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The Science of Paul: A Novel of Crime by [Clark, Aaron Philip]
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The Science of Paul: A Novel of Crime Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Length: 226 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A finely-drawn character study of a man battling fate to escape the inevitable gravity of a life of crime. Reminiscent of the existential crime novels of Jean-Patrick Manchette. That we care so much about Paul is testament to Aaron Philip Clark's skill." --Eric Beetner, author of ONE TOO MANY BLOWS TO THE HEAD and BORROWED TROUBLE

"Aaron Philip Clark's THE SCIENCE OF PAUL has all the makings of a modern noir classic. Noir in its purest form always reads like a punch to the gut and THE SCIENCE OF PAUL delivers that kind of blow right from page one. 'No apologies, no regrets' should be this novel's motto." -- Gar Anthony Haywood, author of CEMETERY ROAD

"The eponymous protagonist of Aaron Clarke's scorching , gripping THE SCIENCE OF PAUL is an ex -con, a booze hound, a haunted drifter. Deep in the heart of America's south, which seems only just north of hell, he emotionlessly buries his grandfather and, with a beautiful woman in tow, drives off at full speed, slap-bang into the classic noir paradigm. This is a car wreck well worth risking your neck to see." -- Paul David Brazil, PULP METAL MAGAZINE

"With the relentless moth-to-flame inevitability of classic noir, Aaron Philip Clark's angry ex-con finds trouble on Philadelphia's mean streets. Vivid characterization and a sharp eye for the fault lines in American society drive this impressive debut." -- Roger Smith, author of WAKE UP DEAD and MIXED BLOOD

"T.S. Eliot referred to it as tradition and individual talent, the manner in which new work at once honors, builds upon, and questions what has come before. Chester Himes, Richard Wright, James Baldwin--Aaron Philip Clark has been paying attention. " -- James Sallis, author of CYPRESS GROVE and CHESTER HIMES: A LIFE

About the Author

Aaron Philip Clark is a published crime author and college professor. He is a native of Los Angeles. You can find his ramblings at his blog Dreamland--fiction, poetry, and observations on life, love and living in Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • File Size: 461 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: New Pulp Press (June 12, 2011)
  • Publication Date: June 12, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0055PKALY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,136,614 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
[...]

There should be more novels like The Science Of Paul. That means more MFA graduates should get into crime fiction. I opened Aaron Philip Clark's first novel, torn between a slight dread and an apologetic approach, which were both completely unnecessary. It's been a while since I have read a noir novel that packed such a punch. Hell, it's been a while since I have read a writer's first novel that was this good. The Science Of Paul crawled under my skin with the slow and methodic approach of a medieval executioner. And I love every single minute of it.

Like the title announces, it's the story of Paul, Paul Little, an ex-convict who decides to start a new life on his grand-father estate after he inherits of it. But if you lived a life of crime, it's not easy to put the past behind and get away. His hometown of Philadelphia, like an abusive mother, doesn't want to let him go. As he plans his escape to his grandfather's farm in North Carolina, Paul's good side is going to catch up to him. Karma is a bitch for ex-professional sinners like him.

The Science Of Paul is written in a first person point-of-view, which is a stylistic choice that Clark uses very well, but isn't without its drawbacks. It's obviously a character based novel, focused on Paul's battle with his inner demons and in that regard, it's remarkably well achieved. His tortured relationships with women is particularly well crafted. His fatalistic views about love give Paul some humanity and put him ahead of all those cardboard characters that you see more often than not in noir fiction.

It's uneven and overwritten sometimes, which are two traps you can fall in when you write a novel at the first person.
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Paul Little tries to stay out of trouble by living a quiet life with his girlfriend Tammy. The outside maybe quiet but the noise in his head has him making decisions that holds him back from living peacefully.

Leaving the comfort of the home he and Tammy share,Paul tries to go to the last place he remembers peace. Going to say farewell to the few friends he has causes him more trouble than he expects.

This well written story gives the reader a look at what goes on in the mind of a man that is only looking for peace. How even though his mind tell him its right or wrong he doesn't listen and suffers consequences.

First time experiencing Mr.Clark's work and will be on the look out for more of it.

4
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There is plenty to like about this book. Paul is a strong and very well-drawn central character. I'm not surprised to see that the author was influenced by Walter Mosley, because Easy Rawlins (another hard-knocks African-American hero) came to mind straight away. I also thought the supporting cast was really good. Philadelphia really came to life in a seamy way too.

There's a lot of heartfelt writing too (though a sprinkling of little things got by the copy editor). The only part of the story that didn't hang together for me was the subplot involving Kim.

The ending was handled in a satisfying way.
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Paul Little is an ex-convict that is just about to get off of probation. Paul does very well while being on probation, never once getting into any trouble. Yet and still, there is a part of Paul that feels lost and angry. Paul decides to walk away from the one woman who has loved him through his ups and downs. The night that he walks out the door, he is met with a string of bad luck. Could it just be a case of being at the wrong place and the wrong time?

Paul has very little money when he walks out, but his plan is to head to his grandfather's land in North Carolina for a fresh start. As he navigates throughout the streets of Philadelphia, a woman accuses him of rape, he is met with a shiesty business deal, his money is stolen, and a murder is committed. Only one of two things are the most likely outcome: prison or death. Paul is determined to make it out of Philadelphia before either happens.

The Science of Paul by Aaron Philip Clark is a story of one man trying to live his life on the straight and narrow but is pulled into the life of crime. Trouble seems to lurk at every corner. The people he thinks that he can trust are the ones he needs to be wary of. Author Aaron Philip Clark has his own unique writing style that will keep you guessing to the very end.
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From the opening paragraph to the unexpected ending, Aaron Philip Clark presents a gripping portrayal of, Paul Little, an ex-con struggling to escape his past and the survive the present dangers of a hot summer in Philadelphia. The cops are racist when they aren't corrupt. Paul would make a convenient scapegoat. His guilt about his past will not allow him to accept the love of a good woman. Everyone has a hidden agenda, which does not include looking out for Paul. His attempts at helping others get him into ever deeper trouble and even more involved with a stone cold killer. The prose is powerful and poetic at times. I highly recommend this book.
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