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Expiration Date

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  534 ratings  ·  86 reviews
In this neighborhood, make a wrong turn…

… and you’re history.

Mickey Wade is a recently-unemployed journalist who lucked into a rent-free apartment—his sick grandfather’s place. The only problem: it’s in a lousy neighborhood—the one where Mickey grew up, in fact. The one he was so desperate to escape.

But now he’s back. Dead broke. And just when he thinks he’s reached rock b
Paperback, 245 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Minotaur Books
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A decent little pulp tale of time travel and revenge that's all a bit obvious if intricately plotted, you've surely read or seen this story before but the setting is different and the characters have had their names changed. That's not a criticism of Swierczynski, modern pulp authors have as much right to churn one out on an interesting subject as much as the guys who worked by the word during the golden age of pulps but there's no way you can then legitimately qualify the work as a highlight of ...more
The pills in this book should have this warning sticker on the bottle: Side effects may include drowsiness, headache, and traveling through time. Use only as directed.

Mickey Wade is a reporter who just lost his job due to downsizing at his paper. Since his grandfather is in a coma in the hospital, Mickey moves into his apartment to save money, but he hates returning to the neighborhood he grew up in because it’s decayed into a slum.

When Mickey takes a couple of pills he thinks are aspirin out of
Hey, dummy! You weren’t impressed by the last book you read by this guy, so why the heck would you try another of his titles? What were you thinking?

But...but this one’s got time travel! The blurbs all said it was kind of like Life on Mars! I love Life on Mars!

Since when do blurbs ever tell the truth?

Yeah, okay, that one turned out to be totally bogus. But...time travel?

There really aren’t any interesting time travel ideas in this book. It’s boring and pointlessly violent, just like Swierczynski
I'd never heard of Duane Swierzynski before I saw Expiration Date as one of the Early Reviewer books on LibraryThing. I didn't win a copy, so I purchased one based on the summary of the title and the enthusiastic responses I found to the author's previous novels.

Expiration Date is a fast-paced, twisty time-travel mystery written in a first-person hardboiled crime pulp style, and featuring occasional B&W ink illustrations by comic book artist Lawrence Campbell (this is a novel, not a graphic
While this doesn't exactly break a ton of new ground in the time-travel genre, Swierczynski brings his usual flair to the book. Expiration Date is a well paced, interesting effort that keeps you guessing and parcels out twists and turns just often enough to keep everything fresh. The time travel itself is interesting enough, mechanically, and the limitations and uses of it are well explored as Mickey tries to piece together his family's past as he explores his father's death. Like many of Swierx ...more
ღ Carol jinx~☆~
I read this book in one night. It was great. It went by so fast and I could imagine a movie in my head while I was reading it. I was not disappointed at all with the ending and I realized I had to get to it without waiting for another reading session.
John Onoda
Starting a Duane Swiercynski novel is like getting on an impossibly large and powerful motocycle. You know that once you begin the acceleration is going to be scary and exhilarating. Things are going to whiz by. It’ll be hard to keep track of details because this is all about the ride. You are not in control.

Expiration Date involves time travel, murder, secret government experiments, mystery, serial killers, fractured family relationships, obsession, madness and revenge. There’s a little bit of
Don Crouch
Duane Swierczynski wrote two of the most entertaining books of the last decade. The Blonde and Severance Package are a one-two punch from a guy tied in at DNA-level to the noir zeitgeist. Exciting, character-driven and hi-freaking-larious, they scream to be filmed, and they transcend recommendation.

Expiration Date is Swierczynski's first novel since joining the Marvel Comics bullpen, and its' essence is highly informed by those days spent telling stories in such a stylized environment. The roots
EXPIRATION DATE tells the tale of a down-on-his luck and out of work newspaper reporter who moves into his grand pop’s apartment in a downtrodden and seemingly dangerous part of town. There, Mickey Wade discovers an innocuous bottle of pills in the medicine cabinet which he greedily takes in hopes of them having some medicinal purpose as a means to pre-empt his impending hangover. Rather than take the edge off, they send Mickey back in time, to the date he was born. Being a reporter and naturall ...more
Jason (RawBlurb)
I don’t know why, but about every few times i go to Powell’s Books, i end up checking out the shelf that holds Duane’s work. i am never expecting anything new, i don’t know what i am expecting to be different, but it looks like repetition does eventually breed results. When i was there over the weekend, look what was waiting for me.. Expiration date, a book i didn’t even know was ready for release…

So, what the hell is this book about? self discover and that exact moment when your life ends and b
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rob Kitchin
I was a little dubious of the sci-fi meets pulp crime fiction cross-over, but Swierczynski carries if off with aplomb. The start is a big, juicy worm baited on a razor sharp hook; one of the best openings I’ve read in quite a while. The story is meticulously plotted and surprisingly credible given the time travel element, and the pacing is high tempo without being rushed. The characterisation is strong and the dialogue snappy and realistic. Unusually, the story is accompanied by some illustratio ...more
I've yet to be disappointed by any of Swierczynski's books and this one was no exception.

