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Vertical Run Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A Vietnam vet turned businessman must figure out why everyone he knows suddenly wants him dead.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

This bound-for-success thriller is not only a Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection, it's also destined for the big screen with Jon Peters set to produce. Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford could play all-American hero David Elliott, although stuntmen would doubtless perform the commando-style tricks Elliott uses to outwit his enemies. It's just another day at the office for Dave, until his boss tries to shoot him. Then his wife, coworkers, and kids turn on him, and a gang of FBI sharpshooters trap him in a New York skyscraper. What Dave can't figure out is why it all went bad. Good thing he's a Vietnam vet with Green Beret^-type training who handily remembers his hand-to-hand combat, kung-fu, marksmanship, and booby-trap-setting skills. He uses them all to keep his would-be killers at bay while he tries to figure out why he's suddenly become an endangered species. Garber knows how to spin a web of steadily increasing suspense, keeping his readers on tenterhooks trying to figure out what's going on while the action builds to a totally unpredictable ending. Book and movie are both likely to be big hits, so be ready with multiple copies. Emily Melton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553573926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553573923
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Untouchable on June 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Business executive Dave Ellis shows up to work one morning to be greeted by his boss who is holding a gun and lamenting the fact that Dave must die. Dave can tell that today is not going to be a good day. He has to call on all the training he learnt many years ago in Vietnam as an army lieutenant. His specialty back then was covert operations and was armed with a vast knowledge of dirty tricks and ability to outthink the enemy. This knowledge proves to be of the utmost importance for his survival of this bewildering attack.
Why is he being hunted so determinedly? Why do his pursuers seem to be such professionals?
Throughout the chase he goes through a series of flashbacks as all of his training comes back to him. We find out where he learnt all his dirty tricks and booby traps, how he knows what his pursuers will do next and how to escape the traps that are set for him. The bulk of the action is confined within a 50-storey building as Dave tries to escape and his pursuers try to keep him penned in. With ingenious evasive manoeuvres and devious booby traps, Dave races from floor to floor as the net tightens and the number of chasers grows.
This is an action-all-the-way hell-raiser that is all the more enjoyable for it's unbelievable moments. There are sequences that remind me somewhat of the movie Die Hard, but was also refreshing in it's originality at the same time, funnily enough. A terrific ending capped off a very enjoyable book, containing everything required of a first-rate action adventure.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John G. Hilliard on April 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hey, a new story. In this category of books, it is getting a tough to find something new but this was. I think I have had a few days like this - at least the part about the boss taking a shot at him. This is a fun book with a new interesting plot. Joe average all of a sudden has the world after him. He then has to run for his life. The book just keeps going and going. I think this will always be this author's best books, I do not know how he will top it. The story is very tight. It had it all, a great story, good characters, wonderful action and a quick pace. This is just a good old exciting book. The author peppers the book with plot twists that keep the reader on his toes. This author writes in a way that is tight and slick that keep you interested through out. Sit back and enjoy this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Erik Samson on July 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One minute you're sitting in your big cushy office, getting some work done, and the next you're running for your life, because it seems that everyone from your boss to the janitor wants you dead. And just to drive the point home, there's a team of skilled mercenaries on your tail. And all you have to get you out in one piece is your military training and a voice in your head. Now that, my friends, is a bad day at the office.
With light-speed pacing and expert storytelling, Joseph Garber's action-packed thriller is definatley worth a read. The book's office building setting and relentless action scenes draw immediate comparisons to Die Hard, all the while infusing a great mystery story, as protagonist Dave Elliot tries to figure out why everyone seems to want him dead. The character developent and writing are surprisingly good for an action novel, as are the use of subplot and flashbacks. Elliot's recolections of Vietnam are fascinating, and the military background makes him a surprisingly rescourcful character. None of this slows down the plot, however, which barrels along at supersonic speed and never lets up. Things explode, people get shot, and the ending is maddeningly creative. Vertical Run is a great piece of escapist fiction, definatley a ride worth taking.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Frances Carmody on October 16, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I saw "Vertical Run" 's pre-release ad in 1995; it intrigued me: A normal guy comes to work and suddenly everyone, including his partner and best friend, are trying to kill him! Why? I finally read it this year; I'm sorry I waited. = This book moves like a runaway train and takes you with it, pulling you into the careening action in the first few pages. You have to go along, you don't have a choice. This is one of the five best action-thrillers I have read in my entire life. I will not give away the plot, it's too much fun to read it. Suffice to say, the clues are all there for those that like to puzzle out this kind of thing. Most of the action takes place in a high-rise office building, thus the title. And by God, it's a run alright. It has tension, conflict, fights, explosions (I like explosions), a little romance, and some fascinating nuggets of information on how to set booby-traps using only the materials at hand in a normal office environment (don't try those at work, kids, you'll get arrested). This book is not only worth reading, it's worth owning the hardback edition. You may have mixed feelings about the ending, but I think it's the right way for the plot to conclude.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H Pierre on August 16, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Remember this name: Joseph R. Garber. He has written, apparently, three novels to date. I've read two of them, and they are surpassingly good! I first read Whirlwind, in an advance reader's edition (review copy). Amazon will not let me review it yet, because it will not be released until tomorrow, but let me tell you, it is a thriller that will hold you spellbound, as will this one: Vertical Run, his second book. The first was called Rascal Money, and he is a literary critic and business analyst for Forbes magazine.

From the back cover:

'Dave Elliott is about to have a very bad day at the office...

'It begins early this morning when the company president strolls into Dave Elliott's office with a gun in his hand and murder in his eye. From there it gets even worse. To Dave's mounting horror he discovers that his colleagues, friends, and even his wife and son wanbt him killed.

'He can't imagine why.

'Now he's trapped in a fifty-story New York office tower with a team of ruthlessly professional mercenaries hunting him floor by floor and expecting him to be dead by lunchtime.

'They're wrong.'

This is a 300 page (popular paperback) adventure thriller that is somewhat better than you would expect from Clancy, Cook, or Higgins. I predict that this author is destined to be our next leading writer in this genre. He writes like a man who has 'been there,' and the details of the 'spook trade' are utterly convincing as he describes it.

But, don't let it fool you. Because a man writes like an ex-Green Beret does not mean he has been one. The late R. Wright Campbell wrote a book called The Spy Who Sat and Waited, with the story set in the Orkneys.
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