Winter's writing style takes on the speed of an action adventure movie--but faster. This book is the kind of action macho men dream about. Yet, more than that it is a superb story with masterful writing that anyone will appreciate. From page one, Winter pulls you into his story and never lets you go. His characters are fascinating, and though they seem superhuman, you can easily put yourself in their shoes. This novel, like so many great ones, is about the human condition--ugly as it may be. It is a cultural litmus test that digs into where we are as a society, and where we are going in the next millennium. Will our society of guns and violence and racism follow us into the 21st century, or will we see the light? You will laugh reading this book, and you may even cry, but most of all you'll feel exhilarated and you'll want to read it again. It's fun, it's fast, it tells a great story and has a wonderful meaning. So, chalk this one up on your grocery list of must-have books for your library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Douglas E. Winter, Run (Onyx, 2000)
Douglas Winter, whose sole excursion into publishing previously was editing a number of excellent anthologies, heads to the front of the camera, as it were, with his first novel, Run. One wonders, idly, what took him so long-especially after reading this.
Burdon Lane is an arms dealer-mostly legal, with some grey-area stuff around the edges to supplement the income. All of it is well-known and well-sanctioned by his employer, UniArms, who do the same thing, just on a much bigger level. One day, the president of UniArms calls Burdon and his sidekick, Renny Two-Hand, into the office and asks them to accompany a shipment to Manhattan. It should be an easy job, but if it were, there wouldn't be a novel, would there?
Most reviews, and all the blurbs, focus on the book's fast pace and nonstop action. Which is true, for the last two hundred or so pages of this four-hundred-page novel. Once the deal goes sour, you'll finish this in one marathon session. Winter provides no place to take smoke breaks in here; the shooting starts, and it does not end. It's not every action-novel writer who can keep up that kind of a pace for two hundred pages.
What impressed me more about the novel, though, were the first two hundred pages, which involve a lot of waiting, a lot of background, and some nicely unobtrusive setup for the events to come. I can't count the number of action, mystery, horror, et al. novels where the setup portions drag like a three-toed sloth with a gimp leg. But even when Winter is setting up Burdon's character, introducing us to the minor players, and other such mundane tasks, the book is still brisk enough that the reader is reluctant to let go.
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