Galveston
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Galveston

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  4,370 ratings  ·  533 reviews
From the creator, writer, and executive producer of the HBO crime series True Detective, comes a dark and visceral literary debut set along the seedy wastelands of Galveston.

On the same day that Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he senses that his boss, a dangerous loan-sharking bar-owner, wants him dead. Known "without affection" to members of the boss’s crew...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Scribner (first published May 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
When terminally ill mob thug Roy Cady is instructed to do a job without taking bringing a gun, he gets suspicious. The situation goes south and soon Roy is on the run with a packet of important papers and an 18 year old sex kitten named Rocky. What will kill Roy first? The cancer or the mob?

Like everyone reading Galveston these days, I love HBO's True Detective, the best thing since sliced Breaking Bad. I'd planned to wait until the series wrapped before reading it but I finally said piss on it....more
Kemper
Hey authors! Want to sell more copies of your book? Just follow Nic Pizzolatto’s simple example and create a hit TV series for HBO that captivates the public. Then sit back and watch the sales increase. (It’ll help if you get Matthew McConaughey on board in the midst of an astounding career turnaround.)

Roy Cady is having a very bad day. First, he finds out that he’s dying, and then his criminal boss tries to accelerate the process by setting him up to be murdered. Roy manages to escape New Orlea...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Check out this lil' hidden gem by this unknown author that I found all by myself because I'm so book-savvy! I only read it because of an open mind and tendency to embrace the unfamiliar, carpe diem, dance like no one's watching, that homeless person could be Jesus, live off the cultural grid, he wrote True Detective.

Have you ever worked for or managed a family member or friend? People always think nepotism and cronyism mean you will get special treatment, and that's true, except in the opposite...more
Jenn(ifer)

Timing is everything.

Don't let anyone fool you into thinkin it ain't. Cos the very day I decided to reengage in the Goodreads community just so happened to be the very day that Miss Paquita Maria Sanchez wrote a knock out little review of this here novel. And what Miss Paquita Maria Sanchez couldn't have known was that I had spent the past two months obsessing over a little television show written by a guy I had never heard of, Nic Pizzolatto. And that ever since it ended, I had a 'True Detectiv...more
Brandon
"I knew the past wasn’t real. It was only an idea, and the thing I’d wanted to touch, to brush against, the feeling I couldn’t name—it just didn’t exist. It was only an idea, too."

Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness and if that ain’t bad enough, his boss wants to put him in the ground as soon as possible. When he’s sent on a routine assignment and told not to pack heat, Cady senses that his end may be near. He’s ambushed and while he stands his ground, barely making it out alive, he gr...more
James Thane
Roy Cady is having what can only be described as an especially bad day. In the afternoon, he discovers that he is terminally ill. Later that evening, he realizes that his boss, a New Orleans loan shark, is almost certainly setting him up to be killed. Roy manages to turn the tables on his would-be assassins and winds up on the run with a sexy young girl and her infant sister.

The trio makes its way to Galveston and holes up in a fleabag motel. There, Roy's larger story unfolds along with that of...more
RandomAnthony
I've met people who I don't want to understand because to understand them would mean I was close enough to comprehend their brand of crazy. And I don't want live in proximity to crazy or, even worse, gruesome sadness or depression. But I know it's out there. It's why, junior year, I started studying for tests. I didn't want to land in a shitty apartment near the edge of Chicago's west side, riding the bus to my soul-draining factory job. And I had a decent middle class start, mind you, that poin...more
Steve
Roy Cady (“Big Country” to his enemies) is an enforcer for a New Orleans gangster, just south of 40, and diagnosed with cancer. It gets worse. Blood and carnage and death in a bleak room, but also a bit of luck, soon find Cady on the run. Along with him, improbably, is a young prostitute, Raquel (“Rocky”). Against every considerable survival instinct in his being, Roy decides not to abandon her. Is it a new sense of humanity brought on by his looming mortality? Or is it just simply that he recog...more
David Mcangus
I recently watched the first episodes of True Detective and instantly fell for it. Like when hearing a song in your teenage years and thinking it was composed just for you, this show fits with my taste perfectly. Due to this, I picked up Nick Pizzolatto's novel hoping for a similar story that would tide me over.

