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Unlimited Sneaky People - by Thomas Berger
Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM By Thomas Berger

The time is the 1930s Buddy Sandifer, dressed in his natty white flannels, baby blue shirt, striped tie, tan and white shoes, and coconut straw hat with polka dot band, is falling into one of his moods Owner of a used car lot and father of a fifteen year old son with a penchant for sex manuals, Buddy has decided to murder his wife and marry his mistress, Laverne, a robusThe time is the 1930s Buddy Sandifer, dressed in his natty white flannels, baby blue shirt, striped tie, tan and white shoes, and coconut straw hat with polka dot band, is falling into one of his moods Owner of a used car lot and father of a fifteen year old son with a penchant for sex manuals, Buddy has decided to murder his wife and marry his mistress, Laverne, a robust blonde who cooks his favorite meal of fried pork chops, fried potatoes, and fried apples while wearing a short pink apron over black lace step ins and brassiere, long gartered silk stockings, and platform shoes The only problem is how to arrange the crime.
  • Title: Sneaky People
  • Author: Thomas Berger
  • ISBN: 9780743257954
  • Page: 385
  • Format: Paperback

Comments

Peter Weissman Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I flat out like Thomas Berger He s a terrific writer with a built in sense of social satire I consider this his best The problem with Berger is that he s so prolific He can t help himself he has to write and as a result some of his concoctions are so outlandish invisible people, men who become women, accidental detectives that it can test the credulity of a reader, who, if he or she is like me, will nonetheless suffer through the premises because there s always something brilliant to find What s [...]
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Jon Recluse Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
An entertaining and genuinely humorous tale of infidelity and murder set in the 1930s, filled with sneaky people , doing all the little dirty deeds people are prone to do, deeds that spin out of control, as these things are prone to do, in an engaging comedy of dark errors.Berger doesn t whitewash the language or the social strata, letting us witness both the quaint and the downright ugly with an even hand Things were what they were, and he tells the tale as it was with refreshing honesty and ca [...]
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Sam Johnson Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
Thomas Berger died on July 13, 2014 I had no idea, until a friend of mine and fellow Berger admirer emailed me That it wasn t a national story like the deaths of other writers is part of what keeps Berger s fans in a state of constant disbelief I had stumbled upon Sneaky People for the first time in the early 1990s It was the first of Berger s novels I had read and it led me to the rest of them, all 20 or so, my teaching a number of them at Rutgers, and a long correspondence with the great man T [...]
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Mal Warwick Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
Back in the 1960s, when I began reading in earnest beyond the boundaries of textbooks and science fiction, novels characterized by critics as black humor were popular, and I ate them up That s black as in dark or cynical, gallows humor, not African American This was the heyday of Joseph Heller s Catch 22, Bruce Jay Friedman, Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut, John Barth, and, sometimes, Philip Roth Thomas Berger, the late author of Little Big Man, graduated into this school of writing, too Sneaky Pe [...]
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Rick Urban Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
My book club pretty much hated this book, and the cries of outrage when they saw that I gave it a thumbs up to their six thumbs down were full throated and incredulous I was not surprised, as I had predicted their displeasure to another friend before we ever got to our group discussion, but it is instructive to try and understand why my position specifically, about 3.5 out of 5 stars here is different to theirs, and what it says about the perils of reading any piece of fiction without access to [...]
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Don Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I had high hopes for this given the rave reviews I guess something is lost on me here In the 70ish pages I read I encountered racial slurs and puerile attempts at humor than I might encounter in a bargain bin Pulp Fiction knockoff Nothing struck me as amusing and i found myself not caring about the story or characters at all.
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Merrie Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I enjoyed the author s use of the English language in this book His writing was not as simplistic as many books of recent vintage.
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Russell Atkinson Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
What a disappointment I can t say I hated it, but I certainly wouldn t have finished it had it not been chosen for a mystery book group I intended to join It s so crude as to qualify as soft core porn I realize it s intended as satire but it just plain fails at that I haven t been to this discussion group before but I ll be very interested to see how this book got chosen If future books are like this one, I won t be staying I don t think of myself as easily offended, but this book managed to off [...]
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Shirley Schwartz Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
This is an extremely funny novel that is strangely very warm and a wonderful snapshot of humanity and all that entails At the same time, it is a hard boiled noir mystery novel This book was written in 1975, but the book is set in the 1930 s Berger s characterizations are extremely well crafted That is what makes this book so special The main characters are Buddy Sandifer who is a fairly successful used car salesman who owns a thriving business in a small town There is Buddy s fifteen year old so [...]
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John Pappas Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
A masterful tale of the large and small deceptions that accumulate into a hidden self, a secret life Each character has a public face and a private one, and it is the slow erosion of the border between that provides the momentum of the narrative murderous desires, secret fantasies, and adulterous affairs rise to the surface, are nearly discovered, and threaten to shatter the suburban tranquility of this town It is these secrets that give many of the denizens of this town their meaning the very a [...]
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Spencer Ross Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
Teriffic American irony Should be a film with Jack Nicholson.
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Dan Honeywell Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
Perfectly paced, great characters, and as the title says, sneaky people This book could ve gone on an on for twice its length and kept me hooked, but it didn t, and it ended brilliantly.
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David Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
Putting a hardcover copy of this book up for adoption.
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Barry Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I love this perfectly titled book, which to a large extent is about how we perceive each other Each character carries secrets unknown even to family members Husbands and wives assume they know their spouses, but have no idea of what is really going on within them, under the surface A mysterious peripheral character named Ballbacher, who appears only occasionally, seems to respond to other characters according to their essential purity, severe with the scrofulous, benign with the innocent A vivid [...]
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Billycongo Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I like Berger, but there were too many racial epithets in the first 20 pages.
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Bryan Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
For those who, like me, couldn t place the name at first, Thomas Berger is probably best known as the author of Little Big Man which is the only novel of his I recognized , but who is in actuality quite prolific and has written novels and stories in a variety of genres spanning five decades After hearing an offhand recommendation for his work, I decided to hunt up one of his books, and SNEAKY PEOPLE, originally published in 1975, was the first one I was able to lay a hand onEAKY PEOPLE is the st [...]
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Ant Koplowitz Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
Sneaky People by Thomas Berger is the story of how used car dealer Buddy Sandifer sets out to have his wife murdered so that he can set up home with his long term mistress, Laverne The book starts with this premise, but after a while it becomes clear that the homicide plot is a mere side show What we actually have here is a fairly visceral story of 1950s mid town Americans and their secret lives and fantasies Berger is a literate writer who skilfully uses his prose to explore the secret undersid [...]
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Christopher Sutch Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
There are a number of things going on in this entertaining novel, much of them occurring behind a screen erected by Berger s use of a very limited third person narration The reader may assume, at first, that this narrator is omniscient and in some instances this is the case , and this only adds to the clever conceit of the narrative not only are all of the characters sneaky people, in that they are all hiding things from others and from themselves, but ultimately the text itself is sneaky The na [...]
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Nina Jon Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I came across mention of this novel in one of those Best Ever Crime and Mystery lists I enjoy unearthing new authors and gave it a try.This is definitely not a cosy mystery Nor is it a conventional murder mystery solved by a clever detective The anti hero, Buddy Sandifer, is an arrogant hypocrite whose casual racism and sexism is jaw dropping by modern standards However Buddy lives in the 1930 s Buddy is having an affair Divorce in 1930 s America ain t so easy, and Buddy therefore decides to mur [...]
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Tyler Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I have a suspicion a sneaking one that Joel and Ethan Coen have read this book somewhere alone the line There s a definite affinity between the sensibilities obsessions of their movies and the particulars of this book I m talking folksy dialogue with an ear for both the baroque and the vernacular Raising Arizona, O Brother, Where Are Thou etc a car salesman with a sinister, self serving plot involving his wife Fargo provincial antique setting O Brother again, probably also The Man Who Wasn t The [...]
