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Green Hell PDF, ePub eBook Ireland’s master of poetic crime fiction, called “an Irish treasure” by Shelf Awareness, spins a new alcohol-fueled Jack Taylor plot, featuring a Rhodes scholar gone astray, and professor with a violent streak, and a young woman who almost makes Jack look tame The award-winning crime writer Ken Bruen is a as joyously unapologetic in his writing as he is wickedly poetic. In Ireland’s master of poetic crime fiction, called “an Irish treasure” by Shelf Awareness, spins a new alcohol-fueled Jack Taylor plot, featuring a Rhodes scholar gone astray, and professor with a violent streak, and a young woman who almost makes Jack look tame The award-winning crime writer Ken Bruen is a as joyously unapologetic in his writing as he is wickedly poetic. In the new Jack Taylor novel Green Hell, Bruen’s dark angle of a protagonist has hit rock bottom: one of his best friends is dead, the other has stopped speaking to him; he has given up battling his addiction to alcohol and pills; and his firing from the Irish national police, the Garda, is ancient history. But Jack isn't about to embark on a self-improvement plan. Instead, he has taken up a vigilante case against a respected professor of literature at the University of Galway who has a violent habit his friends in high places are only too happy to ignore. And when Jack rescues preppy American student  on a Rhodes Scholarship for a couple of kid thugs, he also unexpectedly gains a new sidekick, who abandons his thesis on Beckett to write a biography of Galway’s most magnetic rogue. Between pub crawls and violent outbursts, Jack’s vengeful plot against the professor soon spirals toward chaos. Enter Emerald, an edgy young Goth who could either be the answer to Jack’s problems, or the last ripped stitch in his undoing. Ireland may be known as a “green Eden,” but in Jack Taylor’s world, the national color has a decidedly lethal sheen. “The series that defines Irish noir.” –BookPage, on Purgatory “The things Jack witnesses these days. . . would cause a saint to go blind. And Jack, whose heroism is fueled by ‘plain old-fashioned rage, bile, and bitterness,’ is no saint. Never was, never will be. Amen.”      -New York Times Book Review, on Purgatory KEN BRUEN received a doctorate in metaphysics; taught English in Africa; and then became a crime novelist. The author of then previous Jack Taylor novels and the critically acclaimed White Trilogy, he is the recipient of two Barry Awards and two Shamus Awards, and has twice been a finalist for the Edgar Award. He lives in Galway, Ireland. 

30 review for Green Hell

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    "Every day is a gift....but does it have to be a pair of socks?" This kind of sums up things in Taylor-land. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. And with good cause as Jack's life is hardly infested with rainbows & kittens (although this instalment does have a puppy). But I find myself picking up each book as much for the prose as for a compelling story. First of all, Jack Taylor. The man is a train wreck, still walking & breathing against all odds. In this outing he befriends a young am "Every day is a gift....but does it have to be a pair of socks?" This kind of sums up things in Taylor-land. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. And with good cause as Jack's life is hardly infested with rainbows & kittens (although this instalment does have a puppy). But I find myself picking up each book as much for the prose as for a compelling story. First of all, Jack Taylor. The man is a train wreck, still walking & breathing against all odds. In this outing he befriends a young american grad student named Boru Kennedy (no relation). They couldn't be more different. Boru is a naive academic & completely unprepared for Jack's introduction to Galway. Instead of writing his dissertation, he's dealing with attacks on the homeless & learning to enjoy Jameson's with breakfast. But Jack has an ulterior motive. There's a serial rapist in the city, a charismatic professor with friends in high places. Jack decides it's time to do what the justice system can't but needs an in to the world of academia. Like...oooh, I don't know...a grad student. Part one of the book takes the reader on tour with this odd pair as Jack works on his plan while teaching his protege how to live among the locals. Unfortunately, Boru makes a decision which sets off a chain of events no one could have predicted.  In part two, Jack takes another stab at sobriety after a horrible crime is committed. He's not looking for a partner but gets one in the person of Emerald, a tech savvy goth with more personalities than Sybil. She, too, wants to see the professor go down & with good reason.   This is celtic noir at its best. The Galway we see through Jack Taylor's eyes may be bleak & unrelentingly grim but this is frequently interrupted by his darkly funny comments & observations ("the only difference between a rut & a grave is the dimensions"). There are numerous musical & literary references that add a twist to conversations. Jeeze Louise, this guy is well read. But it never comes across as boastful & is particularly enjoyable if you're familiar with the source.  Bruen's style is fluid & poetic, full of ironic asides that make you smile in the middle of a dramatic scene. Jack's contentious relationship with the church continues as he struggles with the possibility of redemption. There are several returning characters, including his nemesis Supt. Clancy. And Emerald is a compelling new addition, one I hope we'll see again. By the end, some aspects of the case are resolved but at huge cost & the landscape behind Jack is littered with broken souls that add to his personal baggage. It's a quick read & you won't be able to stop, even if it's from between fingers of the hand covering your eyes.  To get your full money's worth, these should be read in order as there's a lot of history. And if you're a fan of clear linear narrative, it may not be the series for you. Personally, I wait for each book like an addict with the DT's. So if a smart, literate crime novel with great characters & black humour appeals, jump in.   

