Read The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Manchette Online

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A deadly professional assassin prized for his aim and reflexes, Martin Terrier returns to Paris after his latest job determined to get out of the game Ten years ago he made a promise to return to his childhood sweetheart in the south of France, and he wants to get married and settle down But his employers have other plans A key target an Arab oil magnate is flying in to Paris, and there is only one man fit for the task of eliminating him As Martin is tailed southwards, it appears his employers will stop at nothing to regain his service In a style ruthlessly stripped of all sentiment, Jean Patrick Manchette delivers a masterclass in lean, muscular storytelling Each moment in the suspense plot is described in forensic detail, and violent shocks are executed with unflinching accuracy Perhaps most compelling are the tantalising glimpses betrayed by the barest physical ticks that Manchette offers us into the otherwise inscrutable inner life of his protagonist, the prone gunman....

Title : The Prone Gunman
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1852424745
ISBN13 : 978-1852424749
Format Type : Hardcover
Language : Englisch
Publisher : Serpent s Tail Auflage Main 6 November 2006
Number of Pages : 160 Seiten
File Size : 581 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Prone Gunman Reviews

  • Modus
    2019-03-25 17:49

    The Gunman (ursprünglich 'The prone gunman') ist ein französischer Noir-Thriller von 1981 und erzählt die Geschichte von Martin Terrier, einem Berufskiller, der aus dem Geschäft aussteigen will, was aber seine Auftraggeber nicht wollen - und ihm deshalb das Leben schwer machen. Dabei führt eins zum anderen, so dass die ganze Situation schließlich komplett eskaliert.Der Roman wurde - mit entsprechendem Coverbild - neu aufgelegt, weil er im letzten Jahr mit Sean Penn in der Hauptrolle verfilmt wurde (wobei die Handlung von Film und Buch nur wenig miteiander zu tun haben; aber dazu später).Der Roman ist immerhin fast vierzig Jahre alt und entspricht deshalb nicht den Erzählstrukturen und Stilmitteln, die man aus modernen Thrillern gewöhnt ist - was dazu führt, dass er etwas sperrig zu lesen ist. Das liegt insbesondere daran, dass das Geschehen konsequent aus einer Außenperspektive geschildert wird, d.h. man weiß als Leser zu keinem Zeitpunkt, was Terrier oder irgendeine andere Figur im Buch wirklich denken. Über die Motivation für so manche Wendung kann man also nur mutmaßen - was zwar auch seinen Reiz hat, aber auch viel Distanz zum Geschehen schafft. Mehr als eine Beschreibung der Gesichtsmimik gibt es nicht als Anhaltspunkt.Ohne Details zu verraten, kann man wohl sagen, dass 'The Gunman' zwar spannend ist, aber zugleich unendlich deprimierend - was natürlich typisch für das Noir-Genre ist. Es gibt viel Schatten und kein Licht. Die Charaktere sind fast durchgängig psychische Wracks oder Psychopathen oder beides, und zwar ohne das romantisch-verklärte Moment, das den modernen 'Tortured Hero' auszeichnet - der am Ende dann doch noch Rettung erfährt. Hier wird keiner gerettet. Oder wenn doch, dann nur auf eine Weise, die sich wie Pest zu Cholera als Alternative verhält. Der Protagonist ist ein brutaler, aufbrausender Klotz, der seine Frauen wie Dreck behandelt, die Protagonistin hängt an der Flasche (was aber nichts Besonderes zu sein scheint) und hat außer Cognac und Bettakrobatik keine Interessen (aber dafür üppige Kurven), als Beleidigungen dienen rassistische Klischees etc. Gewalt wird häßlich und schonungslos beschrieben, und wenn geschossen wird, dann spritzen auch Hirn und Eingeweide.Ansonsten ist das Buch rückblickend eine recht interessante Gesellschaftsstudie über die gesellschaftlichen und moralischen Werte der 80er Jahre. Beim Lesen wird einem recht drastisch bewusst, wie extrem sich Dinge geändert haben - Stichwort Geschlechterverhältnis, Moralkodizes, Rassismus, ganz allgemein die Regeln guten Tons.Noch ein Wort zum Verhältnis zwischen Buch und Verfilmung, weil das Filmcover vorn auf dem Buch prangt:Wie schon oben erwähnt, haben Buch und Film bis auf einige Namen der Hauptfiguren kaum etwas miteiander zu tun. Wem also der Film gefallen hat, dem muss das Buch nicht unbedingt zusagen. Der Film folgt natürlich Hollywood-Codizes und reflektiert moderne Moralvorstellungen; das Buch tut das wie gesagt nicht. (wie auch - es ist wie gesagt 1981 erschienen).Deshalb fällt mir die Bewertung auch schwer.Als Unterhaltung taugt es nur bedingt - und wäre es ein moderner Titel, würde es gegen so ziemlich jede Regel des guten Geschmacks verstoßen. Als Lektüre im zeitgeschichtlichen Kontext und als unverfälschte Genre-Studie ist es dagegen mindestens einen Stern extra wert - deshalb gebe ich abschließend 4 Sterne.

