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A Cold Night for Alligators

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
A thrilling Knopf New Face of Fiction debut, A Cold Night for Alligators takes the reader on a breathtaking ride through the seedy, sensual Florida Everglades, unravelling a mystery at the heart of which lies a devastating family secret.

Twenty-six-year-old Jasper hasn't seen or heard from his older brother, Coleman, in over ten years. Not since Coleman walked through the b
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Vintage Canada (first published February 1st 2011)
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Jan 13, 2011 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Canadians who are easy-going enough to laugh at themselves
When I won A Cold Night For Alligators in a goodreads giveaway, I really didn't have a clue what to expect from the book. I wasn't even clear on what general genre or narrative style it laid claim to. I think I had a vague idea that it was going to be some sort of trendy, experimental, post-modern type of thing, along the lines of The New Bizarro Author Series. Turns out that it's actually a standard contemporary (read: dysfunctional) family drama with a bit of excellent mystery/crime mixed in, ...more
The book's title instantly made me think of the song "It's a Cold Night for Alligators", performed by the Texan rock 'n' roll legend Roky Erickson, who has had a most interesting solo career since the demise of the 13th Floor Elevators, but is also known for being a very odd man with diagnosed schizophrenia who once got in trouble for stealing his neighbours' mail and occasionally believes himself to be an alien or at least in contact with aliens. His songs are usually either kind of sweet and a ...more
Jun 23, 2012 Tina rated it really liked it
This was my second book I won through giveaways and I am very thankful for the speedy delivery. The beginning was slow but I was fascinated with the details of Jasper's life after the subway accident and with his flash backs into his childhood, with his brother and family vacations in Florida. I don't know what was wrong with the female characters in this book, they annoyed me except for his mother. I enjoyed Jasper's journey down south with Duane's absurd behavior but of course Duane could not ...more
I received Nick Crowe's debut novel “A Cold Night for Alligators” book for free through Goodreads First Reads giveaways. This a story about twenty-six year old Jasper and the relationships between himself, his family, his girlfriend and two new acquaintances Donny and Duane. Relations with his girlfriend Kim are strained to begin with, however through her Jasper meets born again ex-football player Donny and his friend Duane. Duane is the drinking, swearing and sometimes drug-taking friend of Don ...more
Won from GR First Reads program.

Full disclosure: this being a debut release, and by a Canadian author, I really wanted to like it. In the final analysis, the aspects I liked did outweigh the aspects that didn't appeal to me and I would give the second novel by this author a look.

- Eye catching cover, intriguing title
- Gives a poignant sense of the 'survivor's guilt' the protagonist felt as a child observing the encroaching mental illness of his brother and being powerless to do anything to
One day on his way home from work, a homeless man shoves Jasper in front of a subway train. Waking up months later from a coma with medical leave from his job, his (now ex) girlfriend living in his house with her new boyfriend, religious Donny, Jasper decides to join Donny and his best friend Duane on a trip south from Canada to Florida. Donny and Duane are going fishing, but Jasper is on a hunt for his brother who disappeared ten years ago at the age of seventeen. He has a hunch he may have ret ...more
Jan 13, 2011 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This was my first FIRST READS GIVEAWAY and I am truly thrilled! It's always nice to win anything, but to win a book is plain bliss!
I was a little worried that I was too excited, and had built the book up so much it would only be a disappointment. Luckily, that was not the case. I truly enjoyed this book! I won't bother rehashing the storyline as the general plot has already been laid out at the top of this page.
Not what I would classically call a mystery novel, I really enjoyed the bread crumb
I enjoyed this debut effort by Nick Crowe. I was pulled into the story right away and my attention was held to the end. My favorite part was the quirky characters brought to life by this novel.

The story is a mystery with teeth. Jasper watched as his brother walked out of the house, into the woods, and disappeared. Years later, spurred by a near death accident and a phone call, Jasper goes on a search for his brother. It takes him deep into the swamps of Florida amidst estranged family members, h
Jun 19, 2012 Kim rated it it was ok
This book had a good idea, but just couldn't deliver. The characters were flat, unbelievable and not very likable. The main character wakes from a 7 month coma to find his girlfriend living in his house with a new guy, and not only is it okay with him, he lets them stay and moves into the guest bedroom. Really? think not.
The book describes the uncle as charasmatic, not once did the book come close to showing us that. The plot was annoying, it plugged along at a snail's pace, the author kept goin
Aug 01, 2015 Jan rated it really liked it
A great read: a mystery, a travelogue, a love story. Our main character, Jasper, is a Canadian traveling to the Florida Everglades in search of his lost brother, Coleman. Nick Crowe fills his book with unforgettable incidents (a perfect example, Jasper gets pushed under a subway in Toronto at the beginning of book) and characters (Rolly Lee, the consummate southern good old boy villian, and Duane, the fisherman up-for-anything new pal, come to mind). What is great about this adventure story is h ...more
Diane S ☔
3.5 This book and its characters reminded me a bit of Carl Hiasson. At turns poignant, such as when Jasper is talking about his brother and his mental illness which ends up tearing his family apart and at times laugh out loud funny. Just loved the characters, especially Duannie, all the alligator lore and their trek from Canada to the everglades to attempt to find the brother who disappeared many years earlier. Also liked that the ending wasn't tied up in a nice bow, though I do have some questi ...more
Suzanne Fox
Dec 21, 2013 Suzanne Fox rated it really liked it
Though its plot hinges on crime, actual and attempted, Crowe's novel is about the process, and perils, of reconnecting with the past. The voice is smart and clever, but the sardonic tone doesn't mean that there isn't a real emotional payoff at the end (there is). I was slightly skeptical before reading--the "Florida is zany" fiction category is pretty crowded. (Not that I'm saying Florida isn't zany. I live here, and it surely is.) But Crowe's novel won me over, and I'm interested to see what he ...more
Aug 25, 2012 Polly rated it liked it
A road book, an unlikely buddy story, and, of course, alligators.

