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Last Call for the Living

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  224 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
For bank teller Charlie Colquitt, it was just another Saturday. For Hobe Hicklin, an ex-con with nothing to lose, it was just another score. For Hobe's drug-addled, sex-crazed girlfriend, it was just more lust, violence, and drugs. But in this gripping narrative, nothing is as it seems.

Hicklin's first mistake was double-crossing his partners in the Aryan Brotherhood. His s
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Forge Books
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Aug 10, 2012 karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: grit-lit

ANOTHER great literary crime novel! i am on a roll!

it's got all the things i like: multiple viewpoints, southern locale, blood splatter, and people down on their luck, but with dreams as big as all the outdoors.

"i raised him myself," she said with particular pride. "he was always a bit peculiar, kept to himself, never had friends except for some kids from the rocket club at school. charlie wants to build rockets and jet planes, work for lockhead or nasa one day. i sent him to space camp over in
James Thane
Apr 11, 2013 James Thane rated it really liked it
This is a must-read book for those who like their crime fiction dark, violent and unrelenting, populated by characters almost all of whom are lost in one way or another, and very few of whom will be redeemed in the end.

Charlie Colquitt comes from an extremely broken home. He's shy, withdrawn, physically unappealing and interested in little more than the model rockets he builds and flys. He supports himself by working as a teller at a small branch bank, and it's his serious misfortune to be on du
Jul 03, 2012 Lou rated it it was amazing
"Cold steel and gun metal grey.
Nightmares, another night has turned to day."

Peter Farris is a new talent to take note of alongside recently Frank Bill and Donald Ray Pollock these writers waste no words and really engage you right from the start.
What should have been a usual day at work turns out to be the mark of a pivotal point in a young mans life. A bank teller Charlie a model rocket enthusiast, and a kid that many fathers would be proud to have, finds himself in a three week hostage situ
switterbug (Betsey)
Jun 06, 2012 switterbug (Betsey) rated it it was amazing
In a hick town in Georgia about the size of a thumb, a larcenous ex-convict, Hicklin, executes a bank robbery. He leaves a blood splattering mess behind and abducts a bank teller on the way out. He double-crosses some other ex-cons and goes into hiding with his frightened hostage at a cabin in the wooded hills, where his crack addled lady friend is embedded. Now the story REALLY begins.

The prison-tatted ex-cons are part of the Aryan Brotherhood, a group of loathsome, odiferous men that were loya
The first seven chapters created a brutal, intriguing, and gritty atmosphere which are needed for a bleak crime thriller, then it hit rock bottom, particularly, in consideration of overabundant italics and needless narration about the lives of the fill-in characters that appeared trivial to the story, and left a room to ponder whether the story would've enhanced if the author kept his focus on telling us more about Charlie Colquitt's life and Hobe Hicklin's motive to double-cross his partners.

Nov 06, 2015 SUSAN rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come.
May 22, 2012 Sheila rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed No Country for Old Men when I watched the movie, so when this book was compared to that I thought I’d at least read the first chapter. These are not always my cup of tea. They’re gritty, harsh, in-your-face dark thrillers and they don’t always appeal to me. But, I gave it a try and was surprised at how much I liked it.
You’re almost afraid to say you enjoyed it, because it is so disturbing. But, though the story itself is good, it is really the characters that make it hard to put
Dec 09, 2012 Jamie rated it it was ok
Shelves: the-dirty-south
Very interesting premise, very first-novel execution. What I really liked got mired in what was trying too hard and ultimately, it just didn’t click. The characters fell flat for me in a way that made the book seem tame, not something that should happen when violence is roiling like electricity. It was very written, and maybe that’s a nebulous kind of distinction to make, and a personal one, but I’m hypersensitive these days to when the writer keeps interjecting over the freight-train story and ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Looking to settle down with a nice, gentle mystery, maybe about quilting, or something along those lines? Well, that’s not gonna happen with Last Call For the Living. Not by a longshot. Strap yourself in and get ready for a bumpy ride into the dark, Georgia woods with some of the nastiest characters I’ve come across in a long time. Young bank teller Charlie Colquitt was opening the bank with his manager on a normal Saturda
Jul 30, 2013 Skip rated it it was ok
A parolee and member of the Aryan Brotherhood (AB), robs a bank solo without waiting for his two partners, grabs a bank teller as a hostage and holes up in the mountains with his meth addict girlfriend. Violent and dark, the police and the AB brothers work to bring him to justice of one type or the other. There is some weirdness around the bank robber, the loner bank teller, who is the highlight of the book, and his mother. If you like Blood Meredian or No Country for Old Men, you will like ...more
Jennifer Masterson
Aug 22, 2014 Jennifer Masterson rated it really liked it
A very good debut novel that caught my attention from the very first page. I would definitely recommend it to people who like crime novels.
May 20, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
I received an Advanced Read Copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

