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Concrete Underground

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An idealistic journalist sets out to expose corruption among the city's elite and soon finds himself immersed in a conspiracy of murder, blackmail, espionage, and human trafficking. Pitted against the enigmatic CEO of one of the world's largest tech companies, he must play a deadly game that threatens to unearth its players' darkest secrets. CONCRETE UNDERGROUND is postmodern pulp fiction - a gritty, labyrinthine murder mystery about identity and alienation in the digital age.

370 pages, ebook

First published March 3, 2010

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Moxie Mezcal

9 books23 followers

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5 stars
59 (23%)
4 stars
58 (23%)
3 stars
77 (30%)
2 stars
36 (14%)
1 star
20 (8%)
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
Profile Image for Rae Gee.
Author 7 books42 followers
January 21, 2012
If you like your books a little off putting with strange and twisted story lines then you really should give "Concrete Underground" a spin.

It starts out as what you believe to be your straight forward whodunnit. Quickly it descends into a story that resembles a hallucination and a dream. Can you tell the difference?! Perhaps you can, perhaps you can't. Fast paced and extremely interesting, it was a story I thought I'd hate but wound up glued to. If you like stories that aren't the run of the mill then keep your eye on Moxie Mezcal. I know I am!
Author 10 books11 followers
April 3, 2010
‘Concrete Underground’ knocked me out. It takes the noir plot and loops it into a feedback cycle until it breaks. It embraces the implausibility of the hero and squeezes horror out of it. Fast, sexy fun is laid on top of a growing layer of scar tissue on human faces until you can’t tell the difference anymore. It wears its influences on its sleeve and even walks you through them, but it makes something new out of them. A true 21st century novel.
Profile Image for Andrea.
310 reviews38 followers
April 17, 2016

A few interesting ideas drowned by a perpetual plot mechanism: hip dick reporter stumbles on clues, gets beat up (a lot), gets high (drugs, alcohol and the occasional slipped mickey), drools over the purple-haired vixen called ... Violet, wakes up in odd company (laid or not, he can't always remember) etc., etc. throughout four fifths of the book. Thankfully, the last few chapters bring things to another level and provide a different angle to look through. At last.

Could have been better, could have been worse.

Profile Image for Léona Everhard.
Author 2 books2 followers
September 15, 2019
Concrete Underground reste un excellent thriller qui tire sur le techno-thriller. L’intrigue happe le lecteur dès les premières pages et ne le lâche plus avant la toute dernière ligne. Entre les retournements de situation, les révélations et les nouveaux mystères, il se révèle complètement addictif. D’ailleurs, si le récit aide à percer les principales énigmes, quelques zones d’ombre restent en suspens tant Moxie Mezcal excelle dans l’art de cacher des détails, à première vue anodins, dans la narration. Cependant, dans une annexe, elle nous révèle quelques pistes supplémentaires à approfondir, ce qui donne sérieusement envie de le relire, histoire d’y faire plus attention et de mettre à la bonne place les dernières pièces du puzzle.
En bref, un livre à lire avec les deux ouverts et l’esprit vif. Personnellement, c’est la première fois depuis Intérieur Nuit de Marisha Pessl, que je lis un thriller avec un tel niveau d’écriture symbolique, un pur régal. Il donne envie de découvrir les autres œuvres de l’auteure et ça tombe plutôt bien, puisqu’un second titre vient compléter l’univers de Concrete Underground : Making Dylan Maxwell. De quoi prolonger le plaisir.

Chronique complète :
Profile Image for Space.
223 reviews20 followers
April 10, 2013
Well I finished it but I didn't think much of it. It's good enough to read, but it's just not great. Number one, and this is a big one for me, is this author has terrible grammar skills. Maybe English is his/her second language, which would be a bit of a legitimate excuse, but what about the editor? I saw a pretty good control of the language, so it seemed the grammar should have been better.

Second, in the spirit of your typical whodunit, Mezcal tries to create mystery and suspense in every possible fashion, to the point where you end up getting confused and just want to put the book down. Things happened out of order - which I guess was part of the point - but they never resolve to the point of reader contentment. For instance, Seriously. Who cares?

Thirdly, there were way too many characters introduced and in too quick a fashion. I know I complain a lot about this in my reading. But seriously, they had better be some good ass characters if you expect people to keep up with them all. If you introduce them like, "Then there was Lily, who had red hair and Doris who had blond hair," and that's all the information you tell the reader... Uh, dude. Your characters were thinner than Bible-page paper. They were so shallow and underdeveloped that I had no idea or recollection of who they were when they were reintroduced for some big finish.

I guess the major problem I have with this genre is the intent to throw off the reader. Because we all know in real life every single murder is mysterious and it's always someone you've met and would least suspect and there are always so many players involved and blah blah blah. Dude, it's just dumb to me. I will pay closer attention in the future to what I'm reading, and will strictly avoid this genre. I hate it. The unlikely detective who survives against all odds and always figures out the crime from the fewest amount of clues possible - making him a genius. Even though for most of the story he acted like the exact opposite. Sigh. I'm done.
17 reviews
July 16, 2011
Another free book from Amazon. It started off wobbly for me, I found it hard to get into. But, I was determined to finish it! However, I felt like I was trying to push through and read it all for the sake of reading it rather than out of pure enjoyment.

That's not to say it's bad. It really isn't! It's rather good but it does depend on what you like. I found it hard to follow simply because you were meant to. This becomes clear when the mental state of the protagonist is revealed as...questionable.

The plot itself is simple, a reporter following up on a story. What makes it hard to swallow is the psychedelic, drug fuelled ride that the reporter goes on to undercover the story. You have to concentrate to know where you are, but again this is not bad thing. It just means that you have to be aware of everything that goes on in the story. Thinking about it, it comes across as a literature version of Pulp Fiction.

One point that bugged me was the amount of deaths and the seeming lack of consequences. The reporter 'D' did a lot of the killing. There was a lack of emotion, a lack of horror to their actions and a lack of police. This is extremely noticeable. But, once again it begins to make sense, or as much as it can, when it draws near the end.

Read it, if you like it when there are so many twists and turns that you feel like you are on a roller coaster. Read if, you are a fan of Pulp Fiction.
Profile Image for Ryan.
Author 1 book39 followers
March 29, 2011
"Independent fiction" has been in an interesting place for the past few years. It's definitely started to get a lot more respect than it has, but something I've noticed about a lot of independent authors is that they're telling the same types of stories as the major publishing houses - crime stories, science fiction, and vampire romances. Nothing against the stories themselves, but there's often little to distinguish them from the mainstream.

Concrete Underground, on the other hand, is described by the author as a "punk as fuck" crime story, which is not something I can ever recall a mainstream publisher advertising. Which, depending on how you feel about punk, might be a selling point, and might not. Regardless, it's a story that feels edgy, feels unpolished, and experiments with narrative structure in some interesting ways (especially one part in the middle where - well, I'm still not sure what happened). It's experimental, but keeps a pulpy feel that would drive away most readers looking for something capital-L "Literary".
Profile Image for Stuart Estell.
Author 1 book19 followers
March 27, 2011
A bit of a shock to the system coming straight after Joyce's Ulysses, this is a fast-paced, hard-boiled, sexy, trashy, bewildering punk-detective novel with a plot so gloriously convoluted you'll be glad of your eReader's search facility. It's not for the faint of heart and certainly not for the easily offended. The horror is done properly, with enough detail to make you feel queasy but enough left to the imagination to make it unsettling. And the narrator's first name is Dedalus. What more could you ask for? Recommended without hesitation.
Profile Image for Chloe.
47 reviews6 followers
September 12, 2011
I read this book in one day. Mark doesn't know how I read it all in an afternoon/evening. It's good. The ending is very confusing, but I think that's the point -- to get you thinking. Hell, the whole book is kind of confusing (which, again, is the point -- it is a suspense novel, after all) and you have to really work at it to keep track of the characters and events. Don't let that hold you back from reading it -- it's a great dark conspiracy book. It makes you paranoid and gets you thinking. Wooooo.
Profile Image for A.J..
Author 3 books7 followers
June 19, 2011
A grab-you-by-the-throat sort of book, uncompromising in its portrayal of manipulative Dylan Maxwell and the people whose lives he controls. It's a complex plot, the type that makes you start reading the book all over again as soon as you finish it.

