- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Scribner (18 February 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743289242
- ISBN-13: 978-0743289245
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,13,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Chance: A Novel Hardcover – Import, 18 Feb 2014
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"Chance takes place in the twilit world of noir, where people and things are never what they seem…For all the mayhem - its ending is delicately funny." (New York Times Book Review)
"Sentence by sentence Nunn achieves a muscular eloquence - I almost wrote elegance - unusual in what at first appears to be a genre novel. There hasn't been fiction this good about a San Francisco medical professional gone off the rails over a woman since Frank Norris' deluded dentist in the 1899 novel 'McTeague.'" (Alan Cheuse San Francisco Chronicle)
“Is it too much to compare Kem Nunn to Raymond Chandler? Like Chandler, Nunn’s great subject is what lies beneath the surface, the desolation that infuses us at every turn. . . The power of this disturbing and provocative novel is that it leaves us unmoored among the signposts of a morally ambiguous universe in which, even after we have finished reading, it is uncertain who has been feeding whom.” (Los Angeles Times)
“The book could be considered a pulp masterpiece. It has everything from a femme fatale to a dystopian setting where the California sun is blotted out by a black-ash fog from wildfires burning around the Bay. Chance is the kind of everyman whose bad choices are noir staples. But calling it pulp would undersell the sheer genius of the writing, which uses the convention of mystery-thrillers to create a psychological allegory of Freud’s construct, id, ego and superego at war with themselves.” (Arizona Republic)
“Lives spin out of control and rattle like pinballs through the greedy, self-destructive, violent backdrop of this American life.” (Los Angeles Magazine)
“Brilliant and cerebral psychological thriller” (Publisher’s Weekly, starred review)
“Kem Nunn’s suspenseful and sinewy thriller demonstrates the mastery of psychological insight and cool observation his readers have learned to rely upon. Nunn’s characters range from pathological multiple personalities to a police detective bent more ways from sundown, all of them dangerous characters who would never for a moment let their professional or personal corruption interfere with murder, especially if it concerns an affair of the heart. That Dr. Eldon Chance, the tormented hero attempting to make his way through the chambered psyches of these lost souls is by profession a forensic psychiatrist makes for a deadly, absolutely satisfying storytelling. Chance is suspenseful contemporary crime fiction unrivaled in its intensity.” (Robert Stone, author of Damascus Gate)
"Chance is a story of nerve shattering suspense… a spellbinding ride of darkness, violence and sexuality…while the philosophical questions that Chance puts forth never fail to intrigue us, Nunn also never forgets that he is giving us a tale of mystery and suspense, one that may damn well be a modern masterpiece." (Laurence Coven, I Love a Mystery newsletter)
About the Author
Kem Nunn is a third-generation Californian whose previous novels include The Dogs of Winter, Pomona Queen, Unassigned Territory, and Tapping the Source, which was made in to the film Point Break. Tijuana Straits won the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He lives in Southern California, where he also writes screenplays for television and film.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
a contemporary existential novel about going from alienated to engaged, about finding meaning and values, and acting on them.
oh, and it's a thriller and a romance, too!
i admit that i, too, was skeptical at first. unlike, say, 'tijuana straits,' which starts with a bang, this is not the easiest novel to get into. it follows chance's point of view so closely that i felt at first distanced by all the intellectualization and doubt. i hung in there becuase his previous novels are so great. indeed, the ambience wakes up right along with chance; and the last 50 pages become, like our doctor hero, very very lively and engaging. nunn just nails the ending.
(don't waste your time on the tv series. very disappointing. doubles the violence and takes away all of chance's humanity and makes him creepy - and makes the woman creepy, too).
First the narrator is a neuropsychiatrist named Chance who isn't all that stable himself. He goes too far in trying to help the lost ones he evaluates. The characters he gets involved with outside the medical community in his search for answers are so dynamic and diverse that they jump out at the reader. Put all this in a San Francisco noir setting that is almost a character in itself, and you have "Chance."