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The Science of Paul: A Novel of Crime [Kindle Edition]

Aaron Philip Clark
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

Ex-convict Paul Little has just walked out on the only woman who has ever loved him to return to a life of crime in Philadelphia. But when Paul gets involved with a petty thug who is later murdered, he finds himself pinned between the volatile gangster accused of the crime and the straight-laced detective who put Paul away years ago. Realizing the city may be the death of him, Paul looks to escape to North Carolina and live alone on a farm left to him by his recently deceased grandfather. Can Paul survive long enough to make it to the succor of the farm? Will he inevitably return to a life behind bars? Or is it his fate to die a victim in Philadelphia? The Science of Paul is a stunning tale of redemption and self-exploration, as one man navigates the precariousness of the streets and the inner workings of his mind.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A finely-drawn character study of a man battling fate to escape the inevitable gravity of a life of crime. Reminiscent of the existential crime novels of Jean-Patrick Manchette. That we care so much about Paul is testament to Aaron Philip Clark's skill." --Eric Beetner, author of ONE TOO MANY BLOWS TO THE HEAD and BORROWED TROUBLE

"Aaron Philip Clark's THE SCIENCE OF PAUL has all the makings of a modern noir classic. Noir in its purest form always reads like a punch to the gut and THE SCIENCE OF PAUL delivers that kind of blow right from page one. 'No apologies, no regrets' should be this novel's motto." -- Gar Anthony Haywood, author of CEMETERY ROAD

"The eponymous protagonist of Aaron Clarke's scorching , gripping THE SCIENCE OF PAUL is an ex -con, a booze hound, a haunted drifter. Deep in the heart of America's south, which seems only just north of hell, he emotionlessly buries his grandfather and, with a beautiful woman in tow, drives off at full speed, slap-bang into the classic noir paradigm. This is a car wreck well worth risking your neck to see." -- Paul David Brazil, PULP METAL MAGAZINE

"With the relentless moth-to-flame inevitability of classic noir, Aaron Philip Clark's angry ex-con finds trouble on Philadelphia's mean streets. Vivid characterization and a sharp eye for the fault lines in American society drive this impressive debut." -- Roger Smith, author of WAKE UP DEAD and MIXED BLOOD

"T.S. Eliot referred to it as tradition and individual talent, the manner in which new work at once honors, builds upon, and questions what has come before. Chester Himes, Richard Wright, James Baldwin--Aaron Philip Clark has been paying attention. " -- James Sallis, author of CYPRESS GROVE and CHESTER HIMES: A LIFE

About the Author

A native of Los Angeles, CA, Aaron Philip Clark is a novelist and poet. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Otis College of Art and Design. A crime and existential fiction enthusiast, Aaron found inspiration in the novels of Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley and Fred Vargas; works like THE STRANGER and INVISIBLE MAN, helped lay the foundation for his debut novel THE SCIENCE OF PAUL: A NOVEL OF CRIME. He currently teaches English and Creative Writing in North Carolina.

Product Details

  • File Size: 324 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: New Pulp Press (June 12, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0055PKALY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,282,938 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(9)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare kind of bird January 20, 2011
Format:Paperback
[...]

There should be more novels like The Science Of Paul. That means more MFA graduates should get into crime fiction. I opened Aaron Philip Clark's first novel, torn between a slight dread and an apologetic approach, which were both completely unnecessary. It's been a while since I have read a noir novel that packed such a punch. Hell, it's been a while since I have read a writer's first novel that was this good. The Science Of Paul crawled under my skin with the slow and methodic approach of a medieval executioner. And I love every single minute of it.

Like the title announces, it's the story of Paul, Paul Little, an ex-convict who decides to start a new life on his grand-father estate after he inherits of it. But if you lived a life of crime, it's not easy to put the past behind and get away. His hometown of Philadelphia, like an abusive mother, doesn't want to let him go. As he plans his escape to his grandfather's farm in North Carolina, Paul's good side is going to catch up to him. Karma is a bitch for ex-professional sinners like him.

The Science Of Paul is written in a first person point-of-view, which is a stylistic choice that Clark uses very well, but isn't without its drawbacks. It's obviously a character based novel, focused on Paul's battle with his inner demons and in that regard, it's remarkably well achieved. His tortured relationships with women is particularly well crafted. His fatalistic views about love give Paul some humanity and put him ahead of all those cardboard characters that you see more often than not in noir fiction.

It's uneven and overwritten sometimes, which are two traps you can fall in when you write a novel at the first person.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Life of Crime February 2, 2011
Format:Paperback
In the Science of Paul by Aaron Philip Clark readers are introduced to Paul Little, an ex-con trying to be on the straight and narrow while leaving Philadelphia and the life of crime. Paul has his plan all mapped out to settle in North Carolina on a farm left to him by his grandfather. Relocating to the farm will help him start his life over but plans are made to be broken. Paul meets and falls for Tammy. Tammy is a woman trying to help Paul better himself and to stay out of trouble. They say once a criminal always a criminal, which reigns true in Paul's situation.

What man does not want to stay with the woman who has his best interest at heart? Maybe not Paul--which is why he ruins his relationship with Tammy and takes up with a questionable friend. Paul soon finds himself heading back toward a life of crime. When one of Paul's associates is found murdered, he becomes trapped in the middle of a crooked gangster and a greedy detective's battle. Paul will have to think two steps ahead if he will survive the streets of Philadelphia.

The authors writing style enlightens readers to a story of a man trying to stay away from a life a crime. The main character fights his conscience throughout the story and tries to come to terms with the life he has been dealt. This author's debut novel was entertaining and held my attention until the end. It will provide readers with drama, suspense, and a little bit of mystery. I recommend this book to others.

This book was provided by the author for review purposes.

Teresa Beasley
APOOO BookClub
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich & Vivid January 14, 2011
Format:Paperback
The eponymous protagonist of Aaron Clarke's scorching , gripping THE SCIENCE OF PAUL is an ex -con, a booze hound, a haunted drifter. Deep in the heart of America's south, which seems only just north of hell, he emotionlessly buries his grandfather and, with a beautiful woman in tow, drives off at full speed, slap-bang into the classic noir paradigm. This is a car wreck well worth risking your neck to see.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Has a lot going for it March 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is plenty to like about this book. Paul is a strong and very well-drawn central character. I'm not surprised to see that the author was influenced by Walter Mosley, because Easy Rawlins (another hard-knocks African-American hero) came to mind straight away. I also thought the supporting cast was really good. Philadelphia really came to life in a seamy way too.

There's a lot of heartfelt writing too (though a sprinkling of little things got by the copy editor). The only part of the story that didn't hang together for me was the subplot involving Kim.

The ending was handled in a satisfying way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking..... January 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Paul Little tries to stay out of trouble by living a quiet life with his girlfriend Tammy. The outside maybe quiet but the noise in his head has him making decisions that holds him back from living peacefully.

Leaving the comfort of the home he and Tammy share,Paul tries to go to the last place he remembers peace. Going to say farewell to the few friends he has causes him more trouble than he expects.

This well written story gives the reader a look at what goes on in the mind of a man that is only looking for peace. How even though his mind tell him its right or wrong he doesn't listen and suffers consequences.

First time experiencing Mr.Clark's work and will be on the look out for more of it.

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