OVERRIDE

The Friends of Eddie Coyle

A Novel

George V. Higgins, with a new introduction by Dennis Lehane

Picador

The classic novel from "America's best crime novelist" (Time), with a new introduction by Dennis Lehane

George V. Higgins's seminal crime novel is a 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 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.

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1
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
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Friends of Eddie Coyle

“Rings true as a police siren.”—The Boston Globe

“The best crime novel ever written--makes The Maltese Falcon read like Nancy Drew.”—Elmore Leonard

“Chilling . . . The most penetrating glimpse yet into what seems the real world of crime. . . . Positively reeking with authenticity.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Truly a bravura performance. Higgins is a master of colorful street language heard around Boston. Throughout the novel, without quaintness or self-parody, he is able to sustain long arias of criminal shoptalk. . . . A sophisticated thriller.”—Time

“First-rate, absolutely convincing, enormously readable.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Simultaneously a brilliant thriller and a cold and convincing business prospectus of felony--a profession that traps both sides, gunmen and policemen, into ceaseless compulsory degardations.”—The New Yorker

“The most powerful and frightening crime novel that I have read this year.  It will be remembered long after the year is over, as marking the debut of a fine original talent.”—Ross Macdonald

“The first thing to know about George V. Higgins’ The Friends of Eddie Coyle is that it directly entered the crime-fiction canon upon its 1970 publication. The second thing to know is that it holds up as both a writer’s-writer thriller and as popular pulp, with Dennis Lehane introducing Picador’s new 40th-anniversary reissue of the novel by heralding it as ‘the game-changing crime novel of the last fifty years’—a moderate claim compared to that of Elmore Leonard, who hails it as the best crime novel period.” —Troy Patterson, SLATE

“Weighed and calibrated like the barrel of a pistol. The fact that he's writing about crooks is crucial in some ways, incidental in others. The real subjects here are life's futility and its bleak humor… Elmore Leonard learned from this novel, likewise David Mamet and of course Quentin Tarantino, who saw the narrative virtue in marrying violence to comedies of manners…. Higgins took the tough-guy novel into areas of demented anthropology and re-created a genre.” —Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times



“Rings true as a police siren.”—The Boston Globe

“The best crime novel ever written--makes The Maltese Falcon read like Nancy Drew.”—Elmore Leonard

“Chilling . . . The most penetrating glimpse yet into what seems the real world of crime. . . . Positively reeking with authenticity.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Truly a bravura performance. Higgins is a master of colorful street language heard around Boston. Throughout the novel, without quaintness or self-parody, he is able to sustain long arias of criminal shoptalk. . . . A sophisticated thriller.”—Time

“First-rate, absolutely convincing, enormously readable.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Simultaneously a brilliant thriller and a cold and convincing business prospectus of felony--a profession that traps both sides, gunmen and policemen, into ceaseless compulsory degardations.”—The New Yorker

“The most powerful and frightening crime novel that I have read this year.  It will be remembered long after the year is over, as marking the debut of a fine original talent.”—Ross Macdonald

“The first thing to know about George V. Higgins’ The Friends of Eddie Coyle is that it directly entered the crime-fiction canon upon its 1970 publication. The second thing to know is that it holds up as both a writer’s-writer thriller and as popular pulp, with Dennis Lehane introducing Picador’s new 40th-anniversary reissue of the novel by heralding it as ‘the game-changing crime novel of the last fifty years’—a moderate claim compared to that of Elmore Leonard, who hails it as the best crime novel period.” —Troy Patterson, SLATE

“Weighed and calibrated like the barrel of a pistol. The fact that he's writing about crooks is crucial in some ways, incidental in others. The real subjects here are life's futility and its bleak humor… Elmore Leonard learned from this novel, likewise David Mamet and of course Quentin Tarantino, who saw the narrative virtue in marrying violence to comedies of manners…. Higgins took the tough-guy novel into areas of demented anthropology and re-created a genre.” —Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times



In the Press

You must read (and watch) Eddie Coyle. - Slate Magazine
The first thing to know about George V. Higgins' The Friends of Eddie Coyle is that it directly entered the crime-fiction canon upon its 1970 publication. The second thing to know is that it holds up as both a writer's-writer thriller and as popular pulp, with Dennis Lehane introducing Picador's...
- Slate
PAPERBACK WRITERS - latimes.com
Boston, down and dirty
- Los Angeles Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • George V. