Chicago: A Novel (Hardcover)
Mamet, who's won the Pulitzer Prize for his screenplay writing, doesn't write a lot of novels, so this was one I was looking forward to and it didn't disappoint. The book is set in prohibition era Chicago and it's the gritty story of a reporter who is faced with a murder mystery that means more to him than just a story for the paper. What makes a great novel for me is dialogue and Mamet is a virtuoso. Don't expect a lot of narration as the story is told through the characters' words and actions, but I enjoyed it as a great gangster novel filled with underworld characters and a plot that moves along swiftly. (Bob)— From Staff Picks
A big-shouldered, big-trouble thriller set in mobbed-up 1920s Chicago—a city where some people knew too much, and where everyone should have known better—by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Untouchables and Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright of Glengarry Glen Ross.
Mike Hodge—veteran of the Great War, big shot of the Chicago Tribune, medium fry—probably shouldn’t have fallen in love with Annie Walsh. Then, again, maybe the man who killed Annie Walsh have known better than to trifle with Mike Hodge.
In Chicago, David Mamet has created a bracing, kaleidoscopic page-turner that roars through the Windy City’s underground on its way to a thunderclap of a conclusion. Here is not only his first novel in more than two decades, but the book he has been building to for his whole career. Mixing some of his most brilliant fictional creations with actual figures of the era, suffused with trademark "Mamet Speak," richness of voice, pace, and brio, and exploring—as no other writer can—questions of honor, deceit, revenge, and devotion, Chicago is that rarest of literary creations: a book that combines spectacular elegance of craft with a kinetic wallop as fierce as the February wind gusting off Lake Michigan.
“All the trademarks of a Mamet production — electric dialogue and a hurtling pace.”
As if Cormac McCarthy had decamped from Southwest to Midwest…Chicago feels like one of the great American male novelists of the late 20th century — Updike, Mailer, Bellow, Roth—trying his hand at writing a genre novel. But unlike those novelists’ somewhat less sure-footed lunges…Mamet lands this with aplomb.
“Splendid… a riveting crime drama in a throwback journalistic world, a time when you could yell for a copy boy to bring you Dixie cups for your illegal liquor. But this novel has a romantic heart, and the emotional stakes complement the whiskey-drenched whodunit.”
“Tommy guns, bootleggers and hard-living newsmen: David Mamet adds a vivid novel to a legendary tradition.”
“Acclaimed playwright (Glengarry Glen Ross) and screenwriter (The Untouchables) Mamet unpacks his literary arsenal in his first novel in two decades…. Mamet offers a master class on dialogue…. For readers of Elmore Leonard and Dennis Lehane.
“The story moves at a careening pace… Of a piece with character studies such as E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime and John Sayles’ Eight Men Out, Mamet’s book does Chicago—and organized crime—proud. An evocative, impressive return that Mamet fans will welcome.”
“Full of twists and surprises…Mamet’s new novel is a treasure, a piece of fictitious history entrenched in an era of violence and love.”
“The finest American writer of his generation.”