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Literature / The Beat

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''As was so often the case with Jake, there was no warning. One moment calm. The next, violence.'

The Beat is a 2013 novella, written by James Mc Connaughy (also known as Elessar a writer for The plot chronicles the story of two hitmen, Jake and Andrew, who are sent to retrieve a stolen drug shipment. After tracking down the thieves and returning what they had, they learn that the thieves had already sold off 3/4ths of the shipment. Jake and Andrew must search up and down the East coast to find the stolen goods before they disappear, or face the consequences of failure.


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Tropes featured in this work include:

  • Addiction-Powered: Played with, with Jake. It's heavily implied that the drug he takes regularly (unspecified, but suggested to be speed) is what makes him so lethally fast, but it's also what makes him so constantly unstable and violent.
  • Affably Evil: The unnamed mob boss who Jake and Andrew meet towards the end. He's polite and gives them back the piece of the shipment he bought without a fight.
  • The Alcoholic: Jake, if the number of beer cans around his apartment is any indication.
  • Anticlimax Boss: The unnamed mob boss Jake and Andrew meet at the end, who gives up his part of the shipment without arguing or fighting.
  • Author Appeal: The author lives on the East Coast and many of the locations in the book are based heavily on places near where he's lived.
  • The Big Guy: Andrew, who is 6'6 and built like a football linebacker, in relation to Jake who is 6'3 and built like a twig.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jake and Andrew succeed in their mission, but their lives remain unchanged.
  • Body Horror: Jake's body and scars, as well as a lot of the violence.
  • Bookends: Both the prologue and epilogue use similar dialogue and are mostly unrelated to the main plot, to emphasize how little has changed over the course of the story.
  • Genius Bruiser: While maybe not a genius, Andrew is clearly the calmer, more intelligent of the pair and is built like a football linebacker.
  • Gorn: The depiction of violence gets a little...enthusiastic at times.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Jake is insanely fast and certainly seems capable of taking a pounding at one point getting shot in the shoulder and keeps going.
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  • Name's the Same: Brian Wilson. The fact that everyone recognizes his name but can't remember from where is a Running Gag.
  • No Name Given: Most characters. No one gets a name unless it comes up in conversation. Neither Jake nor Andrew get a last name either.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The unnamed British gang member who threatens Jake and suggests Jake is unwilling to kill anyone...while Jake is aiming a loaded shotgun at his chest.


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