Book info

Metzger's Dog (2003)

Metzger's Dog (2003)
Author
Rating
3.93 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0812967747 (ISBN13: 9780812967746)
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English
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publisher
random house
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Metzger's Dog (2003)
Metzger's Dog (2003)

About book: I was in kind of a rut with books, not really liking much that I read. This was especially true with audiobooks, where I really didn't like many of them that I have listened to recently. So I decided to go back to a modern classic, a book that I loved many years ago, Thomas Perry's "Metzger's Dog", in the hopes that I would still like it and once again get a book I really truly enjoyed.And lucky for me, I wasn't disappointed. A real comic masterpiece, full of crazy ideas, nutty characters and, most importantly, deep insights into people and governments. Perry aims high and hits a bullseye. This audiobook includes a forward by Carl Hiaasen, where he waxes poetic about the wonderful writing."Metzger's Dog" tells the story of Chinese Gordon and his gang, who, while in the middle of one caper, grab some papers that the CIA will really want to get back. Gordon, along with two partners in crime and his beautiful (naturally!) girlfriend Margaret, spend the rest of the book trying to convince the CIA that just handing over the ransom money would be much easier than continually trying to screw with them.Along the way, Gordon ends up with a massive junkyard dog, who is immediately adopted by his cat, Dr. Henry Metzger. He also builds his own anti-aircraft gun, which is lovingly mounted in the back of a van. Each time they try to get the money from the CIA, they are double crossed by an inept group of spooks, who ignore the advice from the one rational spy there. And each time they ratchet up the pressure and try to convince the CIA of their seriousness.Oh, the stunts they pull to try and get the money and break free! Each one is more elaborate and outrageous than the last one, and each time, the CIA bumbles it in an even bigger way, with some truly laugh out loud results.The banter between Gordon, his girlfriend and his two cohorts is alone worth the price of admission. Gordon is a bit of an idiot savant and his cohorts try to keep him grounded, while bringing their own set of skills, like lockpicking and sharpshooting. And Dr. Henry Metzger, as well as his new dog (which doesn't get a name until the very end), are important characters in their own right.This book (along with The Butcher's Boy) cemented me in as a huge Thomas Perry fan boy. His humor, dialog and characters are all first rate and truly unique. You can't go wrong with either of these books. I can't say the same for his Jane Whitefield series, which is more serious and consequently feels more plodding. Some of his later novels are okay (I've read and reviewed Fidelity and Nightlife), but "Metzger's Dog" is a masterpiece. Go read it now!

Perry, Thomas. METZGER’S DOG. (1983). *****. Not a thriller, but still an excellent read. I’d call this one more of a caper novel than anything else. Think of Westlake and, dimly, Hiaasen, and you will get close to the tone of this book. Leroy “Chinese” Gordon breaks into a professor’s office at the University of Los Angeles. He was actually after a stash of cocaine which was being used for research at their labs – street value, according to the DEA, of $1MM. He and his crew found the cocaine, but Gordon saw a locked file cabinet that he couldn’t resist. When he broke into it, he found a series of reports that he couldn’t make head nor tail of, but took them anyway. They had to be worth something; they were locked up! Turns out that the reports were summaries of research done for the CIA (under one of its phony companies) on psychological warfare (psywar). He realizes that the CIA would want these back, so he decides to give them to them – for only $5MM. The CIA executives decide that they do want them, but they feel that giving over the money would be blackmail (it would be!) so they gear up their whole organization in an attempt to capture Gordon and his cohorts during the pickup. Gordon is too smart for them, and gets away with the phony money that they had planted. He decides that he needs someone with more experience to deal with the pickup, and he gives the CIA another chance. The group he works with are the gang leaders of East LA, who are certainly skilled in their various crafts. On the second payoff/pickup, they are once again fooled – and the bodies pile up. All of this goes on with the attendant comic conversations of Gordon and his buddies. Does he get the money? Does he get captured? You’ll have to read this one yourself. I won’t spoil it. Highly recommended.
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Reviews
Carolyn
I LOVED THIS! It was so much fun that I listened to it TWICE! As Carl Hiaasen points out in his introduction, it's a caper more than a thriller or mystery. It's funny and suspenseful, with fascinating (and bumbling) characters, a complex plot with more twists and turns than Calif State Route 299. One thing I really like about Thomas Perry's story-telling is that his characters often make assumptions that are very wrong and those mistakes take the events in a totally different direction. Again, Michael Kramer does an excellent job with the narration.
Paul Lyons
Engaging black comedy thriller from Thomas Perry that starts out very strong, yet slows down to an uncomfortable pace...eventually getting lost in its own attempted complexities...leaving one dissatisfied in the end. Perry had written some interesting characters...and a fun, clever storyline. Yet as strong as the elements were...they didn't quite match up in the end.Thomas Perry tricks you at first...spending about half the book creating a clear, three-dimensional plot that one could easily foll
Dick
My brother recommended Metzger's Dog by Thomas Perry so much to me that he bought it for me and sent it to me. Despite my almost missing the book when it went directly to Spam in my email account, the book was great and I couldn't put it down.According to my brother he read this when he was in high school. It obviously clouded his thinking if only because he plagiarized his thoughts when he told me about a great thriller about how terrorists could follow-up September 11th. A few dedicated souls with machine guns on freeways he thought would make people to scared to drive to work and help shut down the economy. This is described in great detail in Metzger's Dog but they go several times better than my brother's plot. My brother is one of my primary thriller plot providers (here for instance, this is one of his ideas), makes me worried that I need to read a few more of his recommendations before I decide to take any of them on. I marked two passages, the first:"Porterfield entered the committee room and classified the problem at a glance. There were no junior people scurrying in and out with earnest expressions, which meant the problem hadn't yet reached the moment when nothing could be done about it - the great flurry of pointless activity hadn't begun."When I was in the Ranger's we called that flurry of activity "pinging." We said it along the lines of "He needs to quit pinging!" It made me smile to think about it in these terms and hearing Porterfields cynicism about it was clarifying and fun to read.The second passage:"The fact that he appeared to be a fool was part of his protection as an operative; the fact that he was a genuine fool meant the disguises was impenetrable"Also an elucidative passage regarding Porterfield. Other Dr. Henry Metzger (a focal point of the first line) and Metzger's dog, Porterfield was my favorite character. I look forward to reading more by Perry if this opening salvo is any indication of the fun inherent in his writing.
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