What's instantly recognizable is the tone. It's reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy, in that the narration is delivered with a permanent frown and doesn't hesitate to describe in detail how d...more
Tfitoby
The past isn't real and the last new song you liked is a long way in the past. You know you'll never get out alive but you hope to avoid a deadline, forty years from now you'll find yourself stumbling down a lightless highway where nobody knows your name. Galveston is THAT kind of novel and it's so nearly perfect in the same way that Pizzolatto's True Detective is and they both open you up to a world where nobody has anything left to lose and even if they did they wouldn't know what to do with i...more
Kealan Burke
Shades of Lehane and McCarthy, and as with some of McCarthy's work, GALVESTON, at times, requires a modicum of patience from the reader.

Still, this is an impeccably written, almost poetic tale about the destruction of self, and how an inherently corrupt nature can be a black hole for those you wish to protect. It's a smart mediation on the inescapability of human frailty, and the consequences of our actions, however small, on our lives and the lives of those we love.

I applaud Pizzolato's decisio...more
Leah
I think it's a disservice to call Nic Pizzolatto's GALVESTON "noir" or "hard-boiled." There is plenty of sex and violence and disillusionment, yes, but it's delivered in a poetic, romanticized and ultimately uplifting way. GALVESTON is a genre-bender, a work of literary fiction with noir/crime elements. The noirish aspects act as bookends to the core story of a man confronting mortality and seeking redemption through love.

Roy Cady is a sensitive and self-aware anti-hero with a big mushy heart. H...more
Paul
Galveston – Simply Stunning

Having read Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto it is easy to see why this has been an award winning debut novel from the creator of the HBO and Sky Atlantic series True Detectives. While in this crime thriller the police tend to play a walk on part he uses exactly the same creative devices used in True Detective. Those devices make you feel that you too are central to the story and telling this in the first person to someone makes you feel as if you are there in the first pe...more
Rayroy
This is what modern day Noir should inspire to be, it's been two years since I read this book, yet it still remains fresh in the back of my head like smoke dancing upwords from a barel of a gun, a rank sea breeze at roadside motel no one checks in with joy on thier minds... So I'm late to the party but Nic Pizzolatto wrote or created True Detectives or something which is good means a shit ton of people are going to read this book but a part of me feels like fuck them where were they like two yea...more
MSJ
I started reading with a blank slate. I had not yet watched a True Detective episode and I somehow missed the reviews for Galvaston. I purchased this on a whim late one night. It was only $2.99 and was listed as #1 in the crime category on Kindle so I decided to take a chance. My gamble paid off. It was superb. Nic Pizzolatto is an excellent writer. The way he crafted his sentences I could actually envision the Texas Gulf Coast that will never make it on a tourist brochure. The world he created...more
Nick
I opted to read this as I've recently become obsessed with True Detective, writer Nic Pizzolatto's metafictional/physical nightmare HBO crime procedural.
By and large this was a rather unremarkable piece of gritty crime suspense. There were moments of dull sheen resonance, moments when Pizzolatto traded grit for pathos. Here readers will notice Pizzolatto cutting his teeth on some of the more philosophical elements peppering True Detective, namely his philosophically informed take on theoretical...more
Ed
I liked Roy, Rocky and Tiffany and rooted for their survival in this rather gloomy work of atmospheric crime fiction. After a hot, one hundred MPH start, the fugitive trio ends up hiding out in a run down motel on the beach in Galveston, Texas where tight, fast paced crime fiction go to die. Way too much meanering soul searching dialogue ensued until what I thought was an unsatisfying wrap up at the end. Reading other GR 4 and 5 star reviews, I'm clearly in the minority on this book mainly becau...more
Kurt
"In this climate all things seek shade, and so a basic quality of the Deep South is that everything here is partially hidden."

Your response to this quote probably serves as a good parallel to how you'll respond to the book as a whole. The idea, when you think it through, is not nearly as deep as it seems: in every climate, living things seek shelter ("In Fargo all things seek shelter for warmth," or "In Seattle all things seek hidden places to stay dry," or.. Look, it works for anywhere.). The u...more
Carac Allison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael
So a few nights ago I was wandering around my home town, singing the theme from True Detective at the top of my lungs and wondering what the hell happened to my Batman pyjamas. An acoustic accompaniment surged up from the brickwork and echoed along the inky blackness of the Leeds/Liverpool like the ghosts of dead navvies playing for their souls. And then I woke up, lurid trouserware restored. You can't get away from Nic Pizzolatto's enthralling tv series even in the embrace of Morpheus. Having r...more
Edward Lorn
GALVESTON Review If you choose to read GALVESTON, by Nick Pizzolatto, be prepared for one helluva tragic journey through a bleak landscape. I was drawn into the dingy atmosphere of this book and swept away into a world where I could see and smell and touch everything. Pizzolatto's prose is simplistic but punchy. The man knows how to say a whole lot with very little. There are no heroes here, and I'm especially fond of those types of tales.

