Monday, August 24, 2009

The Way Home - George Pelecanos

The Way Home was the first book I've read by George Pelecanos.

Chris Flynn has had every advantage in life. His father Thomas wants him to succeed in life. But teen aged Chris seems determined to do everything in his power to make sure he doesn't. He winds up in a juvenile detention centre. Thomas cannot understand where he went wrong with Chris.

When Chris is released, he tries to make a go of things. He's working for his father's flooring company, lives on his and has met a woman he believes he can spend his life with. When Chris and his partner Ben come across a cache of money during a carpet installation, things start to deviate from the path of straight and true.

Although this is a crime story and a heck of a good one, the story of the relationship between Chris and his father was what intrigued me. Thomas is such a hard a**, expecting so much from his son, but unable to give Chris back the love and respect he craves. As Chris tries to do the right thing, he is constantly battling his father's notion of who he was, not who he has become. A really intense story of love between a father and son.

Now when I say that this was the first Pelecanos I had read, I actually listened to the unabridged version on CD. It was read by Dion Graham , who won Audiophile magazine's 2008 best voice in mystery and suspense award. And what a voice. Deep and husky, harsh and grating, full of smoky mystery. I actually didn't like the character of Thomas very much. Graham conveyed the petulance and anger of Thomas through his voice. Chris' laconic drawl and slow burning resentment are captured in yet another voice that drew a perfect picture in my mind. Various other characters, including the boys in juvie jump to life as well. Graham uses his voice to capture the nuances of the conversations and narration.

I enjoyed this very much. A good, gritty story that used the mystery as a vehicle to explore relationships between fathers, sons and friends.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I really liked this book, too. I liked that it explored the father son relationship. I think Chris lived up to his dad's expectations of him.