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Dirty White Boys

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  4,872 ratings  ·  256 reviews
They busted out of McAlester State Penitentiary--three escaped convicts going to ground in a world unprepared for anything like them....

Lamar Pye is prince of the Dirty White Boys. With a lion in his soul, he roars--for he is the meanest, deadliest animal on the loose....
Odell is Lamar's cousin, a hulking manchild with unfeeling eyes. He lives for daddy L
Paperback, 1st U.S. Paperback Edition, 496 pages
Published November 5th 1995 by Dell (first published 1994)
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Russty You referring just to this book? His major character in the majority of his books has the last name Swagger...

Just getting to this one.…more
You referring just to this book? His major character in the majority of his books has the last name Swagger...

Just getting to this one. The "Pye" name appears in the Swagger series of books, yet this one is not listed as one in that series.?.?.? (less)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,872 ratings  ·  256 reviews

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Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is in my top five of cop versus bad dude. Pure pulp. Super violence. Warning: NOT FOR THE SENSITIVE.

Rosina Lippi
First, a bit of background about this series of novels. Stephen Hunter has two main characters: Earl Swagger, a veteran of WWII, a state trooper, tough, quiet, capable, tormented. Earl has a son, Bob Lee, who follows in his father's footsteps in most things. In Vietnam, Bob Lee (trained as a sniper) is known as Bob the Nailer. The first novel in the Bob Lee series starts twenty years later, when he is reluctantly drawn out of retirement.

Here's the challenge: Hunter jumps around in ti
Chris Berko
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just as fun as the first time I read it. This guy does great characters, dialog, and story lines. If you like 1980's and 1990's action movies by guys like Walter Hill you'll love this guy's books.
Lessons Learned: How to get the readers FULL attention in the first sentence!
Jun 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of pulp fiction
I would have to agree with other posters. Dirty White Boys, is a pulp fiction crime novel. A throwback to the tough, two fisted "mens" action novels of the 50's and 60's. Well almost. It's better written then many of those old novels and not so formulaic.

It has several nicely staged gunfights in it and the dialogue is right out of a short story in Argosy magazine circa 1955. The criminals are bad and the cop is flawed, but heroic. Despite his flaws he pushes on and does his job.

I suspect that some reviewer
Lily Vagabond
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
However you define this book or Stephen Hunter's writing, all anyone needs to know is Dirty White Boys is storytelling at its' best. Stephen Hunter has been in the game for a number of years, but I hadn't heard of the author until he was recently recommended to me by a friend. And I fell in love.

I adore face-paced thrillers where every loose end is nicely tied by the end, and that's exactly what I got. On the surface, Dirty White Boys sounds like a macho read, full of testerone. And
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dirty White Boys by Stephen Hunter is a dark, gritty, and at times very intense piece of modern day pulp. It’s not for the easily offended or squeamish! It contains violence, crude and rude dialogue, racial slurs, an abundance of cursing, and a lot of devious and abhorrent behavior that will not endear it to polite society. You’ll know from the very first sentence whether this is something you will want to read or not...and from that very first sentence the story is off and running.

For what it
Tim Warner
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
May be the best crime book I ever read from certainly the best writer of this genre. My palms were literally sweating and my heart racing at certain points.I haven't found anyone better, nor as good and am willing to settle for someone almost as good as Stephen Hunter. I wouldn't read this one first if you decide to delve into the master, Hunter. Probably best to go back to the earlier Earl Swagger books, not necessarily published in chronilogical order. You won't believe what a pleasure you wil ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-thriller
Dirty White Boys (1994) is a stand-alone novel by Stephen Hunter, who has fifteen novels about the lives, tribulations, and triumphs of Arkansas’ Swagger family: the first in the excellent (though variable) Swagger series was Point of Impact (1993). Even including the Swagger books, this is one of Hunter’s strongest novels. It is powerful and well-paced, its characters are despicable but very interesting, and each page grabs your attention.