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 Jack Taylor is a wreck of a man, a heavy drinker, blunt to the extent of rudeness, with very few he can call friend, addicted to violence but if there is a miscarriage of justice to right he is the one you want on your side. He reads like there is no tomorrow and has his own moral compass. The novel is written to reflect the personality of Jack, blunt and to the point. There are no wasted words here and the humor is the sarcastic type or dark irony. A very different type of main character, ye 3.5 Jack Taylor is a wreck of a man, a heavy drinker, blunt to the extent of rudeness, with very few he can call friend, addicted to violence but if there is a miscarriage of justice to right he is the one you want on your side. He reads like there is no tomorrow and has his own moral compass. The novel is written to reflect the personality of Jack, blunt and to the point. There are no wasted words here and the humor is the sarcastic type or dark irony. A very different type of main character, yet something in this series speaks to me. Maybe it shows that there is some good in even the flawed and that there is someone there to right a wrong. In this one he meets his match in a young woman he comes in contact with, a young woman who changes her personalities like a chameleon. There is one part of this one I had a hard time with and if you are a animal lover you will too. A different type of series, one more bold and in your face but I love it. Many quotes from authors in this one which made it even more interesting. ARC from NetGalley.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    The first installment of the Jack Taylor books began back in 2001 with a book called "The Guards" and if you haven't read the back story this volume may not be the best place to begin the series. With "Green Hell" Mr. Bruen is back in full force telling us the further adventures of Jack Taylor and his adventures in Galway the fourth most populous urban area in the Republic of Ireland. In "Green Hell" American Rhodes scholar Boru Kennedy, who narrates much of this book, has come to Galway to write The first installment of the Jack Taylor books began back in 2001 with a book called "The Guards" and if you haven't read the back story this volume may not be the best place to begin the series. With "Green Hell" Mr. Bruen is back in full force telling us the further adventures of Jack Taylor and his adventures in Galway the fourth most populous urban area in the Republic of Ireland. In "Green Hell" American Rhodes scholar Boru Kennedy, who narrates much of this book, has come to Galway to write a treatise on Samuel Beckett. When muggers attack Boru, Jack saves him from grievous harm. This causes Boru to change the direction of his research from Beckett to Taylor. There is much drinking, violence and rage in this story yet what makes this chapter unique is the introduction of compelling new character, Emerald de Burgo - a young woman whose appearance changes completely depending on whatever mood or personality she feels like adopting on a given day. She matches Jack for determination and propensity for violence. This is a highly enjoyable page turner that utilizes Mr. Bruens sparse storytelling style. For those interested Netfix now has six chapters of "Jack Taylor" available for streaming, If you enjoy the books the six episodes (each about 1 1/2 hours) are also compelling viewing, but are not exactly like the books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Still

    Interesting take. The first 2/3rds of the book are told first person narrative by a new character, an American studying the life of Beckett for his degree. He meets Jack Taylor after Jack intervenes while the American student is having the Jesus stomped out of him by a couple of teenage toughs. He becomes Jack's pal, a hanger-on as Jack Taylor takes him on nightly tours of Galway. Proudly showing the "Yank" the lowest dives, his favorite pubs. Meantime, there's a monster stalking, raping, and tortu Interesting take. The first 2/3rds of the book are told first person narrative by a new character, an American studying the life of Beckett for his degree. He meets Jack Taylor after Jack intervenes while the American student is having the Jesus stomped out of him by a couple of teenage toughs. He becomes Jack's pal, a hanger-on as Jack Taylor takes him on nightly tours of Galway. Proudly showing the "Yank" the lowest dives, his favorite pubs. Meantime, there's a monster stalking, raping, and torturing young women. Stealing their souls. Destroying their youthful bravado, their visions of themselves as capable young ladies. And worst of all the bastard's doing it in plain view. He's a gentleman and a professor of literature. Jack also has a new girlfriend. She's suffering from a wheelbarrow full of mental ailments... though suffering isn't the word for it. She's a bi-polar sociopath given to wild flights of mayhem with a penchant for creative violence. Ken Bruen whips up a souffle of the usual Jack Taylor novel, multiple plots, lots of action, lots of lists, and recommendations for terrific crime novels and cutting edge mini-series you might find of interest. Not the best Jack Taylor novel but if you read even one of the entries in the series you have to read them all. Recommended to any and all Ken Bruen addicts.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mathews

