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The Max

(Max & Angela #3)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  607 ratings  ·  54 reviews

When last we saw Max Fisher and Angela Petrakos, Max was being arrested by the NYPD for drug trafficking and Angela was fleeing the country in the wake of a brutal murder. Now both are headed for eye-opening encounters with the law —Max in the cell blocks of Attica, Angela in a quaint little prison on the Greek island of L

Paperback, 220 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Hard Case Crime
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  607 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Apr 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: cool-covers, hardcase
Since the last Bruen and Starr Hard Case effort, Max Fisher has been thrown in the hoosegow for his illegal dealings and Angela is on the run. Max lands in Attica and starts making enemies all over the place. Angela meets up with a suave Englishman who isn't what he seems. Throw in a prison riot, a murdered landlord, and an author who is obsessed with the M.A.X. and there you have it.

If you've read the other two Bruen and Starr books in the Hard Case line, you already know about Angela and her r
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Ken Bruen, Jason Starr, Donald Westlake and Bruce Jay Friedman

Slapstick Crime with Bruen & Starr having too much fun with the inside jokes.

Max does jail time in this one ...some of this is almost Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder "Stir Crazy" funny.
Almost but not quite though it's not for a lack of trying by the two authors.

Once again the mega-delusional Max has trouble distinguishing reality from the movie-in-his-head.
Meanwhile, Angela has her own issues placing installments on the dues she owes the karma bank.

The additional zany characters Max and Angela encoun
Mr. Matt
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, pulp-fiction
Once again I was disappointed in the story of Max & Angela.

I am a bit taken aback at how low my rating was for this book versus the first, but I think it is deserved. The first volume, Bust, was laugh out loud funny. Like the second volume, Slide, the final book was more annoying than funny. The Max, like Slide, also lacked the deeper message of the first volume. In Bust I saw a cautionary tale similar to Fargo - don't invite evil into your life.

By the end of the book I was hoping that somethi
Oct 16, 2014 rated it liked it
There are few literary rides as rough as this one. The twists and turns and menacing events that mix with pop-culture references and humor make this story truly an original. The problem is: There is just too much of everything. Too much violence. Too much pop-culture. Too much humor. Too much of cookie-cutter characters acting like puppets. I wanted more from this. Perhaps I wanted too much. 'Tis a fun read...if you want too much of everything.
Aug 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: noirboiled
Unless you adored Slide, the second entry in the Max Fisher saga, there is not much reason to read the third. In The Max, the same noir comique schtick is in place, right down to the heavy-handed in-jokes, which are stretched even thinner this time around. The best plan: Read Bust, the first and best entry in the series, and then stop.
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
This is the third in a series with Bust and Slide being the first two, and they're getting harder to read with each book. Not because they're bad stories or poorly written, but because the main characters are just such deluded, self-absorbed, evil scum that I could barely finish this one. And I don't need my characters to be 'good'. It's just that these are so idiotic and pathetic that I feared I'd have a stroke while reading about them.

The authors have a terrific ability to put you in the minds
Jan 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
The first in this series, BUST (which could be read as a sort of over-the-top homage/parody of the genre of madcap ensemble-cast crime novels Elmore Leonard created the blueprint for) was good fun. The second in the series, SLIDE, was a disappointment. This one, the third, is just dreadful: the core narrative structure is not bad, but the book reads as if it was written in one afternoon over several bottles of Jameson's. Which might have been a lot of fun for the writers, but was considerably le ...more
Oct 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Sleazy trash, but in an energetic way. Wannabe gangster and sleaze Max Fisher, a paunchy loudmouth with delusions of...well, not grandeur, but criminal badness, in a sort of innocent way ("was he the only guy in the world over fifty who was into drugs and shooting people?") ends up in Attica; his ex, hottie Angela Petrakos, is in Greece with a louche thief who's a Tom Ripley homage; plus there's a true-crime writer who sniffs a big story...then you get a women's prison, a male prison riot, trash ...more
Aug 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: prison novel haters
Shelves: hard-case-crime
Although I hated Bruen & Starr's other books and I generally hate prison novels I thought this was pretty entertaining trash. Note to writers: next time lay off the in-crowd references, we already know Megan Abbott is awesome. Best Hard Case Crime cover ever. ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-2012-reading
The end of the Max and Angela trilogy. Another hilarious and dark descent down the noir rabbit hole. Really hilarious and outrageous stuff that never takes itself seriously. It's fun to see two writers get together and have a literary laugh like this. They make it look so easy.
Aug 19, 2008 marked it as to-read
Oh, yeah. I now have a reason to live to the weekend.
Martin Sharp
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hilariously funny. The M.A.X. may be the greatest drug-dealing, gangster, killer ever. Or just a deluded nutcase. Either way I can't wait for the film!!
Sep 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing

The story begins with high powered executive Max asking his sexy secretary, the one he was having an affair with, if she knew a hitman he could pay to off his wife. What follows is a tragic comedy that blows up in Max's face. The Slide continues the story but with Max becoming the funniest hip hop middle aged drug dealer in Manhattan and Angela ( the secretary) hooking up with a serial killer in Dublin and returning to finish it out with Max. In the Max, Max is now in maximum security in Attica
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't read any novels about these two characters before. There is a lot of good action, and lots of the dialog is interesting, particularly Max who in prison pretends (not very convincingly to me, but is to the other inmates) to be a hard case, a murderer etc. But I didn't find the humor, with all the in-jokes about other mystery novels, very engaging or for the most part even funny. I gave it a 3, mostly for the cover art.
I thoroughly enjoyed all three novels of the Bust trilogy, Bust, Slide,and the Max. These are three hysterically funny tongue-in-cheek crime novels. That they are the product of a collaboration between two authors is even more amazing. The trilogy begins with high powered executive Max asking his hot secretary, the one he was having an affair with, if she knew a hitman he could pay to off his wife. What follows is a tragic comedy that blows up in Max's face. The Slide continues the story but wit ...more
Andrew F
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A considerable improvement on Slide, it isn’t really up to the standard of Bust and it doesn’t stand on its own either, but it is very fast paced, tense entertainment and I enjoyed every moment of it. Interested in carrying on with the final book, Pimp.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
I knew I wasn't going to like this book, but it's one of two of the original Hardcase Crime run that I hadn't read yet, so for completionism, I made myself read it, and it wa just as stupid as I expected it to be, but at least it was short.
Herb Hastings
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you like your crime fiction dark with a side of brutal humor, this series of books is a real treat.
John of Canada
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Very violent,very silly,very politically incorrect.Check it out.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Probably the best book in the series. The plot threads are brought together well at the end, as all the main characters meet at the satisfying conclusion.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series just gets more outlandish as it goes on but it is still a heap of fun.

If you get offended easily, then this is NOT the book for you!
Jason Seaver
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
The latest (and last) Max Fisher & Angela Petrakos book is perhaps their pulpiest outing yet, as the pair meet folks as thoroughly selfish and amoral as they are in spots likely (prison) and unlikely (a quiet Greek island). Even more than usual, plot isn't what Ken Bruen and Jason Starr are going for here, so much as a peak inside the heads of lowlives who act without considering consequences. As such, it barrels forward in an almost reckless fashion, until threads coming together in the end is ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A great action-packed little novel, a quick read with a high body count. The book is filled with despicable characters doing despicable things, all with a very distorted sense of who they are , and all of them out for their own selfish gain. Yet somehow, despite the fact that you really can't root for any of them, you find yourself drawn into the story and eager to find out what happens next – as characters start dropping like flies, who will be left? And also there was quite a bit of humor in t ...more
Sep 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
#3 in series (1. Bust/ 2. Slide/ 3. The Max)

Hard Case Crime: Stories in this series are new, rather than the re-released mystery oldies HCC is known for

Bruen & Jason Starr catch us up with Max Fisher, sleazy businessman/lowlife drug dealer and his sometimes girlfriend Angela. No spoilers, but this is one wild, gritty ride, *l*.

I dropped everything the minute this arrived, and am thrilled that Bruen/Starr ended it so that the series could very well continue.

This is NO cozy mystery ... bizarre ha
Apr 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010, crime
This is the last adventure of the dumbest heroes of the crime genre: Anglea Petrakos and Max Fisher (or the M.A.X. as he likes to call himself these days). More of a black comedy with crime elements and clichès taken to the M.A.X. (pun intended)than a real novel but still very funny and full of literary references from Edward Bunker to Jean Genet. This time its all about life in prison and everything that comes with it. Gangs, riots, rape, self made weapons and lots of blood. If you liked "Bust" ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bruen and Starr are obviously having a blast with their Hard Case Crime series about Max Fisher and Angela Petrakos. This final chapter is fun, bloody and filled with all the delusion and narcissism I've come to expect from this pairing.

Much of the enjoyment of these books comes from watching these two talented crime writers just kick back and goof off together, dropping references to friends of theirs in the crime fiction community, replaying scenes from various other characters' points of vie
This book was less serious noir and more black comedy. Comedy Noir, is that a classification?

Certainly something different and good for a bit of variety. After I started this I discovered that this is book #3 featuring the main two characters, Max and Angela. There's a supporting cast of weirdos and the entire plot is somewhat cartoonish and over the top in nature. Be warned that it's also very violent so not for readers who are just looking for some crime humor. For that I would stick to Donald
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulp_fiction
What's not to love about pulp fiction where every single character is an awful, awful person? Where most of them die in the end?

Not your cup of tea? We'll it's not everyone's that's for sure. I see the half-naked prison women (on Lesbos - really!) as a pretty good filtering mechanism for readers.

Seriously, this is a book that does not take itself too seriously. It's a great story with wonderful characters who are all so delightfully screwed up that you turn the pages quickly in anticipation of
Aug 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Dopey but entertaining. A nice quick read. None of the characters are really likable, and everything that happens is improbable. I guess there was a book before it, with the two main characters, which I haven't read. There were lots of references to other books and mystery authors, which felt like a bunch of inside jokes. I've never read any other Hard Case Crime books, so maybe they're all like that.
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Ken Bruen, born in Galway in 1951, is the author of The Guards (2001), the highly acclaimed first Jack Taylor novel. He spent twenty-five years as an English teacher in Africa, Japan, S.E. Asia and South America. His novel Her Last Call to Louis Mac Niece (1997) is in production for Pilgrim Pictures, his "White Trilogy" has been bought by Channel 4, and The Guards is to be filmed in Ireland by De ...more

Other books in the series

Max & Angela (4 books)
  • Bust (Max & Angela #1)
  • Slide (Max & Anglea #2)
  • Pimp (Max & Angela, #4)

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