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The Way of All Fish: A Novel Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476723958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476723952
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

They’re back! Candy and Karl, who represent the gold standard for hit men in Manhattan (introduced in Foul Matter, 2003), return with their scruples—they kill only persons they think deserve to die—and their burgeoning interest in the publishing industry. But their contract on universally disliked literary agent L. Bass Hess hits a snag. Because Hess is suing a former client, author Cindy Sella, Candy and Karl fear that Sella would be the first person suspected if Hess were murdered. So the pair draws on their contacts from the earlier book, including best-selling author Paul Giverney and publisher Bobby Mackensie, to devise a means of obliterating Hess short of killing him. From the opening pages, when other hit men shoot up an aquarium in the downtown Clownfish Cafe, exotic tropical fish are the key to zany action proposed on the fly. This sequel to Foul Matter is a caper that casts an eye on publishing that is comic, caustic, and relentlessly readable. Yes, it’s Grimes lite—and probably as much fun for the author as it is for her readers. --Michele Leber

Review

Martha Grimes is a very funny writer and TheWay of All Fish is a hilarious and worthy sequel to her bestselling FoulMatter. Like all great satirists, Ms. Grimes sees the world from the other side of the looking glass andinvites us to come along for a wild and wacky ride. A very entertainingand fun read. (Nelson DeMille, bestselling author of The Quest)

Few people have ever succeeded in making book publishing of all things seem funny and suspenseful, but Martha Grimes does so brilliantly in The Way of All Fish. (Michael Korda, author of Another Life)

"Martha Grimes is back with a deliciously hilarious send-up of the book business. The Way of All Fish nails all the foul matter of publishing dead on, and is a smashingly great read as well." (Linda Fairstein bestselling author of Death Angel)

More About the Author

Martha Grimes is the bestselling author of twenty-one Richard Jury novels, as well as the novels Dakota and Foul Matter, among others. Her previous two Jury books, The Old Wine Shades and Dust, both appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.

Customer Reviews

I am a devoted Martha Grimes fan but the one note characters, convoluted plot left me cold.
Mary
And The Way of All Fish is really... well, I hate to say it about my favorite author... not very good.
LSNelson
Not as good as her first as her first book on the publishing industry -- and that one wasn't so hot.
JRH

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mary on February 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Extremely disappointing. I am a devoted Martha Grimes fan but the one note characters, convoluted plot left me cold. Sadly I did not care how the tale ended. Just a ridiculous waste of time. I miss Lord Ardy, Vivian Rivington and Richard Jury.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on January 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Beware the suspense writer with a cause. Multimillionaire bestselling author Paul Giverney, Martha Grimes’s latest antihero introduced in FOUL MATTER, is on the warpath. His recent triumph over the venal agents and murder-for-hire publishers has whetted his appetite for victory as he takes on an infamously greedy literary agent.

Sweet, innocent damsel Cindy Sella, with one moderately successful novel under her belt, is suffering from writer’s block caused by a former agent’s relentless legal pursuit of an unearned commission. She’s nursing her plight in a popular Manhattan bar when a gangland shooting takes out an aquarium filled with tropical fish, and she makes a heroic dive to save a rare clownfish. No humans (or presumably piscine lives) are lost, but she draws the attention of Karl and Candy, Grimes’s hitmen with scruples, when they arrive in time to chase off the gangsters.

Sentimental hitman Candy, an unlikely aficionado of rare fish, and Karl, just as unlikely a reader of Proust (among other esoteric literati), hear of their fish-saving young maiden’s plight and come gallantly to the rescue. They announce that this contract is pro bono (their fee is usually $1 million for a hit), and they will take out the dastardly L. Bass Hess, but only if he can’t be dispensed without bloodshed. That’s where Paul Giverney comes in. Karl and Candy pay him a visit after working with him to successfully stop a hit on an unsuspecting author in FOUL MATTER. Because suspense writers have famously fiendish minds, who else but an evil genius like Giverney could cook up a plot to drive Hess crazy? With Giverney’s vast bank account, he can produce a gaslighting escapade that moves from Central Park to the Everglades to a Malaysian tropical fish-smuggling team.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J.M. Hinz on January 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Perhaps this is intended to be a spoof of the hard-boiled and edgy noir mystery. Instead, it is just bad writing about unlikeable characters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LSNelson on March 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Let me start off by saying Martha Grimes is my favorite author. The End of the Pier, and the Hotel Paradise series are brilliant. I loved The Train Now Departing so much (both novellas in it, but particularly the one it's named for) I didn't reread it for years! I know that sounds backwards, but I felt it was so stunningly good I just couldn't.

So, that said... Foul Matter wasn't my favorite. And The Way of All Fish is really... well, I hate to say it about my favorite author... not very good. There, I said it. Is it the subject matter? I don't think so. Is it the writing. I am not so sure there. I do know that she can write better, and she can write in different "voices" as it were. I mean, her Richard Jury novels are written in a much different way than the Emma Graham series.

But, I could only read one half before I just couldn't take it any longer. Convoluted plots with too many characters hard to keep straight.

The one thing I couldn't get past in The Way of All Fish didn't even have to do with the book, the story, the writing. It was the fish. After the shooting at the restaurant I kept waiting to get the part where the fish die. They didn't in the restaurant when they were put in water glasses, filled with water from the waiter's stations. They didn't the next day, or days later, when taken home (or bought in baggies of water) and placed in larger bowls, or tanks. Then coral is added and more fish. Ms. Grimes didn't seem to do a bit of research before throwing fish into glasses and tanks. These are saltwater fish! They cannot survive in a glassful of drinking water! Coral? Saltwater. But, coral seems to be just dropped in the bowls, glasses, tanks, etc. Then, they discuss arowana, which is a freshwater fish!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mike on March 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I try never to not complete a book no matter how much I hate it. Grimes wins, I tossed this book 2 pages in. Amazingly bad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not sure I like it at all. In fact, when I was about half way I put it down and read another book in hopes to go back to it, but I didn't. I guess I can't give it a good review since I didn't finish it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Khamneithang Vaiphei TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Way of All Fish by Martha Grimes is a story that basically revolves around the publishing industry with Cindy Sella, a published author, who is taken to court by her former agent, L. Bass Hess, on the ground of non-payment of fifteen per cent commissions for a book she wrote long after being released as her agent. He is destroying Cindy's productivity by saddling her with an expensive nuisance lawsuit.

Martha populated the book with interesting characters like the two hit men, Candy and Karl, who decide to help Cindy and work out a plan to rid the mean streets of Hess. They choose to confuse rather than kill Hess. Candy and Karl are a fascinating pair of hit men who study their targeted victims before the actual hit. Then there is an ex-mobster turned author who has turned on the mob and is in the Witness Protection Program.

It is well-written and truly enjoyable. It will give you enough laughs all the way to the end of the book.
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