At some point in his life, someone must have told Duane Swierczynski to "write what you know", and what Duane Swierczynski knows is Philadelphia. Living in Philly, as I do, makes his stories just that more real for me...even if they tend to include a bit of sci-fi or fantasy. It's an automatic connection to what I'm reading, so that makes the level of enjoyment that much more automatic for me.

This time he ex
I won this book as part of one of the Goodreads First Reads giveaways. I read it having never heard of the author before and slightly put off due to the first copy getting lost in the mail.

The novel seemed like it was supposed to be a mix between a 1950s detective novel, a noir style film, and possibly an alternate history novel. This comes complete with flat first person narrative, obvious plot twists, and a not so mysterious mystery. From the blurb, one could surmise that the kid is going to d
Suspense Magazine
With an instantly riveting storyline and dysfunctional, but lovable characters, “Expiration Date” captures your imagination from the first page and doesn’t let go until the end. Smoothly transitioning between the present and past, Swierczynski takes you on an unexpected journey through time as down on his luck and recently unemployed Chris Wade unintentionally falls into the past. Arriving on the morning of his birth, Chris doesn’t understand that there are rules to slipping through the fabric o ...more
Duane Swierczynski
Expiration Date (Minotaur 2010) is the story of Mickey Wade, a recently unemployed journalist who moves into his grandfather’s apartment in the old Philadelphia neighborhood where Mickey grew up, the very place he was so eager to escape from. Mickey’s grandpop is in the hospital, so the rundown apartment is available and free, an important factor to Mickey, who has only enough money to afford peanut butter, apples, and very cheap beer. After too much to drink one night, Mickey
Weldon Burge
After reading and loving Swierczynski's incredibly violent, fast-paced novels The Wheelman, The Blonde, and especially Severance Package, I was expecting more of the same with Expiration Date. I was pleasantly surprised that the novel, while fast-paced, was significantly different from those other books. This is definitely not a bad thing!

Expiration Date is, simply stated, a novel about time travel, and Swierczynski handles the plot shifts and twists with admirable precision. If you enjoy puzzle
A few years back I discovered a pretty cool crime novel called “The Wheelman.” It was a gritty caper novel full of interesting characters and blasts of dark humor. I missed “Secret Dead Man” the debut novel by book’s writer, Duane Swierczynski, so I had no idea he was interested and capable of crafting a more fantastic but just as entertaining tale. I soon discovered that was the case though. Hints of science fiction showed up in “The Blonde” the author’s excellent follow-up to the “Wheelman” an ...more
Tim Niland
Mickey Wade is at the end of his rope. He's out of work, out of pocket and out of luck. Taking his grandfather's old apartment, he comes across a strange bottle of pills in the medicine cabinet. Thinking that they will cure his hangover, he takes a few, and is instantly transported back in time to 1972. But the Philadelphia of the early 1970's was just as dangerous as the one he lives in today, so Mickey must unravel the mystery of the grandfather he barely knows, the mysterious pills, and the w ...more
Mickey Wade loses his job as a journalist and moves into his grandfather's unoccupied apartment in a run down section of Philadelphia. He takes some pills that he thinks are Tylenol, but which end up transporting his spirit back into the 1970's. Once he figures out the connection with the pills, Mickey starts to make repeated trips into the past, and starts to learn more about his family history and the murder of his father. His spirit can only interact with the world in limited ways, but Mickey ...more
I generally like Duane Swierczynski’s work. I haven’t given all of his books high ratings, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading each of the four I read before this one. But Expiration Date was not enjoyable at all. It was an urban version of Tree of Life, full of nostalgia for the days before white flight left the cities considerably darker than they’d previously been. That’s not my thing.

The story itself wasn’t too bad, but there were too many places where I shook my head and said, “This is just
An intriguing premise, but one that ultimately doesn't fully live up to its potential. Three and a half stars for effort, three for execution.

