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Three-Fifths Hardcover – September 10, 2019

4.5 out of 5 stars 107 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Outstanding Praise for THREE-FIFTHS
LONG-LISTED FOR THE DAGGER AWARD
NOMINATED FOR THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
NOMINATED FOR THE STRAND CRITICS AWARD FOR BEST DEBUT NOVEL
NOMINATED FOR THE ANTHONY AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
NOMINATED FOR THE LEFTY AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
Named one of The Best Books of the Year by The Chicago Tribune

"Vercher deftly explores identity and the ethics of accountability in this debut. Fans of realistic social issue narratives will be immersed in the moral dilemmas of this timely novel."―Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Vercher builds strong, multifaceted characters with bold strokes, using the tools of noir to present what is finally a full-blown tragedy.”―Bill Ott, Booklist (Starred Review)
"One of the best books of the week."―New York Post
“A sad, swift tale bearing rueful observations about color and class as urgent now as 24 years ago.”―Kirkus Reviews
"John Vercher has such love and compassion for his characters in T​hree-Fifths​ that I couldn't help but be sucked into their lives from the very first pages. It's so incredibly suspenseful that I was continually surprised by the story and deeply moved by the time I turned the last page."―Attica Locke, award-winning author of PLEASANTVILLE, THE CUTTING SEASON and BLACK WATER RISING
"A brilliant page turner. John Vercher is a gifted new voice in the crime fiction genre; I can’t wait to see what he does next."―Sujata Massey, author of THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL
"John Vercher has achieved what few others have: he has swung open a door that others either knew was there and feared what was behind it, or acknowledged what was there and falsely nullified its deceptions and dangers. This is a crime story that masterfully, beautifully, ingeniously reveals the duplicity of racial psychology and the far-reaching violence it spawns on the American landscape."―Stephen Mack Jones, author of the AUGUST SNOW thriller series
"Feverishly entertaining. Resoundingly important. A book treading this kind of ground should not be able to move this fast. THREE-FIFTHS is an honest, fearless page-burner. Vercher is a writer to watch."―David Joy, author of THE LINE THAT HELD US
"In THREE-FIFTHS, John Vercher uses an explosive act of violence to tell a very harrowing, very relevant story about race, but also family and friendship and masculinity―and all the dangers that come with those things. Keep your eye on Vercher―any writer who comes out of the gate this strong is bound for great things."―Rob Hart, author of THE WAREHOUSE and the ASH MCKENNA crime series
"An incredibly timely narrative that packs a violent, heartbreaking punch. Vercher is now on the map."―Criminal Element
"If a book can be both difficult to read and impossible to put down, it’s this book. You should read books that challenge you. This is such a book."―BookRiot
" Readers must not only read THREE-FIFTHS, they must share THREE-FIFTHS, and above all, we must talk about THREE-FIFTHS."―BOLO Books
"[A] searingly unforgettable story of secrets, identity, violence, and obsession. The book is short, but the effect on the reader will be long."―Neil Nyren, BookTrib
"A complex narrative with far-reaching societal calamities prevail in this riveting and gripping drama consumed by flaw and emotionally driven characters festering along the racial divide."―Dru's Book Musings

About the Author

John Vercher is a writer currently living in the Philadelphia area with his wife and two sons. He holds a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Mountainview Master of Fine Arts program. His fiction has appeared on Akashic Books’ Mondays are Murder and Fri-SciFi. and he is a contributing writer for Cognoscenti, the thoughts and opinions page of WBUR Boston. Two of his essays published there on race, identity, and parenting were picked up by NPR, and he has appeared on WBUR’s Weekend Edition. His non-fiction has also appeared in Entropy Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @jverch75.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Agora Books; 1st edition (September 10, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1947993674
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1947993679
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
107 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Raw and real.
By gm from Philly on October 28, 2019
Good writers create characters we can relate to and stories we feel we’re experiencing firsthand while we’re turning the pages. Great writers give us new perspectives, challenge our values, and create characters who stay with us long after we close the book. John is a great writer, and this story and its characters, familiar and relatable, touch that tender spot where our values and biases and morals struggle to find light.

It’s been a few weeks since I finished my first read of the book and I’m still somewhat numb trying to come to terms with the ending which stirred up some of the same unsettled feelings I had when reading Yanagihara’s A Little Life.
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Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2020
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