Train by Pete Dexter
A Novel

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Train is a 18-year-old black caddy at an exclusive L.A. country club. He is a golf prodigy, but the year is 1953 and there is no such thing as a black golf prodigy. Nevertheless, Train draws the interest of Miller Packard, a gambler whose smiling, distracted air earned him the nickname “the Mile Away Man.” Packard’s easy manner hides a proclivity for violence, and he remains an enigma to Train even months later when they are winning high stakes matches against hustlers throughout the country. Packard is also drawn to Norah Still, a beautiful woman scared in a hideous crime, a woman who finds Packard’s tendency toward violence both alluring and frightening. In the ensuing triangular relationship kindness is never far from cruelty.

In Train, National Book Award-winning Pete Dexter creates a startling, irresistibly readable book that crackles with suspense and the live-wire voices of its characters.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Pete Dexter

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Novelist, journalist, and poet Pete Dexter was born in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1943. As a student at the University of South Dakota, where he attended on and off for ten years, he wrote poetry and won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. After graduating in 1970, he found work as a newspaper reporter. While working as a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, Dexter was nearly beaten to death by readers who disapproved of a piece he wrote about a drug-related murder. That experience helped propel him into fiction writing, and in 1984, he published God's Pocket. Dexter won a National Book Award in 1988 for his novel Paris Trout, a book that exemplifies his characteristic blending of humor and violence. As a journalist, his work has also appeared in such periodicals as Esquire and Playboy.
Published February 1, 2005 by Vintage. 288 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Sports & Outdoors, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Train

Kirkus Reviews

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In a parallel plot gradually connected to this one, 18-year-old black golf caddy Lionel “Train” Walk is unjustly linked to the two blacks who had committed the boat-jacking (also raping and mutilating Norah), loses his job, succumbs to the violence he has hitherto avoided—and is seemingly offered...

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The Guardian

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Train by Pete Dexter 292pp, Heinemann, £15.99 The hero of Pete Dexter's 1950s-set crime novel, Lionel Walk Jr (aka Train), is a black caddy at the segregated golf clubs of southern California.

Jan 10 2004 | Read Full Review of Train: A Novel

AV Club

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Blind coincidence brings the three principals together when Packard, remembering Train's prodigious golfing talents from a Brookline encounter, recruits him for a tour of lucrative high-stakes matches against other golf hustlers from around the country.

Nov 11 2003 | Read Full Review of Train: A Novel

The Paris Review

When Clark died five months later, Gordon remembered these sessions in a letter to Blue Note impresarios Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff: Clark had “almost totally given up” on his life, Gordon wrote.

Jan 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Train: A Novel

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