Sonya's Reviews > The Expendable Man

The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes
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's review
Oct 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read from October 23 to 26, 2012

Four and a half. A noir novel about a wrongly-accused man from the 1960s that feels classic and modern at the same time. Hughes paints a scary, stylized portrait of Phoenix's underbelly juxtaposed with upper middle class life. But pushing all that to the side, it's a compelling story I couldn't stop reading until I found out how it would end.

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Sonya I read a review here on Goodreads that criticized the novel for feeling "dated." Well, my goodness, yes. It is set in the 1960s, in a hotbed of sexual and racial politics. People lived under contstraints. They had to rely on pay phones (freestanding booths where one put coins in a slot and then could call others, even anonymously.) There were very strict class lines. Dated, absolutely, in the same way that Wolf Hall is dated.

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