    I have not previously read this author so it took a bit of getting used to. At the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this audiobook but resigned myself to listening to it as I received it on condition that I give it a fair review. Boy was I mistaken. This particular volume starts out somewhat like the 100th epidode of a television series with American Boru Kennedy forgoing his dissertation on Samuel Beckett to research the life and career of the well lubricated ex-Garda officer Jack T I have not previously read this author so it took a bit of getting used to. At the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this audiobook but resigned myself to listening to it as I received it on condition that I give it a fair review. Boy was I mistaken. This particular volume starts out somewhat like the 100th epidode of a television series with American Boru Kennedy forgoing his dissertation on Samuel Beckett to research the life and career of the well lubricated ex-Garda officer Jack Taylor. Many are the scenes where Kennedy listens to Jack Taylor anecdotes from a variety of interviewees. These interviews are interspersed with scenes where Jack himself is on the trail of a serial rapist that the church authorities are protecting. The story changes perspective radically when Boru is arrested for the assaults that Jack is investigation. From there, the reader sees the story from Jack’s point of view. Taylor himself reminds me somewhat of an Irish version of Matthew Scudder in When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes (a book in which Scudder is unburdened by the burden of sobriety). He seems to have burned more bridges than most people cross in a lifetime. Ken Bruen writes with a snappy, machine-gun bullet style that one would expect more from a San Francisco beat poet than an Irish mystery writer. “I told him I was an atheist and he laughed, loud and warm. He had one of those truly epic laughs. It was so rare but when he let go, it was all-embracing. His eyes and his wounded spirit on song. Said, ‘See how that flies when a fucker shoves a gun in your mouth at three-thirty in the morning.’ Riddle me that. The books he was reading in those last days. As if he knew something. Satan, your Kingdom must Come down…. (Massive Attack) Playing while I perused the book titles. “Perused” A fifty-euro sound bite, Jack said. Adding, “That track used in two TV series: Hannibal And Lector.” Unfortunately, this style of writing does not lend itself well to audio recordings. The spaces in the written copy that provide invaluable assistance in understanding the pace of the story are absent in the audio recording requiring a great deal of effort from the listener to follow along. In addition, British reader John Lee, while generally an able narrator, does an unconvincing job of sounding like the Boston-born graduate student that or the burned out Irish tough the narrator is supposed to be. In his defense, Lee’s sing-song voice began to grow on me and eventually melded with the story like bongo drums at the Gaslight Club. Bottom line: Ken Bruen has written a story as gritty and hardboiled as it gets. Add to it the aforementioned poetic style, a shot of Jameson’s and a good splash of Irish profanity and you have a good story that could be read in an evening. I encourage you to give it a shot. *Quotations are cited from an advanced reading copy and may not be the same as appears in the final published edition. The review book was based on an advanced reading copy obtained at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. While this does take any ‘not worth what I paid for it’ statements out of my review, it otherwise has no impact on the content of my review. FYI: On a 5-point scale I assign stars based on my assessment of what the book needs in the way of improvements: • 5 Stars – Nothing at all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. • 4 Stars – It could stand for a few tweaks here and there but it’s pretty good as it is. • 3 Stars – A solid C grade. Some serious rewriting would be needed in order for this book to be considered good or memorable. • 2 Stars – This book needs a lot of work. A good start would be to change the plot, the character development, the writing style and the ending. • 1 Star - The only thing that would improve this book is a good bonfire.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lynx

    If you are new to the series do yourself a favour and start from the beginning. Ken Bruen is a fantastic writer with a knack for noir who keeps his descriptions brief and pointed, adds a surprising amount of humour and loves making frequent pop culture references. In this Jack Taylor novel we follow him and a new kick ass character named Emerald as they hunt down a College Professor who has been abusing his female students. As usual Bruen gives us everything we love in a Jack Taylor novel, looki If you are new to the series do yourself a favour and start from the beginning. Ken Bruen is a fantastic writer with a knack for noir who keeps his descriptions brief and pointed, adds a surprising amount of humour and loves making frequent pop culture references. In this Jack Taylor novel we follow him and a new kick ass character named Emerald as they hunt down a College Professor who has been abusing his female students. As usual Bruen gives us everything we love in a Jack Taylor novel, looking forward to the next. 4.5/5 *Thank you Mysterious Press and Edelweiss for this review copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paige Ellen Stone

