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Amateurs, The

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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  517 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Alex is failing as a father. Ian keeps dangerous secrets. Jenn is pining for adventure; Mitch is pining for Jenn. Four friends just scraping by, finding comfort in each other and the hope that things will get better. But as their twenties fade in the rearview mirror, none of them are turning out to be who—or where—they hoped.

In a time when CEOs steal millions while their e
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Audio CD, 8 pages
Published August 6th 2009 by Brilliance Audio (first published July 1st 2009)
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Kelly
Let me state up front that I had problems with the book. The characters were too immature word for me as a reader. All four of our main characters were just too damn whiney and self-absorbed for me to really care what happened to them. We have one individual who complains that he always wanted to be a lawyer but is stuck in his dead-end job so he can pay child support. There is no mention of him ever looking for another job, going to night school etc. The other three characters also had complain ...more
Michelle Warner
I have a bit of a crush on Marcus Sakey. I love his writing and his show, Hidden City. He writes great stories about normal people doing really stupid things out of desperation. And sometimes, the good, normal people get killed cause they're in way over their heads. What? Yes!

The two of his I've read have both been set in Chicago, his hometown, so....love! Very good, quick summer reads.
Debbie J
The Amateurs is a serviceable mystery despite having a significant part of its resolution emerge right out of the gate.

The four main characters are well-drawn if not a wee bit stereotypical. There’s the coke-snorting stock trader with a costly gambling problem. Next to him is the beefy bartender and divorced dad frantically behind on his child support payments. Across the table is the super analytical nerd who's just about tired enough of being underestimated by his male cohorts and the woman he
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Paul Pessolano
Marcus Sakey's last book, "Good People" dealt with a young couple that kept a large sum of money that did not belong to them, but thought the money to be untraceable. They did not figure on the real owners wanting the money back and trying to get it back at all costs. If you have not read "Good People", I highly recommend that you read it either before or after "The Amateurs".

In "The Amateurs" four young people, one girl and three boys, have been meeting at a bar and call themselves, "The Thursd
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Bill Krieger
QOTD
"GENIUS." - Chicago Tribune
- review on the cover of The Amateurs

Okay. Um, not a genius.
But how gull-a-Bill am I to even read the crap on the cover. He he. In my defense (weakly), this book did get a nice mention on an index card at Anderson's. So be it.

The Amateur rates barely 2 stars. the book is saved from 1-star ignominy by an unconventional ending. The reading is super light. In fact, I got the distinct impression that I was reading an episode of CSI Someplace. Now, this may seem odd
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Katie
I loved it!! Not only can I identify with the Thursday night drinking club, although mine is on Wednesday nights, I can really identify with their characters. I know what it feels like to not end up where you wanted to be by the time you reach a certain age. Not that you're unhappy, ungrateful, or upset, you're just not where you thought you would be & you want something more out of your life then to just drift through. Although, it is kind of hard to believe that someone would still be a ba ...more
Brett Starr
If you haven't heard of Marcus Sakey yet, you will soon! Three of his four novels have already been optioned for movies. The Blade Itself: A Novel had its rights picked up by Ben Affleck's production company and the movie will star Chris Pine from Star Trek. Actor Tobey Maguire bought the rights to Good People.

"The Amateurs" is my first read (but not last) of Marcus Sakey. I finally decided to take the plunge after hearing over and over again about his smash debut novel "The Blade Itself" and r
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Monie
The Thursday Night Drinking Club that met at Rossi's each week consisted of four friends. Mitch is the loveable loser. He has absolutely no backbone and wouldn't stand up for himself against anyone. Ian is the closet druggie and gambler. He's facing some serious hurt if he doesn't pay his gambling debts. Alex is the divorced father. Working as a bar tender he hasn't been able to keep up with his child support payments and his ex-wife is threatening to take his daughter out of state. Jenn is the ...more
John Hood
Hard Print: Amateurs' Hour

Marcus Sakey Shows That Crime is Best Left to the Pros

By John Hood (The Lead Miami Beach August 21, 2009 http://bit.ly/iTLwur)

It sounded so simple. After all, they'd seen it done on screen a million times. Walk in, point a gun, grab the money, and leave. Even easier since there'd be two guns and a designated getaway driver. OK, so someone would have to be smacked to avoid suspicion. And they'd never done anything even remotely like this before. Still, how hard could i
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Debra Daniels-zeller
This was a great story about four losers and a crime gone horribly wrong. None of these people had ever committed a crime and one is hiding dark secrets from the other three. From the outset the reader knows a four person crime probably won't work, but the intriguing part is why each person decided to go through with it and how they deal with the fall out. I really liked Jen's movie star fantasies with choosing the right clothes and the gun. The plot twists were great and the ending a surprise.
Kelly Hager
It's a little similar to Good People (also his) whch I loved.

General gist: four friends are going along in their lives. They're doing okay--not great, but well enough--when they decide to get ahead by robbing a drug deal at the place one of them works. It's not going to get them the kind of money that will let them quit their jobs and live insanely well for the rest of their lives, but it'll be enough to make things better.

Not surprisingly, it all spirals out of control rather quickly and their
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Christine
Not being one to typically read mystery/thrillers, I did enjoy my first foray into Sakey's world. The characters are painfully ordinary, which, in some ways, lured me in all the more; however, I can see how this might not be appealing to some, who prefer their heroes easily identifiable and ultimately infallible.

