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Don't Ever Get Old (Buck Schatz #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,444 Ratings  ·  391 Reviews
DON'T EVER GET OLD was one of mystery-publishing's biggest critical successes last year, earning starred reviews from every major trade publication, garnering nominations for the Edgar, Thriller, and Anthony awards, and winning the Macavity Award for Best First Novel. The producer of four Harry Potter films and the Sherlock Holmes sequel, Lionel Wigram, is writing the scri ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Minotaur Books (first published May 1st 2012)
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"God, how'd we get so old?"
"If I'd seen it coming, I'd have got out of the way."

When a dying war buddy tells 87-year-old Buck Schatz that a Nazi prison guard escaped Germany alive with a car trunk full of gold bars, Schatz has no interest in recovering the loot. His motto has always been, "When you have the option to do nothing, you should always take it." However, his curiosity is piqued enough that he drops by Memphis police headquarters where he spent over 20 years on the job.

"Holy shit, man
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listen, if you like hardboiled mysteries with quirky characters and an offbeat plot you should really just stop reading and go pick up Daniel Friedman’s debut novel Don’t Ever Get Old. In a bizarre twist Don’t Ever Get Old is one of two novels this summer to feature a geriatric protagonist (the other being Barry Fantoni’s Harry Lipkin, Private Eye) but don’t let Buck Schatz’s eighty-odd years fool you he is as mean and as tough as he was back when he was policing the streets, even if his memory ...more
Jane Stewart
Very enjoyable.

Have you seen the movie “Dirty Harry” with Clint Eastwood? This book’s main character (Buck) is Dirty Harry when he gets old. He’s growly, grumpy, and insults others. He doesn’t play nice with authority. Yet he still has his moral compass against those who do harm. (The Dirty Harry comparison is my interpretation, but I believe the author was inspired by him. The character’s name in the book is Buck Schatz.)

I was surprised at how often I was chuckling. A sample of the kind of humo
Diane S ☔
3.5 Love Buck Schwartz, the 87 yr old octogenarian who had been a police detective for thirty years, and becomes in broiled in a mystery and a hunt for an SS officer who abused him in a concentration camp. Love his sarcastic comments and his ironic outlook on the life of the elderly as well as the grim outlook for his own future. Although the concentration camp subject matter was disturbing and serious, the book is full of humor, interesting characters and many many witticisms.
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: article on the mystery genre written by the author
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Baruch (Buck) Schatz is a dinosaur, a retired cop in his mid eighties, who fondly remembers the days when the phone book was a reliable interrogation tool. This unusual choice enables Friedman to enjoy the legacy of hard-boiled detective novels while residing in the present. Buck takes an abrasive pleasure in smoking, rebuffing pity, and asserting his independence. Try to tempt him into the realm of past regrets? “Regrets were for suckers. The world was full of used-up men, sitting glassy-eyed ...more
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
At 88 years old, Buck Schatz is a mean, colorful curmudgeon who swears, smokes cigarettes and keeps his service revolver cleaned and ready for action. He is learning to deal with his aging body and those annoying memory lapses.

But the retired Memphis cop's sedentary life changes when he learns that the Nazi who tortured him in a World War II POW camp is alive and might have a stash of stolen gold. Buck and his grandson “Tequila’’ decide to go after the old Nazi, and run into a lot of trouble an
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good story
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Book Info: Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Anyone who likes a good story

Disclosure: I received a free eGalley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: When Buck Schatz, senior citizen and retired Memphis cop, learns that an old adversary may have escaped Germany with a fortune in stolen gold, Buck decides to hunt down the fugitive and claim the loot. But a lot of people want a piece of the stolen treasure, and Buck’s investigation quickly attracts u
Aug 13, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had higher hopes for this book. Both my parents read it and thought it was good but the more I read, the less I liked it.

