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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  5,919 ratings  ·  820 reviews
Dodgers is a dark, unforgettable coming-of-age journey that recalls the very best of Richard Price, Denis Johnson, and J.D. Salinger. It is the story of a young LA gang member named East, who is sent by his uncle along with some other teenage boys—including East's hothead younger brother—to kill a key witness hiding out in Wisconsin. The journey takes East out of a city he ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Crown (first published March 30th 2016)
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Milo Paulus Dodgers, is a great coming of age tale about friendship and maturing. It's short, entertaining and highly memorable.
Though maybe a bit too real and ro…more
Dodgers, is a great coming of age tale about friendship and maturing. It's short, entertaining and highly memorable.
Though maybe a bit too real and rough for a girl in the 8th grade? I say wait one or two years(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
David East has no choice but to go back to LA. If they can find him in Stone Cottage OH, he knows they can find him anywhere.

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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  5,919 ratings  ·  820 reviews

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Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grgiveaways
In his mind he was boiling it down: Drive the roads. Meet up for guns. The job. He tried to follow it in his mind, see where the problems were. But there was nothing to see. Only these boys. Kill a man? More like keep them from killing each other, these three boys, for two thousand miles in this ugly van. That was what they'd brought him in for. That was what he had to do to get back home.

this is crime fiction where crime takes a backseat to character development, a coming-of-age novel whose pro
Richard (on hiatus)
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers-us
If you enjoy the tough, minimal lyricism of authors like Michael Farris Smith and the naturalistic, gritty street life described in the novels of Richard Price, you’ll love Dodgers by Bill Beverley.
The novel centres around East, a 15 year old ‘watcher’ for a drugs house in a broken down suburb of Los Angeles. He’s a tough cookie, quiet and disciplined, controlling a group of ‘yard boys’ for Fyn, the house/ business owner.
The narrative takes the shape of a road trip as East is tasked with a viol
James Thane
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
This is a haunting, beautifully written book about a young Los Angeles gang banger named East. As the book opens, East is the head of a crew of sentries who are guarding the approach to a drug den. But when the police suddenly raid the place, something goes wrong, and the boys East has placed on the perimeter to sound the first alarm fail to do so. The house gets hit with only East's last-second panicked warning to those inside.

East's uncle, Fin, who runs this and other drug houses, is naturally
This is a great book. Really good. Thanks to karen who brought me to this book with her review! And a great debut novel by Bill Beverly. One of my reading highlights of 2016.
I would say, ... it's a sort of modern Oliver Twist story. Only more grim. Yes, it's a rather bleak, sad crime story, but more than that it is a coming of age story. It's a story about a road trip. And this trip is not for fun. The cover of the book is sort of symbolic: a deserted gas station, bleak, deserted.
It's the story
Es Summer
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it

Gritty, brutally wicked, yet poetic and tender, Dodgers is one of the best written literary crime novels I have read. From the first page, I was hooked into the world of edgy delinquents and LA's street gangs.

I do not read a lot of crime novels, due to the fact that they do not make me feel much.
I don't care about a murder investigation if the story is plot driven and not character driven. If there is not much character development, I am not interested to explore the story and analyze the e
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book about the coming of age of 15 year old East, who works as lookout for a Los Angeles drug dealer. When his job blows up, East, his estranged, 13 year old brother Ty and two older boys, Michael and Walter, are sent by the drug dealer on a cross country mission to Wisconsin. East is preternaturally calm and mature, but it is the sociopathic Ty who drives much of the action in this story which takes place over the course of about one month.

The author respected his characters
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery, e-book
Dodgers by Bill Beverly is a 2016 Crown publication.

Good, but not what I was expecting.

An L.A. Gang member called ‘East’, finds himself in a bind when the house he is supposed to ‘watch’ is popped, causing him to lose his position. But, his uncle, Fin, offers him another 'opportunity' by sending him off on a road trip with his younger half -brother and two other guys to kill a judge before he can testify against him.