The good first: I couldn't put this book down. I read it in one day. From the minute Hobe Hicklin changes Charlie Colquitt's life forever, to the very end where Charlie begins to live the changes instigated by these events, this book is an attention grabber. It winds through the dark world of the prison system, the Aryan Brotherhood and the stark brutality of stone cold killers who exploit others without guilt or remorse. The
The Haunted Reading Room {Cthulhu Down the Chimney Tonight}
Apr 16, 2012 The Haunted Reading Room {Cthulhu Down the Chimney Tonight} rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Thriller, suspense
Recommended to The Haunted Reading Room by: Great Minds Think Aloud
Shelves: april-2012-reads
“Last Call for the Living” is a thriller, but it is also a study of character: of the good guys, the bad guys-and the innocent, such as poor Charlie Colquitt, an unmeaning victim on a date with destiny. In an economically isolated rural area of North Georgia, a lone branch bank remains, the sole business in an otherwise abandoned and vacant strip mall on a back road, far from Interstate traffic. Few customers hold accounts there; the branch mainly services paycheck cashing for mills. Not much of ...more
Rod  Norman
May 24, 2012 Rod Norman rated it it was amazing
As a lifelong fan of Harry Crews, William Gay and Larry Brown, I have been concerned with who would pick up the torch and carry on after these greats had passed. Having just read Peter Farris's debut novel "Last Call For The Living" I know the futures in good hands. I really dug this book, it's a violent, steam locomotive ride from the first page. I love southern goth & this is definetly one of the best I've read in awhile. The book is fast paced and full of engaging characters. You will ...more
Aug 13, 2012 Tuck rated it really liked it
very nice 1st novel of crime and police procedural, with some nice twists, like primitive baptists having a snake handling/strychnine drinking service and then bad guy hides in amongst the congregation and the suffering bent sheriff comes in and a huge ass gun battle slash snake biting ensues. yeah, so lots of prison info and that angle of the con world running crime syndicates outside the walls.
so lots of unique things here, beautifully written and quite exciting and very violent. 4 STARS . rem
Brandon Nagel
Apr 28, 2013 Brandon Nagel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Completely blown away! LAST CALL FOR THE LIVING by @PJFarris - phenomenal. Cannot believe this is his first book. Rural noir at it's best!!! This is going to be a tough one to follow up. I have read about 60 books in 2013. This book and Donnybrook by Frank Bill are at the top of my list. Highly recommended.
Jeffrey Cavanaugh
Apr 11, 2015 Jeffrey Cavanaugh rated it really liked it
A criminal thriller set in the rural South of north Georgia that explores violence, family, longing and belonging among people the future has no use for. Fast-paced from the beginning, the book reads like a combination of 'No Country for Old Men', 'In Cold Blood' and 'American History X'.
Elizabeth A.
Oct 02, 2012 Elizabeth A. rated it it was amazing
Fresh out of prison after a long stretch, what’s the first thing up on ex-con Hobe Hicklin’s ‘To Do’ list? Rob his hometown North Georgia Savings and Loan, of course. In and out in under 3 minutes with the cash, as robberies go this one goes pretty smoothly.

Well, except for killing the bank manager. Probably shouldn’t have taken the teller hostage either. Oh, and considering the job was planned with his fellow Aryan Brotherhood members while he was inside, Hicklin probably should have waited for
Neliza Drew
Mar 03, 2013 Neliza Drew rated it it was amazing
This book is like an onion. A violent onion. There’s no backdrop here except the mountains. No one is a minor character. In each layer, each person is the center of his or her own story. They all have their own motives, their own reasons and fears, their own skin only they can inhabit. As such, no matter how intertwined they become, no matter what alliances – formal or otherwise – they make, in the end, they all stand alone.

Last Call for the Living is not the kind of uplifting, feel-good book yo
Andy Weston
May 17, 2014 Andy Weston rated it it was amazing
This was written in 2012 and published in the UK in 2013. Pretty much the same time, maybe a bit earlier, than Wiley Cash's A Land More Kind Than Home.

They share the genre, modern American noir, and they share snake loving pastors and churches. Although Cash's book is superior, the snake scene in Farris's novel is tremendous and will stay with me as one of the great scenes in books. For that reason it's a 5 star novel for me. His writing stumbles sometimes, with a habit of irrelevancies creepin
Jesse Sublett
Jul 22, 2012 Jesse Sublett rated it really liked it
Peter Farris comes out blasting with a real scorcher here, hard to believe it's a debut novel. Starts with a bank robbery and, as you know, mostly losers rob banks these days, not exactly the heroic desperado move it used to be, and the gunman takes a hostage, a fat slobby geek who digs rockets and has a one-eyed mom, all in the first couple dozen pages. Then it turns out that this bank robber has jumped the gun on the heist, grabbing all the honey before his amigos, both ex cons, like him, and ...more
Jon Farber
Jan 26, 2014 Jon Farber rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Rural Crime Fiction
Shelves: rural-noir, crime
"He was smarter than this and he knew it."

