The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson
(Akashic Urban Surreal Series)

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Synopsis

After a flu pandemic, a large-scale terrorist attack, and the total collapse of Wall Street, New York City is reduced to a shadow of its former self. As the city struggles to dig itself out of the wreckage, a nameless, obsessive-compulsive veteran with a spotty memory, a love for literature, and a strong if complex moral code (that doesn’t preclude acts of extreme violence) has taken up residence at the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street.

Dubbed "Dewey Decimal" for his desire to reorganize the library's stock, our protagonist (who will reappear in the next novel in this series) gets by as bagman and muscle for New York City's unscrupulous district attorney. Decimal takes no pleasure in this kind of civic dirty work. He'd be perfectly content alone amongst his books. But this is not in the cards, as the DA calls on Dewey for a seemingly straightforward union-busting job.

What unfolds throws Dewey into a bloody tangle of violence, shifting allegiances, and old vendettas, forcing him to face the darkness of his own past and the question of his buried identity.

With its high body count and snarky dialogue, The Dewey Decimal System pays respects to Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Jim Thompson. Healthy amounts of black humor and speculative tendencies will appeal to fans of Charlie Huston, Nick Tosches, Duane Swierczynski, Victor Gischler, Robert Ferrigno, and early Jonathan Lethem.

Nathan Larson is best known as an award-winning film music composer, having created the scores for over thirty movies such as Boys Don’t Cry, Dirty Pretty Things, and The Messenger. In the 1990s he was the lead guitarist for the influential prog-punk outfit Shudder to Think. This is his first novel. Larson lives in Harlem, New York City, with his wife and son.
 

About Nathan Larson

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Nathan Larson is best known as an award-winning film music composer, having created the scores for over thirty movies, such as Boys Don't Cry, Dirty Pretty Things, and The Messenger. In the 1990s, he was the lead guitarist for the influential prog-punk outfit Shudder to Think. The Dewey Decimal System is his first novel. Larson lives in Harlem, New York City, with his wife and son.
 
Published April 19, 2011 by Akashic Books. 260 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Dewey Decimal System

Kirkus Reviews

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After Shapsko tries to hire Dewey to kill Iveta, and he returns to his own office only to find three intruders there, Dewey realizes he’s stepped into something bigger and darker than he’d imagined—something presumably connected to Iveta’s ex-lover, shadowy Serbian warlord Branko Jokanovic.

May 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

Publishers Weekly

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Terrorist outrages committed on Valentine's Day and a superflu epidemic have devastated New York City, whose population is now about 800,000, in film music composer Larson's less than stellar debut, the first in a series.

Mar 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

Examiner

Akashic Books is a publishing house that is home to some of the most off-the-wall and interesting books around.

Mar 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

AV Club

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The Dewey Decimal System is billed as the first installment in a series, so there’s a possibility Larson will someday have the chance to transcend the stilted, self-conscious Dewey Decimal with the same dexterity he brings to his music.

May 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

Reviewing the Evidence

He generally goes by Dewey Decimal, a nickname derived from his current residence, the 42nd Street Public Library, where he is engaged in reshelving the disordered stacks according to their Dewey decimal system numbers.

| Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

Bookmarks Magazine

But this is not in the cards, as the DA calls on Dewey for a seemingly straightforward union-busting job.What unfolds throws Dewey into a bloody tangle of violence, shifting allegiances, and old vendettas, forcing him to face the darkness of his own past and the question of his buried iden...

May 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

Time Out Chicago

He holes up in a public library branch, organizing the books to a system in his head, and works as hired muscle for a corrupt district attorney, who has christened him Dewey.

May 25 2011 | Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

Vol. 1 Brooklyn

Nathan Larson’s debut novel, The Dewey Decimal System, fits snugly into the cache of dystopian novels that use their strange predicament as a background, and not the focus of the novel.

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

The Nervous Breakdown

Dewey works for District Attorney Rosenblatt, running errands and occasionally providing some muscle, so when the DA sends Dewey on a routine assignment-eliminating a union target-we don’t think twice.

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

Front Row Lit

THE RUNDOWNPerhaps the fatal flaw of The Dewey Decimal System is the title itself.

Aug 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Dewey Decimal System (Aka...

Reader Rating for The Dewey Decimal System
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