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Soon the Rest Will Fall: A Novel Hardcover – November 7, 2006

2 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Named a Literary Laureate of San Francisco in 2004, PETER PLATE taught himself to write fiction during eight years spent squatting in abandoned buildings. He is the author of many novels, beginning with Black Wheel of Anger (1990) and continuing through his seven neo-noir "psychic histories" of San Francisco, where he still lives and writes today.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; Seven Stories Press 1st Ed edition (November 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583227474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583227473
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,944,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This is Plate's eighth novel, and while it brims with energy and street cred (Plate was a squatter for a while), the story itself isn't that interesting. There are countless books about the problems ex-cons face in trying to "make it" on the outside, and this one doesn't add much to genre. Things start out fairly promisingly enough, as we meet Robert Grogan in San Quentin days before his release. Jailed for several years, he's apprehensive about seeing his wife and daughter and isn't quite sure what to do about his cellmate and "prison wife" Slatts, whom he's in love with and has invited to come live with him and his family. This notion of what to do when you love your "prison wife" more than your real wife is a potentially interesting hook.

Plate does a nice job of showing how simply getting from San Quentin to his apartment in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco (a distance of about 10-15 miles) is fraught with complication for someone as inept as Robert. The reunion with his family is predictably troublesome, and it's not long before he's doing dumb stuff bound to land him back in jail (like driving around in a car full of hunting rifles and shotguns). Unfortunately, when Slatts is paroled and shows up to live with Robert, all that happens is that Robert wallows in denial, trying to lie his way to safety. That may be a totally realistic approach to his problem, but it's not a very dramatic one from a storytelling standpoint.

Exhibiting virtually no self-control, Robert and Slatts make the dumb hoods one finds in Elmore Leonard novels look like geniuses. For example, Robert sees a traffic cop and is so enervated by the sight, he can't resist knocking him down with his car. Slatts sees an old foe from prison in a bar and promptly gets in a bloody fight.
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Soon the Rest Will Fall: A Novel
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