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The Far Cry

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  258 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Once upon a time, a girl named Jenny Ames was murdered in a lonely house. No one knew where she had come from, or why she had died, or who killed her. Years later a man moved into the same house and discovered that nothing is more seductive than an unsolved murder.
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Centipede Press (first published 1951)
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The Far Cry is a standalone, mystery/noir fiction novel written in 1951 by author Fredric Brown. It's a story of a man in much need of something to occupy his mind and time, and a local 8-year-old murder mystery does the trick...a little too well though as he becomes a bit obsessed with the case. Mr. Brown incorporated many elements while building the characters, setting, and the mystery itself, and I found it all very engaging. This fairly short novel flows well and allowed me to become easily ...more
Ben Loory
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good book that just gets more and more riveting as it goes-- I read the whole thing in one sitting and don't think I even glanced up during the last 40-50 pages. But the ending! So bad!!! Just terrible. So stupid! Even if you argue that it's the "right" wrong ending, that the narrator just loses his shit there at the end and makes the wrong final connection and decision (which makes thematic and psychological sense), it's still TERRIBLY WRITTEN, just completely unconvincing as a wrong fin ...more
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book.

This is a tale of obsession.

A man sent to live in a cabin for the summer to get away from it all is convinced by a friend to look into a murder that happened in sleepy Taos 8 years before. What follows is the man's descent into dipsomania and obsession over a girl about whom little is known, murdered by a man about whom little is known.

This is an amazing and excellent book, I read it in essentially one sitting. Great language, great characters and a very tight plot that unfortun
Al Kaff
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superb noir mystery. One of my all time favorites. The denoument is truly stunning.
Dave Russell
It would be a far cry from the truth to say this wasn't a compelling read.
E.R. Torre
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While today the science fictional works of author Fredric Brown are perhaps better known than his crime/mystery novels (in particular his short story "Arena", which was adapted into, among others, an episode of the original Star Trek TV show), The Far Cry is perhaps my all-time favorite crime novel.

The plot involves George Weaver, a man recovering from a nervous break down who takes up temporary residence in a small New Mexico town. While there, he stumbles upon a years' old mystery involving a
Aug 05, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I'm quitting on this because it's not really my thing. It's well written & read, but more of a mood thing all about a somewhat mentally fragile guy who becomes obsessed with a long cold murder. The only reason I tried this was that it was given to me as a gift by the publisher. I think anyone who likes this sort of book would love this one. I'm just not that person. I didn't think I was, but still managed to listen through the first CD into the second.
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp-crime
Slow burn with a creepy twist ending. If you like existential crime novels in which the detective is consumed by his case (he solves it but, it solves him) then check it out.
Kelly McCubbin
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've said it before and I'll say it again, it is time for a massive renaissance of the noir of Fredric Brown. While this book might not be as perfect as The Screaming Mimi, as avant-garde as Here Comes a Candle or as goofy fun as the Uncle Am and Ed stories, it is truly haunting. Weaver's descent into obsession, alcoholism and, well, whatever you think that is at the end, is unnervy, skin crawly, stuff.
Brown has a brilliant way of making guys who know their place in the world start to lose their
the gift
sometimes aristotle is right: plot is everything. short, darkly humorous, stark emotions, not very well written. but a great plot. note: did/do people drink so much in ’51?- one sequence the narrator has 7 or 8 drinks, midday, but at least this knocks him out, though this does not happen other times… this being only perhaps characterization, that he has a drink, shares a drink, in virtually every possible situation. at one point he is telling himself he is not going to be an alcoholic- but maybe ...more
Michael Stewart
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engaging mystery: Who was Jenny Ames? Why was she murdered 8 years ago in an isolated Adobe "shack" outside Taos?

Fredrick Brown constructs an interesting narrative of a realtor down on his luck, who seeks isolation as he recoups from a breakdown, but becomes obsessed with Jenny.

He follows the clues that the police missed. The locale and the 1951 setting are characters in their own rights: Booze, booze, and more booze; lots of cheap gas, and a man and wife, both gone to seed.

Enjoyable, like a
May 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After completing this book it left me saying "REALLY?" Not my usual kind of read, but sometimes I like to shake things up a bit. Although I enjoyed the writing style and I was interested and engaged in the book the entire time, I somehow kept feeling it was all just a little too perfect. A tidy little murder mystery wrapped up with a pretty little bow. Then I read the end thinking REALLY, that's how this is going to end?!?!? Not a fan of the last 5 minutes but as I said before, I was interested ...more
Fredric Brown je u nás známý... no, řekněme spíš dohledatelný... jako autor sci-fi. Stará škola ho zná díky povídkám v knihách Experiment člověk, Pozemšťané a mimozemšťané, či knize Ten bláznivý vesmír. Ale jako každý správný autor té doby psal úplně všechno, co se mu naskytlo. Takže i kriminálky.
The Far Cry je zvláštní mix pomalé psychologické a trochu zastaralé kriminálky s povídkou z nějakého hitchcockovského sborníku (kam Brown samozřejmě taky psal). Hlavní hrdina, který pilně pracuje na sv
Mike Zinn
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read! I picked this book because I remembered Fred Brown from my many years of reading science fiction. I never knew that he had worked in other genres. This was a great crime novel all the way through, reading great, keeping my interest, not one false move. And then the ending absolutely blew me away. That's all I have to say. Anything else would be a spoiler. I'm so glad that the publisher pulled this one out of the past.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this audio book until about the last minute. Ugh...seriously?
Charles Fischer
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. Tight and compelling - matter-of-fact in its portrayal of a strange, headlong obsession - and with a great sense of place. The ending is wild - maybe not that convincing, but whatever.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know about that ending.


Fredric Brown ha abituato i suoi lettori alla calma e alla riflessione. Si riflette sui mille dettagli che dissemina, anche quando l'azione è apparentemente statica e sembra che non stia accadendo niente.
È un giallo classico con un perfetto e pacato stile narrativo. È un capolavoro del mystery la cui trama si dipana fino allo sconvolgente finale.
GRIDO DI MORTE di Fredric Brown è la storia di un'ossessione.
Il protagonista non è un investigatore privato o un poliziotto, ma un agent
Tiffany Fox
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: The Far Cry
Author: Fredric Brown
Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki
Publisher/Date: Blackstone Audio, 10/21/2014
Length: 6 hrs

Once upon a time, a girl named Jenny Ames was murdered in a lonely house. No one knew where she had come from, or why she had dies, or who killed her. Years later, a man moved into the same house--- and discovered that nothing is more seductive than an unsolved murder.

I have, within the last year, found a liking for mystery audio books. And The Far Cry was an excelle
Mike O'Connor
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pulpy, nourish "mystery" of a man recovering from a nervous breakdown on a remote, rural location in a cabin where an unsolved "lonely hearts" murder took place years before. He reluctantly starts looking into the crime, out of boredom more than anything, and while he starts to find some answers he risks becoming unhinged himself again. Really liked this well-paced story, kind of like The Shining without the supernatural element in its depiction of its protagonist slowly losing grasp o ...more
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really a super premise for a crime story, isolation - summer sabbatical from reality, asked to do only one thing...all in an attempt to get beyond a nervous breakdown. Very creative plot...though it bogs down at times with the repetitiveness of Weaver's internal dialog with himself, but then what should I expect from a psycho on the skids into the deep end?
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story telling shows its age. Written in the early 1950s, it has the feel of film noir. Told in a very strong male voice complete with the sexism and prejudices of the day. The mystery itself it very involved and thrilling.
A perfect slow descent into madness? Justification? Readers call about that in this short book of desert noir. I waver between 3 and 4 stars, 3 because it was a bit repetative, and 4 because the repetition was an important part of The Far Cry.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't initially realize the time period, until the discrepancy of costs continued. That is a statement to how well the tale transcends the decades since it was written. I can also listen to Stefan Rudnicki read ANYTHING!
Jonathan Dunsky
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best mystery books I've listened to (or read). The narration by Stefan Rudnicki was superb. The story itself is incredible, with one of the best twist endings I had ever had the pleasure to experience. This one is really a shocker.

Highest recommendation possible.
Ok, that was pretty good.

So much drinking, seriously. For a super nerdy drinking game, drink when George drinks.

Listed to the audiobook via hoopla... The narrator is outstanding. He creeped me out, even during my sunny morning drive.
Mike Jensen
I realize that Brown has a loyal following, but this is yet another of his books that did very little for me. It isn't that it is bad, but that it just isn't very much.
really not fair to rate it... got a few hours into the audiobook and just didn't find anything to convince me to keep on
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A book I wanted to like but the ending was too unbelievable and I found the protagonist's own wife jarring which made the ending even more awkward...
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Fredric Brown was an American science fiction and mystery writer. He was one of the boldest early writers in genre fiction in his use of narrative experimentation. While never in the front rank of popularity in his lifetime, Brown has developed a considerable cult following in the almost half century since he last wrote. His works have been periodically reprinted and he has a worldwide fan base, m ...more
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