So, begins a long road trip style journey for East, who is only fifteen, some
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gritty, urban saga, Dodgers, kept me guessing and worrying about what would happen to its 15 year old protagonist, East, a boy with many problems., not least of which is his violent 13 year old brother, Ty. Easy works as a yard boy, keeping an eye on the crack house, which his mentor owns, but said house is lost, after a police bust and Easy must go on a dangerous road trip across the country to seek revenge for its dissolution. A quick read, with some surprises at the end which I didn't see com ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Isn't it wild how a book can grab you immediately? Just a few pages and you're hooked. Dodgers is like that. Beverly starts off describing The Boxes, the slums, and you're there. First we are in East’s world and then Beverly flips the page and East enters ours. A boy that's probably never left the Boxes, let alone LA, is driving towards Wisconsin. Unfortunately what starts out so hot cools off and slows down as they travel. I know it would be hard to maintain that intensity but a little somethin ...more
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Gorgeous writing about such an ugly topic:  Four teen boys in an L.A. street gang take a cross-country road trip to kill a Wisconsin judge.  Boys sent to do what most men won't do. Their risk taking and stupidity made me very nervous, a feeling I did not at first  appreciate.  A book about gang members  is definitely  not my usual preference; but I think the author did a great job formulating the characters and helping us understand why they were the way they were, without having to a ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Dodgers, by author Bill Beverly, is a YA novel, haunting and beautiful, less “Y” and more “A”, filled with an intoxicating combination of poetic prose and the gritty language of the streets.

The story follows East, a young LA gang member, as he leaves the dangerous streets of his city for the first time, sent on a mission to pull off a hit ordered by his uncle. East, his brother Ty, and two others (Walter and Michael) head off for Wisconsin, armed with the resources, if not the experience, that
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dodgers is the story of a boy named East, a seasoned gang member at only 15 years old already in charge of a “yard”. The initial setting takes place in what’s been termed The Boxes, the run-down blocks of houses in Los Angeles that East calls home. But this is more than a story about gangs running drugs in the poor section of a city. After the house he guards is taken down by police, East is asked to do another job. Murder a man in Wisconsin. What comes in a form of a question is not always a qu ...more
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 stars

As the 2016 baseball season dwindles down to the Fall Classic with the Los Angeles Dodgers having sewn up the National League West division, I thought I'd slip in a curveball (as Bill Beverly has done with his remarkable debut, Dodgers.)

Despite the title, this dark, gritty, (and, dare I say it without turning off everyone) coming of age novel has zero to do with baseball (and despite the black-and-white Four-Level cover photo, not a whole heck of a lot to do with Los Angeles, either.) I
Paul O’Neill
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Here’s how it went, for me.

Interesting setup > Unique premise > Good mix of characters on a journey > Interesting group dynamic leads to fractious event > Group carries out interesting task with good plot twist > ABSOLUTE BOREDOM FOR FAAAR TOO LONG IN OHIO > Semi-interesting ending.

This started off as a four star book and ended on two stars. I’ve seen lots of positive reviews regarding Dodgers but in the end, the poor character building and absolutely mind numbingly boring third act ruined it. I
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dodgers – A Brilliant Debut Novel

Dodgers is my standout debut thriller of the year that will take your breath away, this is the literary world’s The Wire. Usually when I see the words literary crime thriller I tend to shudder, as the story is neither one nor the other but falls between the two. Dodgers has made me question my understanding of literary crime as it delivers on so many levels, it is as addictive as crack cocaine!

Dodgers follows the story of East, a drug gangs house lookout at a cra
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is not the kind of book that I would ordinarily have picked for myself and I went into it with little expectation that I would enjoy it. Yet, from the outset, I was gripped by the voice of East, a young LA gang member. If this is a crime novel, it is crime in the way of DeLillo or Hunter S. Thomson. It is powerful extrapolation of character, the immediate immersion in a lifestyle so different from your own, the uncertainty of what the hell is going to happen next, the destruction of what yo ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I liked this book but I didn't love it as I had hoped that I would. The focus of this book was really on the characters with the plot taking a lesser role. I thought the book was really slow at times and was fairly easy to set aside. However, the writing had a nice flow which I really enjoyed. Overall, I found this book to be a good read.

This book was very character driven. I think one of my main problems with the story is that I never connec
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a fine book and highly recommended.

Some are calling this a "coming of age" story, but I dispute that sort of description. It's not really about growing up, more so than growing "out." It's also more like a sort of teenage road story, rather than a nostalgic look at growing up.

The story deals with four, inner city teenagers involved in the gang life, instructed to drive cross country to complete a violent task at the orders of their street gang boss.

Along the way, revelations are made
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a very accomplished debut crime novel by Bill Beverly, author of a previous non-fictional work on criminal fugitives.

I love a good crime novel but prefer them to have solid, dare one say, "literary writing" as well as page-turning plotting.
Dodgers came as close to anything I have read this year to hitting that mark.

