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The Dramatist

(Jack Taylor #4)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,689 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Seems impossible, but Jack Taylor is sober---off booze, pills, powder, and nearly off cigarettes, too. The main reason he's been able to keep clean: his dealer's in jail, which leaves Jack without a source. When that dealer calls him to Dublin and asks a favor in the soiled, sordid visiting room of Mountjoy Prison, Jack wants to tell him to take a flying leap. But he doesn ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by St. Martins Press-3pl
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Greg
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This is the fourth book in the Jack Taylor series of novels, and the fifth one that I've read. And the seventh book of Ken Bruen's I've gotten through in the past couple of months.

There is something predictable about Bruen. There are set ups and scenes he uses over and over again, and there are almost stock characters, or at least character types he keeps bringing out. But, even with a certain level of predictability he still packs a huge punch. Even, though as a reader I feel a little ashamed
...more
Bettie☯
Description: Seven months after his mother's stroke, and continuing on his path of sobriety and healthier living, Jack is called on to investigate the death of a female university student, Sarah Bradley, who has fallen from a roof while dressed in theatre costume. A ring of paper around her wrist contains an apparent suicide note written in her blood, and Gardaí assume the death to be drug related. Jack is hired by university professor Eugene Gorman to investigate the case, suspecting that the g ...more
Richard White
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Jesus Christ, what a gut wrenching ending . If you're a fan of Lawrence Bock's Scudder then you'll love Bruen's Jack Taylor . Great series .
Pattie
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I wonder why I am hooked on this series. It upsets me, depresses me and gets inside my mind. I simply care too much about Jack Taylor and his ability/inability to stay sober/clean. The writing is exceptionally tight and sharp in these novels which is something I truly appreciate. The mysteries are often secondary to Jack's life, the people he encounters and Galway. It is noir at its finest.

The ending of this novel, which I quite literally knew was coming in some form, broke me. And yet
...more
Jonathan
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it
If I learned anything from reading Ken Bruen’s The Dramatist, it’s that Ireland is a crap hole. Not really, but that’s the way it seems after reading this Noir-ish mystery novel. It’s all the protagonist’s fault. His name is Jack Taylor, and he used to be a guard (the Irish term for a policeman). He got kicked out a few years ago and now he’s a self-destructive and guilt-wracked drunkard, cocaine addict, and reluctant sometimes-P.I. Most of his friends and acquaintances are equally depressing. I ...more
Laura
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From IMBd:
A female student dies from a fall from the roof of the university. She is dressed in a theatre costume and wears a ring of paper with a quote from the play "Deirdre of the Sorrows" typed within. When drugs are found in the young woman's blood, the Police assume suicide as the cause of death. The Literature Professor of the dead student believes that his student has been murdered and asks Jack for help.


4* The Guards (Jack Taylor, #1)
3* The Magdalen Martyrs (Jack Taylor, #3)
4* The Dram
...more
Mike Sumner
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jack Taylor number four. I'm on a roll. More dark, disturbing, hard-boiled entertainment. Hang on just a minute. Lemsip and yoghurt. Daily fare for a re-invented Jack?! Not drinking, no drugs, virtually quit smoking and - yeah - that's correct - attending mass fairly regularly! Has Jack finally succumbed to a life less wired? Huh? So why the hell do you keep getting beaten up?! Are you still the 'finder' everyone admires, albeit in a rather disingenuous fashion? Who the hell are the Pikemen? Are ...more
Monica
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jacket notes: "The impossible has happened: Jack Taylor is living clean and dating a mature woman. Rumour suggests he is even attending mass... The accidental deaths of two students appear random, tragic events, except that in each case a copy of a book by John Millington Synge is found beneath the body. Jack begins to believe that "The Dramatist," a calculating killer, is out there, enticing him to play...."

As stated several times before, I love this Jack Taylor series by Ken Bruen. This book i
...more
Benjamin
Apr 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
At page 135, I decided to waste no more of my life reading this book, and while taking a huge breath of relief, shut the cover forever. I almost never totally abandon a book in such a fashion, but at page 135 I still was not at all intrigued by the plot and I still felt I could care less what happened to the "epic" Jack Taylor. Additionally the events that had transpired in the book to this point were so dull that between chapters I found immense relief in setting the book down to stare at the w ...more
LJ
THE DRAMATIST (Unlicensed investigator-Ireland-Cont) – Ex
Bruen, Ken – 4th in series
Brandon, 2004 – Trade paperback
Jack Taylor is clean and sober and fighting hard to stay that way. A drug dealer, now serving time, hires Jack to investigate the death of his sister. Under her body was a book by Synge, into which the words "The Dramatist" had been written on the title page. When a second student dies with a copy of the same book, it's clear these are not random acts.
*** Ken Bruen's writing is excep
...more
Joe Kraus
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: hardboiled-noir
I’ve spent much of my time reading the first four of Bruen’s Jack Taylor books trying to figure out what makes them so good. The plots do matter – the twist at the end of The Killing of the Tinkers pushed that one back into elite territory, and I found myself gripped at the end of The Magdalen Martyrs too.

And this one definitely falters in the plot department. Where we’ve had political complications and individuals with deep and troubled backgrounds, this one turns on a too-conventional serial
...more
AngryGreyCat
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is book 4 in the Jack Taylor series which the TV show is based upon. I hesitate to say I enjoy these books because they are somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster, depressing, upsetting, even maddening at points and The Dramatist is no exception. It would be easy to say that Jack Taylor is his own worst enemy but unfortunately that isn’t the case, he has plenty of enemies.

This book starts with Jack in an unusual place, cold stone sober, off drink and drugs and trying to limit the cigarettes
...more
Jarl Olsen
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having been to Ireland as the guest of a film festival and having driven about the whole country, (no great feat), I must say, I don't recognize any of the places in PI, Jack Taylor's world. Jack's creator may as well have thrown in a couple of werewolves and vampires for the hell of it because the Ireland that I saw was no more like like 1940's Los Angeles or Detroit of pick-your-time than Disneyland. Noire-ville? The city of Galway, where these Jack Taylor books take place, is an arts center a ...more
Ann
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As always Bruen packs quite a punch in a small, tight package. I can't say much for fear of spoilers but suffice it to say the book leaves the reader with glimpses into Irish life with a disturbing feeling of growing unease and yet eager to read more about Jack Taylor, a former guard in Galway, Ireland. Jack's demons won't let him alone for long and we can't stop looking ...
(view spoiler)
...more
Gary
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Makes Hell Look Like a Happy Place

There is some small injustice in describing Ken Bruen's "The Dramatist" as simply "noir". While all of Bruen's writing is bleak - in-your-face crime fiction with no regard for inane political correctness or modern niceties, "The Dramatist" reads like a chainsaw to the gut - an emotional tour de force that will leave fragments of Bruen's broken prose haunting your subconscious weeks after you've turned the last page. Yeah, this is black - Stygian black, about as
...more
Nancy Oakes
May 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Oh my. After reading this installment of the Jack Taylor series, I am hard pressed to figure out how much worse things can get for Jack. I've long said that making Jack Taylor's acquaintance through reading is like watching a train about to wreck on its tracks...you know that something terrible is about to happen, but the reality of how bad it's going to be keeps you watching. But frankly, I wasn't prepared for this one.

As the novel opens, Jack's drug dealer (the very well-dressed, erudite young
...more
Angele Gougeon
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ken Bruen's 'The Dramatist' easily captured my attention. The main character, ex-guard Jack Taylor, is charmingly frank. The dialogue is fast and terse. There is a sweeping tension that carries the story forward.
I wanted to love the novel.
I ended up liking it.
[Spoilers ahead]
The ending is reminiscent of Jean-Paul Sartre and Peter S. Beagle (A Fine and Private Place in particular). Jack Taylor is sober, clean, and nearly off cigarettes. His life's still a mess but, during the course of the novel,
...more
Felix Zilich
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, irish-luck
Уже полгода Джек Тейлор не пьёт и не потребляет наркотиков. Пять сигарет в день – и только “Silk Cut”. Ломка от этого каждое утро страшная, да и судьба особо не фартит. После первой встречи с новым бойфрендом Энн Хендерсон Джек остаётся на всю жизнь хромым калекой, но из завязки не выходит. У него теперь, вроде бы, есть цель и мотивация. Плюс новая подружка – невольный подарок от лесбы Ридж.

