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Secret Dead Men [Paperback]

Secret Dead Men [Paperback]

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Item Number 262224  
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Item description for Secret Dead Men by Duane Swierczynski...

Del Farmer isn't your ordinary hardboiled private eye. Instead of collecting fingerprints or clues, he collects souls of the recently dead. His latest dead guy, Brad Larsen, might just be the key to destroying Farmer's longtime nemesis, The Association. Of course, Farmer is sadly mistaken. An FBI agent unstuck in time is toying with him. A mysterious couple keeps trying to kill him. Another job - a mundane babysitting gig that pays the bills - is threatening to steer him way off course into a violent hell of sexual deceit, fractured identities and cheap apartment toilets.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   198
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.35" Width: 5.43" Height: 0.71"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2005
Publisher   Point Blank
ISBN  1930997582  
ISBN13  9781930997585  

Availability  0 units.

More About Duane Swierczynski

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Duane Swierczynski is editor-in-chief of the "Philadelphia City Paper," A receipt for "This Here's a Stick-Up," Duane's nonfiction book on American bank robbery, was found in the getaway car of a San Francisco bandit who'd hit at least thirty California banks. Duane lives in Philadelphia. Visit his Web site at

Duane Swierczynski currently resides in Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Secret Dead Men?

Soul Man  Jan 13, 2008
OK, so if you're like me, you may be put off by the premise that this hard-boiled detective collects the souls of the recently dead, rather than fingerprints and clues. But not to worry - in the hands of Duane Swierczynski, if not the most talented, certainly the most original young author it hit the pages in the last decade or so, mixing crime fiction and metaphysics is child's play. "Secret Dead Men" is an incredible achievement: fresh, inventive, darkly humorous, unconventional, bizarre, and ultimately an unforgettable page-turner. It will have you scratching your head and flipping back through the pages in some parts; laughing out loud in others, while thinking "I can't believe Swiercynski pulled this off" though out.

So yeah, Del Farmer is a private detective, but he is also dead, murdered about a decade before the novel's 1976 setting. Upon is death, his soul was transported into the body of another, and from that point, Farmer is able to "host" the souls of others in his own "Brain Hotel". This comes in handy as Farmer, bent on taking revenge on the mysterious "Association" that offed him in real life, is able to collect the souls of folks with knowledge and facts that could help him on his quest of vengeance. Sound convoluted? You bet - but trust me, it works. Swiercynski's management of the Brain Hotel is brilliant - Sartre created a philosophy and won a Nobel Prize with less - while Swierczynski simply bends culture, religion, the spirit, and noir for fun.

Look, this is a book that is better read than reviewed. Just do it - or you'll be missing the first truly original novel of the 21st Century. Well done, Mr. S!
Wonderfully Imaginative  Jul 14, 2005
This book is a fantastic combination of an imaginative premise, traditional mystery/crime elements, and humour. The story is both unique and compelling, with some of the most colourful characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Some parts do require careful reading; there are a lot of characters and some of the action (especially near the end) gets wonderfully complicated.
Swierczynski is a master of the imagination  Jul 12, 2005
Wow, what an incredible story. The author is brilliant in his story-telling and imaginative concepts - truly a surprise at every turn of the page. It was one of those books that sucks you into its alternate reality and won't let go. It's definitely a book for the adventurous reader - there's plenty here to keep your mind going days after you've finished. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone - your friend, your co-worker, your grandmother. I can't wait to see what he writes next.
A Weird and Infinitely Compelling Read  Jun 13, 2005
"Secret Dead Men" is in a realm by itself.

When I picked up this book, I literally couldn't imagine where the author would take me from one page to the next. Swierczynski creates this odd afterlife (not the kind learned at church) and forces the reader to emotionally invest into the whacky characters and their plights.

Set in Philadelphia in the seventies, I didn't understand any of his cultural allusions. However, by the end of the novel, I was fully familiar with the Brain Hotel, the soul stealing capabilities of the protagonist, and even had a new appreciation of toilets.

This is the kind of book that will make you giddy with the eccentricity of it all... and might make you a tad disappointed in the next book you pick up. But, don't fear... I think the author has another novel coming out soon.

If it's anything like "Secret Dead Men," buy it on a long weekend. You'll want to do nothing else!
Check into the "Brain Hotel"  Apr 25, 2005
This is a book that is different, fun, and unusual. I found having a little trouble keeping track of the characters at times, but enjoyed the writing, mix of characters and unique concept behind it all. A very enjoyable read.

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