- Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Hard Case Crime; Original edition (February 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0843961155
- ISBN-13: 978-0843961157
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,791,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dead Man's Brother Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Never before published, this fantastic and compelling hard-boiled mystery was written in 1971 by acclaimed science fiction author Zelazny (1937–1995), but only discovered after his death. The unlikely hero is Ovid Wiley, art thief turned respectable art dealer, who wakes one morning to find his former partner, Carl Bernini, dead on the floor of his gallery. Ovid is sprung from NYPD custody by a CIA agent who will arrange for charges to be dropped if Ovid travels to Rome and investigates the disappearance of money-laundering priest Father Bretagne, whose lover, Maria Borsini, was also Bernini's girlfriend and Ovid's friend. The deepening mystery sends Ovid to Brazil, where he encounters horrific villains, secret agents and salvation in the most unexpected places. The twists and turns come at breakneck pace, and vintage details add unexpected charm. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Around the time the late Roger Zelazny’s masterpiece, the Amber Chronicles series, was launched in 1970 with the landmark Nine Princes in Amber, the author penned a book outside the bounds of his usual fantasy genre. This never-before-published novel falls solidly within the spy-thriller category. However, the main character, Ovid Wiley, with his less-than-respectable background as an art smuggler and dealer, could almost be a prototypical Indiana Jones, sans the cornball movie-serial overtones but with an extra dollop of Indy’s preternatural good luck. When Wiley’s former partner turns up dead on his art gallery floor, the NYPD likes Wiley for the crime; then the CIA shows up, promising to make the murder charge go away if Wiley will help track a renegade Vatican priest. Plot twists galore ensue, as Zelazny orchestrates the whole in high style. The jaunty first-person narrative, the wry wit, and a very light touch of the paranormal will appeal to hard-boiled crime fans as well as the huge base of Zelazny readers. The author’s son, Trent, supplies an afterword. --Elliott Swanson
Top Customer Reviews
My use of the past tense is not a grammatical error on my part: It's necessary in this case because Roger Zelazny passed away in June 1995; and in the various ways Roger intersected with my life--as an occasional correspondent; as a prospective author who was kind enough to give me permission to publish a collection of poetry that, for various reasons, I couldn't publish, which then allowed Underwood-Miller to publish it; as a contributor to my STEPHEN KING COMPANION; and most of all, as the writer whose fictional voice was so assured, so confident ... in those ways, and more, I came to his books with a tremendous amount of respect for the man, his work, and his ability to tell stories that immediately grabbed me by the collar and propelled me along through the narrative until, exhausted and out of breath, I finished the last page and closed the book, admiring the storytelling engine that Roger engineered. In other words, Roger was one hell of a storyteller.
This book, THE DEAD MAN'S BROTHER, was a joy to discover because it's 100% Zelazny. It must have been an unpublished manuscript, recently unearthed, or archived and not intended for publication. No matter what the circumstances, any longtime Roger Zelazny fan will instantly recognize it as his work, and no other.Read more ›
Well... It shares a number of characteristics in common. There are the unmistakable attention-grabbing chapter openings and the well constructed sentences. There are the extremely, if occasional, long paragraphs such as a main character delivering plot exposition for a page and half without a break. There's the not always sympathetic character who (like the author at the time) smokes a lot -so many I was surprised he wasn't dying of lung cancer by the end of the book. There's the casual erudition and display of knowledge which is relevant to the plot -in this case Paintings (with a capital P for Art). And the purveying air of cynicism by the protagonist.
Otherwise... It's a moderately efficient thriller which wouldn't have been harmed by about 10,000 words of pruning. There's a twist which I'm sure Zelazny was neither the first nor the last to use and which I spotted early on. The story develops into something more and morally higher than it first appeared which you will have to find out for yourself as I'm not doing any spoilers here.
I had to make a little effort to keep reading early in the book but by the end was racing through it. However, the answer to the question mooted above is: no. Whatever this novel's virtues and it does possess them, Zelazny does not bring the magic apparent in his Science Fiction and I speak as someone who has just ordered the first four volumes of his complete short stories and whose favourite novel is Lord of Light. I also speak as someone who enjoys crime novels a great deal.
You aren't wasting your time buying this, and it is a nice pulp-pastiche edition from Hard Case Crime, but you aren't getting the real Roger Zelazny.
The police arrive, take his story, seem to accept his tale of innocence. and then lock him in a cell for three days. The charge, suspected homicide. The real fun begins when a man in a black suit carrying a black plastic briefcase comes into the picture. He offers Wiley the choice, to remain in jail or to accompany him to McClean, VA, home of the CIA. Once there, Wiley is interviewed by two men and is offered a deal. They will make the murder charges disappear if Wiley does them a "favor." Apparently Wiley has an intelligence background, acquired in the Army, (ironic for a former thief...or maybe not), this along with his knowledge of art and several languages make him the perfect man for the job. What job? Apparently a renegade Vatican priest has been embezzling millions from the Holy See's treasury.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Zelazny wrote over 100 works. He was a poet first. His words almost rhymed. He sang to us. He was extremely compact with his writing. He was playful. Read morePublished 2 months ago by RenaissanceMan
It was a good book a as a fan of every Zelazny story every written, I am not 100% sure he penned this himself. Still liked the book would recommend it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Martin A. Gubbels
Zelazny was a genius, and I'd read a cookbook if he wrote it. I wasn't disappointed in this, as it has a Zelazny plot, and his POV character's voice is just as much fun as John D. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ellell Bee
Zelazny never fails to impress. Great storyline paired with his distinct prosPublished on November 24, 2014 by The Krueger
Excellent, and I love the notes from his son. Thanks for sharing him, and the book.Published on September 8, 2014 by Susan
I have always lived his work. What all the critics say is true. A writer who just writes extremely well and to hell with genre. Zelazny you are always an inspiration.Published on August 6, 2014 by C. Knutson
Excellent story and movement . I Never saw thé dévelopementr thé plot. Thé Charactèrs and théir development are réal. Read morePublished on July 24, 2014 by Clerici
Roger Zelazny is one of the most acclaimed science fiction writers of the sixties and seventies and is perhaps best known for his Amber series. Read morePublished on June 30, 2014 by Dave Wilde