It’s a Grubby, Violent, Dangerous World, But It’s the Only World They Know

That was the tagline for the film version of The Friends of Eddie Coyle. The book was tangentially in the news earlier this year with the arrest of fugitive gangster Whitey Bulger (who might be the basis for the character Peter Boyle plays in the movie). Anyway track it down. It’s a great read. You’ll be done with it in a weekend, if not an afternoon. And, yeah, check out the movie too.

What’s fascinating to me is how almost all the conversations in the story adhere to one of two types.

Type 1: Top-down, I’m the fucking boss, so I know what’s best and you better do what I say or else. Type 2: That guy doesn’t know shit and I better cover my ass because I don’t want to be left holding the bag when all this shit comes down.

It’s depressing how many conversations in real life can be slotted into either type.

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7 responses to “It’s a Grubby, Violent, Dangerous World, But It’s the Only World They Know”

  1. Rick Bowes says :

    Higgins’ specialty was the rambling of hilarious but seemingly pointless monologue that only later is revealed as containing the story. FRIENDS was his first novel DIGGER’S GAME and COGAN’S TRADE are also slim and brilliant. Later Higgins’ mannerisms clog his plotline, A couple of times along the way (RAT ON FIRE, in particular) he escapes this and his posthumously published AT END OF DAY (showing how Bulger happened) is a return to the old form.

    • Justin says :

      I can see how that rambling makes sense, especially in this book. One of the characters talks about how no one tells him anything but sometimes you hear something, then you hear something else and before you know it you’ve heard something. It’s a great circuitous little speech that sums up the whole book. I’ll see if I can track down DIGGER and COGAN while in the states.

  2. Rick Bowes says :

    A lot of the guys in FOEC could loose a few pounds.


    • Justin says :

      I decided that link was a spambot, but this is a funny comment. You want me to keep it here even though I’ve deleted the spammer’s comment?

      • Rick Bowes says :

        Glad you like it. Leave it thought it makes no sense now that the diet spambot has been sent off to Limbo. Really you might consider expanding your potential viewership with links to diet sites. A huge demographic!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Favorite Reads 2011 « 10 Bad Habits - December 8, 2011
  2. Favorite Reads 2011 | 10 Bad Habits - August 3, 2013

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