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The Three-Day Affair Hardcover – September 4, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press; First Edition edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780802120267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802120267
  • ASIN: 0802120261
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Best Books of 2012, Esquire
Best Books of Fall 2012, Publisher's Weekly
Best Crime Fiction of 2012, Miami Herald

"An impressive debut. But what's more important is that this is simply a great novel. It does what great books should--makes you resent time spent away from it." --The Star Ledger

"Will keep readers on the edge of their seats. This debut thriller . . . takes you on an unexpected journey. As you read, you think you know which way the author is driving the narrative, only to have it swerve several times before the fascinating conclusion." --Library Journal (Starred Review)


"A momentary lapse of judgment leads to dire consequences in Kardos's excellent first novel, a crime thriller sure to please fans of Scott Smith's A Simple Plan . . . Kardos makes the most of his intriguing setup, populated with plausible characters and enhanced by a vicious closing sting."  --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"The Three-Day Affair never stops roaring, the pages blurring by, dangerously accelerating." --Esquire


"A carefully calibrated study of how even the most highly evolved members of our species can become feral under pressure."  --The New York Times

"This first novel from storyteller Kardos (One Last Good Time, 2010) leads three ordinary guys into a dark wood and turns the screws on them . . . An agonizing moral nightmare."  --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)             


"The sort of book you read with one eye closed because you can hardly stand to see what will happen, but there's no way you can put it down. Author Kardos created characters you can't help but care about. Will is wonderfully human. Great use of settings, clear writing, and a plot gratifying in its complexity and surprises. It would make a terrific book for a group to read and discuss." --Read Me Deadly

"Kardos is a first novelist, but doesn't write like one. He has an uncommonly agile touch." --Toronto Star

"The Three-Day Affair will make many best-of-the-year lists." --Mystery Scene

The Three-Day Affair never stops roaring, the pages blurring by, dangerously accelerating.” —Esquire

“Original. . . a carefully calibrated study of how even the most highly evolved members of our species can become feral under pressure.” —The New York Times Book Review

“This first novel from storyteller Kardos leads three ordinary guys into a dark wood and turns the screws on them. An agonizing moral nightmare interspersed with flashbacks to happier times whose import becomes clear only in the final chapter.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A momentary lapse of judgment leads to dire consequences in Kardos’s excellent first novel, a crime thriller sure to please fans of Scott Smith’s A Simple Plan. . . . Kardos makes the most of his intriguing setup, populated with plausible characters and enhanced by a vicious closing sting.” —Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)

“Kardos’ debut novel features finely drawn characters, clever plotting, a fine surprise ending, and graceful and economical storytelling.” —Booklist

“A taut thriller that goes least where you expect it to, but goes there beautifully.” —Tom Franklin, New York Times bestselling and Edgar-Award winning author of Crooked Letter

The Three-Day Affair is one of the most impressive debut novels I’ve ever read. Gripping and relentless, it will grab you by the throat and make you finish it. Michael Kardos absolutely nails it. Watch out for this guy.” —Steve Hamilton, two-time Edgar Award-winning author of Die a Stranger

“A wonderful piece of literary suspense craftsmanship. Line by line, Michael Kardos dazzles with prose strength and style, and the bad-day-gone-worse story does not let up... A fascinating character study and engaging thriller.” —Michael Koryta, winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize and author of The Prophet

“An outstanding thriller that has everything: graceful prose, a terrific plot, unbearable suspense, great surprises, and an intelligent and sympathetic narrator who will break your heart. An absolutely first-rate effort from a debut author who, trust me, is going to be around for a long time.” —John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Hunter

About the Author

Michael Kardos is the author of the novel The Three-Day Affair and the story collection One Last Good Time, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for fiction. His short stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere, and have been cited  several times as "Notable Stories" in Best American Short Stories. He currently lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where he co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.

More About the Author

Michael Kardos is the author of the novels BEFORE HE FINDS HER (2015) and the critically acclaimed THE THREE-DAY AFFAIR (an Esquire best book of the year), the story collection ONE LAST GOOD TIME (winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for fiction), and THE ART AND CRAFT OF FICTION.

His short stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, and many other magazines and anthologies, have won a Pushcart Prize, and were cited as Notable Stories in the 2009, 2010, and 2012 editions of Best American Short Stories.

Kardos grew up at the Jersey Shore, received a degree in music from Princeton University, and played the drums professionally for a number of years. He has an M.F.A. in fiction from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. He lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where he co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.

Customer Reviews

I thought this book was silly and terribly amateurish.
n.rivot
Just when you think something really dark and interesting is going to happen, the super lame reveal comes.
Brian English
I read this book in one day - the plot grabs you, the twists and turns and nuances keep coming and coming.
Diane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Luiz on September 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Kardos first impressed me with his stories in literary magazines. Many of them were gathered in the terrific collection, One Last Good Time, that came out at the end of 2010. For his first novel, he tries his hand at the mystery suspense genre and does a terrific job. All his credentials as a literary writer remain intact because this is a very character-driven story, but one with a plot that'll keep you find turning pages and avoiding other activities because this one is hard to put down.

The basic premise is that three Princeton grads get together for their own personal reunion weekend. Things go wrong almost immediately, though, because one, who lost a fortune when his Internet company failed, impulsively decides to hold up a convenience store and kidnap the cashier. Before his two friends even realize what's happened, they are embroiled in the mess. The story is told through the perspective of Will - the least successful of the group who spent years as a drummer in a alternative rock band but then transitioned into working as a sound engineer in a recording studio. His two friends are Jeffrey, the failed Internet businessmen, and Nolan, a politician hoping running for the Senate in Missouri.

A fourth friend is a New York lawyer who misses the kidnapping incident, but eventually has to be called in for advice on how get out of the quagmire they've created for themselves. What keeps you turning the pages is the suspense of wanting to know what they're going to do with the beautiful young girl they've kidnapped. They're not career criminals, but they all know their lives will be ruined - not to mention the possible prison time - if what they did gets out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. on November 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This novel is not without interest, even as one other reviewer noted how padded it is and still ends up rather short. The writing is okay, but, for me, the plot simply does not work. Do we accept that three adult men would go though with a kidnapping? I don't. It's pretty serious stuff. One of them, at least, would have refused to participate. Barring that, whatever happened would still be her world against three adult men of some reputation, and without significant criminal records. This irresponsible girl, known for leaving work early, would have had to make her story stand up against that of the three men. There would be no physical evidence of rape or assault. The men's story would be that she heard them speak of going to a recording studio and wanted to go along. Time got away from them, and look, it is now 3 days later. Oh, but the fun we had! If she then went and claimed rape or kidnapping, she would have no evidence. But that scenario doesn't work because the author has a trick in mind. First he has to get the reader to accept that this is a crime occurring, then he plays his trick. The guys are supposed to be friends, but there is a long history of double dealing among them, so in real life the trick might not have worked anyway. They can't trust each other!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By BJ on September 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first heard about this book by way of another author touting it online. Chris Coake author of You Came Back: A Novel posted a link to the book online and it sounded like something I would be very interested in.

The book showed up quick and after reading the blurbs on the back of the book, I was definitely looking forward to it. Two of the four blurbs compare "The Three-Day Affair" with Scott Smith's A Simple Plan. Not only did I love that book, the movie was excellent as well.

"The Three-Day Affair" has great characters, Kardos knows how to make his characters live and breathe. The story of the novel is just what the synopsis says, three good friends from college get together for a golf weekend. Will, Jeffrey and Nolan are out on the first night and Jeffery makes a hasty decision that will change everything. The friends stop at a gas station and Jeffery comes out running out with the clerk and tell's Will to drive, NOW! In an instant they realize they have just kidnapped someone.

The story picks up from there and builds with flashbacks involving each friend's history. A fourth friend is brought into the mess with hopes of helping his buddies make the right decision.

Based on the reviews I read before purchasing the book and the glowing blurbs on the back from many well known authors, I was expecting much, much more from the ending of the book. Obviously you know how it starts, the catch of reading it is finding out how they came to that point and what happens next. The what happens next is what just didnt do it for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ray Garraty on June 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Four college friends agree to meet after a long break. Will, the narrator, has become a sound engineer and moved to the suburbs after the murder of the bassistof the band, where he played the drums, and he wants to share the idea of seting up an indie label with friends. Will is sure his well settled friends will help him with money. Nolan went into politics and runs a campaign to the state senate. Jeffrey earned millions during the dot-com boom. Evan is about to become a junior partner at a law firm. Jeffrey and Nolan arrive in Newark, and Evan is delayed, so the three friends are planning a weekend full of golf and the telling of tales. But on the first night of the meeting Geoffrey tries to rob a store and then pushes a young saleswoman from this store against her will into the car where his friends are waiting. Will doesn't understand what's happening but follows the instructions of his friend, and so the three law-abiding friends for the first time break the law on a grand scale - kidnapping. The girl is taken to the recording studio, where Will works. Jeffrey explaines to friends that he went bankrupt and lost all his millions, and, in desperation, he commited the crime. Friends realize that their hopes for a brighter future have come to an end.

The Three-Day Affair wins the reader's heart not from the start. The heroes of the novel are office workers, hipsters, kids of middle class parents, quite effeminate creatures. Problems in their lives are nothing comparing to the problems of hard workers, criminals and sociopaths, the traditional heroes of noir. White-collar workers are rather well-off: they do not know hunger, cold and constant humiliation.
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