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4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
It's a simple enough job for a very dangerous man - go to the Leam Lane estate, pick up a converted air pistol from a guy called Florida Al, bring it back in one piece. But Richie - fresh out of the YOI and about to be a dad - has just lost the gun to a bunch of young thugs. And Goose isn't the kind of bloke who gives second chances ...

GUN - previously published by Crime E
Kindle Edition
Published 2011
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Feb 15, 2013 Bracken rated it it was amazing
Note perfect. There's not much else to say than that Banks has written an amazingly tight and compelling crime novella. I suppose it's worth mentioning that there is a lot of Scottish slang and profanity in the text. It adds verisimilitude and context. I wouldn't say that there was a single gratuitous word in the book. If you like British hardboiled crime, this book is a virtuoso performance hitting every note in time and without a flub. IMO, Ray Banks might just be the Charlie Parker of the key ...more
Nigel Bird
Oct 05, 2013 Nigel Bird rated it it was amazing
This review is from: Gun (Kindle Edition)
Just what I needed to get me out of a little reading trough. I picked up my kindle and found Gun to fill a few minutes and didn't put it down again until I'd reached the end. Cliché or what? Only it's not a cliché that usually applies to me beyond the short story.

Here we have a day in the life of Richie, fresh out of prison and looking for money in the only places he understands. He goes along to see Goose, a man with the reputation Mike Tyson would have
Oct 05, 2011 Gef rated it it was amazing
There is something about certain English accents that really makes it hard for Americans (even Canadians) to understand the English language. I remember channel surfing one time a couple years back and MTV had some British teen reality show with actual subtitles. Bollocks! Anyway, if you like crime stories set in the UK but have trouble with the accents, try reading a book. In fact, you should read this one.

Gun is a novella about a guy named Richie. Richie needs a job, but he's not cut out for t
Benoit Lelievre
Oct 25, 2011 Benoit Lelievre rated it it was amazing
What a curious, tense and oh-so-perfectly wrapped little oddity. While I will give Ray Banks extra points for writing an original spin on a common story, I can't help but finding that the excellence of this novella lies in its execution. It's airtight storytelling, no description, no dialog, not even a single word is ever lost. Some will find is very controlled, but I like controlled. I like whatever can make a point so strongly. Think about GUN as a business card written by a Bruce Lee type. Le ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Tom rated it it was amazing
It's the first Ray Banks I've read but it won't be the last. Excellent gritty stuff, beautiful ear for dialogue, terse characters wise-cracking in tough circumstances.

If Philip Marlowe had written about street crime on the wrong side of Byker Grove .... this also features mean streets, "Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean ..."
Fiona Johnson
Oct 11, 2011 Fiona Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is just a fabulous wee story about the boys that you see wandering around any high street in the UK and the trouble they can get themself wrapped up in.

The dialogue is superb and Banks shows he has a real ear for how real folk talk and I greatly enjoyed the realistic patter. The story is just so typically noir; it goes from bad to worse and then really , really bad for out poor wee hero Richie, who's just out from the jail and goes straight back into the same social network of small time c
Heath Lowrance
Jun 11, 2012 Heath Lowrance rated it it was amazing
One of the great things about Kindle and e-readers in general: the return of the novella. If no one else has already predicted this, I'll do the honors. Novellas and short novels are coming back. And thank Christ for that, maybe the days of over-blown doorstop thrillers are nearing an end, eh? One can only hope.
If Ray Banks novella, Gun, is any indication, there's some seriously tight, noir-to-the-bone stuff to read. Although, to be honest, most of it won't come anywhere NEAR Banks' quality. He'
Elizabeth A.
Richie has recently been released from prison after serving a sentence for ABH (actual bodily harm) committed during the course of doing a job for local crime boss/drug dealer, Goose. Richie’s girlfriend wants him to make a fresh start and get a proper job, but only 18 and with no real education Richie soon finds himself back on Goose’s doorstep looking for work.

Though at first Goose doesn’t even remember him – rather insulting since Richie did more time than he otherwise would have had to becau
Darren Sant
Dec 19, 2011 Darren Sant rated it it was amazing
I like to discover new authors with as few preconceptions as possible. I don’t read up on them. I don’t read reviews. I just dive into the icy waters of a new writers imagination. However, everyone I know in the crime writing fraternity, which I am new to, raves about Ray Banks. Still I bided my time and read his novella Gun when I was good and ready.

