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For such a bleak narrative, it was a joy to read Jonathan Ames You Were Never Really Here Only 97 pages, there is not a wasted word or phrase in this book I know Ames admires the work of Richard Stark, and clearly, he learned from the master Ames is mostly a humorous writer of essays and fiction, so the noir writing is a new avenue for him It s a perfect example of how to tell a tale I don t want to get into the plotting of this story, because that s for the reader to know and enjoy, but For such a bleak narrative, it was a joy to read Jonathan Ames You Were Never Really Here Only 97 pages, there is not a wasted word or phrase in this book I know Ames admires the work of Richard Stark, and clearly, he learned from the master Ames is mostly a humorous writer of essays and fiction, so the noir writing is a new avenue for him It s a perfect example of how to tell a tale I don t want to get into the plotting of this story, because that s for the reader to know and enjoy, but everything is explained, the past, the present, and perhaps the future The film version I saw right after reading this book, and that too is exceptional It s fascinating to compare the screen and book, and how they are different, yet totally respectful of Ames vision See the film and do read this book Especially if you are a fan of noir fiction 3.5 starsA soon to be released movie, this book is crime noir at it s best Our protagonist, Joe, is a former Marine and former FBI agent who now is a man for hire His specialty is finding young girls sold into the sex trade He is called into a very unusual case and once he has his hands on the targeted girl, things seem to come unwound I had not read Ames before, but believe that he usually writes humor If that is the case, he has hid his cold blooded thriller image very well This story to 3.5 starsA soon to be released movie, this book is crime noir at it s best Our protagonist, Joe, is a former Marine and former FBI agent who now is a man for hire His specialty is finding young girls sold into the sex trade He is called into a very unusual case and once he has his hands on the targeted girl, things seem to come unwound I had not read Ames before, but believe that he usually writes humor If that is the case, he has hid his cold blooded thriller image very well This story touching on the sex trade, does not go into detail, but lays out enough of a picture to make this novel worth reading I will say that I did not like the ending, but will not elaborate any further I am not sure having read this Black Lizard crime novel by Ames that I would be satisfied reading a humorous book by him I will however look forof his man for hire, Joe If revenge is a dish best served cold, Joe the main character of this story is serving up some icy entrees If this story were a person it d be lying passed out face first on the floor of a dive bar in a puddle of various human and some inhuman liquids, covered in cuts and bruises and, upon hearing your approach, would stagger upright, spit out a tooth, take a double shot of whiskey and lurch outwards to pick a new fight with anyone The shadow of death and hopeless despair hangs over this s If revenge is a dish best served cold, Joe the main character of this story is serving up some icy entrees If this story were a person it d be lying passed out face first on the floor of a dive bar in a puddle of various human and some inhuman liquids, covered in cuts and bruises and, upon hearing your approach, would stagger upright, spit out a tooth, take a double shot of whiskey and lurch outwards to pick a new fight with anyone The shadow of death and hopeless despair hangs over this story and I love it Jonathan Ames is best known for his excellent and cancelled long before its time HBO series Bored to Death , a comedic detective series about an inept amateur sleuth and his friends solving cute and silly mysteries while stoned, in and around Manhattan This ominously titled story You Were Never Really Here is the polar opposite to that show s tone This story is pitch black noir at its finest Joe is a past middle aged hitman with a troubled past Beaten ruthlessly by a now dead alcoholic father in his youth, he took his psychologically scarred self into the marines and got trained up to kill and fight, becoming the best Leaving the army he went to work at the FBI and when he left he found employment working as an assassin for hire Now living with his senile and deaf mother, he heads out on a case for a politician that goes pear shaped when he realises too late the mob are involved and things aren t as they seem Now, Joe, a jaded and worn out man, armed with a hammer, sets out to save an innocent girl s life no matter what the cost to himself because he doesn t have anything left to live for A highly skilled killer with a deathwish on a mission is there anything better to read The unstoppable tough guy is a trope we ve all read many times before, in books and comics and film, but it s told again and again because when it s done well, it s compelling as hell and Ames writing is so good, that this story is well worth reading The writing isn t as lifeless and limp as Lee Child or James Patterson, though the story is similar to something both would write, but reads muchvibrantly and intelligently It s still exciting and dark and full of action but Joe as a character really feels like a person and Ames deft touch gives meat to the story which would otherwise in summary feel too straightforward to be interesting Ames writing is Chandler esque but modern all the archetypes are here but feel updated andvisceral What s amazing too is that it s only around 50 pages long but feels like Ames got an entire 300 page novel reduced to the bare minimum in this story By the end, I could ve read another 200 pages easily I d gotten to know Joe and wanted to see him continue his avenging mission, right to the end here s hoping Ames decides to develop this short story into somethingsubstantial, and if he does, I m there If you enjoy Raymond Chandler, Michael Connelly, Frank Miller s The Hard Goodbye for Marv , Garth Ennis The Punisher MAX series, the movie Taken , and of course Jonathan Ames previous writings, this one is right up your alley You Were Never Really Here is an amazing short story, well worth checking out Read it wearing your best fedora Novella Made into a movie Ex soldier Ex fbi Now Pi On a mission to find a kidnapped daughter Her father is a senator It goes downhill. I really enjoyed this one I was utterly gripped throughout right up until the ending or, rather, the lack of an ending.I suppose you could argue this abrupt ending was dramatic and ominous but I just came away feeling like the author got bored with the story and couldn t be bothered to write any Knowing what I know of Ames from reading his non fiction I find this entirely plausible.Still, as I said, right up until the somewhat lack lustre ending, this was absolutely great. This novella packs a punch in its short pages You Were Never Really Here opens with some action and the pace never stops until the end I had no idea what to expect when I started it, but by the end I was wishing it was a full novel because I didn t want it to end.I m not going to lie, I was drawing comparisons with a certain Mr Child and his Jack Reacher character while I was reading this book Joe is very similar to Reacher which in itself if was enough to make me want.The plot, for suc This novella packs a punch in its short pages You Were Never Really Here opens with some action and the pace never stops until the end I had no idea what to expect when I started it, but by the end I was wishing it was a full novel because I didn t want it to end.I m not going to lie, I was drawing comparisons with a certain Mr Child and his Jack Reacher character while I was reading this book Joe is very similar to Reacher which in itself if was enough to make me want.The plot, for such a short book, was gripping The sex trade is never an easy one to tackle, and especially not when you add in corruption and murder I found You Were Never Really here to be violent but unflinching read.I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and like I said, I only wish it was longer Seriously, that is my only criticism Gripping, violent, fast and full of action it is a brilliant novella So much detail, and excellent characterisation squeezed into so few pages and yet it is still superb You Were Never Really Here, by Jonathan Ames is a really dark book about a young girl kidnapped by the mob and used for prostitution and the man, Joe, who s hired to save her Joe is damaged and fully aware of his derangement Former FBI and former Marine, the culprit of Joe s aberration is an abusive father, dead during the telling of the story, but readers will know that the abuse lives on in Joe s psyche Joe is a hired gun, who works on the wrong side of the law Rescuing girls that have b You Were Never Really Here, by Jonathan Ames is a really dark book about a young girl kidnapped by the mob and used for prostitution and the man, Joe, who s hired to save her Joe is damaged and fully aware of his derangement Former FBI and former Marine, the culprit of Joe s aberration is an abusive father, dead during the telling of the story, but readers will know that the abuse lives on in Joe s psyche Joe is a hired gun, who works on the wrong side of the law Rescuing girls that have been kidnapped into prostitution is how Joe makes his living I can t help but wonder if Joe is saving these girls to try and save himself Their vulnerability must resemble the vulnerability he felt as a young child being beaten by an adult What Joe didn t grasp was that his sense of self had been carved, like a totem, by his father s beatings The only way for Joe to have survived his father s sadism was to believe that he deserved it, that it was justified, and that belief was still with him and could never be undone In this story, Senator Votto hires Joe to rescue his thirteen year old daughter who s been missing for a year Votto has received an anonymous text revealing his daughter s whereabouts, and he s hiring Joe to fetch her This is not going to be an easy fetch.I ve never read anything by Ames The movie trailer for the movie of the same name starring Joaquin Phoenix was my inspiration for reading this book I thought I d like to read the book before I watch the movie This book shows the dark, gritty side of abuse and sex trafficking This is a short book, less than 100 pages, a novella, and can be read easily in a part of a day I took three days to read this story, reading it in short bursts The writing is good it s not great, but I so admire the author for being able to relate so much in such a short space When I read the ending, I was like, What Wow and Really Then, there s got to be a sequel No, there s not Not a sequel Okay then What did I just read Well, it s powerful After watching the movie of the same name and ending up befuddled over what was just seen, I then read Jonathan Ames novella You Were Never Really Here and was pleasantly pleased with both Be forewarned, both are with graphic violence Also, if one intends to watch the film, I would suggest reading only about half of the novella And to be honest, I would do the reading before watching the film Unfortunately, aspects of the film are too ambiguous and reading half of the novella explains away After watching the movie of the same name and ending up befuddled over what was just seen, I then read Jonathan Ames novella You Were Never Really Here and was pleasantly pleased with both Be forewarned, both are with graphic violence Also, if one intends to watch the film, I would suggest reading only about half of the novella And to be honest, I would do the reading before watching the film Unfortunately, aspects of the film are too ambiguous and reading half of the novella explains away the ambiguity You Were Never Really Here is about a psychologically and physically damaged man named Joe and his downward spiral into madness and violence Joe is a war veteran and former FBI agent As an FBI agent, Joe mainly investigated human trafficking and after leaving the FBI, Joe now rescues children, mostly females, from victimization To tellwould offer too many spoilers What is favorable about the novella is that Ames does a very good job explaining how Joe has arrived where he is today and why he is the way he is Recommended to those that enjoy dark, unflinching fiction I ve always admired Jonathan Ames for how funny a writer he is And now it turns out he can write a cold blooded thriller, as well I m very annoyed and very impressed. ^Free ⇹ You Were Never Really Here ⇷ Now a major motion picture starring Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here is a gritty, harrowing story of corruption and one man s violent quest for vengeance Movie Tie in edition Vintage OriginalJoe has witnessed things that cannot be erased A former FBI agent and Marine, his abusive childhood has left him damaged beyond repair He has completely withdrawn from the world and earns his living rescuing girls who have been kidnapped into the sex tradeWhen he s hired to save the daughter of a corrupt New York senator held captive at a Manhattan brothel, he stumbles into a dangerous web of conspiracy, and he pays the price As Joe s small web of associates are picked off one by one, he realizes that he has no choice but to take the fight to the men who want him deadBrutal and redemptive in equal measure, You Were Never Really Here is a toxic shot of a thriller, laced with corruption, revenge and the darkest of inner demons