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Repo Men Mass Market Paperback – March 9, 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Garcia, it seems, is one of those writers who can do pretty much whatever he puts his mind to. A novel about a con man with OCD? Sure, no problem: Matchstick Men. A spoof of chick lit? Piece of cake: Cassandra French's Finishing School for Boys. A series about a dinosaur private eye? Child's play: Anonymous Rex and its sequels. A near-future story about guys who repossess artificial organs for a living? No trouble there, either. The Repossession Mambo, originally published in 2009 as a mass-market paperback, now has been reissued as Repo Men, to tie-in with the movie version, also written by Garcia. The novel is gritty and imaginative (and, consider yourself warned, occasionally the imagery is rather, um, visceral). Garcia tells a simple story: a repo man, unable to keep up the payments on his own artificial organ, goes on the run from his former colleagues. But the story is told with such gusto, such a keen sense of time and place—Garcia really makes you feel like you're part of this near-future world—that you're captivated by the sheer power of the narrative. Another excellent, offbeat, and unique novel from this very talented writer. --David Pitt --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Eric Garcia is the author of several novels, including Matchstick Men, which was made into a feature film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Nicolas Cage, and the Anonymous Rex series. A native of Miami, Florida, he now lives in Southern California with his wife, two daughters, and a dog.

--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Original edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006171304X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061713040
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,778,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By dperez on April 3, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Read this book right after watching the movie and I think it's sad that so much from it appears to have been lost in the conversion. Yeah, only so much can be told in 100 minutes, but still.... The book's ending, and most of the story, is quite different from the movie. I personally prefer the ending of the book, but the one given to the movie is more... fitting, I suppose. Somehow, both stories seems to complement each other in a way.

"MAMBO", btw, is a reference to the structural style of the narration. It moves back and forth all the time, as if dancing, throwing around bits and pieces of the narrator's life story, sometimes seemingly at random. Seriously, this is NOT a poorly written book, on the contrary, a lot of not so obvious yet important details and several currently relevant subjects that inspire hard thinking were weaved into a well thought out story, but I see how the unconventional narrative style (which I have seen similarly used before in some Hispanic American novels) could be a little odd to some. IMO however it just created a really interesting, refreshing and entertaining read. Also, the book's fragmented structure is a reflection of how an ex-military turned Union Man (nameless in the book) sees everything, including people. To him there are only fragments and he's unable (and maybe a bit reluctant) to put those together and look at the whole. After all, he only came for your liver, who cares about the rest of you? ;)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's an older movie that I found it by accident on TV one night. Liked it so much I wanted to see it again so I bought the DVD. Lastly I read the book. I prefer the book ending because it allows for a sequel which would have been awesome. Still, it was very entertaining. Makes you think about the future. Would this even be possible? Hum...
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Format: Kindle Edition
It's a rule: If you watch the movie, you must read the book (or vice versa).

This is one of the few times I'll say the book and film complemented each other. The two go in slightly different stylistic directions but are rooted in Eric Garcia's dystopian vision regarding organ failure and corporate policy. In the future artiforgs (artificial organs) are the new bling bling. Everyone wants one because everyone needs one. But fall beyond your billing's grace period, and the repomen are coming after that shiny kidney.

Repomen is a nonlinear story about a top repoman who finds himself on the other side of the hunt. But given that the story is nonlinear, the past and present are scrambled so that his adventure unfolds in a multi-dimensional mind trip. The chronological confusion deepens the character's sense that his life and mind are deteriorating. In this case I was glad to have seen the movie first, though it wouldn't have been a problem otherwise.

I loved how Garcia took the real-life corporate entity and cranked it to full blast. In many ways Garcia's idea of a dystopian future seems more plausible, looking at where things have been headed, than Aldous Huxley did in Brave New World. My only complaint is that while Garcia's prose is decent enough, his overall writing level is average at best. I needed something more profound than raw survival and confusion. That's why Huxley and Orwell will always be the masters of dystopia.

Garcia writes a dystopia that feels absolutely at home in this generation. His characters are desensitized to horrific violence and live by a empty ultra-consumer lifestyle overseen by corporate overlords. Garcia's dark humor is the perfect vehicle portraying how abysmally low people will stoop in the name of vanity. Who needs spiritual enlightenment when you got six-pack abs?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I remember adding Eric Garcia to my authorial wishlist. Karin Slaughter was at the Melbourne Writers Festival, and talked of how she was more nitpicky of the locations in the Vincent Rubio series, when really she should've questioned the realism of a dinosaur going undercover in contemporary America. Dinosaurs, crime and humour? I was hooked. Those three books have been long out of print, though, so I've never acquired them.

I have, however, read MATCHSTICK MEN (which is okay) and CASSANDRA FRENCH'S FINISHING SCHOOL FOR BOYS (which is great). But Eric Garcia's crowning glory is this magnificent tome: THE REPOSSESSION MAMBO, later republished as REPO MEN. The premise is irresistible: people can have transplanted artificial organs, but if they don't keep up the payments, the artiforgs are repossessed.

Our unnamed narrator has been through five marriages and subsequent divorces, driven tanks in wartime Africa, and worked as a Bio-Repo man for the Credit Union. But now he's hiding out, writing his memoirs while he's still alive - which may not be for much longer.

Simply put, I adore this novel. I love the premise, the narrator's voice, the humour, the looping internal structure, the world-building, and even the romance. I'm not usually one for romance, but the ending totally made me coo, "Aw!" If I was a writer, I'd totally want to write something as awesome as this.

Be sure to stick around for the author's essay, THE TAMING OF THE MAMBO, which charts the twelve-year journey from idea to short story to novel to screenplay and back to novel. I haven't seen the film, REPO MEN, which unfortunately went straight to DVD in Australia, so I can't tell you how the book and film measure up against each other.

And no, I'm not familiar with REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA, so I can't talk comparisons, similarities and differences.
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