    One of the questions above asks if the characters are one dimensional, developed, or complex. If there is a more complex character in literature, especially noir literature, than Jack Taylor, then i have failed to come across that character. This volume starts out in a different manner than the previous ten entries in the series. It begins with an introduction from the perspective of one of the characters in the novel. I can't say that this is all that different from the other Jack Taylor novels One of the questions above asks if the characters are one dimensional, developed, or complex. If there is a more complex character in literature, especially noir literature, than Jack Taylor, then i have failed to come across that character. This volume starts out in a different manner than the previous ten entries in the series. It begins with an introduction from the perspective of one of the characters in the novel. I can't say that this is all that different from the other Jack Taylor novels Bruen has penned, perhaps a bit darker, if that is possible. It is full of Jack's relationships to various lowlife of Galway, lots of drinking, lots of violence and one hell of a mystery as to just who one of the female characters is and what she represents to Jack. One part that I particularly enjoyed was Bruen's occasional references to the role Iain Glen plays in game of thrones. Glen, is, of course, the actor who plays Jack Taylor in some superbly made for television movies. There are other "inside jokes" for followers of the book series, which just adds to the fun, for this reader, at least. The question that has to be raised, at this point, is how long can Jack Taylor, drunkard, pill-popper, champion of justice in his own brutal way and master of kindness in his own way, continue to live the live he lives. For me, I don't care as long as Bruen keeps Taylor fans' appetites sated with his almost yearly entry to the series. I have no question that he is the master of the noir genre writing today. This book, like all the Taylor novels is a fast read and will make for great summer reading, if your soul has an attraction for some of the darkest places humans can go... Highest recommendation.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    In a departure from the usual, the first half of this book is written from the first person perspective of someone other than Jack. I enjoyed this because there are insights to be gained other than from Jack’s own inner (often twisted) dialogue. Boru is an American college student whom Jack has rescued from a beating by a group of thugs. They become, if not quite friends, certainly drinking buddies. Through Boru’s eyes I could sense that strangely magnetic effect that Jack seems to have on the p In a departure from the usual, the first half of this book is written from the first person perspective of someone other than Jack. I enjoyed this because there are insights to be gained other than from Jack’s own inner (often twisted) dialogue. Boru is an American college student whom Jack has rescued from a beating by a group of thugs. They become, if not quite friends, certainly drinking buddies. Through Boru’s eyes I could sense that strangely magnetic effect that Jack seems to have on the people around him. There’s also a new player introduced and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of her in the future. I guess if there is a moral to this story it’s surely “don’t get attached.” That goes not only for Jack but for the reader as well. I’m a little ticked about things in this book but I won’t put any spoilers here. Ah well, what can I say? It wouldn’t be a Jack Taylor book if I didn’t feel fairly beat up by the end.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Is Azathoth

    REVIEW: GREEN HELL by Ken Bruen Series protagonist Jack Taylor is a sort of dystopian society all by himself. Not only is he a mess personally, but like an interpersonal whirlpool, he magnetizes others into his vortex, and then drags them right down as well. I guess I could call him a point man of Galway Dystopian Noir, a category with a flavor all its own--and its personification is Jack Taylor. GREEN HELL is the 11th in the Jack Taylor series from acclaimed Irish author Ken Bruen.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ron Panarotti

