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The Friends of Eddie Coyle: A Novel

The Friends of Eddie Coyle: A Novel

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle: A Novel

4.5/5 (21 valoraciones)
188 página
3 horas
Apr 27, 2010


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Lawyer, journalist, teacher, and prolific writer George V. Higgins offers readers a classic crime noir tale in this must-read Boston crime fiction, The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

Considered America's best crime novelist, Higgins holds nothing back with this seminal work about the down-and-dirty tale of thieves, mobsters, and cops on the mean streets of Boston.

When small-time gunrunner Eddie Coyle is convicted on a felony, he's looking at three years in the pen — that is, unless he sells out one of his big-fish clients to the DA.

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. Which of the many hoods, gunmen, and executioners whom he calls his friends should he send up the river?

Told almost entirely in crackling dialogue by a vivid cast of lowlifes and detectives, The Friends of Eddie Coyle is one of the greatest crime novels ever written.

Apr 27, 2010

Sobre el autor

George V. Higgins (1939-1999) was a lawyer, journalist, teacher, and the author of 29 books, including Bomber's Law, Trust , and Kennedy for the Defense. His seminal crime novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle was the basis for the 1973 Robert Mitchum film of the same name.

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle - George V. Higgins



Jackie Brown at twenty-six, with no expression on his face, said that he could get some guns. I can get your pieces probably by tomorrow night. I can get you, probably, six pieces. Tomorrow night. In a week or so, maybe ten days, another dozen. I got a guy coming in with at least ten of them but I already talk to another guy about four of them and he’s, you know, expecting them. He’s got something to do. So, six tomorrow night. Another dozen in a week.

The stocky man sat across from Jackie Brown and allowed his coffee to grow cold. I don’t know as I like that, he said. I don’t know as I like buying stuff from the same lot as somebody else. Like, I don’t know what he’s going to do with it, you know? If it was to cause trouble to my people on account of somebody else having some from the same lot, well, it could cause trouble for me, too.

I understand, Jackie Brown said. People who got out early from work went by in the November afternoon, hurrying. The crippled man hawked Records, annoying people by crying at them from his skate-wheeled dolly.

You don’t understand the way I understand, the stocky man said. I got certain responsibilities.

Look, Jackie Brown said, I tell you I understand. Did you get my name or didn’t you?

I got your name, the stocky man said.

Well all right, Jackie Brown said.

All right nothing, the stocky man said. I wished I had a nickel for every name I got that was all right, I wished I did. Look at this. The stocky man extended the fingers of his left hand over the gold-speckled For mica tabletop. You know what that is?

Your hand, Jackie Brown said.

I hope you look closer at guns’n you look at that hand, the stocky man said. Look at your own goddamned hand.

Jackie Brown extended the fingers of his left hand. Yeah, he said.

Count your fucking knuckles, the stocky man said.

All of them? Jackie Brown said.

Ah Christ, the stocky man said. Count as many of them as you want. I got four more. One on each finger. Know how I got those? I bought some stuff from a man that I had his name, and it got traced, and the man I bought it for, he went to M C I Walpole for fifteen to twenty-five. Still in there, but he had some friends. I got an extra set of knuckles. Shut my hand in a drawer. Then one of them stomped the drawer shut. Hurt like a fucking bastard. You got no idea how it hurt.

Jesus, Jackie Brown said.

What made it hurt more, the stocky man said, "what made it hurt worse was knowing what they were going to do to you, you know? There you are and they tell you very matter of fact that you made somebody mad, you made a big mistake and now there’s somebody doing time for it, and it isn’t anything personal, you understand, but it just has to be done. Now get your hand out there. You think about not doing it, you know? I was in Sunday School when I was a kid and this nun says to me, stick out your hand, and the first few times I do it she whacks me right across the knuckles with a steel-edged ruler. It was just like that. So one day I says, when she tells me ‘Put out your hand,’ I say, ‘No.’ And she whaps me right across the face with that ruler. Same thing. Except these guys weren’t mad, they aren’t mad at you, you know? Guys you see all the time, maybe guys you didn’t like, maybe guys you did, had some drinks with, maybe looked out for the girls. ‘Hey look, Paulie, nothing personal, you know? You made a mistake. The hand. I don’t wanna have to shoot you, you know.’ So you stick out the hand and—you get to put out the hand you want—I take the left because I’m right-handed and I know what’s going to happen, like I say, and they put your fingers in the drawer and then one of them kicks it shut. Ever hear bones breaking? Just like a man snapping a shingle. Hurts like a bastard."

Jesus, Jackie Brown said.

That’s what I mean, the stocky man said. "I had a cast on for almost a month. Weather gets damp, it still hurts. I can’t bend them fingers. So I don’t care what your name is, who gave it to me. I had the other guy’s name, and that didn’t help my goddamn fingers. Name isn’t enough. I get paid for being careful. What I want to know is, what happens one of the other guns from this bunch gets traced? Am I going to have to start pricing

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  • (4/5)
    Certainly NOT a "feel good" story - great atmosphere and characters.
  • (5/5)
    Although you can guess how it ends, this novel impresses for the near perfection of its execution. Most of the story is told through conversations, and the reader slowly comes to know the characters through these conversations, some of them pretty funny in a very dark way, rather than a lot of narrative, . Eddie Coyle is a small time crook who is in trouble. He's about to be sentenced and he doesn't want to go to jail. How far will he go to keep out? This is claustrophobic noir fiction in the same vein as Hammett's The Glass Key or Sallis's Drive. And if you've ever seen a Tarantino movie, you have to figure this is a book he read and remembered, although unlike much of Tarantino's clever but artificial dialogue, Higgins' characters sound like real people speaking in a real way.
  • (4/5)
    What kind of person will smash a man in the face with a gun for money? Noir, realistic fiction does not go in for soppy sentimentality about mobsters. These are bad people, defective human beings.The natural comparison for me is Westlake's Parker novels. My brief (n=2) exposure to Parker suggests that Higgins is more the realist. Both are excellent stylists, although one is getting a terse, minimalistic style. Westlake is probably the better writer, but Higgins has the straight dope. Not for him the one-man-army of Parker in The Hunter. Let me pose another rhetorical question. How do you open a time-lock safe without explosive expertise, or safe-cracking expertise. What is the weakness in the system? Of course, the weakness is man. Show up at the bank president's house, put a gun to his wife's head, and he himself will open the safe. That heist logic, repeated four times, forms the core of "Eddie Coyle." The passage that will remain with me, is one such bank president, his wife and children hostage, waiting for the time-lock to open. He recalls a vacation, where he finds himself four feet away from a timber rattler. After a paralyzed eternity, the snake slithers off into the grass, but throughout the vacation, he, his wife, his children, step more carefully through the grass. That's the way life is, care-free until it isn't. And once it isn't, it never will be again.
  • (5/5)
    What more needs to be said than Higgins was Elmore Leonard's model for crime fiction? Eddie Coyle is a weary career criminal looking for a way out so he can live out the rest of his (very modest) life in peace. Not so fast, Eddie. Not surprisingly, the way out involves being an informant. In 180 pages, the reader will see exactly where Leonard learned to write dialogue, which dominates the narrative. Reviewed by:Phil OvereemLanguage Arts Teacher