The character of Buck Schatz was funny for the first few chapters but line after line of his abrasive, sarcastic wit exhausted me. I was waiting for a real, well-rounded human to emerge but it never really did. The moments when he did show a little heart I felt were forced because he's so miserable throughout the entire book. The relationships in the book seemed hollow thro
Very fun mystery starring an 87 year old protagonist. Buck is an ex POW from WWII and an ex cop gets tangled up in a bunch of murders and a hunt for Nazi gold. He is helped by his grandson and the two are kind of oil and water. Buck is a great character. He deals with his age and his infirmity and has trouble accepting that he is not as able as he used to be. There are a lot of themes here besides the mystery. The book touches on love and loss and what it means to grow old. Buck is grumpy and sn ...more
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if the main character, Buck Schatz, wasn't so off-putting. He's an 87 year old retired detective who smokes too much, swears too much, and says the least sensitive things at the worst times on purpose. As I read the book, I alternated between being totally offended by things Buck said and did and being mildly amused. Underneath Buck's character there is a genuine concern for his family and a sincere fear of death, senility, and the infirmities of old a ...more
JoAnne Pulcino

Daniel Friedman

This delightful, original debut novel is an absolute treasure and not to be missed.

DON’T EVER GET OLD is the portrait of Butch Schatz an 88 year old retired cop who is a crusty, gun toting, politically incorrect living legend. He is also a death camp survivor who learns that the sadistic guard who brutalized him is still alive and has stole a huge amount of Nazi gold. Buck and his very vocal frat grandson join together to find the fiend and hopefully, the gold. T
Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, humor
88-year old Buck Schatz goes to listen to the deathbed confession of a fellow soldier that their concentration camp tormentor escaped justice with a horde of Nazi gold. Apparently, the dying man told others and Buck and his grandson "Tequila" are bullied into investigating. Buck is pretty funny, but is definitely feeling his own age and his wife's too, as the bodies start piling up.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This gets 4 because Buck is an 87 year old, concentration camp survivor/retired Memphis cop bad ass, who loves his wife and his law student grandson, who just happens to go by the name Tequila. Clever, surprisingly touching, and very funny mystery.
May 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Abandoning this one. The main character, a grumpy retired detective, is a bit too mean-spirited for me. The Nazi gold plot seems a bit unrealistic, too. Just not for me.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I realized that I rarely, if ever, read from the perspective of a senior citizen. The struggle to accept the limitations of old age and wrestling with the realization that death is quickly approaching was something I haven't read before. I love the main character Buck, he is so crotchety and begrudging. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.
There is always a first time for everything they say and this was my first time reading a book from the perspective of an 88 year old man. I sure as hell never saw that one coming but fellas I have to tell you, this is one helluva story to read.

I thought it would be about an old man making peace with his life with some inspirational bullshit about finding your niche and coming to terms with your loss by being grateful to what you had achieved in your sorry-ass old life. Personally, I never wann
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buck Schatz has been married to his wife, Rose, for 64 years. Buck can be pretty set in his ways but when Rose speaks Buck does listen. Rose insists that Buck go to the hospital to visit Jim Wallace. Jim is dying and is asking to see Buck. Buck uses the excuse that he can't drive to the hospital but Jim's daughter Emily Feely agrees to drive him. Jim and Buck have never been close but they did spend time together in a POW camp back in 1944.

Jim confesses to Buck that he had seen Heinrich Ziegler
Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedmanis a mystery, but not like any other mystery I have read before! All the ingredients for the classic thriller are here: the hunt for a Nazi war criminal, the search for missing gold bullion, murders galore, a number of suspects and an unexpected conclusion.
So, what made this such a different experience? I think this has to be the only mystery thriller that I’ve read with an 88 year old protagonist, who feels dementia creeping up on him, but is still able to
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you are lucky enough to find a book in which a character captures you and invites you to enjoy the ride with him and such is the case with Daniel Friedman’s Buck Schatz a feisty ex homicide detective who is an expressive eighty something. Buck is called to the death bed of a comrade from World War II. His friend, Jim Wallace informs him that Ziegler a German officer in the prisoner of war camp in which Buck spent part of WWII is not only alive but extremely wealthy as he was able to ha ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a terrific main character!! Buck Schatz is an 83 year old retired policeman who refuses to acknowledge that age can keep him down. He rages against the grass that he can no longer keep beautiful. He lights up a cigarette everywhere he goes, even in non-smoking areas. He keeps a memory notebook where he writes important things in his life in hopes of warding off dementia. A simple bump leaves his thin skin with multiple shades of bruising. He rages against, yet deeply loves, his grown grands ...more
Jo Green
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good story!
Recommended to Jo by: Goodreads
Shelves: i-won-giveaway
I actually didn't start this book until 3 days ago and hate that I didn't start it sooner. It was entertaining, unique and so totally unexpected!!! I laughed aloud more than once. I want to grow up to be Buck! This was the most original protagonist ever and I loved him!!! The story kept moving and I could relate to his needing a 'memory book'. I'd tell you more but I don't want to blow the story and give too many spoilers. I will say that one line, the way it was presented in the book, had me la ...more
Tom Tischler
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very entertaining book about Baruch Buck Schatz an eighty seven year old
retired cigarette smokin foul mouthed Jewish detective. He had spent time during
the war in a German concentration camp with an acquantaince of his. A German
officer beat them every day and he totally hated him. He believed that this man
was dead and forgot about him. One night his acquaintance's wife from the camp
calls him and asks him to come to the hospital where he is dying and wants
to see Buck. He tells him that at
Benoit Lelièvre
I first thought I clung to DON'T EVER GET OLD so hard because I have a soft spot for old people. That's part of the answer, but I can't recognize a standout novel when I read one. Daniel Friedman's sensational debut deal with an impressive number of issues ranging from elderly abusive to cultural fascination with nazis, and, of course, doesn't forsake the usual themes every novel desperately attempts to tackle, such as beliefs.