Еще по городу рыскают линчеватели-“пикинеры”, которые тоже неровно дышат в сторону детектива. Мечтают, чт
...more
Ctgt
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My bromance with Ken Bruen and his Jack Taylor character continues. You know how sometimes there is an author or character that just hits all the right notes? This is mine. Frankly, I could care less about the cases involved in the story, I want to know more about Taylor. There is a case involving the Pikemen, a vigilante group and some quirky things going on with two deaths and books by J.M. Synge but for me it's all about Jack. He is sober throughout the majority of the story and watching him ...more
Shanti Elliott
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked hanging out with Jack Taylor; I'm a sucker for a flawed hero of the talkative variety. He is paralyzed by addiction and remorse, but he doesn't blame others, and that's refreshing. He sits around a lot then all of sudden something possesses him and he moves quickly and dramatically. That rhythm is disconcerting -- feels a lot like life. For awhile I liked all the pop music and literature that weave through every scene, but it got to be too much. I'll definitely be reading another of the ...more
Dan Pearce
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This isn't really my genre but I'm totally hooked on Ken Bruen. He's often compared to Ian Rankin, a good writer, but nothing compared to Bruen. I would say if anything, and comparisons are usually odious, he's an Irish Raymond Chandler. Jack Taylor is a wonderful creation and so is the dark world he inhabits and I love his literary pretentions and Bruen's literary references. I cannot recommend his books highly enough.
Gregg Shoemaker
Feb 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
The ending was quite good... brilliant, even, but I had to grit my teeth and listen through (audiobook) Bruen's painfully too self-aware jack Taylor for the first four and a half hours (of a five hour reading).

I know that Bruen's got a shining reputation as a master of Irish hard boiled crime fiction, but I find it too heavy handed, too obviously *written*, to be enjoyable as a story.
Charles
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Very upsetting series. Drunks are not my favorite people. Jack Taylor is well read with acid humor, but watching him flame out book after book is wearing.
Kari Hilwig
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm always amazed at how some writers can open up worlds with so few worlds. This is a dark one, but with humor, and the ending knocks the wind out of you.
Susu
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
WoW!!!!! What an ending! I'm speechless! This series definitely keeps me on my toes.
Ladiibbug
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-fiction, noir
#4 Jack Taylor - Noir Crime

Read pre-G/R, approx. 2006
Angus Mcfarlane
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Another crime/procedural set in Galway, this time harking back to around 2001 as attested by the various pop culture references, leaves me with mixed feelings. The main character is another John rebus, badly off as a result of bad decisions, older, grumpy and dysfunctional....so, nothing too new there. This is why The Ruin, also set in Galway, made for a change - characters who were gritty without the baggage. Written in first person was ok for the most part - there is not an obsessive amount of ...more
Jim Mitchell
First time I've read Ken Bruen, not sure I'll be reading another of his. This is not a crime thriller or detective novel that will grip you if that's what you're looking for. The story line doesn't actually kick in till the last 30 pages. This is just a ramble by the main character talking about himself and his woeful life and wallowing in his own misery. The author seems to spend most of the time trying to impress you with being Irish and his knowledge of literature and music rather than gettin ...more
Ben
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ken Bruen writes about Jack Taylor, a former Guarda, fired for alchholism who had become the sort of a man who " helps" people with a problem. Problems like a dead sister or a threatened life or a dark past come back to haunt.
Jack has his own demons; in fact, every kind of demon from booze to despair. A wasted life looks back at him from the mirror. Lost friends mock his loneliness.
Ken Bruen writes crime novels. They are poetic. They are sad. They are great.
"The Dramatist" is no exception.
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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

Jack Taylor (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Guards (Jack Taylor, #1)
  • The Killing Of The Tinkers (Jack Taylor, #2)
  • The Magdalen Martyrs (Jack Taylor, #3)
  • Priest (Jack Taylor, #5)
  • Cross (Jack Taylor, #6)
  • Sanctuary (Jack Taylor, #7)
  • The Devil (Jack Taylor, #8)
  • Headstone (Jack Taylor, #9)
  • Purgatory (Jack Taylor, #10)
  • Green Hell (Jack Taylor, #11)