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The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning
 
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The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning [Format Kindle]

Hallgrimur Helgason
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

With some 66 hits under his belt, Tomislav Bokšić, or Toxic, has a flawless record as hitman for the Croatian mafia in New York. That is, until he kills the wrong guy and is forced to flee the States, leaving behind the life he knows and loves. Suddenly, he finds himself on a plane hurtling toward Reykjavik, Iceland, borrowing the identity of an American televangelist named Father Friendly. With no means of escape from this island devoid of gun shops and contract killing, tragicomic hilarity ensues as he is forced to come to terms with his bloody past and reevaluate his future.

Biographie de l'auteur

Hallgrimur Helgason was born in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1959. He started out as an artist, showing his work in several galleries of both New York and Paris, where he lived in the late eighties and early nineties. He made his debut as a novelist in 1990 and gained international attention with his third novel, 101 Reykjavik (“Imagine if Henry Miller had written Tropic of Cancer on crack instead of wine.”-Tim Sandlin), which was made into a film starring Victoria Abril. In 2001 Helgason received the Icelandic Literary Prize for The Author of Iceland. He has twice been nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize, with 101 Reykjavik in 1999, and Stormland in 2007. A film based on the latter was released in early 2011. The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning is his only novel written in English. It was published in Iceland in 2008, in the author’s own translation, and became a bestseller in Germany in 2010. A father of three, Hallgrimur divides his time between Reykjavik and Hrísey Island.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 415 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 256 pages
  • Editeur : AmazonCrossing (24 janvier 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005OBS0MU
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°48.708 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The hitman not to be missed. 1 juin 2014
Par doha
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
. This is an exciting new voice to add to my list of writers to look out for. Clever and amusing, the story rolls along at a good pace, offering a fascinating view of life and attitudes in Iceland. The main character seems a bit of a caricature at first, but by the end the author has given a convincing psychological insight into his character. I'd definitely like to read a sequel!
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Amazon.com: 3.2 étoiles sur 5  404 commentaires
193 internautes sur 209 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Strangely beautiful 29 décembre 2011
Par sanoe.net - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Hallgrimur Helgason is a writer that I will have to put on my list of authors to look out for.

"The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning" is the first book that I have ever read from this Icelandic writer. I made sure to see who did the translation and it appears that Helgason did his own translation which makes this story about a Croatian hitman who makes the wrong hit even more remarkable to me.

The story's premise is simple enough. Tomislav "Toxic" Boksic is a hitman for the Croatian mob in NYC. He has a girlfriend. He has a job that he is good at. He likes his life well enough.

Then he's given an assignment that goes wrong in that his target is FBI. And that makes him an instant target. As such, he flees by assuming the identity of a man he kills in an airport bathroom and he is off to Iceland where there are no guns or prostitution and a very small population.

Even more worrisome, the identity of the man he has assumed is an evangelical preacher who was on his way to make an appearance on television for a local group of evangelical Icelanders.

But if you think that this is just an action/crime thriller. It isn't. Helgason has a gift for the darkly humorous and compassion in odd places. Toxic isn't a good guy but he isn't a guy you want to give up on. He is a weirdly trustworthy narrator and while it seems clear where he is headed, you can't help but hope that maybe it'll end differently. That his sins will be washed away and he can find peace.

The people he meets in his exile are interesting in their quirks and affectations. Sigrudor (or as Toxic calls him 'Sickreader') is the pastor who picks him up. His daughter Grunhilder (or Gunholder) is rebellious but not obnoxious. In between his present, you meet the people in his past. From his childhood, from the war after Yugoslavia broke up, from the mob. It is several stories that make up this one man's life and it is funny and melancholy and bittersweet.

Again, you know, as a reader, where this is all headed but the journey getting there is dark but with flashes of unexpected light that make it strangely beautiful.
33 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Needs to choose a side, redemption or remorselessness, can't pull off both 24 mai 2012
Par Amy Henry - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
At least the man knows how to clean and how to straighten up a room. I'll give him that much credit, despite the fact his tidying up is only a way to kill time, waiting on a woman who may end up a victim. Vacuum expertise aside, however, it's difficult to find much else of interest in this arrogant and chatty assassin nicknamed "Toxic," the main character of the novel The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning, who continually reminds us just how skilled he is at murder. Immediately, we start to wonder how this will play out: is he going to turn into a valiant hero, or will he maintain his tragic vision and become the rarely seen, fully fledged anti-hero?
"...I'm really proud of my hitman work. I always try to do a good job. `Victim first' is my motto."
Determined to come across as a fully-accredited badass, the protagonist narrates his every thought and action as he flees the U.S. after a hit goes wrong. Seeing the FBI on his tail, he quickly changes his plans, kills another stranger, and steals his identity. He awakes on a plane bound for Reykjavik, Iceland. The odds are good his escape plan will work, except that his new identity is that of a well-known fundamental Christian leader with a schedule of appearances awaiting him. Deciding to play along with the ruse, he manages to record some disturbing radio sermons and manipulate his somewhat confused hosts, all while looking for a way out of Iceland.