If you need a happy ending to every story, you won't enjoy this. Maintaining the sense of reality, it simply stands that there ARE no happy endings for the four friends who, driven by va
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Bridget
Four friends have devised the perfect plan. Jenn is yearning for adventure, Ian has an eye for the dangerous, Alex just found out his ex-wife is moving far away and taking their daughter, and Mitch is sick of being completely predictable. When Alex finds a couple hundred dollars in his bosses safe, he and his friends joke about taking the money. Then, the joke starts to sound like an incredibly good idea. The guy they're ripping off has a history of being ruthless. Will these four friends find o ...more
Mark Bowman
A neighbor is a friend of Marcus Sakey's and recommended him to me as a top-notch crime fiction writer based in Chicago. This is the third of his books that I've read and find each an even more satisfying read. In this saga four rather typical middle-class young adults end up committing a robbery together somewhat capriciously and each for different reasons. The plan for the perfect crime goes awry, of course, exposing the fragility of the friendships as well as each person's existence. Sakey's ...more
Virginia
I kept hearing Marcus Sakay was a brilliant author. I was disappointed to find his characters uninteresting and the plot of The Amateurs, predictable. I gave the book two stars instead of one for his writing style, although he appears to have difficulties with "lie" vs. "lay".

Nick Sotos
For me, Marcus Sakey is the king of putting ordinary people in very tough situations and The Amateurs is no exception. As with all his other books, I really enjoyed this one. I kept asking myself if I would have done things any differently than the characters which was really fun.
Robert Kent
Marcus Sakey Does It Again! Another Terrific Thriller!

Here is yet another amazing thriller that will keep you turning pages until you’ve devoured it. It’s hard not to sympathize with the main characters. Who hasn’t occasionally felt that their life might be improved by a quick infusion of cash? They’re good people, mostly. Just good people who need money. In a time of the never ending recession during which rich plutocrats are hunting the middleclass to extinction, who can’t relate to wanting to
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Elaine
I won this book on a mystery books blog. At that point I had never read anything by Marcus Sakey. The book is an intriguing story of four friends who feel their lives are passing them by. The only one who is successful has a big gambling and drug problem. They decide to do something that will change the course of their lives forever.

While reading this I kept imagining it as a movie. I don't think that has ever happened before as I was reading. Hopefully, someday it might be made into a movie as
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Sheri
I was So EXCITED to see that Mr. Sakey had a new book out there and could not wait to get it home to read but I was a bit disappointed that it didn't give me that fire in my belly that his last books gave me. Yes, it was a good plot and no, you didn't quite figure it all out beforehand but it lacked the umph that needed to spur me on to read way past midnight.
So the story?? Four friends, actually weekly drinking rummies, decide their life is boring and decide to commit a robbery that they are
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Charlie Defreese
Great book. It's a thriller but gives you a lot of insight into human nature and the dynamics between a group of friends. I'm really starting to like Marcus Sakey.
Justin Daniels
Holy crap!!

Great idea for a story, but man do we need an editor for this.
Ellen Mandly
these people were just to unlikeable and the plot was pretty ridiculous.
Amira Smith
Another great read from an awesome author. Very realistic!
Reed
Sakey writes so well, driving a compelling narrative and story line, but his uneasy and forced plotting of "good people" and "bad things" and how the two relate (or don't), and then how said people come to deal with the "morality" and "consequences" of their actions... Oy. Just too much and way too annoying. Disliked all the characters, even when they "redeemed" themselves. (Yes, lots of quotation marks... that's how shallow and insignificant I found this book.) I can't believe I have his next o ...more
Ashley
I love reading novels about Chicago. It's fun to be able to picture exactly where the characters are and know what they are looking at and experiencing. The one thing that annoyed me in this book was, even though the restaurant/bar Rossi's was fictional, he was true to the rest of Chicago's landmarks and streets, except Millennium Park. He called it Millenial Park...what? I enjoyed The Blade Itself much more. This book just wasn't as intense and crazy as The Blade Itself which gripped me from be ...more
Sandi
This was the 6th novel I have read by Marcus Sakey and my least favorite yet. I lived the other 5!! While it was still interesting, it wasn't as gripping as the others. It took me a while to get into it. The four characters just seem like unlikely friends. Their decision to pull of a robbery was just stupid and they made poor choices at every turn of events. If they would have just left the drug dealers car put....they might still be off pursuing their dreams. The lesson here: stealing is just p ...more
Gülce
Konusu farkli ve akici bir kitap. Yalniz yazarin diger kitabi "akil labirenti" cok daha keyifliydi.
Tracy
A lot of the books on my list are always out when I go to the library, so I picked this one up. It was okay. I almost shut it for good twice while reading it, but I persevered, and I give it a "Meh." The plot was not great, and it was easy to call the outcome before getting too far in. This was the first time I've read a thriller book where I've thought that I know more than the characters do about their situation. Easy read, served its purpose but not satisfying.
Scott
This was a really good book that went in directions I didn't expect. A story of four fairly ordinary people who get in over their heads when life nudges them to commit a crime. It kept building up; one guy was worse than the next, and in the end, they find that they're into something a lot bigger than they could have imagined.

This is the second book I've read by Marcus Sakey, and I probably will look for more of his works.
Glennie
It was ironic, I believe, that I recently finished The Professionals which was about a group of 4 friends pulling off crimes, and then I read The Amateurs which was also about a group of 4 friends who attempt to pull off a crime. Small coincidence, I suppose. This was very good, suspenseful, and the plot had a lot of complications. Overall, a good read.
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38652
I was born in Flint, Michigan. Loving parents still together, forty-plus and counting. My brother Matt is a respected video game columnist and owner of the website Tap Repeatedly. He is also awesome.

I attended the University of Michigan, two majors, both promptly ignored. Collected single terms at grad schools in several states. Ten years in advertising and marketing gave me the perfect experienc
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More about Marcus Sakey...
Brilliance (Brilliance Saga, #1) A Better World (Brilliance Saga, #2) The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes The Blade Itself Good People

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