  • JJBoulanger
    2019-04-17 17:41

    Ich habe das Buch in der englischen Version gelesen was aufgrund der knappen direkten Sprache Manchettes m.E. empfehlenswert ist.Manchette muss man mögen oder das Lesen seiner Bücher besser lassen. Die unverblümte Schilderung von Gewaltszenen muss man ertragen können. Hier ist sie unverzichtbar um zu verstehen worum es Manchettes geht.Trotz der Knappheit des Umfangs gelingt Manchette eine präzise und absolut überzeugende Schilderung des Innenlebens des Gunman und eine ebenso präzise Schilderung seiner Auftraggeber wie auch der Staatsgewalt bzw. deren Protagonisten.Psychologisch fein ausgearbeitet bleibt der Eindruck Gewalt, Injustiz, Exzesse gibt es auf jeder Seite. Wo man letztlich steht und ob die Gesellschaft das Handeln akzeptiert, bestimmen Glück oder Zufall und die Machtverhältnisse.

  • Tobias Bender
    2019-04-06 14:28

    predictable and without wit. can one really rip of an ear with two fingers of one hand? best thing baut this book is that it's short.

  • Keith A. Comess
    2019-04-04 13:42

    While the esteemed "City Lights Books" classifies "The Prone Gunman" as "noir" fiction, it's more properly plated in the adventure procedural category. That vaguely malodorous formula implies uniformity, conformity, plenty of violence, occasional quick sex, stereotypical characters and colorful lingo and that's what "The Prone Gunman" delivers. This book is further marred by pretension: to coolness, vaguely mocking machismo, and unsubtle dialogue. A cynic might speculate that - were it not for the author's nationality (French with a flair for an intellectual-bohemian bemused Euro-arrogance) and post-modern character (he's played in many fields) - he'd be largely forgotten. Mercifully, the book is short. It's a very fast and easily forgettable read.The anti-hero is characteristically a jaundiced, somewhat bemused, hard-edged, ultra-cool and taciturn criminal. What his area of special expertise? The ever-fashionable secret agent/hit man. Besting even that hook; the "surprise ending" and the oh too ironic fate suffered by the protagonist. Conventionally, beneath the hard exterior (ice cold to the point of sociopathy) lies a noble mind: he quests for the One Woman, the Lost Woman, to whom he promised himself prior to setting out as a knight errant. In other words, he's participated in a morally and self-justified career as a contract killer.Potentially, this is one of the author's weaker efforts, as New York Review Books (publishers of great and sometimes overlooked novelists) has re-issued some of his work. Of course, it's also possible that the persistence of "avant garde" French noir fiction (Boris Vian's, "I Spit on Your Grave" is another example) might speak to a peculiar American fetish, analogous to France's ironic fascination with the late Jerry Lewis..As an adventure-procedural, "Gunman" isn't expected to give more than the minimum to character development. Psychological insights - if any - are or aren't disclosed by penetrating, pithy interior monologues. Occasionally, they are conferred by the wry axioms and asides dropped by minor characters. Instead, they emerge in the negative, that is in the complete absence of explanation. The character is formed by the lack of development of character. By being a mere cog in the adventure mechanism, he becomes the ultra-professional, "on-the-job", verging on sociopathic guy, the one who's never troubled by more than a passing qualm and is "just doing my job", albeit for entirely self-interested and cynical reasons.The Parker novels (Don Westlake/Richard Stark) is a close domestic analogue but Westlake has many fine novels outside this series to his credit. Best is Jacques Mesrine's biography, " L'Instinct de Mort" ("The Death Wish", also on film, starring Vincent Cassel) hovered in the background while reading this book. Mesrine was - in real life - all that armchair outlaw-adventurers imagine for themselves: an outrageous, violent, narcissistic, highly intelligent, skilled and utterly brazen criminal who embodies the "Live Fast and Die Young" mentality. In fact, Mesrine was France's "Public Enemy Number 1". In addition to all that, he was an adept autobiographer who could carry a good story and portray matters personally, honestly and compellingly.Manchette's formulaic story is far inferior, ironic pretension aside. The protagonist's character is entirely unidimensional and stereotypical. The dialogue is stilted and pedestrian. The plot is pure pulp and a caricature of it at that. Maybe that's intentionally so, but the potential irony is undermined by the lame presentation. So it goes with Machette. This book goes flat line fast.

  • Adam Adiment
    2019-03-31 15:39

    Manchette became one of my favorite crime writers with this book. It's everything you'd want from a book like this. It's to the point, the characters don't change their stripes for easy writing cheats, and the narrative twists and turns in consistently interesting ways.Basic premise, a local town thug is returning to pick up his previous girlfriend from back when lived there. His problem is that he's a hitman and he's being followed by his connections angry that he hasn't done one last job for him. It seems like a tired story but what makes this work is that the whole town and everyone he meets adds to the story in a way that makes it feel fresh. First, nobody is really an idiot here. One character does stuff that seems like frankly slutty behavior only you realize it's a survival mechanism.When I say no one's an idiot, I mean everyone is ready to do exactly what they need to stay alive and they are ready to do absolutely anything. It's that animal like intensity that makes the book so great. It's like watching those nature documentaries where a lions chase down buffaloes but the camera doesn't cut away from the kill or for that matter all the eating. Manchette gets that life outside of established civilized norms is nasty and short. He doesn't back off on it.I'm hoping more of his stuff gets translated. He's an extremely consistent writer. Also, his works are short. You never feel like you wasted time.Also, you should buy this book cause it's one more nail in the coffin of Sean Penn as any kind of actual artist. Everything he wanted to say politically was already built into this book but he's too old, too dumb, and too full of himself to go with it. He had a near impossible to miss target and succeeded wildly in screwing it up

  • J. Brandt
    2019-04-07 10:47

    A short, but interesting novel. I may have to read more of his works after reading "The Prone Gunman" The book is only 156 pages long and it makes for a quick read, but it's an interesting and fun read. I will not go into details that have already been discussed by other reviewers (both positive and negative) but what I loved about this book was the quick pace. It took no time to meet the main character (Martin Terrier) and the fact he wants to get out of the hit man business. Can he? Will those who need him simply allow him to walk away? Terrier finds out the hard way about his life and the way the book ended was a nice twist. Typically, there is a happy ending or some ending to tie up loose ends. This book left me appreciating a little different ending than I expected.I enjoyed this book. It was a quick, fun and well written book. The author passed away years ago, but it is clear he was a really good writer and knew how to get to a point quickly and move a plot along at a rapid pace.

  • Kindle Customer
    2019-04-12 10:51

    Interesting even though a tad unbalanced. Martin (or, Christian) is an assassin for someone - who is uncertain - but for some intelligence group whose overall mission is uncertain. He has a peculiar obsession with a woman he has not seen for ten years and who appears to have no real role in the context of the story except that she appears as weird and unbalanced as her just returned lover. I hope the movie does a better job than the book in clarifying the plot and characterizing the performers. I was disappointed.