Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop now

Customer Review

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 September 2013
Many years ago I read Higgins's most famous novel, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, and didn't get what all the fuss what about. With many hundreds of books under my belt since then, including this one, I now have a much better sense of why Higgins is so revered among crime fiction cognoscenti. Simply put, it's his ear for the dialogue and mores of the criminal world.

The plot is certainly nothing remarkable -- some small time hoods scheme to knock over an after-hours card game and put the blame on the guy running the game. This causes all the other after-hours card games to shut down, and the mob sends fixer Jackie Coogan in to clean things up. A few complications ensue, but the book is not about the plotting, it's about the telling of the story. And that's done almost entirely through dialogue.

But not just any dialogue -- these aren't conventional fictional conversations with begins, middles, and ends. In many cases, the reader is dropped into a conversation that's already begun, and there can be long passages where the topic of discussion is somewhat opaque, until one works it out from context. It's kind of an amazingly improbably blend of the highly realistic with the highly stylized. One would be hard-pressed to come away from this (and other ) Higgins books not believing that Quentin Tarantino has read and absorbed them all.

Readers who like their crime to be plot-driven will probably find this story kind of frustrating, given how meandering it is. It's also pretty clear from the get-go what's going to happen and when, so those who need their crime stories to be full of suspense will be similarly frustrated. But if you're looking for a master class in creating character through dialogue, this is it! Now I just have to go back and read The Friends of Eddie Coyle!
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like this:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.

Please write at least one word
You must purchase at least one item from Amazon to post a comment
A problem occurred while submitting your comment. Please try again later.

There was a problem loading the comments at the moment. Please try again later.

Product Details

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime