He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day, when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine. Frank consigned his Mob ties to the past years ago, which is where he wants them to stay. But a favor being called in now by the local boss is one Frank can't refuse, and soon he's sucked back into the treacherous currents of his former life. Someone from the past wants him dead. He has to figure out who and why, and he has to do it fast.
©2006 Don Winslow; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Elmore Leonard fans who have not yet discovered Winslow will be delighted by his fourth thriller....Winslow has created plausible characters and taut scenes of suspense that will keep readers turning pages." (Publishers Weekly)
I've quickly become a rabid fan of Don Winslow's evocative mystery thrillers. In "The Winter of Frankie Machine" Winslow neatly introduces Frank Machiano, AKA Frankie Machine, who, a stone killer for the mafia, is a likeable, even admirable guy. Frank manages to maintain his integrity even as those around him cheat, lie, steal, kill and--worst of all--betray all that they stood for. Retired from the hitman business--as much as anyone can retire from the mob, Frank is unwilling dragged into the life again as crime and corruption reach toward the highest office in the land. Through it all, Frank stays true to his daughter, his ex-wife, his friends and himself.
Dennis Boutsikaris lends his reading a casual intensity that perfectly captures the winter sunshine of San Diego. A terrific choice for this book.
More Don Winslow, please, and more Dennis Boutsikaris.
This is one of my two all-time favorite audio books. I've listened since 1993. I have it on cassette, audible download and in print. Dennis Boutsikaris is the perfect narrator for this book. "It's a lot of work being me." I thoroughly enjoy listening to the reminiscences of this older man. You don't have to be a mafia hit man to relate to Frankie Machine. You only need to have lived long enough to have memories to share. If you have, you won't be dissapointed. It's a great listen.
I stumbled on Don Windslow this month and have listed to all three of his unabridged books. I wish Audible had others. When I hit this one I was concerned about the change of readers but should not have been. All three are well written and well read. They are not for the squeamish, but neither is life.
This is an understated but GREAT story. Also a subtle and insightful look into the people who make up "organized crime".
I enjoyed this story all the way through, but I only realized how good it was after I finished it the first time. It kept coming back in flashbacks to this scene or that scene, as well as the overall mood and feel. Winslow says a lot without saying it all the way through the story, and for me, that's one of the marks of a good writer.
I've listened to "Winter" 3 times now and plan to listen to it again soon. I've also read all of Winslow's other books and keep watching for new ones. If the values of people who live on the edge bother you, this isn't a book for you. Otherwise, enjoy!
P.S. I don't know whether I'd put Don Winslow at the top of my favorite writers list, but he's close. Maybe other people would enjoy listening to these writers, too. Here's a short list:
Don Winslow (everything),
John Grisham (before Theodore Boone),
Peter Hamilton (complex and interesting hard sci fi),
Michael Crichton (books like "Prey" make learning fun and scary),
Nelson DeMille (especially "By The Rivers Of Babylon"),
Christopher Reich (especially "The Big Short"),
Greg Bear (long, complex, fun hard sci fi stories),
Alastair Reynolds (great hard sci fi),
Richard K Morgan (Altered Carbon trilogy and Thirteen. After that he seemed to lose it.)
Paolo Bacigalupi (Windup Girl, Ship Breaker, Pump Six etc). Paolo is great!
Michael Connelly (just about everything he's ever written).
Lee Child, Lincoln Child, & Ken Follett
Hope you find some authors here you enjoy. And hope I got my spelling right. :)
How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!
I only purchased this book because it was on sale, but honestly... It's worth full price. Winslow's hero is a man I feel like I've always known. He's 62, a devoted father, deeply involved in his community and well thought of by all. But he has a dark past, one that comes back to haunt him and threatens not only the world he has created, but his very life.
It's a chase story, a mafia story, a suspense thriller and a heck of a mystery with lots of twists. It's read by Boutsikaris, definitely one of the top narraters on audible.
well writen and read realisticaly by narator,the main charactor is strong and streat smart, smiles crossed my face many times and actually made me laugh out loud, a retired hitman who loves the sea air and is pulled back to his prior life--------temporerily
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
Don Winslow is a total guilty pleasure. I think the cliché that there are only seven basic stories needs to be expanded to include reluctant former mobster assassins who surf. I love how the late 2000s brought some pretty amazing surfing/slacker crime fiction. You've got Winslow's 'The Winter of Frankie Machine' and 'The Dawn Patrol', Pynchon's 'Inherent Vice', obviously 'the Big Lebowski' (which isn't technically in the early 2000s and is more of a bowling slacker flick than a surfing slacker flick, but details). Anyway, these are all children of Chandler and the 60s. And they all speak to my need for the beach and revenge. Having worked in a bait shop myself (during a college summer) I can totally relate to the Zen nature of selling worms. There is something zen about both surfing and fishing. it reminds me of an old Utne reader article I read awhile back:
"I remember listening to a dharma talk five years ago by one of my favorite teachers, Ajahn Amaro, a witty British monk in the Thai Forest tradition who lives in a humble hut in the Mendocino Forest in Northern California. He used a surfing metaphor to explain samsara, the endless cycle of birth and death. The Ajahn laughed as he talked about the ridiculousness of surfers.
They struggle to paddle through the crashing surf in search of their perfect wave. But when they finally catch one, they get a fleeting rush of adrenaline, get shoved underwater, come up breathless, and then struggle to get back out again for another round. This, he said, is dukkha-suffering."
The same can be said of fishing and probably mob killing. So it goes.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
I love Don Winslow's nearly flawless prose style and the way his vivid and colorful characters elicit strong responses in the reader or listener. The ability to attach us powerfully to a character was particularly important for a story built around a mobster hit man, but I had no problem hanging in Frankie's corner to the end. Still, this was definitely not my favorite outing with Winslow. The long string of flashbacks interspersed with an ongoing cat and mouse game playing out in the present felt a little clunky to me in this instance, though the author has used it more effectively elsewhere. In addition, well before we reached the final confrontation it had become fairly clear where we were heading and who would be involved, and Frankie had been established as so superior to his adversaries in every way that it was next to impossible to work up any tension or suspense in any of the episodes. One is reduced to enjoying the mechanisms he uses to frustrate the poor klutzes who pursue him.
Even with my reservations, I still enjoyed Frankie Machine's winter's tale. Winslow's best is a high bar to set. There is plenty to enjoy and savor even in his lesser efforts.
I only purchased the audio version and it was damn good! Wish there were other books with Frankie Machine in it.
There were several, but if I go into details, it gives part of the story away.
I loved his performance. Very real. Will look into other audio books he narrates.
Towards the end, butI do not want to give anything away.
One of the most entertaining books you will ever listen to. I read other reviews where they complained about the story going into the character's past, but I feel its vital for background on Frankie Machine. It did not bother me in the least. LOVED this book and wish there were others with Frankie Machine in it.
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