Book Reviews of Shank

Author: Roderick Anscombe
ISBN-13: 9780786862399
ISBN-10: 0786862394
Publication Date: 10/1996
Pages: 325
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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From the Publisher
Dan Cody loved his wife Janie. He loved her so much, he killed her. She was HIV-positive, and she begged him to do it. Or so he says. Now Dan's on the run with a new romantic obsession: Carol, the prison nurse. Their daring and clever breakout has made the evening news, and Dan wants to set the record straight. He did it all for love, so that he and Carol could be together. He didn't mean to kill that guard during the escape. There was no other way. And, of course, Carol isn't really a hostage. It only looks that way to the television audience. Dan may or may not know where a drug kingpin has hidden a million dollars outside the prison walls. And he may be taking Carol with him to find the money, because, after all, wouldn't it be nice for the two of them to have a nest egg as they start their new lives together? But what does it matter, really? It's love, not money, that Dan can't live without. And he will find it. Even if it kills him. Shank is Dan's story - his very own, very special version of events. It is the story of a man who, like the homemade prison knife, has become a crudely sharpened, highly concealed weapon. And if Dan holds back some crucial part of the story, or even lies, you can be sure he has his reasons....

Kirkus Reviews
A mesmerizing, blackly comic confessional from a man whose troubles are just beginning when he kills his wife.
Even though he's just a schoolteacher, things happen to Dan Cody. He gets life in Denning State for shooting his wife Janie; he gets isolated in Max One for kicking another inmate in the face; he engineers an audacious escape plot, murders a guard, and disappears with the nurse he's taken hostage. But as he keeps insisting to Sandy, the TV newscaster he's writing letters to, none of this is his fault: Everybody's been telling him what to do. He killed Janie only because she was HIV-positive and begged him to. The inmate he attacked was trying to get him involved in running drugs; later on, long after he'd become an unwilling mule, he had to kill another inmate to survive, and found himself controlling the prison drug trade almost by accident. "All I want is for someone to understand what I've gone through in order to keep my spirit alive," he confides to Sandy, hoping she'll read his latest installment on tomorrow's broadcast. He tells her how he was drawn into the escape by Carol Ambrosino, the nurse who was just using him. All right, he was using her, but "if I wanted to stay human, I had to escape," and he never thought anybody would get hurt. It's not till Dan's well away from Denning with Carol, his willing hostage, that Anscombe (The Secret Life of Laszlo, Count Dracula, 1994) begins to hint that there may be something to this plausible scoundrel's self- excuses: Just because you're paranoid, after all, doesn't mean they're not really out to get you.

Showing a deeply disturbing insight into all those parts of yourself you'd rather not think about, Anscombe's produced an alarmingly off-kilter odyssey that starts as chastely as The Collector before ending up like one of Jim Thompson's wilder nightmares.
reviewed Shank on + 51 more book reviews
not really an interestin book. just couldnt't get into it