This is a very gritty tale about prison life, escape a
Leon Aldrich
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you read much in this genre at all, then this novel deserves a place on your reading stack.

Raegan Butcher
Apr 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Tough, nasty tale of some very bad-ass rednecks escaping from prison and causing tons of havoc. I passed this around the cell-block and it was quite a hit with the convicts.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Pure pulp. Ultra-violent. One hell of a crime novel. Hunter is that rare breed of writer that is both highly literate and a fan of the genre.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-in-print
Talk about a high-speed train ride through the minds of madness. I've never really gotten into crime novels or cop dramas, but I've been a big fan of Stephen Hunter for many years and finally got around to reading this one. Wow. Aside from some of the dialogue now and then, it was a strangely realistic view from every side; whether it was the hardass cop with his own personal drama spiraling out of control, Lamar's criminally intelligent rampaging, or Richard's pseudo-psychotic constant fear, th ...more
M.J. Allaire
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
I usually like reading a longer book than this one, but I really liked the story. I'm an author as well as an artist and this story really struck a chord in me. I listened to it on audio book and will definitely be listening to it again...
Apr 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crimedetnoir
A crime thriller that is not too thrilling, really. The book begins with the prison shower room killing of an inmate by the antagonist, Lamar Pye. Lamar has to escape from prison because of the murder. According to Stephen Hunter, it's pretty easy to get out of a maximum security prison. Lamar, his retarded cousin, Odell (who Hunter has talking all 'retarded' throughout the novel--very irritating) and their wimpy cellmate Richard (Odell calls him "Wi--Chud") hop the joint. The prison scenes and ...more
Patrick O'Neil
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Ok, Dirty White Boys is a great title - not like, "whoa man, amazing way cool." But it is provocative. Got a catchy beat. I'd rate it a 75 cause I can dance to it - and if you weren't around to watch American Bandstand way back in the day that comment won't mean a damn thing. Lately I've been finding when I reference things from my past in front of my younger straight-outta-high-school students they just look at me with these blank expressions. Some shit just doesn't translate any longer. Stuff be c ...more
Trevor Pearson
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"There is a paradox at the core of penology, and from it derives the thousand ills and afflictions of the prison system. It is that not only the worst of the young are sent to prison, but the best—that is, the proudest, the bravest, the most daring, the most enterprising and the most undefeated of the poor. There starts the horror. —Norman Mailer’s introduction to In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Henry Abbott No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man.”

Lamar Pye carries a big stick around
Will Jr.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This is trash but it's highly entertaining trash. Like reading a violent exploitation action film.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well, this review will be a little shorter than my last one for it seeing as Goodreads junked my review because I had the nerve to click outside the white popup window by accident.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the book when I was ready to put it down after the first chapter and the continual prison rape motif the author seems to be fixating on. No, we don't need pages of text about how big a penis Lamar has, it really doesn't add anything to the story - no I don't need to hea
Karen B.
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book when I found out that some people in our group were choosing not to read it because of some profanity. Boy am I glad I decided to go with it! This was an exciting story about the escape from prison of three men, the girl they met up with later and the man determined to bring them down. It was full of tension and excitement. Lamar is a very intelligent criminal who brings along on his escape his cousin, who is brawny, strong but has problems speaking ...more
Benjamin Thomas
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another amazing read from Stephen Hunter. This is my 4th book by this author and I'll definitely keep on going with them. I had read Black Light a couple of months ago and was a little miffed to learn that it was a follow-on to this one so I had to go back and read this one pretty quickly thereafter. While this isn't a "Swagger" book per se, it does involve overlapping characters with both the Earl Swagger series and the Bob Lee Swagger series.

