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A Single Shot Paperback – September 19, 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co; Reprint edition (September 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316196703
  • ASIN: B00A19XW64
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,383,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Unbound
One of the great unknown literary noir novels of the last ten years, Matthew Jones' A Single Shot is set in mountainous back country where, at its outset, John Moon, a local farmer, divorced, goes hunting. At the same time two young drifters, male and female, are temporarily settled in around Moon's hunting grounds. Tragedy ensues.
What makes this so compelling and powerful is the author's unrelenting portrait of a man who cannot stop thinking about what he has done, to the point of manic obsession, to the point of visualizing his victim appearing before him in ghostly form, and to the point of wild indetermination about what to do with the stash of cash found in the temporary nesting ground. The revelation of criminal activity adds just the right element to this dark fever dream of a novel that pushes the reader forward, further and further into John Moon's world.
As we travel down this path of dread we realize that his inner world more and more becomes his outer one until the boundary between the two is blurry indeed. As well, the intermittent involvement with his ex-wife, decidedly frustrating, is the "two" in a one-two punch adding to the burning emotional intensity here.
The author's grasp of rural speech patterns, behaviors, and lifestyle is flawless, giving the novel the authenticity it needs to make it truly masterful.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hesitated to give this 5 stars rather than 4 stars since I rarely rated something so highly. There are at least two reasons it gets 5 stars instead of 4. Here's one: The narrative structure is like reading a series of dreams in which the protagonist confronts both real and imagined ghosts. This is extremely effective literary device and, at times, it is quite beautiful. Jones sketches all of these ghosts so convincingly and so mysteriously that the plot becomes almost secondary -- and the plot, centered around a broken man and the land on which he lives, is excellent in its own right -- that a reader doesn't want to put the book down until the final conclusion.

A second reason I'd rate it highly is because the novel is ahead of its time while respecting a classic trope from the past. The book (published in the mid-1990s) is ahead of its time given the post-recession landscape full of meth and broken factories (at least where I'm from) that has engulfed many parts of the United States in the 21st Century. At the same time, having read David Goodis' "The Burglar" earlier this year, I can see how Jones put his ending here into conversation with closing scenes from that classic of noir.

Ultimately, this is a book that lives up to its billing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's nice to read something a little different. From the plot to the settings to the characters, everything is a little messy and complicated, but it's a very interesting story. Probably the biggest compliment I can give a writer is that the story does not feel overly contrived; i.e., the dialogue, decisions, and actions of the characters feel organic. That's definitely the case here.

It's not often that I feel satisfied after reading a book, but this one was well done.
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Format: Hardcover
A Single Shot is a weird and twisted story of a man, John Moon, who accidentally shoots a young teenager. The book goes on to explain his emotional turmoil and the lengths he goes to to make sure he isn't caught. John Moon has always wanted a simple life but the older he gets, the more confusing his life gets. The accidental shooting of this young girl haunts every aspect of his life. It become the center of his conscience and he is suspicious of everyone and everything. The book moves along quickly and is easy to read. It has alot of twists and an interesting ending.
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Format: Paperback
I can't believe I hadn't heard of this author before a friend convinced me to read A SINGLE SHOT. The book is a masterpiece, one of those rare novels that stays in your head weeks after you've finished it. I put it down while reading it only to occasionally remind myself that what was happening in it wasn't happening in fact or to marvel at Jones's incredible ability to create taut scenes and real characters. I actually read the book twice and liked it even more the second time. This book, and author, I predict, will be read for years to come. Mr. Jones, more please!
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Format: Paperback
A SINGLE SHOT

John Moon's life changes in a single second -- he accidentally shoots a woman, finds a ton of cash, and is now on the run for his life.

While I found this book to be a three star -- IT'S OKAY -- I felt as if I were trespassing into a man's world. This book had me feeling as if I were not supposed to be reading it. It just seems like a total guy book. Does that make sense? Well, it does to me.

Author Matthew F. Jones certainly does have a story to tell. There are many gruesome details, sexual situations, tender moments, suspense, some twists and turns. John Moon is certainly a character to be reckoned with. He has a conscience, means well, stands up for himself; however, things just don't go well for John Moon. Nothing goes his way, people aren't who he thought they were, he is totally on is own in his confusion and flight for his life. I must admit I never saw the ending coming -- it is probably one of the most startling endings I have ever read in a book. Completely unexpected -

If you like a story that is full of guns, girls, guts, glory, this is a book for you. I am glad to have read this book; however, most people will probably enjoy it more than I was able to.
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