This line in the books sums up most of the characters in this book pretty well. The book is chock full of characters that keep doing things they know better than to do, and paying for it.

It's hard to not compare this book to "Dirty White Boys' by Stephen Hunter. The parallels are too obvious. It manages to hold up pretty well though in that comparison. While it lacks the wit and occasional humor of Hunter's book, it makes up for it with deeper character
Nick Muller
Apr 19, 2012 Nick Muller rated it it was amazing
Hard to believe this is a debut Novel. The best Bank heist novel I have maybe ever read. This ain't your daddy's crime novel. It takes an otherwise bland genre and injects it with a needle full of holy Fu*k. I would love to see this turned into a movie, but then again I would cringe to think Micheal Bay would ruin this gem for everyone who didn't read it. If you have the intestinal fortitude to read a legit novel that isn't politically correct, but 100% accurate of how things really are, this is ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Juuso rated it really liked it
For a debut crime novel, The Last Call For the Living delivers the goods with such skill that comparing the writer Peter Farris with gritty storytellers like Cormac McCarthy or Stephen Hunter is almost dissmissive.

Ok, that said, sometimes Farris' voice is not too original, especially Hunter's solid Dirty White Boys comes into mind little too often, but that may easily be forgiven. Cause for a debut novel, this piece of written rednecky gold has unbelievable powerful narrative energy. The story
Jul 14, 2012 Alecia rated it it was ok
I liked the first part of this boook, and the description of bank teller Charlie is very good. The reader really gets a sense of Charlie being a very odd duck, and this sets up his being taken as a hostage in the bank robbery very well. We know that his abductor is a cold, violent man, and we cringe on Charlie's behalf. But as the story progressed, although I liked the writing, I found it a bit overlong and meandering (for example I found the long chapters about Sheriff Lang and descriptions ...more
Robin Jonathan Deutsch
Feb 04, 2013 Robin Jonathan Deutsch rated it it was amazing
Holy crap, this book was amazing, brilliant, stunning. Among the best books I have EVER read, and ranks right up there with Donald Ray Pollack's "The Devil All The Time." With this book, Farris has clearly established himself as a bright new talent on the scene. Quite simply, books like these are the reason why I have reduced my television watching to 1 percent. I can't speak highly enough about the plot, dialog, flow, pace. Seriously folks, get yourself a copy of "Last Call for the Living," And ...more
Georgiann Hennelly
May 03, 2012 Georgiann Hennelly rated it it was amazing
Last call for the Living is a fantastic read. Hobe Hicklin is an ex- con with nothing to lose. For Charlie Colquitt a bank teller it is just another saturday. Hicklins first mistake was double - crossing the Aryan Brotherhood. His second was taking a hostage. Hot on his trail are a pair of ruthless Brother hood soliders, ready to do anything to get the money back from the robbery GBI Special Agent Sallie Crews and Sheriff Tommy Lang catch the case. You get a little bit of everything from drug,s ...more
Monte Dutton
Jul 12, 2012 Monte Dutton rated it it was amazing
Hobe Hicklin is a ruthless killer, capable of remorseless savagery. Now he's cornered, pursued on the one hand by a burnt-out sheriff and a determined FBI agent, and on the other by two bloodthirsty killers whom he has double-crossed.
Hicklin can't bring himself to do what he needs to do, which is to kill his hostage, Charlie Colquitt, a geeky bank teller with a love of model rockets.
The killer has a conflict.
Peter Farris's first novel reads like his 20th. It's skillfully plotted and deftly execu
Apr 29, 2012 Katherine rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway.

It's a very compelling read, but it won't ever be one of my love to re-read books. The brutality and violence are omnipresent. It is a harrowing exploration of poverty and poor education, resulting in dead-end lives. Torture and betrayal are vividly portrayed and it certainly made me question what I would do under like circumstances. Complicating the Stockholm syndrome with the whole father/son relationshlip seems contrived. It is definitely a character
Aug 26, 2015 Doug rated it liked it
Decent crime story, but I didn't care about any of the secondary characters and thought their backstories were mostly pointless. Lang is a drunk who pushed his family away, so what? And the author spent a lot of time building up the church service before the characters arrived. Also, he went a little crazy with the italics. But the two main characters were interesting, watching their relationship evolve.
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Peter Farris is the author of Last Call for the Living and Ghost in the Fields, which will be published in France by editions Gallmeister. He lives in Cherokee County, Georgia.
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