The Turnaround

The Turnaround

Book - 2008
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On a hot summer afternoon in Washington DC 1972, three white teenagers, stoned and fearless, drive a stolen car into Heathrow Heights - a rough, black neighbourhood near where they live. Taunting local black kids through the car window, they speed off to what they think is safety.

Tragically, they find themselves trapped in a dead-end street whilst an angry mob gathers. In the ensuing chaos, two of the white boys manage to escape, but Billy - the third friend - is shot dead.

The youths from both neighbourhoods eventually go their separate ways, but this event will remain the defining moment in many of their lives. Thirty-five years later, one of these men reaches out to another, opening a door that could lead to salvation. However, another survivor of that day is now out of prison, and is looking for reparation in any form he can find it . . .

The Turnaround takes us on a journey from the rock-and-soul streets of the 1970s to the changing neighbourhoods of DC today. It is a novel of fathers and sons, wives and husbands, loss, victory and ultimately violent redemption.

Publisher: London : Orion, c2008.
ISBN: 9780752875422
Branch Call Number: FIC PELE
Characteristics: 294 p. ; 24 cm.


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JCLGreggW Sep 12, 2014

George Pelecanos, master of Washington DC noir and writer on HBO's acclaimed series, The Wire, returns to his roots. This novel follows several characters during - and years after - a tragic incident happens during the racially-charged atmosphere of 1972. Pelecanos is a rare writer who explores race, masculinity, and forgiveness in equal measure as the characters - a washed-up car mechanic, a physical therapist at Walter Reed, and a coffee shop owner - struggle to move on from their pasts. This novel stands alongside Dennis Lehane's MYSTIC RIVER and Ivy Pochoda's VISITATION STREET and shining examples of the genre. Great for casual readers looking for a good urban yarn or readers who want to dig a little deeper.

Sep 01, 2014

Reminiscent of Dennis Lehane and Ivy Pochoda's VISITATION STREET, where the characters are less important than the setting. Interesting, but feels unfinished.

sit_walk Jan 18, 2010

I christened my Sony Reader with The Turnaround and found it really easy to get through. Fast-paced, enaging thriller, reads like a milder episode of The Wire... But just for the record, I was reading the ebook version available from EPL's overdrive database.

Dec 06, 2009

This book almost takes two readings to take in. I rarely have read any book twice since leaving University. But Pelecanos's books almost require it. Not crime. Not literature. Just a view into a couple of lifes you want to keep watching.

Aug 18, 2008

Given 3/4 stars by People magazine.

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