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Publisher's Summary

George V. Higgins, the internationally-acclaimed grand master of crime fiction, returns to thrill listeners with this riveting tale of cops, robbers, and big city low life. An expertly crafted story of loyalty and betrayal, it is peppered with wonderfully authentic dialogue and seedy black-market atmosphere.

Eddie Coyle is a small-time gun dealer with a big-time problem: who to sell out to avoid going to prison. While mob bosses, cops, hoods, gunmen, thieves, and executioners give Eddie plenty of choices, he has few options. Any decision could cost him his life.

Shady deals and accusations fly as fast and deadly as bullets in this riveting audiobook. The combination of Higgins and narrator Mark Hammer will leave you with mental images of crime and justice that you never thought possible before.

©1970, 1971 George V. Higgins (P)1996 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Narration meets Fantastic Dialogue

This was one of the better combinations of narrator and story I've found on Audible. For the record the narrator is from California and the Boston accent (not overpowering) that he uses is for dramatic effect.

I heard about this book from an interview with Elmore Leonard. He cited it and George Higgins' other work as having dialogue he enjoyed and I can see why. The characters are all written sharp and quick witted. The back and forth between them is vicious and hilarious.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The plot is ok; the dialogue -priceless!!!!

The plot is ok; the dialogue -priceless!!!!
The author capture a certain time and place with precision, humor and grace! Well worth your time!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wouldve been one of my top picks...

What made the experience of listening to The Friends of Eddie Coyle the most enjoyable?

The voice acting. It really sounded like conversations instead of just someone reading.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Not particularly. It never felt intense. Felt more like a documentary. It was good though. I did not long for tighter pacing or anything. It all felt so cool.

Would you be willing to try another one of Mark Hammer’s performances?

I would be reluctant because literally every character sounded the same.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. It was never gripping, just super interesting.

Any additional comments?

This would've been one of my top picks if the voices didnt sound the exact some. This book read like a Tarantino movie. It's basically all conversations and chit chat. Very little action. So for the characters all to sound the same it was hard to keep up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

But you have to love Boston

Just my opinion -- no one should record George V. Higgins but Mark Hammer. He knows the accents, he reads the book out as it was meant to be read -- and that's vital because it's Higgins. Higgins is almost all dialogue. If the dialogue isn't read in a natural, offhand way you'll lose the thread. This book contains some 70s cars and settings, true, but it's as contemporary and well-written as anything in mystery fiction. It's realistic and it's a morality play. The end follows inexorably from the beginning and you're there for every scene. And, if Audible ever brings it onboard, Bomber's Law is even better. But you have to love the language, and the way it's read.

I envy you hearing this for the first time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Raleigh
  • greensboro, NC, United States
  • 06-17-12

hemingway and dopamine and south boston

what comes of 17 years as an boston assistant attorney general ?
in george v. higgins case it produced an keen ear for dialogue
his characters spoke the way ernest hemingway tried to write

each day higgins got to hear criminals cry, lie, explain and complain
to them the unforgivable sin was stupidity or carelessness
it all happened in the brutal zero sum world of south boston crime

in this harsh world female characters were an absolute footnote
at times these women could get their men to be stupid or careless
but beyond those episodes, women barely registered a mention

it was not the oxytocin world of comfort or safety or listening ears
the valuable talent in this dopamine world was the ability to assess a threat
and the threats came in all forms, places and times

some readers may find the text relentlessly dark or grim
other important writers would strongly disagree however
the fans of this book make a sort of "whose who" of crime writers

what does it truly mean to be a man ? how do you think strategically ?
some would say that is the central question of any society
george v. higgins' book answered that question better than most

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Well read, well written, great story of the mob in Boston. Hope to find more like it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

AWESOME

The book - as well as the wonderful vocal performance -- captures the character and atmosphere in Boston during that era, PERFECTLY!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gritty, real, beautify done

If you like the writing of Elmore Leonard or Dennis Lehame, you'll love this. wonderful dialog, beautify performed in this reading

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Slow but interesting.

I read a review that said this is a classic detective story with authentic conversations between criminals. It was a slow but interesting book. If this is an indication of the author's other books, I do not intend to listen to more. the performance was done quite.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

brilliant for 1973

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I read this because I loved the television series Justified. At the end, the main character (Raylan Givens) tosses a tattered copy of this book at another marshall and says that he has read it ten times. I think that this was probably a brilliant insight into that world, when it was written, and has doubtless influenced an awful lot of crime drama since. Unfortunately, it has probably been so influential that it has become cliche, and in general, I am not really that big a fan of cop/lawyer/doctor shows, so I did not really enjoy this all that much. For an aficionado of this genre, it is probably one of the greats.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It ended rather abruptly.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I always wish that audio books would be read a lot less theatrically. I prefer more subtlety.

Could you see The Friends of Eddie Coyle being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No. Although Justified is one of the best shows I have ever seen. If I had enjoyed this book more, I would likely have read his novel Raylan, on which Justified was based. I kind of wish I had chosen that one instead.

Any additional comments?

"Owen Meany, who rarely wasted words and had the conversation stopping habit of dropping remarks like coins into a deep pool of water..... remarks that sank, like truth, to the bottom of the pool where they would remain, untouchable...."
-John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany