The Westies

Inside New York's Irish Mob
Narrated by: James Anderson Foster
Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (471 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It's men like Jimmy Coonan and Mickey Featherstone who gave Hell's Kitchen its name. In the mid-1970s, these two longtime friends take the reins of New York's Irish mob, using brute force to give it hitherto unthinkable power. Jimmy, a charismatic sociopath, is the leader. Mickey, whose memories of Vietnam torture him daily, is his enforcer. Together they make brutality their trademark, butchering bodies or hurling them out the window. Under their reign, Hell's Kitchen becomes a place where death literally rains from the sky. But when Mickey goes down for a murder he didn't commit, he suspects his friend has sold him out. He returns the favor, breaking the underworld's code of silence and testifying against his gang in open court.

From one of the writers behind NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Street comes an incredible true story of what it means to survive in the world of organized crime, where murder is commonplace.

©2006 T. J. English (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about The Westies

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book

Started slow and was a bit confusing to follow all the characters. But ended in a great way. Highly recommend this book for anyone that is into true crime books.

3 people found this helpful

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Documentary that reads like a novel.

This history of Hell's Kitchen and the Irish immigrants that formed an organized crime dynasty is well told, with great detail, and without politicization. The reader can form their own opinions as the events unfold. I especially like the follow up at the end that gives the reader closure on the participants.

3 people found this helpful

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TJ English's best. Love his work.

I really love TJ English's well document, well researched books. The Westies is my new favorite. I visited Hell's Kitchen a few years ago. Now I have to go back with this story fresh in my head. An outstanding crime story.

3 people found this helpful

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Good in depth Irish Mob book!

I knew almost nothing about The Westies before this book. It goes from the beginning to the end of the crew with all the details laid out for you. Narration is great and its the perfect length to hold your attention the entire time!

2 people found this helpful

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Very good narrator, absorbing true story

If someone were to write this tale as a novel I would not have believed it. incredible research.

2 people found this helpful

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incredible

one of the best accounts of old time gangs and gangsters I have ever read.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating story

If you are a fan of non-fiction mafia or organized crime stories, this is a must listen to book. Delivery was good with a true reading of the book. The story was a bit biased towards Mickey but perhaps not undeserving.

2 people found this helpful

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good book

narrated well current story was well told an interesting. crazy times back in the days of the Westies

1 person found this helpful

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The Westies

thoroughly researched and comprehensive account of a remarkable period in the history of crime in NTC

1 person found this helpful

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revealing true crime book

I enjoyed hearing the mostly unvarnished and complete facts of the case instead of the sensationalized highlights that most sources highlight. Hearing the personal stories, and getting a glimpse of the real people behind the myths and legends is always appreciated. Narration was fine, nothing spectacular but better than average.

1 person found this helpful

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  • PMeehan
  • 04-01-19

Skip the first chapter!!!

A stunningly-detailed recounting of the rise and fall of The Westies in New York's Hell's Kitchen from the '50s to 1980s.

The write has done his research in astonishingly details, as he is able to recount stories and events that would only be remembered by those who were in the situation at the time.

With a lot of supporting character, English helps you to identify each major player involved without getting too bogged down in explaining who has done what, while also keeping the narrative running.

The only downside is that he reveals the book (and Westies) climax in the first chapter, thereby colouring your view of the whole story. So skip the first chapter if you download this audiobook.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Bananaman
  • 02-01-18

Great

A real eye opener, I find this kind of crime book so engrossing. I have a bit of a morbid curiosity for mafia history and this didn't disappoint. It did however make me feel a little sick.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-08-17

What a book

Excellent listen from start too finish had me on the edge of my seat "bravo"

3 people found this helpful

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  • nigel screen
  • 07-12-19

get this book

A really well written, well researched book and very enjoyable. I would recommend this to anyone

1 person found this helpful

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  • robert
  • 02-21-19

Great listen

These types of books are often hit and miss but this is one of the good ones. The type of story that has you so interested you start Googling the real life characters to see what they looked like. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MURIEL CASSERLY - Leitrim Caravan Hire
  • 12-11-18

Loved this

On so many levels I have enjoyed this book. Educational and really interesting.
Highly recommend and really enjoyed the narrator James Anderson Foster.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-31-18

Very good work

great audio book five stars from me.

Very interesting read about the Irish American mob.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs L Lloyd
  • 07-27-18

riveting

slow start but then it kicks of with an increditable, well researched , well written and narrated tale of a criminal gang I had never heard of.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tom O’Donnell
  • 04-10-18

loved it

first audio book absolutely loved it. Would highly recommend this for anyone who likes this genre

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-16-20

incredulous

Mickey Featherstones is such a respectable person a true gangster, This story was the best ive ever heard. the narrator didnt seem to bring out the best of the characters, and there are so many but he eventually seemed to himself understand them towards the middle of the story and it was great to hear. The book can be a bit jumpy going from one time frame to another which can be a bit confusing but im going to listen to this many times again. Westies ☘

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-11-18

Great

very good audio book. keeps you wanting more after every chapter. Well written and spoken.