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Comment: A bargin for this condition! Never read, but minor wear on cover and remainder mark on bottom edge (black stripe) so i m listing as LIKE NEW
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The Breaks (The Penguin Contemporary American Fiction Series) Paperback – March 6, 1984

3.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A glorious, gritty comedy.” —The New Yorker

“Richard Price is to fiction what Martin Scorsese is to film....He has a genuine gift; his style is energetic, his eye for catching the minutiae of pop culture is keen, he swings to the jangling rhythms of city life.” —The Washington Post Book World

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About the Author

Richard Price is the author of seven novels, including Lush Life, Clockers, Freedomland, and Samaritan. He wrote the screenplays for the films Sea of Love, Ransom, and The Color of Money, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. He won the 2007 Edgar Award for Best TV writing as a co-writer for the HBO series The Wire. Price was also awarded a Literature Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (March 6, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140070370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140070378
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,310,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on April 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"The Breaks" is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I've read interviews with Richard Price where he calls this book and his other classic, "Ladies Man", his early "bad" efforts. No way! In "The Breaks" you get several novels for the price of one---all of them great! There's the protagonist's hilarious adventures with depression after college(really!); his earnest but hapless return to his college town; his not-quite-successful romance with a woman a few years older and several decades smarter than him; his sudden urge to be a stand-up comic; and his scary/funny rivalry with his girlfriend's ex-husband. I've owned "The Breaks" for about ten years, and I still reread it periodically when I want a laugh. Mr. Price, you have at least one enthusiastic fan of "The Breaks"!
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Let me begin by saying I'm a big fan of Richard Price's books.
Just not this book, which centers on a recent Ivy League graduate (Peter Keller) who doesn't know what to do with himself.
It's a testament to Price's talent as a writer that I kept turning the pages despite this book's middling story, annoying characters and uninteresting setting. But after awhile, even Price's flair with words and dialogue couldn't overcome the sledgehammer effect of hearing the protagonist's whiny attitude and unfunny wisecracks page after page (after page after page).
The "story," what there is of it, concerns a kind of love triangle between Keller, a woman who lives in his college town, and one of Keller's former professors, who also happens to be the ex-husband of the aforementioned woman.
None of these self-absorbed sad sacks is particularly likeable, although the woman is easily the most sympathetic of the three. The story itself just crawls along at a painfully slow pace. For the last 50 pages or so, I found myself skimming from one paragraph to the next trying to find out what happens in the end so I could put this book away and get it out of my life.
I finally made it to the end. I won't spoil it for you. Though, to be honest, there's not much to spoil.
In any event, this is the first book of Price's I didn't like. I guess every writer is entitled to one turkey. For Price, "The Breaks" is definitely the one.
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Man do I love Richard Price. Anyone asks me to recommend an author, it's Richard Price. I have now read his entire oeuvre, minus CLOCKERS and FREEDOMLAND. I have, of course, seen those films, and picked up a copy of each at The Strand in New York City last week. But the others, including his most recent two, LUSH LIFE and SAMARTIAN, as well as his first two, BLOODBROTHERS and THE WANDERERS, are as five-star as a book can be. His third novel, 1978's LADIES' MAN is one of the top ten books of all time. So I really like Richard Price and I had saved this 1983 book for my NYC vacation. The newly reissued edition from Picador has the remarkable cover from the 1970s in the Times Square Subway Station and was so ripe for my collective desires that it seemed a slam dunk read. A week, four plane trips, multiple subway rides, lunch in the village and loading zone difficulties landed with a thud on a rainy, balmy Tuesday afternoon in November, back home. What's wrong? I'm not sure - the book seems so well-liked, and when it's covering familiar Priceian grounds - like NYC' seamy 1970s underbelly, the book sings with a beauty and a pathos that makes me want to highlight passages (an example: a trip to the Village: 'I bypassed the leafless barren field of Washington Square Park, later for nature, and wandered up and down the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari streets wishing I was everybody I saw.' As someone who spent several hours in the village last week that line reads both poetic and true. BUT for some reason most of this story is the tale of college graduate Peter Keller of the Bronx who returns to his college campus to teach and involve himself with an unexciting, beyond-formulaic relationship with a disaffected townie.Read more ›
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