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The Frumious Bandersnatch (87th Precinct #53)

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  521 ratings  ·  36 reviews
It should have been the night that launched a new pop idol. Tamar Valparaiso is young and beautiful, with the body and voice of an angel, and the stage is set for her to launch her debut album, Bandersnatch, on a luxury yacht in the heart of the city. But halfway through her performance, while the partygoers look on helplessly, masked men drag Tamar off the stage and into ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 2nd 2004 by Simon & Schuster (first published December 23rd 2003)
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Ed McBain – 53th book in 87th precinct series
Bison Records' self-styled impresario Barney Loomis runs into a snag in his effort to catapult his newest performer, Tamar Valparaiso, to stardom. As Tamar is lip-synching the provocative video of her first album aboard a rented yacht, two men in Saddam Hussein and Yasir Arafat masks snatch her before a stunned audience.
***Ed McBain is the true master of the police procedural writing tight plots and true-to-life dialogue
This is the first novel by Ed McBain (a.k.a. Evan Hunter) that I've read, but it's the 54th in book in his 87th precinct series which he began writing in 1956. It's a hard-boiled police procedural, and it read a bit like the an episode of CSI (but better, with subtly humorous character details). The characters were strong and though part of a long established series (there was a subplot that never connected with the main plot or seemed to go anywhere) I didn't have trouble following the story. T ...more
Tamar Valparaiso is on the verge of stardom. Both her new CD and video are set for release and her manager / recording company exec has rented a yacht for a launch party. As Tamar is performing a live version of her video, three masked and armed thugs kidnap her and escape on a boat. Initially, Steve Carella and Cotton Hawes of the 87th Precinct are assigned to the case. In spite of dozens of eyewitnesses, no one is able to identify the kidnappers. Since all three were wearing gloves, there were ...more
3-1/2 stars. Another good book in McBain's 87th Precinct series. In this one, an up and coming future pop star gets kidnapped from a cruise ship where she's doing a song/dance performance to her latest single, called "Bandershatch" (taken from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"). Detectives Carella and Hawes are assigned to the case to start with, but as the whole kidnapping has been filmed by a local tv station that was covering the party and new song launch, the kidnapping becomes a media circus an ...more
Eric Peterson
I've been working through ALL of the 87th precinct books, in order, for about five years and I'm almost done! It's amazing that Ed McBain not only maintained his quality, but got better through the series. This one is terrific - a great plot, unexpected twists, and for once Fat Ollie's stuff didn't make me want to skip ahead.
Here's my review system--I score on four categories and average them together for the number of stars. The four categories are: character development (are the characters deep and complex, plot (is it interesting), voice (is the narration smooth and engaging) and cliche level (is it predictable.)

Character development: 4 stars-- McBain's characters are well developed though in this one I thought they approached being cartoonish

Plot: 2 stars-- The plot proceeded along without a surprise or a turn
I'm no connoisseur of the 87th Precinct novels, but I picked this one up at book sale recently, chugged it last night and have to say that it delivered the goods. I was up till about 1:30 AM finishing it, couldn't see the ending beforehand, and had to spend a while afterwards calming down before I could get to sleep. Yes, it's a procedural, so there's a lot of exposition, of both police work as well as the music business. And the recurrent characters are involved in their own affairs, which have ...more
Sawan Dutta
I love this guy, just love everything about him except that he's dead! This one would be horribly familiar to those who've worked in any music industry.
Kirstin DeGeer
This book was a terrible piece of schlock, made more terrible by the halting, overdramatic reading of the story for the audiobook. No reading, however, could have saved it. Many sections of the book contained conversations that were ludicrous, repetative, and completely unrealistic. The plot was full of itself and utterly predictable.