    I made my way through the first half of "Green Hell" thinking that Ken Bruen was going to deliver something truly powerful, memorable and emotionally devastating. This book -- the 11th in Bruen's series about alcoholic private eye Jack Taylor -- is told from the point of view of a new character, Boru Kennedy. He's an American who comes to Ireland on scholarship and winds up befriending Jack and getting involved in his latest case, in which a professor seems to be the culprit in a series of bruta I made my way through the first half of "Green Hell" thinking that Ken Bruen was going to deliver something truly powerful, memorable and emotionally devastating. This book -- the 11th in Bruen's series about alcoholic private eye Jack Taylor -- is told from the point of view of a new character, Boru Kennedy. He's an American who comes to Ireland on scholarship and winds up befriending Jack and getting involved in his latest case, in which a professor seems to be the culprit in a series of brutal killings of young female students. Truth be told, the "mysteries" and detective work are not the strong points of this series, and never have been. They are sometimes a bit flimsy. These are not so much crime novels as they are stories in which crimes take place -- a point the author explicitly makes. The reason to read these books is Bruen's prose and the chance to get inside Taylor's head, enjoying his running commentary on the state of an Ireland he loves that seems to be forever changing from his own nostalgic ideal (which may or may not ever have really existed). Throughout the first half, as Boru tells the story, he interviews a number of characters we have encountered throughout the series, with the intention of writing a book about Jack's life. I had the feeling that, finally, this was Bruen's exclamation point on the series -- an epitaph in which, after so many tragedies and bad judgment calls, Jack was to be allowed some kind of redemption. Readers who have followed this series know that he's lost countless friends and loved ones, either to death or to alienation, often as the result of his own alcohol-fueled actions or decisions. Jack himself now walks with a permanent limp, needs a hearing aid, has had his teeth knocked out several times and has had a couple of fingers chopped off. It's become a bit like the Monty Python skit in which the knight keeps having limbs hacked off -- after a while it's just absurd. You don't see how this guy can keep going on. As I got into the second half, the sense of promise I felt quickly dissolved. The book shifts back to Jack's normal first-person narration, and some unexpected (and, it seemed to me, arbitrary) plot twists provided plenty of violence -- particularly disturbing are some explicit scenes involving animal cruelty. The case is resolved despite Jack's involvement, not because of it. Some characters meet unfair and disturbing ends. Others just vanish, with their fates left unresolved. The message, ultimately, seems to be that there are sometimes instances in life where there is no justice. I can only assume that holds true for readers too. The first few books in this series were strong and compelling, but it seems to me that Jack has been living on borrowed time for at least five or six books now. The series has become increasingly surreal and bizarre -- in an earlier book, Jack encountered a guy who may actually be Satan. In this installment, he meets a guy in a bar who is an author of crime fiction that has been panned by the critics. Turns out this guy had been held prisoner in some South American country earlier in his life. These details seem to suggest that Bruen is now making himself a character in his own story. Touches like this are odd and ultimately distracting. I thought "Green Hell" was going to be something special, but I came away disappointed. Jack really should have died long ago, probably at his own hand, as a result of the violence and chaos that have shattered not only his life but those of the people closest to him. Far from being his Reichenbach Falls, this story is just another arbitrary excursion into weirdness and violence. If this series is to continue, I'd suggest a dramatic change of pace. Why not transplant Jack to America, an idea we've been teased with in previous books but it's never actually happened. That's a trip I'd be interested in taking.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Ken Bruen flips the script on his Jack Taylor series with the 11th instalment focusing on a writer penning a book about the former Guard turned sometime private detective. It presents a unique take on Taylor with Jack’s life unfolding in the third person by a narrator who slowly evolves into a copycat of Jack (to an extent anyway). The second half of Green Hell is where things get back to normal with Jack at the forefront of a murder investigation. Again, the situation Jack finds himself, much l Ken Bruen flips the script on his Jack Taylor series with the 11th instalment focusing on a writer penning a book about the former Guard turned sometime private detective. It presents a unique take on Taylor with Jack’s life unfolding in the third person by a narrator who slowly evolves into a copycat of Jack (to an extent anyway). The second half of Green Hell is where things get back to normal with Jack at the forefront of a murder investigation. Again, the situation Jack finds himself, much like the first portion on the book is uniquely written as he’s more second fiddle than main gig thanks to the introduction of Emerald, a clever new character we see more of in later books. Green Hell is a book that will grow on you. initially I wasn't sure if I liked the change in pace compared to the previous installments but Jack got me in the end. Another top notch entry into the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Derrick

    Jack Taylor – the king of having one’s life spiral out of control no matter how good their intentions are. In the previous 10 novels in this series by Bruen, we have witnessed Taylor as he had friends, lost friends, cared for friends, couldn’t care less about friends, and every where in between. Taylor has become a character that it seems no good can come to, but certainly nothing worse could happen to…but oh boy are you wrong if you think that! This novel brings us a Taylor who aids a young scho Jack Taylor – the king of having one’s life spiral out of control no matter how good their intentions are. In the previous 10 novels in this series by Bruen, we have witnessed Taylor as he had friends, lost friends, cared for friends, couldn’t care less about friends, and every where in between. Taylor has become a character that it seems no good can come to, but certainly nothing worse could happen to…but oh boy are you wrong if you think that! This novel brings us a Taylor who aids a young scholar, a Yankee on loan from America from being mugged and gets himself a new friend. The story is told by said Yankee as he attempts to get to know Taylor by conversing with him and Taylor’s friends, so he can pen a book about Taylor. As he investigates Taylor through meetings with characters we have met in previous Taylor novels, we get a bit too much of a recap of previous adventures that have ended in dismay for our unlikely hero. Taylor is chasing after a college professor who preys on young college girls and has his crimes covered up by friend in high places. If you know Taylor, you know this set-up doesn’t sit well with him and he is determined to find justice for the wronged girl, one who has committed suicide after what she lives through. We get vintage Bruen in this offering and that is great news for those of us who have awaited his latest Taylor novel. While I didn’t like the constant flashback, retellings of previous novels, it was a good read with the stripped down writing style we have grown to know as classic Bruen.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robert Intriago

