Thursday, August 2, 2012

Books: Hit man

Keller is a hit man. He contracts for a man who operates out of a nondescript building in White Plains, NY. As part of his assignments, Keller has to travel to various parts of US as his targets can be anywhere in the country. So far, Keller's life would have sounded to you as fraught with danger. But that is not how the author Lawrence Block describes the life of his protagonist. On the contrary, the story of Keller takes you by surprise. 

Keller is an ordinary man who takes up this job for a comfortable life. He leads a mundane life. He is easily persuaded by himself to fantasize about settling down in the places he visits. But it is a temporary distraction like a common man. He is kind. The years in the job also has made him intelligent enough to deduce the motives of the person ordering the hit. A perverted sense of justice and righteousness forces him to accomplish the job differently.

We may have come across the assassin with a heart in novels and movies. But we have not come across an hit man like Keller. Lawrence Block chooses the stories carefully to reveal the mind of hit man in an ironic and humorous way. What Block's characters do is morally wrong. There is no doubt to this. So the humor lies in how the characters react. Another good point of the book is the organization. You can treat it like a book of short stories. You can start at any chapter. There are passing references to previous chapters but can be easily guessed if you haven't read the previous ones.

This is an excellent choice if you want to read a book but hate to be on a hook till the end of the book. Nevertheless, it is so interesting that you will not put the book down after you have read a few pages.

Tags: Books,Lawrence Block,Keller




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