Author Hallgrimur Helgason often channels Quentin Tarantino with action similar to the film director's style: fast-paced violence, pop culture references, saturated with sarcasm. This is completely intentional, as Tarantino gets mentioned (as do Beyonce and Creed) several times in the storyline. The frenetic pace makes it difficult to absorb just how despicable the character is, and I found myself grasping for some quality to make him likable, some redeeming quality that would explain his often disturbing actions.
"Usually I don't want to know anything about my victims. It's like back in the war. I kill strangers. I don't feel for them. They're just another head to swamp my bullet into...Usually they have refused to pay their tithe, failed to deliver for Dikan, or they show up with the same tie as he at the Mafia Oscars."
See that? He manages to radiate disinterest and boredom, while at the same time making a really bad joke. Unfortunately, that becomes the theme of this novel. When hiding in an attic looking himself up on Google, he jokes, "I'm Anne Frank online." Upon remembering a group of beautiful women, he shares his wishes for "mass rape." He is endlessly amused at the low murder rates in the country, and spends his time remembering the better days in the States where he celebrated each kill with glee.

It becomes clear at the midpoint of the novel that there is a source of his internal conflict and external bravado: he served in the Balkan war, and with his father and brother, saw and participated in terrible atrocities. Helgason inserts the details slowly, and it's possible to feel a tiny bit of pity for the protagonist. But it doesn't last, as experiences of war don't seem sufficient to mitigate his present behavior. If anything, the arc of the Balkan storyline appears so far into the novel that it feels too late to make up for his actions. Of course, mindlessly killing a small dog doesn't exactly make him appealing. And yet his self-awareness grows, likely because he's out of his element and who he had been can't exist anymore. In one brief moment, he admits, "everybody must have figured out I am the monster who lives under the bridge."

On the surface, the premise of The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning is very clever, but the delivery is so unsavory that it is neither tragic nor comic. The sarcasm and humor feels forced, almost like a joke told by a comedian who is trying far too hard to get a laugh. I get the feeling that Helgason is trying to reinforce just what a "monster" Toxic is due to his past experiences, yet there's no evidence that he's left the past behind. The other characters he encounters seem flat, as if they are only tools to further reveal Toxic's depravity.

Perhaps this can be attributed to the Stieg Larsson effect. Scandinavian crime novels boomed with his "Girl" trilogy, but the dark mystery novels were nothing new. Other authors, such as Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Karin Alvtegen and Arnaldur Indridason have created suspenseful and imaginative crime stories in the same setting for years before the region became comparatively "hot" in the literary world. While those authors don't often present characters quite as colorful as Toxic, they usually succeed in developing deeper characters with a more compelling warmth.

(My review was originally published in The Quivering Pen website, and then on my personal blog.)
358 internautes sur 434 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Don't waste your time on this! 26 mars 2012
Par C. Nedved - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I read some of the online reviews before purchasing this book, thought I understood what I would be reading, was intrigued by the prospect, and even looking forward to, some dark hitman humor. However, I found this book to be disgusting, worthless garbage. There is nothing redeeming at all, let alone funny about any of it, even though I patiently stuck with it for 80-something pages, after which I finally admitted it had absolutely no entertainment value, was merely disturbing and revolting, and deleted it from my Kindle. What's amusing about reminiscing about a victim who was forced to cut off his wife's breasts and eat them? I hope I saved myself from other similar mental images. Beyond the Sopranos. Way beyond The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Do we need this for its sick shock value? Please don't put this in your brain -- I wish I hadn't. This book makes me believe in censorship, or at least warning labels on books.
76 internautes sur 92 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Three and a Half Stars 1 janvier 2012
Par G. Messersmith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
It is reasonable to assume that a guy called "Toxic" is probably not the nicest guy on the planet and you would be right. In fact, Tomislav Boksic, aka Toxic, is a hitman for the mob in New York City. He claims to have killed 120 something people, some of them in the Bosnian war but 60 something of them as a hitman for the mob. He is on the job and kills the man he is assigned to but to come to find out this guy is an FBI agent and things quickly go downhill from there. He is forced into exile and by unforeseen circumstances winds up killing a TV evangelist, who he looks like, in the bathroom at JFK airport and assuming his identity and winds up in Iceland.

Iceland is unlike anywhere he has ever been before. It has endless days and endless nights, is never truly warm, and has an average zero homicide rate. Further he can't buy a handgun in this country which he desperately misses carrying. He has a lot of difficulty pronouncing the names of the Icelandic citizens so he just turns them into American sounding instead, for example, there's Thordur who he calls Torture, and Guomundur is called Goodmoondoor. He describes the Icelandic national face as "round, with a small nose, like a snowball with a peeble in it" (46).

Needless to say Toxic's past catches up to him in Iceland and he must leave Goodmoondoor's house and go on the run. I won't ruin the book for you but I will tell you that the preacher Goodmoondoor and his fellow preacher Torture decide to save Toxic's soul instead of turning him into the police. The book is pretty funny at times and moves very quickly. The problem I had with it was that I could never really identify with the main character or any of the characters for that matter. It was hard to sympathize with them but I did find myself at the end of the book pulling for Toxic.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Hitman missed 7 mars 2012
Par thorneton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
While I found "The Hitman" quirky and a bit interesting, it lacked the sharpness to hold my attention. I had to keep coming back to the story rather than pushing through. It was a bit too disjointed to keep me focused and yet had promise in spots. I would give the author another try.
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