Mickey Wade has just lost his job as a newspaper reporter. Unable to keep his apartment, he accepts his mother's suggestion that he move into his grandfather's apartment. (Mickey's grandfather was just admitted to the hospital.) After a drunken binge he goes looking through his grandad's medicine cabinet and takes four pills from an old Tylenol bottle. But
Aug 22, 2012 Ghostsoup1313 rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery readers who also like sci-fi
Recommended to Ghostsoup1313 by: Mentioned by Charlaine Harris in one of her books
Shelves: mystery, scifi
Very good book, definitely recommend. The characters were interesting, the plot, pacing etc. were done very well. The concept was very different and anyone who likes mysteries and science fiction will certainly enjoy this book.

My only problem with the book was the lead female character. As is too often the case the woman that the main character is in love with doesn't really participate in the story. In general she is too passive. Meghan's role is to be a mothering figure - she dresses his woun
Lostaccount Darkpool
I was enjoying this book until half way when the writer drops a bombshell and decides it's not about time travel after all but astral projection. That for me killed the book. I thought the original idea for time travelling was good and it promised a lot. In the end the book was a let down. The main character was pretty weak (actually all the characters were weak), and did nothing but flounder about in the same area, in a plot that was ultimately confusing and didn't really hang together. The boo ...more

Expiration Date tells the amazing story of a guy down on his luck and some time traveling pills. Can he go back in time and solve his father's murder without tearing up the fabric of time? Seems unlikely, but in a typically brash fashion, Swierczynski manages to pull it off. The story hurtles along to a very wild conclusion, again trademarks of Swierczynski novels. While not as crackling as The Wheelman or especially The Blonde, it's still a tremendously fun ride.

"Recently unemployed journalist Mickey Wade lucked into a rent-free apartment - his sick grandfather's place. The only problem: it's in a lousy neighborhood - the one where Mickey grew up, in fact. The one he was so desperate to escape." "But now he's back. Dead broke. And just when he thinks he's reached rock bottom, Mickey wakes up in the past. Literally." "At first he thinks it's a dream. All of the stores he remembered from his childhood, the cars, the rumble of the elevated train. But as he ...more
A surprisingly good read, and one that I was really not expecting to like! This reads so well, with characters that are likeable, yet real and some really beautiful imagery. The time travel plot is new somehow and I came across none of the continuity errors that you might find in other time-travel novels. Even the ending is superb - left very open ended and yet closed at the same time so you really can make of it what you want. It managed to keep me content and entertained whilst in isolation fo ...more
Andrew W.m.
A fast-paced story which lives up to expectations. The 'hard-boiled' tone holds well and the different locales are well established as viable and believable backdrops for the unusual and innovative action.

My one complaint would be the publisher - this book looks horrible! I ordered it after reading the synopsis and was looking forward to getting stuck in. On its arrival, however, it sat gathering dust for a fair while. The book looks like some sort of YA fiction and every page has fairly tacky l
Joe Robles
I don't know how to review this book without using a bunch of superlatives. This book was fantastic! I started it late yesterday, and as soon as I got off of work today I had to finish it. People use phrases like "fast-paced" and "page-turner" so often that I almost forgot what it was like to actually read one. I've read most of Duane's works in crime-fiction and this was my first time reading a more sci-fi type novel of his. The time travel aspects are fantastic and a great addition to what wou ...more
James Brown
A good short read, time travel mystery with a noir feel. If that sounds like something you'd like, I don't think you'll be disappointed. I found it to be worth the time.
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Caroljinx 2011 book list 1 3 Nov 20, 2011 11:10AM  
  • The Deputy
  • Money Shot (Hard Case Crime #40)
  • London Boulevard
  • The First Quarry (Quarry #8)
  • Innocent Monster (Moe Prager, #6)
  • The Shotgun Rule
  • The Seventh (Parker, #7)
  • Fake I.D.
  • A Shortcut in Time (A Shortcut in Time, #1)
  • Cut, Paste, Kill (Lomax & Biggs, #4)
  • Evil In Return (Mark Tartaglia, #3)
  • The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century
Duane Swierczynski is an American crime writer who has written a number of non-fiction books, novels and also writes for comic books.
More about Duane Swierczynski...
Birds of Prey, Vol. 1: Trouble in Mind The Wheelman Fun & Games (Charlie Hardie, #1) Severance Package The Blonde

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