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The Long Division

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
An Atlanta housecleaner flees her nowhere life to reunite with the son she gave up for adoption. The teenage boy joins his longlost mother on an unlawful road trip that proves how much they both have to lose by finding each other. Elsewhere, a deputy must track down the shooter in a drug-related double murder before other investigators discover the deputy’s illicit ties to ...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Minotaur Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 08, 2010 mark rated it did not like it
Shelves: really-bad-books
There is something going on at universities regarding creative writing teachers ... and I now KNOW I don't like it. A novel is a story and as such, that should be the focus--the story; NOT the "creative writing." In The Long Division, by Creative Writing teacher, Derek Nikitas, is gimmickry at its best/worst, which is a distraction to the story. The story drew me to the book, one of a reunion between a young mother who gave up her baby, and that child, now a teenager. The author used word, sente ...more
Dec 21, 2009 Joe rated it really liked it
I'm always happy to read a book where separate storylines and characters spiral towards a interwoven conclusion - part of the fun is suddenly realizing the unstated connections that were in plain si-

Anyone who starts this book will say, hey, what's with the unfinished sentences? It seems like a cheat. Don't know how to end a paragraph? Just stop wr-

Later on, though, one of the characters starts musing on Zeno's paradox. If the turtle crawls halfway across the table, then half of the rest of the
Sep 20, 2010 Ed rated it really liked it
Stylish noir with literary flourishes, including a little distracting use of dashes to begin and end the sections. Muscular prose and original voice, the story also features flawed characters stiving to bring order to their messy, chaotic lives. Three narrative threads are nicely woven. I liked reading TLD.
Robert Intriago
Jan 01, 2010 Robert Intriago rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I found the book disjointed. Maybe it has to do with my age but I found it difficult to follow and comprehend the dialogue, but maybe I am not hipp enough. The writting style gave me a little bit of problems. The author ends paragrphs in midsentence of conversation, thought or action. After the first chapter I was able to follow. The story was okay, but not good enough to overcome the drawbacks.
Jul 08, 2010 Jane rated it it was ok
The pseudo-acedemic, forced style of ending one segment in the middle of a sentence and beginning with another half sentence in a different setting falls flat on its face. Writing often gets the feeling the author kept a thesaurus on hand just to insert a unique word...worse phrase with multiple forced words. Ugh.
Dec 08, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
Fascinating story. I knew the author would tie the three story lines together, but discovering how he did it was well worth the time investment. Interesting characters. I recommend this author.
Jan 14, 2010 Viccy rated it liked it
Interesting format, a little hard to process. Nikitas tells a great story.
Feb 09, 2010 Margaretb rated it really liked it
this book was like being on an ice-slick road toward a ditch... couldn't put it down, but was petrified about what was about to happen. Great book.
Jan 18, 2010 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Connected stories...couldn't put this book down, but be forewarned...depressing.
Jun 23, 2017 Joyce rated it did not like it
Usually if I don't finish a book I drop it in the first 50-100 pages, but I got 3/4's of the way through this before I quit. It started interestingly enough but spiraled to worse than a Fargo story with disjointed writing.
Feb 14, 2017 Laura rated it really liked it
Sans the crime, the setting of this story seemed ...quite familiar.

I very much enjoy reading Derek's work and thinking about how much I learned about comma from him. I did find a typo near the end of the novel, just a letter v missing to Calvin's name.