The only things that made me actually give this book two stars were the sometimes cunning (usually not) use of the Jabberwocky and the actual police procedural sec
An emerging music star is kidnapped, and after Carella's short-term assignment to an FBI task force workking on the case ends badly, the members of the 87 ultimately end up competing with it to get her back. Guess who does better work? This is the second McBain (I keep hearing that guy on the Simpsons in my head, hahaha) book I've read; I listened to the audiobook of this one. It's got an ending I did not expect, and it was like a punch in the gut. The characters are engaging, and the author see ...more
Tony Gleeson
This 53rd entry in the 55-book 87th Precinct series starts off quite tongue-in-cheek as McBain takes on the music industry, poking fun at the shallow, the venal and the clueless. Three bungling kidnappers board a yacht that carries a promo party, and kidnap a young diva in mid-performance. Disturbingly, the book descends from its almost frothy parody of the music biz (using Lewis Carroll Jabberwocky metaphors) into something very dark and violent. Suddenly all those lovably silly folks become se ...more
Pamela Mclaren
No one writes police procedurals as well as Ed McBain! His characters are well drawn, detailed and people you can relate to, and his story lines are masterful. In this story -- the 53rd in the series -- McBain takes a serious note on the kidnapping of a rock star and the twists and turns the 87th precinct takes to chase down the criminals, including dealing with FBI agents and other police on a joint task force. The twists and turns keep the suspense up to the very end. Its a story you won't wan ...more
Bill Keithler
This is not one of McBain's masterpieces --it was small mystery to determine who was the likely villain here, unusually obvious from the start. The rest of the story is ok, but overall pretty average (below average for McBain). There was a small side story with a recurring character in other 87th Precinct novels that didn't really add anything to the main plot or go anywhere on its own--seemed to be filler.
Another entertaining entry in the 87th Precinct series.
87th precinct series. Great take on the music industry, lots of literary allusions, clever language, good solid police procedural. An up and coming r&b star is kidnapped, and Steve Carella must find her. TOld from the viewpoint of police, kndnappers, victim. Classic tension between police and FBI.
i didn't care for the book. Not the premise, not the writing, not anythign. I was offended by the raunchy language, which truly "added" nothing to the story. I should have stopped reading it, but I hate doing that.

Just not my cup of tea; maybe okay for someone else.
Not the strongest McBain I've read, but a good read all the same. Starts out strong, but fades away somewhat after that. Lighter on the procedural aspect and heavier on characterization. This is the first one where I saw the ending coming a mile away.
Ed McBain created the 87th in 1956 and wrote it's stories 'till 2005, year of his death.
This is a good one, diferent from the oldies, but it's always the same formula, and I'm starting to think twice before getting the books I haven't read.
At one point, I had a moment of total "Augh, fuck you, Ed McBain!" rage. I'm still mad, but the book was definitely one of his better ones. Less comfort-food-y than usual because of the fuck-you moment, but still a terrific police procedural.
Even though I had figured out the part of the plot, it was still a good story, put together well, and what real investigative wor is all about. Liked the fact that i was story about the city cops beating out the FBI arrogance.
Jan 17, 2007 Jeremy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like police novels
McBain is a master of the quick read crime novel. He created a genre in which the "hero" is the whole department, not a single protagonist. All of his books are great reads and this one was, as usual, good fun for a vacation.
Terryann Saint
My copy was a hardcover with a different cover. Don't imagine that that affected the quirky characters or the feelings of pissed off outrage and sadness this generated in me. Bleak ending...typical McBain.
My first Ed McBain - and a disappointment. Perhaps I should have begun with another, as I've been curious about his 87th Precinct. This slice of life saddened me; I'll try another another time.
Keith Davis
Kind of drags for much of the book and then gets unnecessarily violent. Not sure if McBain was going for gritty realism or just getting heavy handed. Not one of his better efforts.
book on tape
a very engaging story to listen to in the car.
so much better than news or talk radio.

Rising young hip-hop star Tamar Valparaiso is reenacting her latest music video
I enjoyed it but there was alot of padding in there, pages and pages about Fat Ollie and girlfriend Patricia but they were not part of the story. A completely separate thing.
I just got the recording from the library without recommendation. The beginning is so gross and vulgar that I don't recommend it nor will I finish it.
Are all his books about kidnapping? I just found out this is a pen-name and he wrote "The Blackboard Jungle" under his real name: Evan Hunter
Does not start with a dead body. Otherwise standard, readable McBain story of cops with a private life, who make sense of realistic evil.
Ugh, this was entirely too long - in desperate need of an editor. Teach me to pick up a book just 'cause I like the title.
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Ed McBain is a pseudonym of Evan Hunter, who was born and raised as Salvatore Lombino in New York City, living in East Harlem until the age of 12, at which point his family moved to the Bronx. He attended Olinville Junior High School, then Evander Childs High School, before winning an Art Students League scholarship. Later, he was admitted as an art student at Cooper Union.

Hunter served in the Nav
More about Ed McBain...
Cop Hater (87th Precinct #1) Ice (87th Precinct, #36) The Mugger (87th Precinct #2) Let's Hear It For The Deaf Man (87th Precinct, #27) Lady Killer (87th Precinct #8)

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