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The Weight

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  421 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Andrew Vachss returns with a mesmerizing novel about a hard-core thief who’s about to embark on a job that will alter his life forever.

Sugar is that rarest of commodities: an old-school professional thief, tough and loyal as a pit bull, packing 255 pounds of muscle. When he’s picked out of a photo array in a vicious rape case, the cops find his apartment empty. A stakeout
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Pantheon (first published November 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Tim Niland
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
A professional thief with a strict code of honor, Sugar returns home from a jewel heist set up by his mentor Solly and finds his apartment filled with cops. But they aren't there for the robbery, the have mistaken Sugar for a rapist who has brutally attacked a woman. The cops know something is fishy, Sugar isn't a rapist, so they offer him a choice - if he rats out the people on the robbery, the cops will let him slide on the bogus rape charge. But Sugar has a strict moral code: he will not rat ...more
William Weaver
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
This would be a great short story. Streamline it by cutting away plot threads that go nowhere then take the time for the elaborate schemes to make better sense and expand on a few things discussed but never seen and it's solid. Otherwise I've got short novel that somehow reads too long with a vibe that never swerves past middle of the road.

I'm not dumb. I like complex plots. I'm not a stranger to re reading a convoluted breakdown of a master plan. But when I did that here, my takeaway was "what
Brett Thomasson
May 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime
The Weight is Andrew Vachss' fourth novel operating outside the world of his criminal avenging anti-hero, Burke. It's the second one he's written since ending the Burke series with Another Life in 2009. Vachss' non-Burke books have been hit and miss. Only the brief 2003 Hard Case tale The Getaway Man has really come anywhere near the gripping quotient of the best of the Burke books. Haiku was confused, at least, and Two Trains Running was an almost incomprehensible mess. The Weight is better tha ...more
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, crime, vachss, realistic
Sugar is a thief. He makes no bones about it; that is his profession. He is proud of his professional demeanor and ‘cred’ with others he must work with. He is a stand up guy. His employers quite possibly believe Sugar isn’t to bright.
We are not given any background on Sugar, we have to take him as he is now. What is he is now is a man who just did five years for a rape he did not commit. The cops know he didn’t do it, but they are pretty sure he was in on the jewelry heist that went on at the sa
Veach Glines
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Unfortunately, the quality of The Weight by Vachss is just slightly lower than his previous (which was slightly lower than it's previous). Mister Vachss is on the down slide.

Having read every book of his beginning in the late 1980's, I believe he (like many artists) lost his drive and anger and voice about the time he killed Pansy. He has tried for the last decade to get it back; new characters, new settings, new genres...none of those books contain the grit, clarity, surprising hooks and emotio
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is my last Vachss novel. If he writes a memoir I'll be first in line to read it but I've had it with his careful characters that spend the better part of the novel creeping around elaborate set-ups to achieve, what exactly, is not entirely clear. I thought that since this was an independent novel--not another of the Burke series, that it might be as taut and suspenseful as "Getaway Man." It was not. I couldn't follow Sugar's thought process, (just take the money and run!) or that of his lov ...more
The first Vachss novel I've read (or heard of) that doesn't involve the avenging angel Burke, THE WEIGHT was really involving.

This is a character study in depth, the story of a bad guy (a tough professional thief) who takes the fall for a rape he did not commit, in order to avoid using his real alibi, which was a robbery -- he's a standup bad guy who refuses to roll over on his confederates. He serves the time, but upon release, things get wierd, then wierder, as he tries to use his somewhat li
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: hardboiled crime fans (heist caper books)
Recommended to Ed by: previous Vachss fan
This standalone novel reminded me of Mr. Vachss's crime title Shella about a brutal killer except the protagonist here is a professional thief named Sugar Caine. Sugar does a jewelry heist, gets nabbed, and takes "the weight" for a rapist by going to prison after the rape victim IDs him. So Sugar does time for a crime he hasn't committed, but he's done a few other violent crimes. That makes for an interesting book premise. After Sugar gates out, his boss, an old man named Solly, sends Sugar to F ...more
David Ward
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries, fiction
The Weight by Andrew Vachss (Pantheon Books 2010) (Fiction - Mystery) is the least satisfying book from this normally very satisfying author. This is either a stand-alone novel or the start of a new series, but it is not a continuation of the author's fine "Burke" series. Like Burke, this story follows a streetwise ex-con career criminal with no living blood-family. In The Weight, the protagonist "Sugar" has been wrongly convicted of a crime which he would never commit. Can he clear his reputati ...more
Oct 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Tim "Sugar" Caine- A man with two different colored eyes who is Big, Large, and Muscle- Bound, and a mind which mirrors his super-large frame.

