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The Thomas Berryman Number

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2.88 of 5 stars 2.88  ·  rating details  ·  3,292 ratings  ·  205 reviews
You are about to begin one of the classic American novels of suspense by one of the world's bestselling authors. It begins with three terrifying murders in the South. It ends with a relentless and unforgettable manhunt in the North. In between is the riveting story of a chilling assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1976)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mark
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 1 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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


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 1 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
Sarah Schoesler
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
Jen
Oct 01, 2008 Jen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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....
Holly
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
Matthew
2.5/5 Stars

The gripping story of a ruthless assassin,

the woman he loves,

and the beloved leader he is hired to kill...




Conflicted and surprised, the two foremost emotions I feel right now...

2.5/5 Stars is, I think, the lowest I've ever rated a book, especially one by James Patterson. But, this is not his best, and I'm glad I've been an avid fan before picking up his first ever published piece. My rating could change, once the initial disappointment passes it might bump up to 3/5 Stars.

The Thomas B
...more
Sally
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
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
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
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.
Jason
This book is not badly written, it's just very boring. It's fairly interesting at the start, where the reader is introduced to the killer. Problem is, Patterson tells the reader early on that the police had the wrong guy in a murder case—surprise, surprise, the true perpetrator is the killer introduced earlier—then spends the remaining 90% of the book telling the reader how the killer did it. No suspense, no intrigue, no action.

Another oddity is that Patterson tells most of the story from the vi
...more
Khurram Humayun
May 10, 2014 Khurram Humayun rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Noone
I had heard many good things about James Patterson and having never read him before, I decided to start at the very beginning. I am now seriously doubting my ability to pick up another Patterson book.

The biggest problem lies with the writing style, the story itself was no winner yet the style of writing was even worse. There was no flow to it, the narrative jumped around and was quite hard to follow. There was no buildup of tension or anticipation, the ending was abrupt and as unsatisfying as
...more
 Marla
1.5 stars? Maybe even 2 stars if I didn't expect more since it was by James Patterson. James Patterson fans, you might want to skip over this book. This doesn't have the normal feel of a James Patterson novel with short chapters and lots of action. On Disk 4 of 5 and no one has died yet, we are still investigating the Thomas Berryman Murders, but I don't even know how many he killed and why I should be interested, except the narrator keeps telling me what a great story it was and how he's going ...more
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
Plot Summary: The Thomas Berryman Number begins with three terrifying murders in the South. It ends with a relentless and unforgettable manhunt in the North. In between is the riveting story of a chilling assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice.

Berryman, the central character, is a professional assassin who is hired to kill Jimmie Horne, the first black mayor of Nashville, Tenn. Ochs Jones, a reporter, isn't satisfied when Horne's death is
...more
Gill
Awful. Started it one day, threw it out the next, possibly " the " worst attempt of writing I have ever come across. To be honest I am amazed at how this drivel won an award or was even published. James Patterson in my opinion has written his best work, his earlier Alex Cross novels were amazing, but sadly they've been replaced by fillers .....
Had I read this first novel before Kiss the Girls I would have kissed goodbye to James Patterson's literary offerings
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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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The subject of a Time magazine feature called, "The Man Who Can't Miss," James Patterson is the bestselling author of the past year, bar none, with more than 16 million books sold in North America alone. In 2007, one of every fifteen hardcover fiction books sold was a Patter
...more
More about James Patterson...
Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross, #1) Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross, #2) 1st to Die (Women's Murder Club, #1) The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1) Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

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