Dan's Reviews > God's Pocket

God's Pocket by Pete Dexter
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's review
Oct 01, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2009

this is a pretty solid crime novel. a few moments are really brilliant; written with a real sense of economy and sensitivity. dexter has a knack for summarizing big ideas with little, incidental thoughts. it's an oil-and-water mix of interesting characters (peets, mickey) and predictable ones (jeanie, shellburn), and unfortunately it wraps up the narratives surrounding the stock characters better than a few of the more inspired ones.

it's also a novel of philadelphia (my city), at its nastiest, most bigoted and most territorial. as a look at tough white people, it's right on the money (at least in my estimation/experiences). the novel followed an episode in dexter's own life where he wrote about this neighborhood (actually called "the devil's pocket") for the daily news and ended up getting his ass kicked by some unhappy locals. for all of that, it's not exactly bitter - though it's unclear how much i'm supposed to align dexter with shellburn. fortunately, he the good sense to not idealize the character.

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