That's How I Roll
By Andrew Vachss
(Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780307379948, 224pp.)
Publication Date: March 20, 2012
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Andrew Vachss, the master of hard-boiled fiction, returns with a deeply revealing new novel about an assassin whose love forced him to kill his own conscience.
Esau Till’s race is almost run. After pleading guilty to a series of homicides, he sits on death row, awaiting lethal injection. And writing his life story. But his memoir is no case study in tragedy—it’s his one last chance to protect his brother, Tory, after he’s gone. And, as too many have learned, when it comes to protecting his baby brother, Esau Till is a man without boundaries.
Esau’s father was a widely feared beast who, it was commonly believed, killed his wife and used his own daughter as a substitute. In Esau’s own words, when your sister is your mother, too, you know you’re not going to come out right. Not you, not your life, not nothing.
When the genetic cards were dealt, Esau drew a genius IQ but a horribly crippled body. His brother Tory drew a “slow” mind but almost superhuman strength. Very early on, Esau learned that the only way to guarantee his baby brother’s safety was to make himself indispensable to certain people. A self-taught explosives expert, he became the top assassin for two rival local mobs. When a third mob attempted to recruit his brother, Esau took them all out, unaware that one of them was an under-cover FBI agent.
Execution looms, but no prison can hold Esau’s mind. Or his love. As the State prepares to take his life, Esau plots going all-in on the last and most deadly hand he will ever play.
Andrew Vachss is a lawyer who represents children and youths exclusively. His many books include the Burke series and two collections of short stories. His novels have been translated into twenty languages, and his work has appeared in Parade, Antaeus, Esquire, Playboy, and The New York Times, among other publications.
The dedicated website for Andrew Vachss and his work is www.vachss.com.
“Combines [Vachss’s] trademark black humor with his longstanding concern for children and their well-being. . . . A smart, cynical glimpse into the human condition.”
“Crafty, strong-willed Esau combines courtly manners, deadly paybacks, and ruthless singularity of purpose in this chilling tour de force.”
"Born of a supremely abusive father and his own sister, Esau Till is trouble from day one—a hired killer who ends up on death row. This book unfolds as Esau's effort to tell his life story in a bid to protect Tory after his own death. Vachss writes raw, eye-opening works that deserve our attention."
PRAISE FOR ANDREW VACHSS:
“Many writers try to cover the same ground as Vachss. A handful are as good. None are better.”
“Writing in a style so sleekly engineered that it purrs when you pop the hood, Vachss gives us such a smooth ride that it’s easy to forget someone is driving this thing.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Vachss’s stories . . . burn with righteous rage and transfer a degree of that rage to the reader.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“A contemporary master . . . Decidedly hard-boiled, his prose is lean, tough-edged, and brittle.”
—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Vachss’s tough-guy writing style grabs you by the hair and jerks you to attention.”
—Detroit Free Press
“Vachss writes hypnotically violent prose made up of equal parts broken concrete blocks and razor wire.”
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org