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Street Raised Paperback – November 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Street Raised
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Street Raised is a scar of a book, but it's a beautifully healed scar." - Joe Lansdale
 
"Imagine James Ellroy coupled with George R. R. Martin and overseen by Charles Willeford." - Ken Bruen
 
"This is literary crime of the highest order, on par with the work of the great Eddie Bunker." - Jason Starr
 
"Hansen's delivery is nothing like Cormac McCarthy's, but this novel possessed a few visceral and nasty surprises that put it in the same territory of viciousness and macabre grandeur as Blood Meridian." - Laird Barron --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Point Blank (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080955660X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809556601
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,250,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Hewitt on July 20, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pearce Hansen's "Street Raised" is a steely cold, yet white-hot observation of criminal life on the streets of Oakland. Although the book has a tightly-woven plot, the fact that it was written in part (or at least published) as individual short stories gives it an episodic, but never fragmented quality. Like watching a Robert Altman film, we are introduced to a sordid cast of damned and doomed characters whose lives will mingle and eventually intersect in the worst possible ways. First Oso, Beau, and Esteban, a trio of drug-dealing Cholos "taking out the trash". Then there's Little Willie, Ghost, Marla, Sherri, Fat Bob, Miranda, and finally Speedy, just returned to the streets after doing time. There are moments in this story of dark humor, gut-wrenching violence, and just plain "why the hell would you do that" stupidity. Because life on the streets is tough, unforgiving, and absurd.

Hansen captures it all with a cool, detached, but not dispassionate tone. It's a steady voice narrating "Street Raised" with direct, precise prose. Hansen's writing is lean, but not sparse. He captures much detail with a fine eye, and characters are built not through long narratives of back story, but though rather keenly observed words and actions. Small details speak volumes here. Terse chapters help move the reader rapidly along as the plot escalates mercilessly. The story builds to a rapid-fire, jack-hammer climax that is as suspenseful and violent as anything written by James Ellroy and Jim Thompson, or filmed by Quentin Tarantino.

"Street Raised" is a sawed-off, double-barreled blast of a book. If you aren't able to read it straight through in a single sitting, you'll desperately wish that you could.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
depicting the life of a couple of likeable misfits in California's Bay Area in the mid 80's.

The characters are very well fleshed out and the story has soul, pace and , I suspect, a lot of autobiographic elements ( could the Author be Will, I ask ? ).

Absolutely worth reading and enjoying, for its in "your face " reality and the unreproachable prose.

Why not 5 stars, then? Because the Author looses himself, somewhat too much, in the 80's Oakland description and this, whether he wanted it or not, ends up cutting a bit of the pace in an otherwise irreprehensible novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this back when it was originally published a few years ago. This new version has been heavily trimmed from that version. I was a fan then and remain one now. This is a lean and mean book filled with by god actual crime fiction characters (as opposed to mystery characters). The other thing that comes through is a genuine sense of place.

Two side notes - 1) Because I had read the original version there were a couple of times where I was wondering where a particular scene was and *maybe* there were one or two sections that were cut a little close to the bone. 2) If you are a fan of this novel you should definitely track down a copy of the original. If only to spend more time with these characters (because it was a substantial trimming).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pearce Hansen's pristine prose pounds the reader like a one-two punch to the heart and mind, but we're never down for the count, always bouncing right back up for more poetic pummeling. The mesmerizing method of storytelling remains relentlessly compelling as we forcefully follow the exploits and encounters of various finely drawn characters populating the urban jungles of Oakland and environs, including the deceptively serene island of Alameda. The main protagonist "Speedy" and his crooked cohorts navigate the noir-ish narrative with a savage sense of desperate determination that makes them both realistic and relatable. "Street Raised" is quite simply a cutting edge classic of modern crime fiction.
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Pearce Hansen has some how combined a fable, a gritty street crime story and coming of age tale seamlessly into one novel. It is deep and richly textured with characters that will live with me for some time to come. Along with the human and feline characters there stands the East Bay as a living breathing organism. Hansen knows his turf and writes with clear eyed passion about it. My only word of caution is, it took me a bit to fall in love with this book, after a chapter or two though I fell hard. Damn fine writing.
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Pearce Hansen is my best discovery yet on Allan Guthrie's Criminal-E blog, [...]
This is a terrific read about young Speedy who is released from Pelican Bay State Prison in North California and returns to East Bay, Oakland. Here Speedy hooks back up with his brother Little Willy and best mate Fat Bob and sets out to settle old scores and to make some new ones.

This is a story about life on the street, drugs, crime and simply surviving. The characters may not be people you'd want to take home to meet your mother but Pearce writes his tale so well that you can sympathise with these three guys and even like them as they battle with the daily challenges of their lives. They all show their soft sides, but more often than not their choices are aggressive and violent. There are terrific scenes throughout the book that give you real insight into each of the characters.

The other great feature about Hansen's story is the significant role that East Bay plays. On multiple occasions I was searching Google Maps to get a closer look at the locations that Hansen was describing (which are thousands of miles from my home in Australia). A great read from an author I had never heard of before. I will certainly be looking out for more of his work.
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