Dan's Reviews > The Turnaround

The Turnaround by George Pelecanos
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's review
Nov 29, 09

bookshelves: 2009

i'm getting to a point where i like pelecanos enough that i don't even feel particularly critical about him. his novels have striking similarities, but they aren't redundant. they give me a sense of someone trying to refine a craft, rather than blow me away with big innovations each and every time. the parameters are a bit tight, i guess. but he finds plenty of room within them.

accordingly, the turnaround returns to familiar territory - race relations, fathers, sons, soul music, small scale drug trafficking. the tone is more sentimental here, and its best passages have more to do with fatherhood and friendship than drugs, guns and money. there's a recurring subplot about a dad passing the ownership of his restaurant to his son that feels organic, thoughtful and heartfelt.

on the other hand, this one kinda hurries along too quickly towards the end. pelecanos seems much less interested in the crime angle here, and the big "reveals" at the novel's conclusion don't feel quite "big" enough, accordingly. i liked the occasionally lighter tone of this book (which is far from "light," obviously) but the last few pages come right up on the edge of corniness, to be honest. but whatever. i'm still gonna read this dude for years to come, i think.

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