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'Nada Paperback – September 1, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Casperian Books LLC (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934081248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934081242
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,472,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By S. Lewis on September 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
'NADA is a book that takes place in Mexico, in and around an all-but-abandoned silver mine watched over by one man, the one who tells the story, Vernon Culley, a mining engineer from Kansas City. We know that much about him that right away, but not much else. Bit by bit, though, other pieces of his background get filled in as the story goes along.

The year is 1936, right in the middle of the Great Depression, and Mexico, feeling the ailment as well as up in US, if not worse, is filled with banditos of all makes and models, which is how the story begins: with an old ambulance and the two men in it entering Culley's small domain while fleeing a gang of ornery local outlaws headed by a fellow named Paco Serrano.

Right about now - and this is about all I'm going to tell you about the plot - you should maybe know whether this is a book for you or not. But if you're still uncertain, let me warn you that this is not a book for most "cozy" lovers, nor should you expect a locked room mystery to suddenly pop up and take over the tale.

For a book of action, which of course is what this is in part, told by a strong authorial voice as if the teller of the tale were in the same room with you - one I could hear all the way through - I think the strongest parts were not the sections with the gunplay, which at one point is fast and furious indeed, but rather the quieter more reflective ones.

Such as when Culley and his newly found friend Ray (one of the two men in the ambulance) are making their way across the desert to a town called Quenada (hence the title, making the apostrophe important if not essential) talking about life and death and men on the borderline between the two -- and promises that have been made to them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'NADA is driven by quiet tension that is skillfully sustained from first chapter to last. There are bursts of violence but when they they ended I was immediatly back on edge about what was going to happen next. The characters are deftly drawn and the settings are vividly presented.

What I enjoyed most was the well crafted plot. Almost everyone in the story wants to possess the fortune in gold that motivates most of the action. Competing groups are constantly trying to outsmart and outfight each other, with results that aren't easy to predict. The story rushes along with momentum to spare.

I have corresponded with the author and it's great to see his love of vintage crime fiction reflected on every page of 'NADA.
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Format: Paperback
'Nada is a good one. The setting is Mexico in 1935, where a man named Culley's the caretaker at an abandoned silver mine. He and a man named Ray make a promise about a load of gold bars to a dying man. Ray wants to carry out the promise. Culley's not so sure. He wouldn't mind having that gold for himself.

It's a story in the rousing style of something you might have run across in Adventure when that pulp was in its heyday, a tale of gold and greed and doing the right thing. It has Mexican bandits, a harrowing desert journey, one heck of a gun battle, and a narrator named Vernon Culley, who knows how to tell a tale about greed and loyalty.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I have a sneaking suspicion that, even if I hadn't known that my friend Dan Stumpf was hiding behind the Boyd pseudonym, I might have recognized his talents at work. It's not only the Shakespearean motifs cleverly woven into the text, but the precise style and use of significant detail that characterize his APA reviews, and a sly humor that sneaks up on you. And if you've ever ridden in a car driven by Sheriff Dan, with his daringly achieved hairpin turns, you might get something of the sensation you've experienced as a rider in his trigger--sharp plotting.
The ending suggests that his sympathetic protagonists, Culley and Ray, won't be meeting up again, but I'd like to think they do have a fictional afterlife. And that I'll be around to share it.
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