Action-packed and filled with drama, I always

Stephen Hunter has got to be the most unafraid sumbitch writing books dammit. There ain't any aspect of the lower belly of society he won't tackle, and to hell with the social nuances, political correctness or whatever Pelosi's condemning today; Stephen Hunter tells a story, chips be damned where they fall. Incredible; I'm an author and I try to stay within certain boundaries that do not include ribald language and subliminal sexua
Jun 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
I am definitely out of the mainstream in reviewing this one. I didn't care for it at all. I guess I just don't enjoy reading about the dark, slimy underbelly of humanity. After reading the reviews of many of Goodread's members I am feeling quite lonely. To begin with we learn a few graphic details of life inside a maximum security state penitentiary. Then one of the most violent inmates, along with his retarded cousin and a wimpy artist, escape and cut a swath of mean spirited crime across south ...more
Three men at McAlester State Penitentiary had larger penises than Lamar Pye, but all were black and therefore, by Lamar’s own figuring, hardly human at all. His was the largest penis ever seen on a white man in that prison or any of the others in which Lamar had spent so much of his adult life. It was a monster, a snake, a ropey, veiny thing that hardly looked at all like what it was but rather like some form of rubber tubing.

This was one of those special books that grabbed my attention with t
David B
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A highway patrolman becomes enmeshed in the bloody career of a trio of escaped convicts.

Stephen Hunter writes a hell of a story, fast paced, brutal, and captivating. He delivers exactly what I want from a story like this--a number of big, bloody action set pieces strung together with intelligent plotting and smooth, accomplished prose. His characters, such as the lawman having an affair with his partner's wife and the hulking criminal with the mind of a child, may appear to be the st
Matthew Eisenberg
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Here's the thing---I'm a bit of a literary snob. So when I read a book like Dirty White Boys---a book that is unabashedly bereft of depth, meaning, significance, or artistry---the best possible rating I'm going to give it is 3 stars.

Dirty White Boys absolutely fulfills its purpose, which is to entertain. It's got escaped convicts, the cop trying to chase them down, and lots of gunfights. The characters are not cliched---the bad guy has appealing characteristics, and the good guy has loathsome c
Nate Hendrix
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is great. Three guys escape from prison, one reluctantly, and go on a rampage. One cop ends up tracking them down. The characters were engaging the action was intense and the story not entirely predictable. Not a story for the faint of heart, but I loved it. A friend at work recomended it and I will be reading everything that he has written. I discovered that he wrote another of my favorite books, American Gun Fight: The Plot to Kill President Truman and the Shoot-ou That Stopped It. ...more
Aug 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-fun
Good solid fun read. I'd say Hunter is becoming a favorite of mine for crime fiction. He may not have the ear for dialog that Elmore Leonard has, but who does? He creates a solid cast of characters, and unlike too many stories, his villain is a person, not some stereotype of "evil." A few too many coincidences in it, too many "close calls," for my tastes. But again his solid research holds the novel on steady ground and makes for a good time.
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This may be the best Psychological THriller book that I have read. There is plenty of action and surprisingly, the leader of the bad convicts is quite intelligent and figures things out ahead of the men who are pursuing these escaped convicts. One policeman has become entangled with his late partner's wife--dangerous! How this is all resolved is amazing.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Just finished a second reading of this book. Dirty White Boys was the book that turned me onto Stephen Hunter and after reading just about everything else he's read, this is probably the best. I'd love to see a movie based on this, but you'd have to get someone who really loves it to direct it.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
Stephen Hunter is the author of fourteen novels, and a chief film critic at The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
“The worst moment was always taps. It didn’t matter if the bugler played it well or poorly, in tune or out; there was something in the mournful ache of the music, and how it spoke of men dying before their time for something they only vaguely understood and being only vaguely appreciated by the people on whose behalf they died, that made it hurt so much.” 5 likes
“There is a paradox at the core of penology, and from it derives the thousand ills and afflictions of the prison system. It is that not only the worst of the young are sent to prison, but the best—that is, the proudest, the bravest, the most daring, the most enterprising and the most undefeated of the poor. There starts the horror. —Norman Mailer’s introduction to In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Henry Abbott No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man.” 0 likes
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