Meltsner’s novel Short Takes, on the angst and trials of an urban lawyer, republished to eBook and paperback

Formerly a hardcover from Random House, Michael Meltsner’s Short Takes is available again in paperback and nine digital formats, including Kindle, Sony, Apple iBooks, PDF, and Nook (all linked below).

Crisscrossing Manhattan, Jeremy, a New York lawyer uneasy with success, confronts his doubts through a series of encounters with the hard-edged, unpredictable life of the city. Revealed through these meetings, friendships and events are war stories of the courtroom and of the analytic couch; memories of Lenny Bruce and Jackie Robinson; the wiles of clever lawyers, Washington in-fighters, of a boss called the Soft Killer, of celebrity poker players and would-be reformers; recollections of frontier Israel and rural Georgia in the sixties. Behind Jeremy lies a brash West Side youth spent amid ethnic gangs and McCarthyism, the special ways of an only child, an idealist out of phase.

These are a few ingredients of the provocative milieu of Short Takes, Meltsner’s unsettling first novel about a lawyer for whom love and work are always intertwined, a man who no longer believes in rules but continues to live by them. Jeremy is a lover who refuses to let go, a New Yorker at odds with the harsh pace and fractious spirit of his city until in the end he negotiates his own terms.

Short Takes, Michael Meltsner’s engaging and extremely well written first novel, creates a character of enormous vitality and considerable charm: funny, caring, searching and all-too-humanly paradoxical.”
Boston Globe

“In ‘The Trial’ Kafka’s Joseph K. tries to discover what sort of crime he is charged with. In ‘Short Takes’ Jeremy tries to discover his innocence. The difference is interesting… ‘Landscape is character,’ according to Henry James, and some of  ‘Short Takes’ is about Jeremy’s relationship to New York City. ‘The most abiding problem I have about New York, he says, is the need to explain it… In Manhattan, no one can suspend disbelief… problems are too large for solution and can only be managed.’”
New York Times

“The real triumph of Short Takes is that it not only rings true but affirms the pleasures of lawyering… Confusion is the hallmark of modern times—and deep down, both Mr. Meltsner and Jeremy are aware that the ambiguities of urban life and lawyering have a vast richness.”
— Tamar Lewin, in the National Law Journal


Paperback is newly released and may be ordered from our QP online eStore, the general Amazon site, Barnes & Noble, and other leading resellers. Libraries may order through above venues and YBP Library Services.

eBooks in all major formats:

Amazon for Kindle.

Barnes & Noble for Nook.

Apple iBooks and iTunes bookstores (directly from the device or app).

Also available from Smashwords (in various formats such as PDF, ePub, rtf, and online viewing); and at the Sony ebookstore for the Sony Reader, at Diesel eBooks, and at Kobobooks.

About the Author:

Michael Meltsner is a senior professor of law at Northeastern University Law School in Boston, and its former dean. His work has spanned from civil rights and death penalty abolition with the NAACP Inc. Fund to law teaching and fiction writing. In addition to this novel in the QP Fiction Series, Quid Pro has also republished in a modern edition his acclaimed nonfiction study Cruel and Unusual, a personal and accessible account, that reads like a novel, of the decade-long struggle to abolish capital punishment in the U.S. See his school’s news story about the re-release of Short Takes.


The cover for the new 2012 edition of Short Takes depicts original artwork contributed to this project by Oscar Martínez Heredia. The artist’s website is, where this and other new works of art are presented. The author and publisher express their gratitude for the permission to reproduce his beautiful work, entitled “Urban Watercolor,” for this cover; © by Oscar Martínez Heredia, all rights reserved. Full size image reproduced below.


ISBN: 1610271149 (pbk)
ISBN-13: 9781610271141 (pbk)
ISBN: 1610271157 (ePub)
ISBN-13: 9781610271158 (ePub)