Jasper, the narrator comes out of a coma to find his girlfriend living with Donny. Weirded out by the coma, Donny, and a voiceless phone call maybe from his bolting brother, Jasper sets out for Florida. Donny goes with. They acquire the feckless Duane. Fishing ensues. They find and lose brother Coleman, but all's well that ends well.
Toni McKilligan
Jun 06, 2012 Toni McKilligan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Like others who have reviewed this book, I had no idea what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. The writing style, if not the subject matter, reminded me of Dick Francis. The main character, sincere and humble, was likeable and the narrative flowed smoothly as it transitioned from past to present. This is a well crafted story, mostly plausible and completely engaging.
Mar 14, 2011 Tammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is one about finding yourself and learning to live your life, I think. It is quite sad in many ways, seeing how some people live and the direction their lives go in. It also shows the others feel that their life is fated to be this way or that and feel as though they don't have much choice in where they end up.
Mar 09, 2011 Darah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Won through the goodreads giveaway. Enjoyed. On the surface, slightly cliched and predictable but it had its moments, especially with the dialogue, made the characters more original and the plot had surprises. Loved the different view of Floridia - as a cheap, humid, southern, tourist state instead of a magical perfect Disney-land.
And the alligators, have to love the alligators.
Jean-Paul Adriaansen
Recuperating from a terrible accident, Jasper decides to go in search for his long lost brother. Together with the boyfriend of his ex girlfriend and a goofy guy, more drunk or doped than sober, they travel from Canada to the swamps of Florida. Some old family members might be able to give some clues ... but are they willing to do so? History has his secrets.
Captivating, funny, intriguing.
Jan 21, 2011 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a very compelling start and I almost set it aside for a more interesting read.By mid book I was curious about the outcome and saw it through. I wouldn't consider adding it to my bookshelf with the intention of reading it again but would pass it along to someone else to critique.
Dec 03, 2012 Irene rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It is very well written and I thought the characters were funny, quirky, endearing and others annoying. A very compelling story that kept me in suspense until the end. Highly recommend this book. Very well done Nick!

Jun 18, 2012 Veronica rated it really liked it
Wasn't sure what exactly to expect with this one. The story and pacing was well done but had the feel that the entire time I was subjected to Jasper's stunted thoughts.

For a debut novel, I enjoyed. Characters were colorful and very believable. Well done, Nick!
Jun 12, 2012 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! It is set in the Florida EWverglades, which I have been through myself and find it facinating. I could see something like this book happening and I love the tale it brought to life. I strogly recommend you read this one :)
Jan 13, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looked forward to this. I won a copy, and then got copies of the galleys on two days in a row.

I was hoping for something that was a little Carl Hiasson in it's outlook, and it's under performing for me so far (I'm over 50 pages in). I'm taking a day off from it to clear my head.
Apr 08, 2011 Allison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Quite good - almost really good. I loved the relationship between the narrator and his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. By the end, I was quite perplexed and annoyed by the aunt's blindness about Rolly Lee's character - it's not like it was ever in dispute. Duaner was a great character.
Jean Darroch
Apr 06, 2011 Jean Darroch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had recieved this book for free from Goodreads and when i recieved it i wasn't really interested in reading it but i thought i should give it a chance, was i ever surprised it was well written and kept me in suspense until the end. I would recommend this book to others
Harry Annan
Excellent story. Well told & love the descriptions of Florida and wild characters. A great new Canadian author.
May 24, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
More like a 3.5 in my opinion.
Jan 16, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Compelling story. Interesting perspective of a Canadian visiting the Florida Everglades. A bit redundant toward the end, but overall a good read.
Mar 14, 2011 Sheena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book, so interesting. Was hard to put down
Shamdai Sukhan
A fabulous, fabulous book. I really enjoyed this reading experience. And I can hardly wait to see what Nick Crowe will write next.
Jan 18, 2011 Amanda marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book on First-Reads and am waiting to receive it.
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