    As dark as previous books but a little bit disjointed. The book is divided into two parts. The first part is narrated by an American graduate student doing research on Samuel Beckett that decides to write a book about Jack Taylor. He goes back and interviews several friends and foes of Jack, but then gets into trouble. The second part is narrated by Jack and involves him trying to get the student out of trouble and solving a series of rapes of young female students. Bruen introduces a new charac As dark as previous books but a little bit disjointed. The book is divided into two parts. The first part is narrated by an American graduate student doing research on Samuel Beckett that decides to write a book about Jack Taylor. He goes back and interviews several friends and foes of Jack, but then gets into trouble. The second part is narrated by Jack and involves him trying to get the student out of trouble and solving a series of rapes of young female students. Bruen introduces a new character, Emerald, and I hope she returns in future books now that Stuart is no longer there. The dialogue is still mesmerizing and the action vivid. If you are a Bruen fan, you will not be disappointed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Herb Hastings

    I love this author and was thrilled to get this book for Father's Day. The story follows the broken Jack Taylor on his rage and alcohol fueled passage through a few months of life in Galway. Anyone familiar with this series knows that his life is full of drink, drugs, and bastards deserving punishment. You would also know that Jack is steeped in pain and loss. People he cares about end up dead or worse, hating him. Bruen's books are also snapshots of a changing Ireland. The once powerful Catholic I love this author and was thrilled to get this book for Father's Day. The story follows the broken Jack Taylor on his rage and alcohol fueled passage through a few months of life in Galway. Anyone familiar with this series knows that his life is full of drink, drugs, and bastards deserving punishment. You would also know that Jack is steeped in pain and loss. People he cares about end up dead or worse, hating him. Bruen's books are also snapshots of a changing Ireland. The once powerful Catholic church is held in barely contained contempt. The culture is being diluted by American influences at all levels. Sit back with any Bruen book and drink in the language and the story, both have the potential of bringing a tear to your eye and some anger to your soul.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mike Hughes

    Got this book from netgalley.com. I Put aside the new stephen king and michael connelly books to read this one first, and wasnt disappointed. This was a little different from the rest of the Taylor books, had two parts, two different points of view. Didnt know how i felt about that at first, but once Part 2 of the book began i was hooked, second half of book was awesome, pure Jack Tayor!! loved the new character of Emerald, hope we see more of her in the future!! needless to say i loved the book Got this book from netgalley.com. I Put aside the new stephen king and michael connelly books to read this one first, and wasnt disappointed. This was a little different from the rest of the Taylor books, had two parts, two different points of view. Didnt know how i felt about that at first, but once Part 2 of the book began i was hooked, second half of book was awesome, pure Jack Tayor!! loved the new character of Emerald, hope we see more of her in the future!! needless to say i loved the book and want to thank the publisher for letting me read it early and have the chance to review it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    There aren’t many fictional detectives as broken and battered as Jack Taylor. Whether its struggles with sobriety, strained or ruined relationships, serious issues with the Catholic Church, or confrontations with the evil that men do, Jack somehow always manages to carry on. Yet it’s not all darkness as Bruen’s poetic prose and biting wit shine through. A great addition to the series. Thank you to Grove/Atlantic, Mysterious Press, and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Josh Stallings

    My god, what a book. Bruen flips the genre on its ass, spins it twice and comes out winning. Hell of a book and literary style piece.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    I read Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor novels just to savor the spell of the story he spins. Sometimes the language is lyrical and poetic, sometime harsh and crude, asit tells a story that lays bare the darkness of Jack's very dark soul. Jack is the true anti-hero with not much to admire about him on the surface. He drinks too much, uses pills, and fends off kindness with cold sarcasm. Within though, he remembers every hurt, whether delivered or recieved ; he regrets all the lost friends and lovers. His I read Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor novels just to savor the spell of the story he spins. Sometimes the language is lyrical and poetic, sometime harsh and crude, asit tells a story that lays bare the darkness of Jack's very dark soul. Jack is the true anti-hero with not much to admire about him on the surface. He drinks too much, uses pills, and fends off kindness with cold sarcasm. Within though, he remembers every hurt, whether delivered or recieved ; he regrets all the lost friends and lovers. His thorny exterior hides a soft center. In " Green Hell" a young Irish-american student from Boston, Boru Kennedy, is in Ireland to research a dissertation of Samuel Beckett. Somehow having heard of Taylor, Boru finds Jack and falls under his spell. Interviewing Jack's few friends and associates, Kennedy fails to remember the one lesson all have learned-anyone who gets close to Jack Taylor winds up hurt,one way or another. The more time Boru spends alongside Jack, the more he emulates him, drinking and abusing pills, pushing people away. When he asks Taylor to help bring justice to a Lit professor who likes to abuse coeds, the outcome cannot be good. tI isn't. I look forward to every new Ken Bruen novel. They are dark, touching and unforgettable