I'll let it slide, Professor.
Nov 19, 2009 Bob rated it liked it
"The Long Division" was a terrifically written novel, populated with terribly damaged, yet wholly realized and believable, characters on this terrifying collision course with their destinies. When I started reading, I thought I didn't want to know these people because there was no way this story was going to end well. Nikitas pulled me in, however, and, as all the pieces of his equation started coming clear, I had to stay until the very bitter end. I was also a little put off by the "jump cut" d ...more
Dec 18, 2016 Harry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Hätte Nikitas nur das letzte Drittel des Romans veröffentlicht, wäre eine durchaus ordentliche Kurzgeschichte dabei herausgekommen. So dominieren aber uninspirierte Charaktere, öde Schauplätze und ein einschläfernder Plot - gepaart mit pseudo-philosphischem Geschwafel und miesen Sprachbildern, die - im schlechtesten Sinne - an Schundromane aus dem nächstbesten Bahnhofskiosk erinnern:
"Der Schmerz ließ weiße Glühbirnen vor seine Augen treten, ..." (S. 267)
"Eine Welle des Verlangens ergriff ihn, d
Sep 11, 2010 Jeanne rated it it was ok
This depressing and disjointed novel focuses on three characters and how their stories converge:

• Jodie Larkin, the Atlanta cleaning lady on the run and in search of the son she gave up for adoption;

• Wynn Johnston, a bright college student who gets pulled into a dark situation with a friend and the friend’s sister; and

• Calvin Nowak, a teenager in crisis, who just wants to escape the life he’s now living.

All 3 characters are on the run for different reasons, and all of the situations quickly b
May 14, 2010 Jsavett1 rated it really liked it
Rarely read mystery/detective novels but this came highly recommended from the Washington Post. Pretty amazing writing and gripping story following four characters whose paths intersect in interesting ways--an already sort of cliche idea but pulled off well by some great characterization. The book's story is incredibly bleak but it was still a pleasure to read because it was written so insightfully.
Once I became used to the rather tedious writing style (every scene change started mid-sentence) employed by the author I found this to be a depressing though strangely compelling look at several damaged characters and the unintended consequences and violent outcomes that their poorly thought out choices lead to.
Dec 29, 2009 Irene rated it it was ok
Very disappointing for me. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review. I was drawn to the book because of the review, and also the locations (some veiled), were familiar to me. Nikitas writing technique is quite billiant, but I think I will go back and read his first book, PYRES. Then I will give THE LONG DIVISION a second chance. It may be a generational attitude on my part.
Mar 05, 2011 Carmen rated it liked it
Shelves: popular-fiction
The story begins describing three separate people. Each one has his or her own chapter. In the middle of the book the reader discovers how they come together, how they affect each other. It is quite a ride. Betrayal, incest, adoption, drugs, they all are featured in this book.
Aug 22, 2012 Marian rated it it was amazing
I learned about this book from a list I read somewhere - "Thrillers for people who don't read thrillers." Very apt - it was suspenseful and sometimes horrifying, but well written by an author who has a lot of insight into human nature.
Apr 27, 2013 Angelina rated it did not like it
Heaps and heaps of misery in this book and not one person I care about. I don't know what we're supposed to learn about the human condition with this one. I threw in the towel 87 percent of the way through.
Mar 04, 2011 Liana rated it liked it
An average novel with curious characters. Violent and disturbing in parts, but kept me intrigued to the end, wondering about various character connections.
Rebecca McNutt
May 02, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
From the negative reviews on this book I wasn't expecting much, but I was swept away by the intense writing style and vibrant characters. This book was vivid and gripping, I highly recommend it.
Oct 02, 2010 Jason rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 01, 2011 Barb rated it liked it
tragic, complex tale of several seemingly unrelated characters who come together in the end. worth reading, but do not hope for a happy ending.
Andrea rated it liked it
Aug 11, 2011
donna rated it it was ok
Sep 03, 2010
Gary Youngblood
Gary Youngblood rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2009
Joseph rated it liked it
Mar 16, 2012
Jackie rated it liked it
Jul 03, 2010
André rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2009
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Derek Nikitas is the Edgar-award nominated author of the crime/mystery novels *Pyres* and *The Long Division* (a Washington Post Best Book of 2009 selection).

He has also written a science fiction adventure novel for Young Adults called *Extra Life* and has co-written several "Bookshots" books with bestselling novelist James Patterson, including *Diary of a Succubus* and *You've Been Warned--Again.
More about Derek Nikitas...

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