Thing is that Daniel Frieman does it extremely well, in the booming v
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another Anthony Award nominee for best first novel. The protagonist is Buck Schatz, an 80 something retired Memphis police detective and former WWII veteran. He is a cantankerous curmudgeon. A friend who he knew in WWII calls calls Buck to his deathbed and tells Buck that one of the Nazis who tortured Buck got away with a lot of gold bars. Buck starts looking for the Nazi war criminal with the aide of his grandson. It takes a bit to warm to Buck. There are moments with his wife and grand ...more
I guess I don't find curmudgeons as charming as some other readers.
Which makes me feel a bit curmudgeonly myself, because this particular fictional curmudgeon is a Holocaust survivor.

I did like the grandson, but don't feel like his character was as fleshed out as it might have been. Nor was Rose, the sweet wife of the protagonist.

I'm not opposed to gore being described in graphic detail, but it somehow seemed a bit out of place and startling in some places in this story. I've been trying to wo
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
80-something year old Buck Schatz is a smoking Jewish ex-cop, WWII POW survivor who gets called to the bedside of a dying former comrade in arms. He's never really liked the guy and doesn't want to miss his Meet the Press, but he goes anyway. His old war buddy tells him that he let the SS officer in charge of the POW camp get away with a car full of Nazi gold, when everyone else thought he was dead. And so the story begins. Thought this was funny, reminded me a bit of Motherless Brooklyn and The ...more
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this book because of the title. I am in my golden years and fascinated with the ever changing horizon of aging. The book started very slowly but I enjoyed the main character immensely. His senior grievances, his reverie about his career as a police officer and the background information of Judaism was fascinating. The plot starts rather slowly but then suddenly aging and murder start to blend into an intriguing ending. I would recommend this book especially for the main character; ...more
Jan Aldergate
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great book - I think it was recommended by someone on Good Reads - thank you Lewis! Basically we are talking about an 88 year old exhomicide detective and his rather naïve grandson, going on a hunt for hidden Nazi gold. lots of bodies along the way. Very funny in a dark sort of jewish humor way, ruminations on the indignities of growing old, especially for so-called tough guys used to taking care of themselves. I read somewhere that the author has the movie rights, I think it would make a great ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Think Barnaby Jones with Depends.

When the sole purpose of the book is to demonstrate second-rate smartassiness (new word?), count me out. This is why I do not read Evanovich.

Nazi gold is an overused hook upon which to hang your plot. The sidekick grandson was annoying. And the big, Texas twangy Jew cop...well, let's just say I haven't met one of those in real life yet.

Still, I did catch myself smiling a number of times, especially toward the beginning.
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2012
This octogenarian sleuth may not know a lot about computers (he thinks "google" is the sound people make when you punch them in the throat) but Buck Schatz is one heck of a detective. There are 2 Buck Schatz books out so far, and this is the first. I liked it a lot. It was gritty and funny and didn't shy away from the setbacks that come with aging. Buck Schatz isn't punching throats any more, but that doesn't mean he can't solve a mystery, especially with his grandson as sidekick.
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“I never thought I would hear you expound the virtues of caring about people."
I frowned. "I care about people. I just don’t like them.”
“I remember back when the only 'Google' was the sound a guy made when you punched him in the throat.” 2 likes
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