This is a road trip story, but a road trip with a dark mission. A clandestine journey eastwards with an odd sort of criminal fellowship. An enigmatic sibling rivalry, plans
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
Read more reviews at

Dodgers is not what I would call a mystery/thriller or even a crime novel in the strictest sense. It's definitely more of a coming-of-age story. East is a young L.A. gang member who has recently failed to protect a house he was in charge of from a police raid. His Uncle, the leader, sends him to Wisconsin along with 3 other gang members, including his younger half brother, to execute a judge who is to be a key witness. He gives them new identities, a
Apr 26, 2017 marked it as put-aside
For some reason this didn't work for me. I was listening to the audio and the narrator, J.D. Jackson, is African American. Nothing wrong with that, except that the author is white, and this is about gangland boys looking for a key witness outside of South Central L.A., where they live.

Far be it from me to say who can explain what is a valid experience, but the first time I started listening to it I felt a distance from the material. It just didn't seem authentic--the boys were noticing and disc
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Definitely very well written. The story was very much character driven and I wanted a little more of a story. Regardless of that, the characters (especially East) were so well written that I will not forget them any time soon. Author did a great job.
Mike W
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
When author Adam Sternbergh recently tweeted that readers looking for a great thriller would do well to check out Bill Beverly's new novel "Dodgers" it got my attention. When he described the plot as "... if kid-characters from The Wire went on a mythic road trip" I was all in. I have to say, that description is something close to perfect and if that sounds appealing then you're very likely to enjoy this novel.

East is a 15 year old in South Central L.A. who has worked the past two years supervis
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Widely billed as The Wire crossed with road trip movie, I think that this book actually defies the simplicity of this description. In the character of gang member East, who was the absolute stand out for me, Beverly has created something really quite special. This is a bildungsroman for the modern age, with East in particular embracing the possibilities of life outside of the tough LA neighbourhood he inhabits, and the lawless life he leads. As the book progresses and his cohorts fall by the way ...more
Jim Thomsen
Oct 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-noir
Sometimes it's simply enough to say that a novel is great, and that you'd probably be a better person for having read it, and that's the case with DODGERS.

All I can really say beyond that is that if you're not captivated by the audacity and deliciousness of its stunningly original premise — four teenage L.A. gangbangers who know nothing but their inner-city neighborhood are sent on a road trip to Wisconsin by their shot-caller to kill a judge, and epic misadventures of the semi-mortal sort foll
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, fiction, ebook
Bill Beverly’s debut novel Dodgers follows four teens as they ride from Los Angeles to suburban Wisconsin to carry out a hit on a judge in an upcoming drug case. Led by East, a fifteen-year old lookout for a drug dealer, who’s joined by his younger brother Ty, and two others, Michael and Walter, as they make the two thousand mile trek north.

This is like if the kids in Stand by Me went to leave a dead body rather than find one.

Coming-of-age novels can be pretty hit or miss when it comes to my tas
Mar 06, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book description in the book says that this story would be for fans of "Huckleberry Finn". I agree that this feels like Huckleberry Finn in modern times with black main characters. But I'm not sure if this would survive as a classic over the time.
While I liked the story development with the diverse characters like Walter and TY, the beginning with East felt very slow which made it also difficult to feel sympathy for East, the main character. I liked the second half of the book much more whe
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I don't read many crime novels. For the most part I did enjoy this one.

The writing style was great. One part that was especially effective was when the author stopped using personal pronouns during one particularly harrowing scene. It somehow magnified the horror of it all.

I liked how distinct the characters were, all with their very obvious strengths and flaws.

The main thing that was a let down for me was the ending. I began to feel that the book should end a long while before it did, and I
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Dodgers” is a book that combines several different genres - crime noir, coming of age, and road trip - into a totally unforgettable novel with characters and events that linger long after the last page is read. Fifteen year old East is a gang member and the head of a lookout crew that keeps watch on a drug house. When the police raid the house, East and several other gang members are sent on a road trip to Wisconsin to kill a key witness in an upcoming trial. Most of theses boys have never been ...more
Steph Post
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dodgers was not what I expected, but actually turned out to more of the type of crime fiction that I enjoy. More a Coming of Age story, with a strong focus on characters over action, than your typical crime novel. I think the term "literary crime/thriller" is definitely appropriate here, as the writing is gorgeous and the characters thought-provoking and deftly drawn. Dodgers spans the genres and I would recommend this novel for both crime fiction and literary fiction fans. ...more
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Unsure about the ending (spoilers!) 3 39 Jun 15, 2018 11:04PM  
**Spoiler question** Why did East call? **Spoiler question** 3 52 Oct 10, 2016 07:20PM  
Free Books, .99, ...: Win Dodgers by Bill Beverly! 1 5 Apr 20, 2016 09:38AM  
Book Haven: Win Dodgers by Bill Beverly! 1 2 Apr 20, 2016 09:37AM  

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