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The Thomas Berryman Number

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2.86  ·  Rating Details ·  3,823 Ratings  ·  270 Reviews
Three terrifying murders in the South culminate in a relentless manhunt in the North that centers on a ruthless assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice.
ebook, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mark
Aug 11, 2011 Mark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: james-patterson, 2010
Quite possibly the worst book I have ever read. There are two minimum requirements for a story, that you have a plot, and that you write in a method that the reader can follow, and this book failed on both counts. The story jumped around so much that it was hard to follow what was going on and I'm still not quite sure what happened. The story started off well by introducing us to a charcter who claims he can provide evidence that a hit man carried out a murder despite there being video evidence ...more
Lee Kyle
Jul 15, 2012 Lee Kyle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one it was terrible
Recommended to Lee by: Patterson.com
Constantly through all my reviews on Patterson books I have continually said that i have yet to find a bomb so to speak. The Thomas Berryman Number was my 21st Patterson novel and how ironic the bomb i would find planted within the Patterson bibliography would be his very first book ever??!! Now everyone sets out in life in their chosen profession on a trial and error basis, given that I am no way at the point where i would say well that's it hands down...no more Patterson however if The Thomas ...more
Simon
Aug 18, 2016 Simon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really surprised. I've never read a James Patterson book before and having been given this one, and being in between books, I thought I'd give it a go. It must be good, right? I mean he has sold more books than anyone, ever. And this is his first book, presumably the one that gave him his big break. As an author myself, I couldn't wait to see how he had captured an agent or publishers attention with those first, crucial chapters.

And then I started reading. From the start, I struggled to und
...more
b00k r3vi3ws
I was excited when I got my hands on this one. I am a fan of Alex Cross and Michael Bennet, and mostly love reading James Patterson for what it usually has to offer. But to get my hands on his debut novel was a different kind of excitement.

The book starts with a bang. Three murders – one after another has the officials in a frenzy… Everyone seems to be running in circles or in the wrong direction, except for a reporter called Ochs Jones. Jimmie Horn is a big name around town and even though his
...more
Aaron
Jan 13, 2009 Aaron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book that published for James Patterson. Thomas Berryman is a gun for hire. He makes his living as a hired assassin, though he is not connected to the mob or any other organization.

Ochs Jones, the narrator, is a reporter for a Nashville paper who is hoping to make it big by investigating the secretive history of Berryman. All of this is in response to the assassination of Jimmie Horne, the first African American mayor of Nashville. The assassination is followed by the killing
...more
Kim Bondy
Sep 20, 2010 Kim Bondy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had heard great things about this author, so I thought that I would read one of his early books and make my way through his works. This book was excruciating to read. I almost quit reading it numerous times. I eventually finished it, but there was nothing satisfying about finishing it. The book jumped around all over the place and was hard to follow at times. Nothing enjoyable about it!
Christina
Feb 05, 2012 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot of James Patterson (Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club) and usually enjoy it. I decided to read some of his older books - and this book was an incredible disappointment. It was fragmented and hard to follow. I would not recommend it.
Erica
Apr 25, 2012 Erica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition


DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. It was boring and it would never end. I can usually read his stuff in a day but this was not the case. It took forever to finish and I wanted to throw it away half way through the book. It never got better.
Ty Hutchinson
Mar 10, 2010 Ty Hutchinson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No
I never finished it. It was very hard to follow. Boring. Lack of interest made it even harder to follow characters or even get into them. I had saw the reviews on Amazon that this book sucked. It did. First Patterson book I have not liked.
Sarah
Nov 22, 2008 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was James Patterson's first book. As I was reading it I was so confused about the whole thing. If I had read this before any of his others I dont think I would have read any of his other books! It was very odd!
Kendall
Aug 07, 2009 Kendall rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
James Patterson is usually a good writer, so I'm surprised he hasn't pulled this one. Granted, I only got half way through, but still couldn't make heads or tails of it.
Minna
I had to create a "Hot Mess" shelf specifically for this book.

Despite featuring a fairly atmospheric and true-to-life setting (the Southern-ness of the various settings, including Texas, Tennessee, and Kentucky felt very genuine), this book had no discernible point, gaping plot holes, inconsistent characterization, and a time line that was practically impossible to follow. I'm not all that impressed with James Patterson as a reader, generally, nor as a professional (it's hard not to notice the
...more
Sarah Schoesler
Dec 26, 2011 Sarah Schoesler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe that this is the first book written by James Patterson and I expected it to not be as good as those in later years, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was it as good, but in some cases better than those he has recently written. The story focuses on Ochs Jones, a newspaper reporter writing a story about the murder of Nashville Mayor Jimmie Horn. What makes this more interesting is that Jimmie Horn is a black mayor during the 1970's in the south with aspirations of becoming a U.S. ...more
Rae Lewis-Thornton
I'm a really BIG Fan of James Patterson's Alex Cross series, as is my Godmother Judy. I have read every single one of them! As I mentioned in my last book review on Walter Mosley's Black Betty, Judy and I talk about Alex Cross like he is real. We also try to figure out how James Patterson, who is very white has so much insight into the life of African-Americans. It's an on-going theme to our Patterson book discussions. I would love to have lunch with him one day and get some up close insight.


