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Dirty White Boys

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  5,050 ratings  ·  269 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 Lamar. Surely he wi
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. The "Pye" name…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
 ·  5,050 ratings  ·  269 reviews

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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.
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 time, and back
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
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 it is, but a
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
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 and
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 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.
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.
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.

Carol Storm
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My friend Katie asked me to review this book to explain why I'm always raving about it. The problem is, the appeal of this book is very hard to define. On the one hand, it's a repulsive stew of all the worst features of redneck culture and toxic masculinity. This is an author who revels in hatred of blacks, fear of women, worship of guns and all forms of violence. When Stephen Hunter writes about guns you can actually picture him fondling them while he writes, like Hugh Hefner pawing Playmates a ...more
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 ...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.
Chris DiLeo
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is solid, "manly" fiction. It's cops and robbers with lots of vulgarity, violence, and sex. The story might drag a bit in the middle, and get a bit melodramatic, but the characters are fresh, dynamic, and interesting.

There is plenty of action in this tale of a prison escapee and the aging cop out to catch him. The last third moves at a fast pace and pays off well.

Be warned, however: this book is not for anyone easily offended by bad words, cruel thoughts, and bloodshed.
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.
Howard Anders
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Impressive, well-written story. I had a tough time at the beginning, with the prison sex and violence, and almost abandoned the book because of it. I'm glad I persevered. Once the author got into the conflict between Deputy Bud Pewtie and escaped criminals Lamar and Odell Pye, it became a terrific story of violent obsession. I highly recommend it.
NC Stone
Oct 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is a great example of crime thriller-gun porn, but better written than most.
Vulgar, at times obscene and emotional, all the main characters are flawed. However as the not-so good cop pursues the oh-so bad criminal I found I didn't have much skin in the game. If you like guns, violence and damaged people, you'll probably like this book.
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
of all stephen hunter's books, this is my favourite. the subject matter is as his others -guns, criminals, & a heroic sense of duty. not my normal fare; but simply put -the book is just so well-penned that it held my interest from start to finish. ...more
Douglas Lumsden
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes stark, gritty, intense escapism
A guilty pleasure. Lots of violence, profanity, and grittiness. But it's a great story that will keep you wanting to know what happens next. Hunter wrote more books featuring the same main character, but none of them measure up to this one.
David Jarrett
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a truly graphic and frightening story by an author who seems to know his stuff. You'd better hope a Lamarr never comes through your front door unless you have a 12-ga locked and loaded with double-ought already pointed at it!
Jul 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Completely over-the-top and ridiculous, yet relatively self-aware. One of the more entertaining and memorable thrillers I've read.
Oct 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Another good Hunter book. I lent it out and never got it back.
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A humdinger of a modern-day hard-boiled thriller: brutal, fast moving, and drives home the point that in real life the good guys aren't always so good, and the bad guys aren't completely bad.
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: random-reading
Got me hooked from the first page.
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this many years ago! It is a compelling read although it is somewhat graphic and brutal to read.
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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.

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