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Summary

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

What listeners say about The Friends of Eddie Coyle

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Pure hard boiled genius!

Anyone new to Higgins should start with this. Higgins set the bar for a whole generation of crime writers who tried to copy him but only managed soft boiled.

1 person found this helpful

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Is Grandpa Simpson an appropriate reader?

What disappointed you about The Friends of Eddie Coyle?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Hammer?

James Gandolfini (RIP).

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Friends of Eddie Coyle?

I wouldn't cut any scenes - it's an unabridged edition.

3 people found this helpful

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really dull narration.

monotone narration. the book had good reviews but the narration was monotone and boring

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A tedious listen

This book has a huge reputation but whilst it might be a great read, with the voice of Mark Hammer, it’s a very tedious listen. There is a great range of characters but he makes no effort to modulate the voice, so that everyone just sounds the same.

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Brutal and powerful story

This is an old school crime and violence tale that delivers with unremittingly gloomy power. It stands the test of time well.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-01-22

A Giant of a Writer

Superb. Only a genius like George V. Higgins could pull this off, using only dialog to build a world that has a reality more believable than any narrator could achieve.