On the face of it the plot was a simple one. A guy just out of prison wants earn some cash without the drudgery of the 9 to 5. Who can blame him eh
Tony Black
Apr 01, 2011 Tony Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gun is biting, bleak noir with a boot in the gutter and a shooter in the waistband. Banks, author of the outstanding No More Heroes and Beast of Burden has sharpened his already laser-edged storytelling in this novella about a bottom-feeder crim sent to collect a handgun.

British crime fiction doesn't get much grittier than this foray into the mean streets of petty crooks and knuckle-breaking thugs. Banks portrays the street trash and derros of the inner city with an acuity few of his peers can m
Jul 22, 2011 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, kindle, read_2011
All Richie had to do was pay a visit to Al Floria of Leam Lane estate fame, pick up a gun and return it to his local physically challenged crime boss. Sounds simple enough, however, Richie attracts violence like shit does flies and in no time at all he's knee deep in the thick of it with a busted up hand, bullet wound and a missing gun. The gun, by in large is an extension of Richie, and more fittingly, not unlike his character; something people use then throw away, palm off to someone else, mor ...more
Tim Niland
Jul 18, 2012 Tim Niland rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
Richie is just out of jail and looking for any job that will keep him out of the minimum wage grind. He goes to small time crime boss "Goose" looking for work even though he was partly responsible for getting him locked up in the first place. Goose gives him an assignment - take some money and go buy him a gun from the enigmatic "Florida Al" across the river. Beggars can't be choosers and Richie will take whatever he can get by riding the train to Al's unusual house and bartering and then finall ...more
Mar 03, 2014 Clifdisc rated it liked it
A nice novella from Ray Banks. 'Not quite to the level of his Cal Innis books but still well executed.
Paul Phillips
Aug 19, 2012 Paul Phillips rated it really liked it
This was a perfect example of why the British do crime thrillers better than anyone else in the world. Ray Banks takes what could have been a rather dull tale and turns it on its head with scene after scene of violence and blood. The dialogue was awesome (once I worked out what a few words meant - being an Aussie made it tricky in a few spots!) and the pace of the action was just about spot on.

If you haven't read a British crime story, start here.
If you have, then you know just how good this is!
Aug 19, 2011 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Ray Banks is unputdownable. This short novella grabs you from the first page and never lets go. All ex-con Richie has to do is pick up a gun and deliver it to a man known as Goose. Of course, it's not quite as easy as all that. Banks has the uncanny ability to infuse each one of his characters with so much life in so few words.

Like a fresh pint of Guinness, "Gun" is bitter, black as hell, and goes down smooth.
Nov 15, 2011 Johnny rated it it was amazing
For anyone that hasn't read Ray Banks, this is a great introduction to his work.

Lean and mean, this novella is a perfect read-in-one-sitting book. The very simple story plays out as a back alley version of STRAY DOG or THE BICYCLE THIEF, desperation and purpose driving our hero because he doesn't know any better.

Brutal. Violent. Funny. What Ray Banks does best.
Aug 26, 2012 Edward rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir, crime
GUN is another gritty, sharp-edged novella from Ray Banks. Full of Banks' fierce prose and thugged out life-like characters. I have yet to read a mediocre book from him. Recommended to any fan of noir and hardboiled novels.
Gareth Price
Jul 16, 2011 Gareth Price rated it really liked it
Cracking short read by Banks. Charges along at breakneck speed & never lets up. Hope his Cal Innes books make it to Kindle as this guy has a massive rep amongst crime fans & writers
Mar 24, 2012 Gregor rated it it was amazing
Maan I loved this one especially. Ray Banks manages to get you to empathise with all kinds of shady characters even more so than Alan Guthrie.
Feb 08, 2013 Joey rated it liked it
Great grimy street crime novella. I would have liked to read more about the character, but it was a perfect length for this story
James Tuck
Mar 27, 2012 James Tuck rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardboiled
I liked it.

I was a bit lost on what kind of gun it air pistol or a real gun. but beyond that...stellar.
Jan 25, 2013 Trent rated it really liked it
Gary Marshall
Jul 07, 2011 Gary Marshall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, sharp and shocking. I really enjoyed this crime novella.
Joe Sopcich
Jun 24, 2013 Joe Sopcich rated it really liked it
Short, bittersweet good read. Enjoyed very much.
Nov 29, 2012 Judi rated it liked it
Recommended to Judi by: Guy Savage
Shelves: read-in-2012
This is a novella... quick read.
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