The Prone Gunman
The Prone Gunman
City Lights Noir
Translated by James Brook


  • Top Mystery Book of 2002, The New York Times Book Review

Also available in a new, movie tie-in edition, titled The Gunman (Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87286-664-5. Ebook ISBN: 9780872866652). Film opened March 20, 2015 starring Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone, directed by Pierre Morel (Taken).

Martin Terrier is a hired killer who wants out of the game — so he can settle down and marry his childhood sweetheart. After all, that's why he took up this profession! But "the company" won't let him go: they have other plans. Once again, the gunman must assume the prone firing position. A tour de force, this violent tale shatters as many illusions about life and politics as it does 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 Prone Gunman is a classic of modern noir.

"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

"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

"For the first time readers can experience in English translation the masterful thriller considered Manchette's finest, proof positive that the French knew what they were talking about when they labeled this sort of novel 'noir'." —Publishers Weekly

"This superbly muscular translation of the late French mystery writer Jean-Patrick Manchette's most celebrated work, The Prone Gunman, is the third volume issued [by] City Lights Noir. The series may prove to be the most needed contribution to contemporary fiction by any publisher in a good long while." —The San Francisco Chronicle

Jean-Patrick Manchette 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. Jean-Patrick Manchette's other work, 3 to Kill is also published by City Lights Publishers.

Title The Prone Gunman
Subtitle City Lights Noir
Translated by James Brook
Prize Top Mystery Book of 2002, The New York Times Book Review
Collection City Lights Noir
Publisher City Lights Publishers
Title First Published 01 June 2002
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 180 p.
ISBN-10 0872864022
ISBN-13 9780872864023
Publication Date 01 June 2002
Main content page count 180
Dimensions 5 x 7.3 in.
Weight 16 oz.
List Price $13.95
 


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