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A Man Named Doll  By  cover art

A Man Named Doll

By: Jonathan Ames
Narrated by: Jonathan Ames
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Publisher's Summary

From the creator of HBO's Bored to Death, a deliciously noir novel about idiosyncratic private detective Happy Doll and his quest to help a dying friend in a sun-blinded Los Angeles as "quirky, edgy, charming, funny and serious" as its protagonist (Lee Child)

Happy Doll is a charming, if occasionally inexpert, private detective living just one sheer cliff drop beneath the Hollywood sign with his beloved half-Chihuahua half-Terrier, George. A veteran of both the Navy and LAPD, Doll supplements his meager income as a P.I. by working through the night at a local Thai spa that offers its clients a number of special services. Armed with his 16-inch steel telescopic baton, biting dry humor, and just a bit of a hero complex, the ex-cop sets out to protect the women who work there from clients who have trouble understanding the word "no".

Doll gets by just fine following his two basic rules: bark loudly and act first. But when things get out-of-hand with one particularly violent patron, even he finds himself wildly out of his depth, and then things take an even more dangerous twist when an old friend from his days as a cop shows up at his door with a bullet in his gut.

A Man Named Doll is more than just a fascinating introduction to one truly singular character, it is a highly addictive and completely unpredictable joyride through the sensuous and violent streets of LA.

©2021 Jonathan Ames (P)2021 Mulholland Books

Critic Reviews

"While the macabre seriousness of the crimes and the narrator’s good-nature and sardonic humor might seem to be at odds, Ames makes it work through assured plotting, superb local color, and excellent prose. Readers will happily root for Doll, a good detective and a decent human, in this often funny and grisly outing." (Publishers Weekly)

"I loved this book - it's quirky, edgy, charming, funny and serious, all in one. Very highly recommended." (Lee Child, number one best-selling author of Blue Moon)

A Man Named Doll is so fun and propulsive I didn’t just read it in one sitting, I read it in what felt like a single breath. Happy Doll is a tremendously likable main character, and the Los Angeles he inhabits is vibrantly alive in every detail. I hope Jonathan Ames has many more adventures planned for the newest P.I. in town.” (Lou Berney, author of the New York Times best-selling November Road)

What listeners say about A Man Named Doll

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

interesting writing, too brutal!

Way too violent and scatological for me. Ames has a good voice and reads well, but is no actor. repetitive speech patterns and poor diction . . . not pronouncing It's and D's . . . detracted, for me, from the narration.

44 people found this helpful

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Noirest Noir with splash of humor

Gripping story of LA detective battling the usual suspects of callous rich people taking ever-bigger bites out of the rest of us. Doll, the detective is hapless and down on his luck, fleeing numerous deaths where he is innocent, guilty, and hell yes, guilty.

SEcondary characters could be better-rounded, but with a plot like this and irony dripping from every paragraph, who cares?

I'm sending out copies to friends with the good taste to enjoy this book. Then on to more of Ames stuff for myself.

24 people found this helpful

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Great story

Ok- I loved this book and plan on reading/listening to them all. Also- I love Jonathan Ames. Having said all of that it would have been better with another narrator. Ames was a little flat and his cadence is kind of repetitive. It’s not horrible or even bad- just could have been better.

21 people found this helpful

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always fun riding anywhere with Jonathan Ames

I imagine hardcore noir nerds might find fault with it.....but I loved it. It's a bit dark.....but there are some great Ames lines and it's all woven together nicely. Looking forward to the sequel(s). Note: I think authors should narrate their books....he does a great job.

17 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and fresh

So much more than noir though perfectly satisfying in the context of the genre. Love the narration too. It feels like Ames knows something; like he’s pushing through a boundary. Like he is iterating on what a novel is.

16 people found this helpful

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great book

great book amazing story loved the characters especially George. looking forward to the sequel

13 people found this helpful

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Authors Need to Stop Narrating Their Own Books...

The narrator (in this case, the author) is not good. Monotone and seemingly bored with his own work, the narration drags a mediocre story down with it. Characters are not enjoyable or relatable and the dialogue is laughable.

I got this book on sale for $1.95 and it was priced correctly - I DEFINITELY would have returned this if I had spent a credit or paid full price.

Good narrators get paid to bring the story to life - let them do their work!

2 people found this helpful

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Second worse book I have ever listened to

I liked the narration and there were parts that were written well, BUT the plot was crap. The book just droned on and on… I will be returning it

2 people found this helpful

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A Man Named Doll

Dark!!! Very real believing story!!
Kept me Totally interested an enthralled the complete time… So glad to read GEORGE was involved in my mind completely to great ending…. Can’t wait for next audible of this author….

2 people found this helpful

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This Writer Shouldn't Narrate

This story was pretty good, even though the main character suffered through a lot of horrible things. But, I would have enjoyed it much more with a different narrator. The writer narrated mostly in monotone and ran the dialogue together with the description of who was talking (e.g. "I don't want to diehesaid").

1 person found this helpful