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Handsome Harry: A Novel
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Handsome Harry: A Novel

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Harry Pierpont and John Dillinger were die-hard and deadly partners who made national headlines with their daring bank hold-ups and gun battles -- and they had a lot of laughs while they were at it. They were known as the Dillinger Gang but at its heart was "Handsome Harry" Pierpont -- tough, fearless, intelligent, and sworn to live by no law but his own. Presented as his ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2004)
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Oct 14, 2012 Steve rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Warren Oates fans
Really cool story about Harry Pierpont, Dillinger's main man. Blake establishes, pretty clearly, that the gang was more of a joint effort, with Dillinger and Pierpont almost always on the same page when decisions were made. They were friends, and both put a high premium on loyalty. Given the criminal soup of both prison and the murky underworld of bank robbing, that's pretty amazing. Oh, there's backstabbing and betrayals, just not from these two. Blake portrays Pierpont as being tough as nails. ...more
This story is about the 1930’s infamous Dillinger gang as narrated by one of his best criminal gang members Harry Pierpont. Harry seemed to be a very intelligent bank robber. He planned and executed quite a few successful robberies. He also brilliantly escaped the Michigan City, Indiana prison by making a home- made key. While serving a Death Row sentence he failed to escape prison using phony weapons made out of prison soap.

Harry was a great street fighter too. He was respected in prison for hi
Nov 09, 2007 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
Shelves: shelve-it
This is a Chicago 1930's era crime novel, gritty, violent & excellent. James Carlos Blake is one of my very favorites. I'm sure I'm not the demographic for this book, but I don't care. He is simply a master storyteller. Really this is 4.5 stars.
Jim Guigli
In his Author's Note at the back of Handsome Harry, James Carlos Blake states that his novel's "chief allegiance is not to the fact but to the truth of its story."

In telling this story in Harry's voice, Blake has to fill in the gaps between known facts and dubious facts. He uses the gaps to shape Harry's voice and life. Blake's imagination makes the story and characters whole. I had already read Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough and seen the same-named film many times (see my pdf review on my we
Handsome Harry is a retelling of the John Dillinger story through the eyes of Handsome Harry Pierpont, who was a notorious member of the Dillinger Gang and the only one to die in the electric chair.

Handsome Harry and John Dillinger made headlines as bank robbers and fighting it out in gun battles. Harry's story takes us through his teenage years as a small time crook to his meeting with John Dillinger. Many banks were robbed and the gang also made escapes from the penitentiary and other smaller
This book is getting better and better. I am now on page 150.

Almost finished with this book. Really gritty and good. Will be done by the weekend--Michelle--do you still want it? Bought more books by him from Amazon.

Finished the book. Really good. I was sad when I finished it.
Wes Harden III
Very entertaining novel. Based very largely on facts, actual personalities like John Dillinger and his Terror Gang in the early thirties. Stream of consciousness style may be a little unsettling at times but added to its charm. Highly recommend as this is anj enjoyable read.
Jason "Book Sniper"
I didnt think I would like this book. But after getting through the first hundred pages, I just couldnt put it down. James Blake has a gift of writing that totally sucks you in.

This book is not for young readers, but only for good mature adults..
With sex, booze, bank heists, and murder, this had everything you'd ever want in a novel about the John Dillinger Gang. It read like a pulp novel on speed and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Kit Fox
For those who felt that Michael Mann's Public Enemies was a little too pro-Dillenger, well here's your Handsome Harry fan fic. Not bad--more like a 3.5 instead of a 4.
Dave Norwood
Every bit as good as "Under The Skin" or "The Friends Of Pancho Villa." Fast-paced and well-written.
Another brilliant take on men behaving badly, this time an update on the gangster saga.
amazing book, beautifully written, fast paced. i couldn't put it down.


A very fun book, great hero with a fun voice.
Really great book. Super interesting.
Enjoyed it very much.
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James Carlos Blake is one of the America's most highly regarded living authors of historical crime fiction. Born in Mexico, his family moved regularly when he was a child, living in various towns along the border and coast before finally settling in Texas when he was six. After a stint in the army, Blake attended the University of South Florida and received a Master's degree from Bowling Green Sta ...more
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“I've never been given to casual use of vulgar language--unwarranted profanity implies mental laziness--but there's no other way to say this: a guy tries to fuck me ... well, fuck him.” 4 likes
“A man who can laugh at himself is truly blessed, for he will never lack for amusement.” 3 likes
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