"His books are all action, unfolding with a laconic efficiency that would make his killers proud."—The Economist
"Forget whatever you've read about the film. This is the darkest of dark noirs, in the tradition of Jim Thompson, and the last novel Manchette would publish before his early death. Every word Manchette wrote is worth your time, much as those of one of his predecessors in French minimalism, Georges Bernanos, is."—City Lights Books
Martin Terrier is a hired killer who wants out of the game, so he can settle down and marry his childhood sweetheart. But the Organization won't let him go: they have other plans for him. In a violent tale that shatters as many illusions as bodies, Jean-Patrick Manchette subjects his characters and the reader alike to a fierce exercise in style. This tightly plotted, corrosive parody of "the success story" is widely considered to be Manchette's masterpiece, and was named a New York Times "Notable Book" in 2002. The Gunman is a classic of modern noir.
The Gunman is a major motion picture directed by Pierre Morel (Taken) and starring Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone, released on March 20th, 2015.
"For Manchette and the generation of writers who followed him, the crime novel is no mere entertainment, but a means to strip bare the failures of society, ripping through veils of appearance, deceit, and manipulation to the greed and violence that are the society's true engines."—Boston Globe
Also available in its original edition titled The Prone Gunman, along with Manchette's Three to Kill, published by City Lights in 2002.
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More praise :
"There's not a superfluous word or overdone effect . . . one of the last cool, compact and shockingly original crime novels Manchette left as his legacy to modern noir fiction."—New York Times
"This is lean, mean noir fiction that cleverly sends up the tough guy genre while incarnating it perfectly."—Detroit Free Press
"Manchette is a master of both economy and irony. Brutal and bracing: Terrier's tale fascinates even as it chills."—Kirkus Reviews
"Jean-Patrick Manchette's terse prose moves like the swift, almost automatic methods and mannerisms of his protagonist."—Wall Street Journal
Jean-Patrick Manchette (December 19, 1942, Marseille – June 3, 1995, Paris) was a French crime novelist credited with reinventing and reinvigorating the genre. He wrote ten short novels in the 1970s and early 80s, and is widely recognized as the foremost French crime fiction author of that time. His stories are violent, existentialist explorations of the human condition and French society. Jazz saxophonist and screenwriter, Manchette was also a left-wing activist influenced as much by the writings of the Situationist International as by Dashiell Hammett.
Four of his novels have been translated into English. Two were published by City Lights Books: Three To Kill and The Prone Gunman, which is also available in a movie-tie in edition titled, The Gunman.