Listen free for 30 days

The Westies

Inside New York's Irish Mob
Narrated by: James Anderson Foster
Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (100 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

It's men like Jimmy Coonan and Mickey Featherstone who gave Hell's Kitchen its name. In the mid-1970s, these two longtime friends take the reins of New York's Irish mob, using brute force to give it hitherto unthinkable power. Jimmy, a charismatic sociopath, is the leader. Mickey, whose memories of Vietnam torture him daily, is his enforcer. Together they make brutality their trademark, butchering bodies or hurling them out the window. Under their reign, Hell's Kitchen becomes a place where death literally rains from the sky. But when Mickey goes down for a murder he didn't commit, he suspects his friend has sold him out. He returns the favor, breaking the underworld's code of silence and testifying against his gang in open court.

From one of the writers behind NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Street comes an incredible true story of what it means to survive in the world of organized crime, where murder is commonplace.

©2006 T. J. English (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    74
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    64
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    67
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Skip the first chapter!!!

A stunningly-detailed recounting of the rise and fall of The Westies in New York's Hell's Kitchen from the '50s to 1980s.

The write has done his research in astonishingly details, as he is able to recount stories and events that would only be remembered by those who were in the situation at the time.

With a lot of supporting character, English helps you to identify each major player involved without getting too bogged down in explaining who has done what, while also keeping the narrative running.

The only downside is that he reveals the book (and Westies) climax in the first chapter, thereby colouring your view of the whole story. So skip the first chapter if you download this audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Great

A real eye opener, I find this kind of crime book so engrossing. I have a bit of a morbid curiosity for mafia history and this didn't disappoint. It did however make me feel a little sick.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

What a book

Excellent listen from start too finish had me on the edge of my seat "bravo"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story..... bizarrely told

I read the book a few years ago and enjoyed it. Decided to revisit it again on audible while in holiday. I find the choice of narrator bizarre...very effeminate sounding and melodramatic. It's a tale about hardened gangsters read like a children's story. Deserves a do-over.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

get this book

A really well written, well researched book and very enjoyable. I would recommend this to anyone

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • robert
  • london, United Kingdom
  • 21-02-19

Great listen

These types of books are often hit and miss but this is one of the good ones. The type of story that has you so interested you start Googling the real life characters to see what they looked like. Recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this

On so many levels I have enjoyed this book. Educational and really interesting.
Highly recommend and really enjoyed the narrator James Anderson Foster.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good work

great audio book five stars from me.

Very interesting read about the Irish American mob.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

riveting

slow start but then it kicks of with an increditable, well researched , well written and narrated tale of a criminal gang I had never heard of.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

first audio book absolutely loved it. Would highly recommend this for anyone who likes this genre

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kevin Armstrong
  • Kevin Armstrong
  • 11-09-17

TJ English's best. Love his work.

I really love TJ English's well document, well researched books. The Westies is my new favorite. I visited Hell's Kitchen a few years ago. Now I have to go back with this story fresh in my head. An outstanding crime story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-12-17

Redemption

I feel like today's justice system is built more to scorn wrong doers rather than rehabilitate them and offer some form of redemption. In Mickey Featherstone's case you can see when one is given the chance they can achieve it.
I am a fan of T.J. English and this is another fantastic saga of the old gritty streets.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for avid reader
  • avid reader
  • 29-09-17

Documentary that reads like a novel.

This history of Hell's Kitchen and the Irish immigrants that formed an organized crime dynasty is well told, with great detail, and without politicization. The reader can form their own opinions as the events unfold. I especially like the follow up at the end that gives the reader closure on the participants.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C.J. Sellers
  • C.J. Sellers
  • 04-06-19

Good in depth Irish Mob book!

I knew almost nothing about The Westies before this book. It goes from the beginning to the end of the crew with all the details laid out for you. Narration is great and its the perfect length to hold your attention the entire time!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 29-08-18

The Westies

thoroughly researched and comprehensive account of a remarkable period in the history of crime in NTC

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for BenRias
  • BenRias
  • 14-08-18

revealing true crime book

I enjoyed hearing the mostly unvarnished and complete facts of the case instead of the sensationalized highlights that most sources highlight. Hearing the personal stories, and getting a glimpse of the real people behind the myths and legends is always appreciated. Narration was fine, nothing spectacular but better than average.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew
  • Matthew
  • 04-08-18

Really good look into Irish Mafia

Really good look into the Irish Mafia so well written great start to finish highly recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Laurie A. Bobskill
  • Laurie A. Bobskill
  • 06-07-18

Very good narrator, absorbing true story

If someone were to write this tale as a novel I would not have believed it. incredible research.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dennis Larocque
  • Dennis Larocque
  • 28-06-18

incredible

one of the best accounts of old time gangs and gangsters I have ever read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Julio
  • Julio
  • 28-06-18

Great book

Started slow and was a bit confusing to follow all the characters. But ended in a great way. Highly recommend this book for anyone that is into true crime books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful