Mulholland Books 2018
You can always count on George Pelecanos for a good read. What kind of a good read depends on which Pelecanos novel you are holding in your hands. Pelecanos is known for his Spero Lucas, Derek Strange and Terry Quinn, or Nick Stefanos detective novels. He also wrote for The Wire and Treme. The Man Who Came Uptown is a novel of manners and shows another facet of George Pelecanos’ talent. Kindle version: The Man Who Came Uptown on Kindle
The Man Who Came Uptown is loosely centered on Michael Hudson, a twenty-something Washington resident who is in jail following a botched robbery. There he meets jail librarian Anna Byrne who tries to find the right book for the right man and also holds book circles. Anna’s literary suggestions open new worlds for Michael Hudson. Hudson also understands himself and the world better through what he reads and this sets him up for a new life outside of jail. When he is set free, Hudson goes uptown to where he lived and is surprised at how things have changed in just a
Also central to The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos are Phil Orzanian and Thaddeus Ward. One is a private detective, the other an ex-cop. Orzanian is a bit of a white knight as he robs pimps and sets prostitutes free or gets revenge for them. Ward is along for the ride out of friendship and boredom.
Orzanian has Hudson set free from jail after a bit of witness tampering. He soon calls on Hudson to pay him back by acting as his driver on a couple of attacks on criminals he is targeting.
This puts Hudson in a quandary as he is trying to stay on the straight and narrow. This is one of many moral conflicts in The Man Who Came Uptown.
The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos is a fascinating if unusual read. George Pelecanos quotes from various other books to sometimes make a point. He mentions quite a few books in a rather obvious attempt to have his readers look them up. He also has Anna present an interesting analysis of Of Mice and Men and John D. MacDonald’s first Travis McGee novel The Deep Blue Goodbye.
You haven’t read anything quite like The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos and you should.