Wel
...more
Sharron
Mar 11, 2016 Sharron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
Sorry, could not finish this book. Too confusing, too many characters, too boring. I wanted to read it knowing that this was Patterson's first novel. His latest novels are much more entertaining. Guess it is a case of too many books, too little time, to spend my time on something I am not enjoying.
robert hinkle
Oct 08, 2015 robert hinkle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Way good


I don't want you to come to any conclusions on account of what I say. But I just love this man James patterson!
Jen
Oct 01, 2008 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are curious about debut novels.
The first of Patterson's novels, it had raving reviews on the cover. I'll be the first to admit that I can devour his stuff like candy, and I'm drawn to his non-killing books, but this was TERRIBLE. I can't believe it won awards, never mind spawned the career that won't go away. There are three main characters, and the only way you can tell one apart from the other is by the setting. It has a southern feel, which was kind of nice, but otherwise stunk. I'm on vacation and couldn't be bothered to ...more
Chris
May 04, 2013 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As stated by others, this book is a mess. I am actually angry that I wasted my time reading this. I should've stopped after the first twenty pages but I convinced myself to give it a chance to develop. How Patterson continued to publish future books after this disaster is a mystery. The argument that it was his first book is not a valid point. Many other young writers have written excellent books. Patterson's debut seems like a drunk person wrote it. Thank goodness his writing and storytelling i ...more
Karen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robjr73
Jul 07, 2013 Robjr73 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm an avid reader and decided to add Patterson to my list of authors to read. I typically prefer to read authors' books in the order they were written. In this case, not a good idea because this first novel of James Patterson's is bad. It's hard to follow and frankly not all that interesting. I found myself skimming through it to get through my boredom faster. I believe his next book was Season of the Machete. Please let this one be better or else I have to rethink this Patterson plan....
Meghant Parmar
Dec 05, 2015 Meghant Parmar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Berryman, a ruthless assassin is on a mission. His history as messed up and his whereabouts shrouded with mystery adds up to the cocktail.

3 murders and now it boils down to unravel one of the greatest murder mysteries of all times. Thomas Berryman is a man wanted and his last job an epic conclusion or a disaster.

The story starts on a clean note, building up the characters, hyping up the momentum, gathering nuances and moving it along. The strenuous strain on the life of Berryman creates
...more
Holly
Mar 21, 2014 Holly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very difficult to follow the story. I did not like this book. I'm glad this is not the first Patterson book I ever read or I would never read another.
John
This, the debut novel from James Patterson, shows that he was once a promising name in literary crime fiction--though, now, he seems quite content to just stick his name on a whole lot of mediocre crap he didn't even write. That being said, although the writing in this book is excellent and reminds me of something by Dennis Lehane, the story itself is over-long and boringly simple. I dare you to read the last page and not think, "Is that it?"
Dawn H.
To me this is James Patterson's worst book. I love his writing but I find myself just trying to get it over with. It jumps around a lot and the character really seem kind of bla to me. The only one that stick out that I wanted to know more about is the girlfriend of Berryman. I'm sitting with 100 pages to go to finish the book but I just couldn't take it anymore.

If you love Pattersons' books skip this one it is a disappointment IMO
Nishita
This first book of Patterson’s is interesting in a number of ways. For one, I can’t believe how different this writing style is from his later books. Of course, some trademark motifs such as his super-short chapters are present also in this book. But in other ways, his writing style is very different from his later books.

For one, this book is not as fast-paced as his later books. He spends tons of time describing the setting and the time period (sometime in the 70s). Coming from James Patterson,
...more
Sally
Mar 27, 2015 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this one very hard to rate. This was James Patterson's first published book. I can see why he got an award for best first novel for it, and I can see where he evolved to from here. Nevertheless, I struggled with it. - Possibly because it jumps around a lot. I thought this book needed a good focus to follow it. The dates, the point of view, all jumped around.

Having said all that, it was an interesting story - not your typical murder, but more like a Stephen King one, where it's about the
...more
Aj
Apr 29, 2015 Aj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've been on a Patterson spree lately starting with the Alex Cross series but decided to branch out and read some of his other books as well. I have generally enjoyed most of what I've read from Patterson thus far due to his remarkable storytelling ability but I will concede that there's a few small things about his writing style that annoy me.
However none of those small nuisances prepared me for this train wreck of a novel.
A friend let me borrow 'The Thomas Berryman Number' and i have to say
...more
Andrea
Aug 06, 2015 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patterson fans--try this book again in audio

It's so funny to see that this book was on goodreads worst liked list because It was the second Patterson book I ever picked up.. To me it was gripping and the characters were so detailed that each scene felt alive. I don't know if i would have liked it if it was in paperback as I got it on audio. The point of view kept switching from the current, past and present and from the detective to the killer and the audio version helped to distinguish which ch
...more
Les
Jan 18, 2015 Les rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts off with three murders in the south and a manhunt is trying to catch him. A reporter is the one who is trying to find out about him. It is a good story and a fast read. We have a few good characters in it.
Abby M
Nov 29, 2015 Abby M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I was hoping for something…more. I am a huge Patterson fan, and I had been beyond overjoyed to find a copy of his very first book at the used bookshop. But then I read it. It was not up to par with what I now see as a Patterson novel. You can defiantly tell that it was first timer. It was disjointed, and the parts he wanted to make complex came out sloppy. He diction was poor and didn’t fit in when we wanted it to. It still held his classic murder mystery sort of vibe. I was just hoping for more

...more
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What do you think about James Patterson's debut novel? 6 16 Jul 22, 2013 10:06PM  
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James Patterson has created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today with his Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Private, NYPD Red, Daniel X, Maximum Ride, and Middle School series. As of January 2016, he has sold over 350
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