The writing style is highly intelligent and yet easy to read. There were a few minor editing issues in the version I was reading, but not so many that they detracted from the enjoyment of the book.
Profile Image for L.T. Fawkes.
Author 9 books12 followers
June 18, 2012
Genre - Mix and match any or all of the following: noir, post-modern, mystery, urban, steam punk, pulp.

An idealistic investigative reporter goes up against a wealthy, mysterious, psychotic, manipulative titan who gets his kicks by putting those around him into dangerous, sometimes fatal situations.

The plot takes a big-time u-ie in the final third which kinda left me scratching my head, but the writing is tight and the action kept me reading.
Profile Image for Michelle .
219 reviews40 followers
January 9, 2012
What on earth was this about? I thought I had it figured out, but then I was wrong over and over. Those questions at the end only made my head spin even more. What on earth did I just read? What just happened? A psychological thriller? A mystery? A scathing political satire? Something like Shutter Island? Someone help because I really have no way to define this book.
Profile Image for Leigh Mitchell.
201 reviews1 follower
June 26, 2012
Quite a good read, but at the end of the book there are 9 questions to help solve the mystery - I would have given an extra star if these were answered somewhere without having to skim back through the book again, but it just makes it feel unfinished to me now. :(

If anyone managed to work it out from the questions please let me know.
Profile Image for Kali23.
138 reviews
March 26, 2013
I downloaded this for free on my Kindle, which was a good thing because it wouldn't be worth much money if you had to attach a price to it. Things I liked most about this ebook were its fast pace and the weird plot/narrative twist towards the end. Also, it mentions a Lydia Lunch song: "Still Burning". Cool. :)
Profile Image for Scott.
Author 22 books24 followers
April 17, 2013
I enjoyed this weird story where I really didn't know what was going on even when I finished. Yet it kept me reading and wanting to know more about the story, the characters and the world it was set in. Four stars might be too high, but I found myself thinking about it when I wasn't reading, and after I was done also. Fun read.
Profile Image for Jeanna.
50 reviews2 followers
July 29, 2011
Definitely not for the reader with looking for a pretty description. Took a bit to get into but I liked it. Crude, but necessary for the kind of work it desired to be. Nice turn of events, quite creative, enjoyed the ending. Not your typical who done it.
870 reviews1 follower
March 31, 2012
It was pretty much a hard-boiled thriller. There wasn't much to like about the main character, but the situations and surrounding characters were fairly interesting. The ending left me hanging and wondering what the point of the story was. Its quite possible that was the point.
June 6, 2012
Great Story, I suggest that you read this book with a clear mind so you can pay close attention to the twists and turns of the story, this book had a few grammer errors but other than that it was a good read.
Profile Image for Dominique Hesse.
12 reviews
June 12, 2013
This book was a trip, I didn't want to read it, but I couldn't stop reading it. It was twisted.. but for some reason I didn't stop. It was a page turner, and I didn't care for the ending, but the author did couldn't get me to stop turning the page
Profile Image for Lenox Parker.
Author 1 book6 followers
December 4, 2010
better than the pulp that inspired it, moxie mezcal's writing is compelling, accessible, and really fucking good.
Profile Image for P.A..
Author 2 books12 followers
January 14, 2012
Really easy to get caught up in. Just when you think you have it figured out everything changes. This book will take your mind on an adventure.
Profile Image for Joanna Smith.
24 reviews4 followers
July 12, 2012
Good for one of those pulpy mysteries. A bit muddled in time. But you have to give it to Moxie Mezcal - to write a book and give it out for free. That's kinda awesome.
Profile Image for Ema Fortunova.
23 reviews27 followers
August 24, 2012
Fascinating book. The language is very vivid and the story is completely twisted. It is definitely a brain teaser that I would recommend to anyone to read.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
9 reviews
February 7, 2014
I struggled to get through this book. I almost gave up several times but I have a hard time quitting any book I start.
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews

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