Robbers – Quotes from Reviews & Authors


Robbers remains one of my favorite first novels of the last decade. More, please, sir.”

“An adrenaline bomb of a crime novel… a rhythm that is strictly four on the floor.”

“I couldn’t put the book down. The dialogue is masterful, the characters spring from the page… Don’t miss this one.”

“A debut novel with classic noir bones … Cook covers it with fearless originality, in a lyric voice that sings itself raw.”

“I never put this book down once after I opened it, except to underline passages and even to write a few of them down… as compelling as anything you’ve read.”

Robbers is a full-tilt boogie of a tale that wraps nearly every genre of Texas fiction into one tightly wound bundle… one of best novels of contemporary Texas yet written… It’s a book to stay up all night with… a chicken-fried ‘Pulp Fiction.’”

“Cook clearly has the suspense-building gene; his writing, fluid yet visceral, compels the reader to hang in there while the nerve-jangling plot tick-tick-ticks toward its explosive end.”

“Narrative gold, spun from violence, bittersweet humor, beauty, and terror. The alchemist is Christopher Cook, whose first novel is a noir powerhouse: uncompromising and authentic… Think James Lee Burke and Elmore Leonard, but think William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy too.”

“This gritty crime drama is not for the faint of heart.”

“Christopher Cook settles back to give us a lively, darkly comic, enormously entertaining crime novel about two ex-cons on the run, the young woman they hook up with and the Texas Ranger who pursues them like a force of nature.”

From other authors…

“Christopher Cook writes like an angel…I haven’t enjoyed a novel this much in years. This is a terrific book and I can’t wait for the next one.”
       —James Crumley, author of The Last Good Kiss

“If Elmore Leonard lived in Texas, his name would be Christopher Cook.”
       —Kinky Friedman, author of The Mile High Club

“My kind of book.”
       —James Ellroy, author of L.A. Confidential

“From Elmore Leonard’s laconic flair with the dumb and dangerous to James Lee Burke’s lyric feel for dark hearts in a New South—Robbers ranges wild and wide, deep through the heart of Texas. Cook has a talent big enough to take his natural-born killers in richly traveled territory he makes memorably his own.”
       —Michael Malone, author of Time’s Witness



Publishers Weekly review

October 9, 2000

The harsh, foreboding essence of rural Texas dominates Cook’s bloody, bittersweet debut novel, charting the adventures of two criminal drifters and their pursuer…

The boys’ aimless adventure eventually includes Della, a woman who patterns her life on women’s magazines and desperately aspires to middle-class respectability… as crafty Texas Ranger, Rule Hooks, picks up their scent. Hooks, a tracker by training and instinct, relies on modern police methods as well as his gut instincts to sniff out his prey.

Cook’s plot tumbles from scene to scene with jarring brilliance, the pathos of his characters lending his otherwise brutal world a certain beauty. His imagery is striking, almost lyrical…

This gritty crime drama is not for the faint of heart, but Cook’s prose sets it a notch above many like novels. The publisher compares the book to the work of James Lee Burke; if booksellers push this comparison, or if they aim the title at a hip, youthful readership, it could make out like a bandit.



The New York Times Book Review

December 24, 2000


Bad boys like Ray Bob and Eddie need no introduction; they just are what they are, ”outsiders from the rural frontier . . . young and unemployed and broke, trawling boredom after a late greasy lunch.”

Christopher Cook puts the match to these combustible ”running buddies” in ROBBERS (Carroll & Graf, $24.95), a debut novel with classic noir bones, when he sets them down in Austin, Tex., in a stolen Eldorado and points them to the highway. Eddie, the stupid one, comes up a penny short for a pack of smokes, so he shoots the clerk at the 7-Eleven, giving Ray Bob, the crazy one, the excuse for a crime spree.

Jumping lanes to elude a mean Texas Ranger on their trail, the outlaws shoot, rape and rob their way to Galveston and would still be tearing up the blacktop if Eddie hadn’t fallen for a Houston hairdresser with higher aspirations. This is familiar plot territory, but Cook covers it with fearless originality, in a lyric voice that sings itself raw.