The opening of the book is a gunshot to the face. The mid...more
Ctgt
I thought about things you can't survive, even if they don't kill you


Talk about a helluva day. Roy Cady, 40'ish bagman for local crime boss Stan Ptitko gets a cancer diagnosis in the morning,

There's no getting out alive, but you hope to avoid a deadline

I tried to conceive of not existing, but I didn't have the imagination for it.

then gets set up by his boss Stan to be clipped later that night. He manages his way out of the hit and takes off with a young hooker, Rocky, who was on site for enterta...more
Matt Brady
I picked this up because it's written by the writer and creator of the HBO show True Detective, which is already one of my favourite shows of the year even though it's only three episodes in. True Detective is a cop show, with a lot of the conventional trappings of the genre, but it's a lot more than that as well. In that way, it shares some similarities with Galveston. On the surface, this is southern noir, and that by itself would be enough for me. Something about southern noir always draws me...more
William Johnson
When I started reading the noir genre with the classics (Hammett, Chandler, etc), I was shocked at how provocative they are compared to the time they were released. When I think of the media of the '20s/30/40s/50s, etc, I always thought of 'wholesome' or 'mild' when it came to sex and violence. Those books obviously made me see differently. It was not only a violent time in real life but in the literary world as well.

However, in 2013 we are kind of jaded. On HBO you can see more horrific violenc...more
Steve
Roy Cady knows he's a terrible man, and he never tries to tell us otherwise. But when he's diagnosed with lung cancer the same day his boss Stan Ptitko sets him up to be killed, you can't blame him for acting out. Unfortunately, several other people die when he escapes with a teen-aged hooker named Raquel, whom everyone calls Rocky. They flee New Orleans, stopping just long enough to pick up Rocky's little sister Tiffany, and head for Galveston, pretending that the girls are Roy's nieces. They f...more
Tony
Pizzolatto, Nic. GALVESTON. (2010). ****1/2. This is a fine first novel; a thriller that turns into a morality play. It’s not about Galveston. It’s about a rough and tumble guy that is a strong-arm man for a crook who makes his living by stealing containers from shipping docks. The boss sends him and a helper to a house on the fringe of the city to put the fear inito another man who owes him money. The boss emphasizes that he wants fear only, so don’t bring guns. When the pair get there, they ar...more
Shawn
Jul 23, 2011 Shawn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katie & David, everyone in my family, all my friends who read
Galveston is the best novel I have read in a long time. No spoiler alert, I won't say precisely what happens in the plot, just that it was a very engaging and interesting story, but not so cheerful, I guess. Here's a quote:
The clunk of my boots on asphalt sounded like a clock's hand. A smoke-gray cat kept pace with me on the opposite sidewalk for a while. On a bus bench an old bearded guy was drinking from a paper bag and weeping. He told me he was happy. He'd gotten out of prison that day.
When...more
Nick
A first novel, discovered by my friend Carol (herself a mystery novelist), and gifted to me for my birthday, Galveston is a terrific read, not really so much for the story, (the tale of a bad guy who finds redemption of a sort because, against his better judgment, tries to save a fellow damaged gal, and especially her innocent kid) or even the settings (cheap motels, roadhouses and donut shops along the Gulf Coast from NoLa to Galveston), no: the charm is in the language. With a nod to James Lee...more
Aramys
La expectación que ha levantado esta novela después de True Detective es impresionante, las ganas de leerla y de saber como se mueve Pizzolatto en novela eran muy grandes. Y he de decir que después de leer Galveston confieso que mis reticencias han quedado atrás, siempre las hay cuando la expectación es tan alta, pero si, han quedado en nada, Pizzolatto es un buen narrador, un creador increíble de personajes, de vidas, Galveston tiene fuerza y potencia, se sostiene de principio a fin, sin parche...more
Jennifer
Sometimes I think I am reading a completely different book than everyone else.
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Nic Pizzolatto is an American novelist, screenwriter, and producer. Pizzolatto was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was educated at the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University. The author of two books, he taught fiction and literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Chicago, and DePauw University before leaving academia in 2010.

His first novel,...more
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“Certain experiences you can't survive, and afterward you don't fully exist, even if you failed to die.” 35 likes
“We come here to tell stories so that we can manage the past without being swallowed by it.” 14 likes
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