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 which of the many hoods, gunmen and executioners he calls his friends should he send up river? Set on the mean streets of Boston and told almost entirely in crackling dialogue by a vivid cast of cops and lowlifes, The Friends of Eddie Coyle set a standard for authentically gritty crime fiction that has never been bettered.
Read by Mark Hammer. Narrator Mark Hammer came to Audiobooks with a long and distinguished career in the theater. He was a drama professor at Catholic University and a beloved acting coach at New York's Stella Adler Studio. He has appeared in major regional theaters and Broadway productions as well as on television and radio. Listeners and audio critics agree that the characters and regional dialects they hear in Mark Hammer's narrations are astounding. Audio File touts this narrator as "one of the finest interpreters of our day.
©1970 George V Higgins (P)1996 Recorded Books
The story is clearly great, but it is totally undermined by the fact that the narrator appears to be Grandpa Simpson, and he's forgotten to put his teeth in for a few of the scenes. All of the pace of the original story is sapped by the narrator's slow drawl. And his attempt at different voices (young child, southern idiot, black guy) are laughable. I particularly enjoyed the small boy crying "Daddy!", in the weird high pitch tones of a 60 year old man.
The reading has almost put me off finishing the audiobook, because I feel like I'm not doing the original book justice.
It's hard to really bond with any of the characters, given that they've all been reduced to gibbering elderly gents, regardless of whether they are in fact gun runners, hoodlums, FBI agents or small children.
James Gandolfini (RIP).
I wouldn't cut any scenes - it's an unabridged edition.
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