Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Friends of Eddie Coyle, by George V. Higgins

The Friends of Eddie Coyle: A Novel, by George V. Higgins

Reluctantly, I'd have to say I enjoyed reading this novel. With not a single likable character and no identifiable heroes or villains the first third is interminably slow as the reader has to wait for the various plot lines to be firmly established and intermingle before it becomes interesting. There is very little descriptive text; nearly the entire story is told with dialogue—it often felt more like a play than a novel other than the widely varying locations. The speech comes across as very authentic rather than something you'd hear watching Law and Order but one mild complaint I had is that many of the voices sound the same: one thug speaks in much the same tone as the next. There isn't really a mystery here, just a story of a handful of crooks and cops going about their business. As far as Boston crime novels go I think I still prefer Parker to Higgins, but if you don't need a sympathetic lead to enjoy a book you could do a lot worse than The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

First Sentence:
Jackie Brown at twenty-six, with no expression on his face, said that he could get some guns.

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