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Els Amics de l'Eddie Coyle

de George V. Higgins

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8234222,034 (3.98)112
The classic novel from "America's best crime novelist" (Time), with a new introduction by Elmore LeonardEddie Coyle works for Jimmy Scalisi, supplying him with guns for a couple of bank jobs. But a cop named Foley is on to Eddie and he's leaning on him to finger Scalisi, a gang leader with a lot to hide. And then there's Dillon-a full-time bartender and part-time contract killer--pretending to be Eddie's friend. Wheeling, dealing, chasing, and stealing--that's Eddie, and he's got lots of friends.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 42 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Stumbled onto this one to as a lark- i had heard of it and there it was attractively shown at my library, with great write-ups attached ("best crime novel ever" ... words to that effect by ... Lehane?) Not sure i would go that far, but this is a fantastic, immediately grabbing book. Very fast read... the story of Eddie "Fingers" Coyle - low level (?) gun runner who is in trouble with the law and so has to consider turning rat to save himself. The story wends and winds all over grubby crimes (bank robberies and so forth), introducing a bevy of characters (with a capital C). Story is great, but i am burying the lead here... it is is language / dialog that carries this book to such heights. i can't speak to authenticity (what do i know) but it sounds so true and so appropriately targeted. A veritable confederacy of dunces for boston low life criminal language. Just loved it and will see about more of Higgins. ( )
  apende | Jul 12, 2022 |
Now that was...painfully fun. 70s hard-boiled. Not a lick of romance or Romanticizing... ( )
  ByronDB | May 17, 2022 |
Short, fast paced crime story. One of the antecedents of modern cinematic crime story telling. ( )
1 vota bennylope | Feb 24, 2022 |
George V. Higgins had an unusual background for a writer of crime novels. As a Deputy Assistant Attorney General and an Assistant United States Attorney, he spent 7 years focusing on prosecution of organized-crime. He then spent ten years in private practice as an attorney (representing such figures as Gordon Liddy and Eldredge Cleaver), contributed as a journalist and newspaper columnist, and served on the faculty at Boston College and Boston University. Higgins' background in the law and organized crime is reflected in his novels, including this one, his first such contribution.

"The Friends of Eddie Coyle" holds an iconic status in crime novels, being highly regarded and heavily praised by such writers as Ross MacDonald. Indeed, Elmore Leonard called it "the best crime novel ever written." Nevertheless, some readers have trouble with the work, as it transcends the formulaic. The novel is mainly told through dialogue, and the reader's full attention is sometimes required to determine who is speaking. (Early in the novel, characters are described but not named, and only eventually does one learn that "the stocky man" is Eddie himself). As described in the Wikipedia page on the author, "Higgins was proud of his skill in rendering dialogue with great accuracy.... He was also an expert in lending atmosphere to a series of harsh or barren facts, inducing his readers to figure out important things artfully implied in the text but never stated."

This novel depicts the Irish- American underworld in Boston, and is populated by small-time criminals that are entirely unlike the romanticized depictions in such works as The Godfather. Indeed, they have to scramble for money, have nagging wives, and worry about paying their monthly bills. Eddie has been making money by supplying pistols to a small gang of bankrobbers. He had been nabbed while transporting a hijacked truckload of liquor, and is facing a prison sentence that he is desperate to avoid. Under pressure from the feds, he reluctantly agrees to turn informant. His timing is off; identity of the bankrobbers is revealed by a disgruntled girlfriend, but Eddie is blamed, and is finally executed by one of his "friends". .

The irony of the title lies in the fact that Eddie has no real friends; all of the characters are out for what they can get, in this, the hard-scrabble life of the small time criminal. My own reaction to the novel was mixed. I appreciated the originality of its style and its reliance on realistic dialogue to tell its story, but I didn't find it as gripping or entertaining as some crime novels of the more conventional sort. Overall, I think the novel grows on the reader, so perhaps a second reading would be beneficial.

"The Friends of Eddie Coyle" was made into a film, starring Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle. The movie not only sticks close to the book's plot and tone, but adopts much of the dialogue right from the book. ( )
2 vota danielx | Jan 8, 2022 |
A few quick thoughts:
This lived up to the hype. Higgins constructed this novel out of dialogue and cars pulling in and out of parking lots and rest stops. As there is very little exposition, and the dialogue is in the slang of the 1970s Boston underworld, sometimes I was a little lost as to what exactly was going on. I think a second reading would sort that out. The plot itself is straightforward and tight and all the characters are memorable. I started watching the movie but Robert Mitcham seemed like he was reading from a teleprompter. The talk in the book should be cut down for a film and the action relied on more - there is a good amount of that in the book too. ( )
  FEBeyer | Oct 25, 2021 |
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The classic novel from "America's best crime novelist" (Time), with a new introduction by Elmore LeonardEddie Coyle works for Jimmy Scalisi, supplying him with guns for a couple of bank jobs. But a cop named Foley is on to Eddie and he's leaning on him to finger Scalisi, a gang leader with a lot to hide. And then there's Dillon-a full-time bartender and part-time contract killer--pretending to be Eddie's friend. Wheeling, dealing, chasing, and stealing--that's Eddie, and he's got lots of friends.

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