Clever Premise- Man is brought in for a rape that he did not commit, but his alibi is that he was on a jewelry robbery , and he can't 'rat out' his confederates.

Interesting profile of 'A Man In The Life'. This might be a bit dated, but I guess it still makes sense. A successful, 'High-End' criminal only has 'the word on the street' as his reputation, so ju
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a huge fan of the Burke series, I hadn't yet read a non-Burke book by Vachss that I liked as much as "The Weight". The main protagonist is very likeable, the story (as always with Andrew Vachss) unfolds slowly and takes unexpected turns, but is never boring. I couldn't put it down. And since I am currently holding up my own work-out routine pretty well, I could sympathize a lot with the main character, who works out every minute he can and is "packing 255 pounds of muscle" (as the blurb sa ...more
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Not a Burke novel. It's about a career thief who describes life in prison very well, and tells a good story when he gets out, too.

The dedication had what seemed like a suggestion that he'd be seeing his deceased loved ones soon, and he looks very ill in the cover photo. Pity.

Vachss can be a bit too terse for my liking. It's not unusual for him to have characters finish each others' sentences when I don't quite know what they're talking about. He also uses some criminal law jargon without explai
Sep 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
The dialogue in a Vachss book could not be anymore spare. It is almost a code, the code of criminals. This time out, Tim "Sugar"Caine takes a five year hit for a rape he did not commit because he does not want to admit to burglarizing a jewelry store. He does the time and gets out and goes immediately to Solly, the planner of the heist to get his cut. Solly asks for Sugar's help in tracking down an accomplice in the heist and in retrieving a ledger from an associate of Solly's in Florida. It isn ...more
E.R. Yatscoff
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
He's had better books. Don't get me wrong, Vachss is a good writer, but I think I expected a bit more action. Sugar gets out of prison and is on a mission to get the loot owed to him and get himself cleared. He recalls his times in prison throughout and gives readers a glimpse into the prison system. It sounds plausible. Not a bad read.
Jacquelynn Fritz
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jacquelynn by: Omaha Public Library
This is a new character for this author. Sugar is a professional thief who knows the rules. You don't tell on your partners and you take your time without complaint and when you get out your money will be there for you. This is an intricate story about Sugar, his boss Solly, and the job Solly wants him to do. It was fun to follow the thinking and how Sugar finds happiness at the end.
Aug 01, 2011 added it
Professional jewel thief takes a frame for rape instead of alibiing out with the robbery he was really doing at the time. He could skate on the robbery but would have to give up his partners. Walks out of prison after 5 years into political squabble between bosses.
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Not really like any other book I'd read in the past. Raw and gritty, but very interesting take on the life of a hard-core thief. The insights into jail-time were interesting. Liked the "planning" scenes, and the ending was good.
M.D. Massey
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good solid crime fiction

This isn't Vachss' best work, but even when he's mailing it in it beats anything most crime fiction authors can do on their best day. If you're a fan, or not, pick it up.
Tom Hicks
Of course with Vachss a very well written book. Good story but you had to pay attention and sometimes re-read some parts. It kept you thinking all the way to the end. Highly recommended. Loved it.
Alistair P D
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
The first Andrew Vachss novel I read. Tough, street-smart, filled with dread and foreboding. I thought the denouement wrapped up the matter way too quickly, almost as if Vachss just wanted to finish it and get it over with. A great read nevertheless.
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Takes the criminal's point of view, very interesting to get a gllimpse into the mind of a criminal and their own rules of life. Seemed like a lot of the book was leading up to something, then it dawned on my that the story was the process of thought.
Dec 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, crime
Not as good as his other stand alone novels.
Jane Clark
Nov 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Whose code does that stranger live by?
Jan 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Good Read. Moves slow in the middle of the book but in the end it was an enjoyable read. One of the few stand alone Novels from a Author who wrote the Burke Series.
Patrick Foster
Mar 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Kinetic. Beautifully written. A hell of a piece of crime fiction.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good hard boiled crime novel.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Andrew Vachss book, and likely my last. It was rarely clear why the main character did what he did, and I found the plot to be convoluted.
Susan Beecher
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Interesing mystery, unusual.
John Riggs
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Andrew Vachss is a real pro.
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Andrew Vachss has been a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a social-services caseworker, a labor organizer, and has directed a maximum-security prison for “aggressive-violent” youth. Now a lawyer in private practice, he represents children and youths exclusively. He is the author of numerous novels, including the Burke series, two collections of short stories, and a wide varie ...more
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“If a train is coming at you, closing your eyes won't save you ... but if you look right at it, you at least have a chance to jump.” 14 likes
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