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The White Mercedes

3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  1,073 ratings  ·  90 reviews
After a single sexual encounter, Chris Marshall falls madly in love with Jenny, a young woman he does not know. Wandering the streets, never coming face to face, each becomes involved with Barry Miller, a small time crook with Edward Carson, a convicted murderer, on his trail. These four spiral around each other until the savage climax when Jenny is gunned down in a case o ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published July 22nd 1997 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,797)
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randy
Not gonna lie, this was wholeheartedly disappointing.

I was expecting the level of brilliance Pullman brought to His Dark Materials. And well this had none of that. It also lacked the charm and sense of wonder HDM provided.

Yes, I understand this was written far earlier in his career, and did not expect it to be on par, but I am astounded by how lackluster this was. It is told in there sections. The first section had promise and lead me to think this was going to get much better. He introduced his
...more
Caroline
Jun 04, 2012 Caroline rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People in their late teens, fans of thrillers.
It's confession time (blush). When I read novels I often find it very tempting to skim in places.... even worse, I sometimes get an overwhelming urge to leapfrog over the bulk of book to go for an advance peek at the ending. Am I the only person on Goodreads who flicks down the reviews to find the ones marked 'Spoiler alert'?

So, The Butterfly Tattoo should have been very much to my taste. You get a massive hint at the ending in the first line of the book, "Chris Marshall met the girl he was goin
...more
Jayne Lamb
I wonder if PP is embarassed by this now? Having loved His Dark Materials I thought he might have done ok with some YA lit. Bad move, not only is it 'a modern day Romeo and Juliet' (it's the answering machine that screws up the message), the first line is great - if he was an unpublished teenager. Terrible, clunky plot that recycles cliche after cliche, teenage boy in love at first sight (oh please) and of course, all the men that meet Jenny want to have sex with her, because she's beautiful, sk ...more
Kindred Spirit
I have been trying to get my hands on this book for ages and was finding it basically impossible to buy, so I ended up borrowing it from the library. And boy, am I glad I did!

This book is amazing. A bit sublte and understated, but at the same time really packing a punch. The characters were all very well done and easy to both relate to and sympathise with and it was really refreshing to see Pullman deal with a modern setting. I particuarly loved the exploration of morals and honour and truth and
...more
Alicia
I was all excited to discover there was a YA book by Pullman that I hadn't read, b/c of course I love his other books. Unfortunately, this one was a stinker; described as a "modern-day Shakespearean tragedy", it was really more of a "stupid young boy meets random young girl and somehow there are mobsters involved" story. Pullman never makes you feel for any of the characters, so when the melodramatic denouement finally occurs, I was just glad it was over. D.
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Saoirse Sterling
Chris meets Jenny on a warm Oxford night and falls instantly in love, but he knows nothing about her and can't seem to find her again in the sleepy English city. His boss, meanwhile, had acquired a love nest and is employing Chris to do it up, little knowing that it's actually a hide away from some ruthless London gangsters...

Philip Pullman is a wonderful writer and His Dark Materials series is still one of my favourites, but this was a huge disappointment. It was written well, but the plot and
...more
Scarlette Thorn
I confess; I gave up. life's too short to read books you can't stand. The only reason I gave this 2 stars instead of 1 is the language, and because it's Philip Pullman, who has my deep respect for "His Dark Materials" which are some of my favourite books. When it comes to fantasy, Pullman has nailed it. But thriller? no. three-quarters of the way through and I still felt no liking for any of the characters, they were written as though we were looking at them in a fish tank, so you didn't feel an ...more
Johanna
I had never heard of The butterfly tattoo before, until a couple of weeks ago when we began reading it in english class, at school. I had no expectations, and didn’t know anything about it really, except that it was Philip Pullman - the author behind The golden compass - who had written it.

So, the book was good, but sadly, there isn’t more to it than that. I felt no kind of connections to the characters, and the whole book was just a retelling of the first sentence of it. Both the story and the
...more
Roberta
Philip Pullman mi aveva abituato a storie di tutt'altro calibro: innanzitutto storie più lunghe e dal respiro più ampio, poi ambientate in una Oxford magica, decisamente lontana dai giorni nostri.

La farfalla tatuata è invece un racconto ambientato in una Oxford moderna. Anzi Chris, il protagonista, osservando un ballo universitario di fine anno, pensa che la sua Oxford è ben lontana da questo ambienta, è più sporca. E la ragazza che incontra proprio a questo ballo, Jenny, è - più o meno come lu
...more
Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic)
Jan 01, 2014 Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of old styled YA & coming of age stories. Age 13-15
You can check out my full review here: http://beckysblogs.wordpress.com/2013...
An odd little book about adolescence and first loves with a few gangsters thrown in.
Well, this book was an experience, I can definitely say that. It had such an odd jumble of ideas within it that somehow didn’t quite work in cohesion with each other.
The Butterfly Tattoo was written three years before Pullman’s famous book, Northern Lights/The Golden Compass. While there are significant glimpses into his brilliant writ
...more
Petergiaquinta
Published three years before The Golden Compass, this short mystery/thriller takes a look at some of the same themes and elements that Pullman reworks to much stronger effect throughout the Dark Materials trilogy: Oxford, the uselessness of adults, lying, innocence and sin, the Garden motif...
Alas, there are no talking polar bears here, and quite frankly the novel really clunks along in places. Maybe Pullman wasn't trying as hard in this shorter book--parts of the novel feel just tossed off--or
...more
Laura J
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ilaria Tomasini
Letto d'un fiato.
Questo libro ti dice subito, sin dalla prima frase, come andr a finire: una ragazza morir per colpa del protagonista.
Eppure leggendolo ci si trova a sperare di aver letto male, che alla fine andr tutto bene e che l'amore dei due protagonisti potr avere quel lieto fine a cui sembrava destinato.
E' un libro che ti prende alla sprovvista e ti fa male: inizia come una delicata storia d'amore tra un ragazzo innocente e una ragazza un po' alla deriva che da piccola stata molestata dal
...more
Ninon
Incredibly predictable..
And about 1/3 through the story I was wondering if it could be another author with the same name as THE Philip Pullman... There was no trace to be found of what I tend to love from Pullman, nothing that hinted at him having written it..
I know it's an Young Adult novel.. but there was just no magic in the words.. it was sheer dull.
Pity!
Yun Zhen
It was definitely not as spectacular as I expected it would be at the beginning, there were enough times I was more than willing to put down the book for good. But as all books, we can only judge it at the end. There were a lot of details, not unnecessary, that I didn't understand, perhaps out of context for me, what with mafias and armies and loads of made-up scenarios to make the story more fleshy and realistic. But it got quite thrilling towards the middle once you get a sense of how Pullman ...more
Kirsty Shark
This book was pointless. The tagline made me want to read it - "Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm Oxford night in early June".

It was supposed to be a tragic story that explores the concepts of truth and trust, I think. It missed the mark for me. The writing was way too simplistic, it felt like a bad attempt to write for young people. The plot wasn't much better and I think it could have gone a lot darker and deeper into its themes.

Pullman's meant to be a really good wr
...more
Allie
After not enjoying "His Dark Materials" that much I didn't have much hope for this one. But it was a nice - even though short - read.

"Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm Oxford night in early June" - the first sentence of the novel already tells you how it is all going to end. The only question is: How is he going to kill her? For me that was enough suspense for such a short book. I found myself wondering as I learned how they met eachother how he would play into her deat
...more
Dora
2.5 stars.

A thoroughly underwhelming novel from the much herelded author Philip Pullman, that in terms of magic draws closer to his The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ than the superb His Dark Materials trilogy.
Set in Oxford, it follows the story of teen Chris and his relationship with wayward Jenny, whilst he carries out a job for his boss with a shady past. It's easy to read and sometimes compelling, and the ending earns it an extra half star, but it's by no means a masterpiece, and fe
...more
Anna Stange
I liked it a lot but I feel unsatisfied. It is a cross between a short story and a novel.
Emily
I'm pretty sure this was supposed to be two books, but for some reason Pullman decided to throw the love story and the crime thriller together into one book. The love story was moderately entertaining, but the crime drama consisted of LONG passages of the criminal telling various versions of his story - by the third time he started talking, I started skimming, because none of the stories was particularly interesting. Also, my copy of the book had a blurb on the back that gave away the ending, so ...more
Patricia
Just loved this book--a well written book-easy to read. a great plot. In my opinion not for younger teenagers.
Sonja Isaacson
OK, not great. I had read a review by a girl who says she cries whenever she reads it. Sure, I've got a book or two like that, but this is SO not one of them. I'm also not sure how many would relate to it... though abused girls and boys of divorced parents need their own protagonists I suppose and not just Janice Dickinson and... well now I can't think of a famous guy with divorced parents. I'm sure there are a number of actors with such families though. Plus, the tattoo is only mentioned once w ...more
Mark Napier
A fun, riveting short story.
Lila
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faatkitty
I have to say when I read the back of the book I expected something completely different from the author. I guess it is probably my fault when the book didn't give me what I wanted.
It was still a pretty good book that didn't have a typical storyline. Unfortunately for me I felt that the book fell short of being a brilliant read as I usually feel Pullman's books are.
I guess the only thing that got me through the book was how Pullman writes and that is one thing that'll draw you in. :)
Laura
Apr 09, 2012 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: boys, ya
The White Mercedes is a slowly unwinding suspense/mystery for young adults. While the plot holes and the brooding pace may frustrate some readers, it's a dark and bleak sort of noir novel that kept me very captivated up until the end. It reminded me very much of a Coen Brothers movie in its mood. Recommended for older teens (there are definitely some more mature parts to this book than one might expect) who prefer the dark and twisted to happily ever after.
Lara Manni
Mi sarei aspettata che alla fine avanzasse a grandi passi il Principe di Verona e chiudesse la storia come in Romeo e Giulietta. Perchè questo, infine, sembra l'intento di Pullman. Anche qui, tre stelline che sono due mezzo: costruzione da paura, mestiere stratosferico. Ma. In parte mi infastidisce una propensione alla morale che aleggia su tutta la storia. Il resto l'ho spiegato qui
http://laramanni.wordpress.com/2009/0...
Vorbis
DNF. Picked it up as an audiobook because of the author. The first line says it's going to have an unhappy ending - He met the girl he was going to kill ... after that the unfolding story is clunky and longwinded, with a great deal of not much happening interspersed with an entirely odd gangster storyline, so you can sort of see the unhappy ending creeping up on you without ever getting any happy payoff moments to make it worthwhile. Didn't care. Didn't finish.
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In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards ...more
More about Philip Pullman...
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3) His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3) Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version

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