  19. 4 out of 5

    Owlsinger

    It's amazing how many people who come in contact with Jack Taylor wind up dead; most, not by his hand, but - somehow - because of him. // Glad to see that Ridge survived, but wow...what a hardass! // Also glad to see that Mr. Tough Guy has a soft spot for puppies; just don't mess with his!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    I've been a fan of Ken Bruen's wonderful noir Jack Taylor books since the very first, The Guards, and I doubt that I will ever forget my reaction to the gut-wrenching ending of The Dramatist. This is not a series to read when you're feeling low and needing a pick-me-up. Jack Taylor may have the soul of a poet, but he has enough flaws for two people, his addictions will always be with him, and he can turn extremely violent in the blink of an eye. But there's something about the way Bruen writes t I've been a fan of Ken Bruen's wonderful noir Jack Taylor books since the very first, The Guards, and I doubt that I will ever forget my reaction to the gut-wrenching ending of The Dramatist. This is not a series to read when you're feeling low and needing a pick-me-up. Jack Taylor may have the soul of a poet, but he has enough flaws for two people, his addictions will always be with him, and he can turn extremely violent in the blink of an eye. But there's something about the way Bruen writes this man that makes me care deeply for him, regardless of how lost or hopeless he is. Jack is lost, Jack is hopeless, for the simple reason that he cares so much, and it's a difficult thing to watch someone whose heart and intentions are so good continue to do things that can be so bad. In Green Hell, once again Jack is dealing with someone who's seemingly above the law. As far as he's concerned, he has nothing to lose, so he welcomes the chance to mete out some long overdue justice. Since Jack no longer has friends, Bruen has paired him up with two opposites: a naive young American and a mysterious Goth girl. Having been saved from what could've been a deadly beating, Boru Kennedy is a young American who's completely under Jack's spell. To him Jack may as well be an Irish Don Quixote tilting at Galway's windmills of injustice. Kennedy's thesis on Becket used to take up his every waking thought, but now he can't get enough of Jack, and through his obsession, readers get to see Taylor through completely new eyes. Emerald the Goth girl refuses to be pinned down. Is she temptress, joker, damsel in distress, or the purest form of retribution? Jack seems a bit dazzled and unable to make up his mind just what she's up to-- or if she's up to anything at all. With its new sidekicks, Green Hell has a different feel-- an almost retrospective one-- to the other books in the series, and I enjoyed little touches like Ziggy and a postcard about The Poisoned Pen bookstore. But Jack is a bit too much out of control in this one, and as a result the book doesn't have the full power of several of the earlier books. But it's impossible for me to stop in Ireland without going to Galway to check on Jack Taylor. He's the kind of guy you never ever forget-- and one that you never stop hoping will have just a tiny smidgen of good luck. Just once.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mike Sumner

    Jack Taylor #11. Devoured in one sitting. Cannot remember the last time I did that. That is three JTs back-to-back. KB completely wrong footed me at the end of number 10. Learning that in number 11 was something of a relief. This is an avalanche of a book, thudding, staccato paced, page turner in Ken Bruen's sharp prose. Jack's friends are gone and he has, once again, given in to his addictions. He still maintains a sense of justice; takes up a vigilante case against a professor of literature who Jack Taylor #11. Devoured in one sitting. Cannot remember the last time I did that. That is three JTs back-to-back. KB completely wrong footed me at the end of number 10. Learning that in number 11 was something of a relief. This is an avalanche of a book, thudding, staccato paced, page turner in Ken Bruen's sharp prose. Jack's friends are gone and he has, once again, given in to his addictions. He still maintains a sense of justice; takes up a vigilante case against a professor of literature who has a very nasty habit... rescues an American student from street thugs, encounters Emerald, an edgy young woman - Goth in the wind - and does what Jack does - remorselessly - fuelled with the black and a large Jay... I love this series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan Downing

    Sometimes I wonder where Goodreads gets its information. Why my copy has 232 pages and they claim over 300 for what appears to be the same book is a mystery. What is not a mystery is the greatness of Ken Bruen. He has the knack for noir and the talent for literature. The present volume wraps around his Jack Taylor character in prose hard and tight. I am simply awaiting the next book with impatience and the assurance it will be wonderfully done. In the mean time he has, as usual, mentioned many aut Sometimes I wonder where Goodreads gets its information. Why my copy has 232 pages and they claim over 300 for what appears to be the same book is a mystery. What is not a mystery is the greatness of Ken Bruen. He has the knack for noir and the talent for literature. The present volume wraps around his Jack Taylor character in prose hard and tight. I am simply awaiting the next book with impatience and the assurance it will be wonderfully done. In the mean time he has, as usual, mentioned many authors I admire, and a few unknown to me; territory to be explored. His recommendations have yet to disappoint, and in this outing he has added TV series, although he neglected "The Wire" and "True Crime", both of which I thought superb. Makes me wonder how good his cited shows must be. Highly Recommended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kivrin Engle

    Those of you who know me, know that I do love a well-written detective/police procedural series. Once, I introduced my brother to Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series. With that in mind, more recently, he handed me Green Hell, by Ken Bruen. And, I broke one of my cardinal series reading rules; I started reading this book, the 11th in the Jack Taylor series. Crazy, I know. Let me tell you though, it worked out just fine. Half of this story is the story of Jack, as seen through an American college s Those of you who know me, know that I do love a well-written detective/police procedural series. Once, I introduced my brother to Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series. With that in mind, more recently, he handed me Green Hell, by Ken Bruen. And, I broke one of my cardinal series reading rules; I started reading this book, the 11th in the Jack Taylor series. Crazy, I know. Let me tell you though, it worked out just fine. Half of this story is the story of Jack, as seen through an American college student’s eyes. I got to know the rogue private eye and familiarize myself with some of his past. Loved the poetic noirish writing style, the music/literary references, the cast of support characters. And then there’s Jack. What is it about these alcohol-fueled, arrogant, bad boy, good-hearted detectives? I adore them. Now, to begin at the beginning.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex Bantz

    I was really excited to see a new Jack taylor book that I had not read yet. I have liked all the others and is one of my favorite authors. But, I did not care for this at all, perhaps was the formatting on the kindle ebook version was reading. It had a much different flow and style from the others at the beginning, a very anti climactic conclusion and some very unnecessary gruesomeness involving a puppy that did not really add to the story and could almost guess was coming anyway. There was a mid I was really excited to see a new Jack taylor book that I had not read yet. I have liked all the others and is one of my favorite authors. But, I did not care for this at all, perhaps was the formatting on the kindle ebook version was reading. It had a much different flow and style from the others at the beginning, a very anti climactic conclusion and some very unnecessary gruesomeness involving a puppy that did not really add to the story and could almost guess was coming anyway. There was a middle 1/3 of the book that felt more like the Jack Taylor series I was used to and enjoyed but it did not last long.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    If Hunter S. Thompson had written crime fiction, his style might have resembled Bruen's. If James Crumley were to say "Hell with it" and cut out every other word, he might capture the irreverent immediacy of Bruen's style. But Bruen is unique. His books are peppered with profanity, pop culture, and pathos. He is a delight to read if you like your mysteries straight with no filler.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Devoured this book in two hours after waiting a good long time to get my hands on it. As always, few words...so much said. Bruen continues to be a poetic master, pulling emotions, tugging at memories, twisting the life of Jack Taylor further than you think it can ever go. It always takes me a while to come down after reading a Taylor book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    Bruen's writing style is unusual, terse and almost choppy (deliberately so ) in places. But his characters are so beautifully drawn, and his plots so darkly compelling, that it works. Jack Taylor, ex-cop with a drinking problem and a noble but tortured soul, is one of the best characters of this type. Novels are best read in order to fully appreciate the changes in Jack's life.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This is one of the strangest books I've ever read. It is a strange mix of bad poetry and prose. Didn't have much cohesion as far as I was concerned, but it was readable. I've read 5 other books by him and this one just seemed to be a bad mixture of Charles Bukowski and Kurt Vonnegut. If this would have been the 1st book in a series it might have made sense, but it is the 11th.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alan Taylor

    Poetic noir, violent, bleak but shot through with humour. It always takes a chapter or two to get into the rhythm of a Ken Bruen novel but, once there, especially in the company of Jack Taylor, you're immersed - you read with the taste of Jameson's and blood in your mouth. The taste of Green Hell will linger...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robert James

    You wouldn't think there could be any more levels of misery inflicted on poor Jack Taylor but obviously there are and hopefully Mr. Bruen will discover more. There are elements of this book that are heartbreaking and I don't know why a living being would get close to Mr. Taylor because misfortune will find you.

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