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David Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
This review is unfair to Thomas Berger s Sneaky People, as it is a function of my genre expectations rather than the actual quality of the book I like Thomas Berger, and when I read a passing reference to Sneaky People as his noir novel set in the 1930s, I bought a copy immediately The plot gets rolling when Buddy Sandifer, owner of a used car lot, puts out a hit on his wife That sounds noir enough, and the book certainly has its dark moments, but Sneaky People is a sex comedy, and I am the vict [...]
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Pamela Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
This is a simple story, simply told, that is simply unforgettable The characters, the pacing, the plot, the writing, it all works Just when you think you know all you need to know about the sneaky people, what is going to happen to them, and why they deserve it, Berger spins it all around and shows you something new And those last couple of paragraphs at the end I m still in shock Why isn t this guy well known Why is Little Big Man, a much lesser book in my opinion, the book he is known for Not [...]
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Hugh Atkins Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I was well into this book when I flipped back to the front to see what other books this author may have written That s when I discovered that Thomas Berger wrote Little Big Man, the book on which one of my favorite movies is based I really enjoyed Sneaky People It has lots of well developed characters and Berger puts a humorous spin on some series life challenges His teenaged character, Ralph, is a bit like J.D Salinger s Holden Caulfield Perhaps Ralph is what a better behaved Holden Caulfield w [...]
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D.L. Williams Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
Entertaining book about Buddy Sandifer and his family and friends The author set the story in the 1930 s The story moved along, it has great description, but did he set the story in the time period just so he could use derogatory slang no race escaped his ethnic slurs I read this book because I read a review that said it was the funniest book the person had ever read I would now guess that person hasn t read many books The description of events and characters is wonderful, the author did keep my [...]
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Geoffrey Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I found this on a list by Thomas H Cook of the ten best mystery suspense novels of all time Since Id never heard of it, I picked one up It is a classic It s of a caper than a mystery or thriller It reminds me of such period Americana as The Flim Flam Man or The Sting Berger also is amazingly forthright about satirizing the race and gender relations of the time His frank language about both must have been startling in 1975.
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Marissa Morrison Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
EXCELLENT storytelling, with characters that pop out of the pages as real people Berger lets their histories, personalities, and secrets unfold in due time This would be a perfect book were it not for the final two pages.
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Kamon Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
A revealing and honest look into social dynamics of race and class system in the 1930s Although not the point of this book but sharply taken notice of Characters were well developed and multi dimensional Not necessarily sneaky but there were hidden traits when examined beyond the surface A book about how we misperceive each other every day.
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Karen Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
Got this from PW article publishersweekly pw byANOTHER not mysstery there was not mystery, only misery full of appropriate for the time phrases and thoughts tho written in 75 nonetheless still largely offensive to modern reader.
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Tricia Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I read to page 17 and hated this book Seems like a bigot going through puberty wrote it Will not finish I actually checked the date of the first printing 1975 what was the author thinking offensive
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Patrick Jan 28, 2021 - 02:51 AM
I saw this on a list of the best mystery novels and gave it a read Just finished, can honestly say it s the worst book I ve ever read Unlikeable characters, disappointing ending, devolves into smut And there was no mystery in this mystery novel.
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Sneaky People By Thomas Berger The time is the 1930s Buddy Sandifer, dressed in his natty white flannels, baby blue shirt, striped tie, tan and white shoes, and coconut straw hat with polka dot band, is falling into one of his moods Owner of a used car lot and father of a fifteen year old son with a penchant for sex manuals, Buddy has decided to murder his wife and marry his mistress, Laverne, a robusThe time is the 1930s Buddy Sandifer, dressed in his natty white flannels, baby blue shirt, striped tie, tan and white shoes, and coconut straw hat with polka dot band, is falling into one of his moods Owner of a used car lot and father of a fifteen year old son with a penchant for sex manuals, Buddy has decided to murder his wife and marry his mistress, Laverne, a robust blonde who cooks his favorite meal of fried pork chops, fried potatoes, and fried apples while wearing a short pink apron over black lace step ins and brassiere, long gartered silk stockings, and platform shoes The only problem is how to arrange the crime.

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    385 Thomas Berger
Sneaky People