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Superbia Kindle Edition
|Length: 199 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Hands down, Schaffer is the very best independent author I have ever read. I buy his books with confidence knowing that I'm going to get a quality read. With Superbia, Schaffer has taken his game to an entirely new level. It's obvious from the first pages of the book that he is very close to the subject matter, and that he's speaking straight from the heart. He presents the reader with an opportunity to peek behind the curtain of real police work. It's gritty and hard to stomach at parts, but when it's over, I can close the book. I can't even imagine what it's like to face that kind of evil every day.
You have probably read a police procedural or detective story before. You have never read one like this. Schaffer's story is dark, intelligent, eye-opening, and if you can believe it, funny. Superbia is somehow both the most somber and hilarious book Schaffer has ever written. I've already read it twice and I'm ready to go back again.
I have read all of this author's books, and Superbia is my new favorite by a wide margin. If I had to offer any criticism at all, it's that I have no idea how he's going to top it, but I can't wait to watch him try.
I began reading this book at the start of my lunch break in the middle of work today. I did absolutely nothing else until I had finished it two hours later. It is a rare book that compels me to such rapt attention. Superbia recalled for me one really interesting police procedural novel I read years ago by Ed McBain -- and I think this book is every bit as interesting and even more raw. Superbia could be called Ed McBain for the 21st century. This book also reminds me of some other classic police dramas, including the tv series Homicide: Life on the Street or NYPD Blue, or the movies Copland and Dirty Harry, and I am sure that I would be comparing it to The Wire, except that I haven't seen The Wire (my bad).
The conceit of Superbia is that all the characters have surnames based on Greek mythology. It might be best for me not to explain how the mythology is relevant to each of the characters, but clearly Bernard planned this aspect carefully, adding a strong level of allusiveness that rewards research and rereading. Most of the names are from the Iliad, many others from Ovid or Sophocles or the Homeric Hymns. Some connections are very clearly relevant, especially one which is tragically so.
Yes, I said tragic. Tragic in the sense that Sophocles is tragic, that Shakespeare's great plays are tragic -- a good person falls to ruin as a result of mistakes and bad luck. There is some rough and painful material in here. Brutality, cruelty, savage emotions, pedophilia, injustice, idiots and smooth operators in law enforcement, bad things happening to good people. There is foul language, but only where there needs to be. Everything feels right. The b*ll-busting of the cops is as funny and real as anything that has ever been written about the police. I could read that for hours on end and never stop enjoying it.
So please, if you are on the fence at all about this book, don't be. Bernard Schaffer is an honest cop. he means what he says, and I'm an honest teacher, and so do I. Superbia is a new classic.
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