Shovel Ready

Shovel Ready

A Novel

Book - 2014
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The futuristic hardboiled noir that Lauren Beukes calls "sharp as a paper-cut" about a garbage man turned kill-for-hire.

Spademan used to be a garbage man.  That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a blown-out shell of its former self.

Now he's a hitman.

In a near-future New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to "tap in" to a sophisticated virtual reality, and those who are left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets.  His new job is not that different from his old one: waste disposal is waste disposal.  He doesn't ask questions, he works quickly, and he's handy with a box cutter.  But when his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, his unadorned life is upended: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has a sordid agenda far beyond a simple kill.  Spademan must navigate between these two worlds -- the wasteland reality and the slick fantasy -- to finish his job, clear his conscience, and make sure he's not the one who winds up in the ground. 

Adam Sternbergh has written a dynamite debut: gritty, violent, funny, riveting, tender, and brilliant.
Publisher: New York :, Crown Publishers,, c2014
New York : Crown Publishers, c2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385348997
Branch Call Number: FIC Ster
Characteristics: 243 p


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Aug 17, 2017

Please get this as a non-ebook!
Sternbergh's books need to be available in all formats.

Sep 07, 2016

No punctuation here. No time for it. This book moves. Punctuation would just slow you down. Warning: This book appears to be a lead-in to a second book. I'm ok with that. I just need to catch my breath first.

Jan 27, 2016

Great writing that brought me into the weird dystopian world that Spademan lived. The classic hero, whose conscience is awakened by circumstances, of course has been done before, but there are enough twists and interesting characters that make the book an exciting read. Sly examination of our culture and human nature. Loved the gripping suspense and the psychological examinations.

Apr 27, 2015

Weird! I usually like weird, but this was a little too much

Apr 12, 2015

Oh boy - if you like The Sisters Brothers, oddly you might like this assassin-in-dystopian NYC short novel. I've ordered #2 on Abebooks already.

Feb 12, 2015

I picked up this book as part of the "Blind Date with a Book" and I'm really glad I did as I don't think that I would ever have picked it up otherwise. It reminded me of a cross between Dexter and the Matrix. Intriguing concept and main character with a good voice. Would most likely read the sequel when it comes out! Thanks for coming up with the "Blind Date with a book" idea!! Wish it was on all the time.

KateHillier Jun 29, 2014

Hard boiled, pulpy, dystopian, noir. It reads like a cross between Inception, the Matrix, and Neuromancer and it was great fun to read. It may take a bit to get into the rhythm of the book (there aren't any quotation marks to denote dialogue) but once you get the hang of it it is well worth the trip. The plot is tried and true - a contract killer with a heart of gold ends up not killing one of his targets and protecting them instead - but our hero and story is highly original.

Spademan, not his real name, was a garbage man before a dirty bomb went off in Times Square. Now he lives alone and does hits with no questions and asks and he doesn't want to know anything aside the target's name. As he says many times, he's just a bullet. The situation of the world has changed and he falls in to what he does and it works well enough for him.

It's a quirky read, you'll either love it or hate it, but if anything about what I've said sounds interesting it's worth a try.

May 19, 2014

Loved the free-running, "train of thought" style of writing. Like a Milton sonnet. But, found the plot rather simplistic and incomprehensible.

BCD2013 May 06, 2014

Imagine a New York City where you can always find a seat on the subway; you can disconnect from your misery into a perfect utopia through an IV; Times Square, the place that native New Yorkers dread being at is empty. Dark and dirty, this sci-fi novel takes place in a future New York City after the destructive results of a dirty bomb where the once bustling "capital of the world" is drastically devoid of city life and the police have no problem watching you die right in front of them. Spademan is a garbageman-turned-paid assassin who defies his own rules to protect a teenage girl he was hired to kill, and finds himself facing an enemy who forces Spademan to become an even more dangerous version of himself to protect those around him.

May 02, 2014

More scary futuristic novels. Vitareader is correct; would make a good series ala Walter Mosley characters.

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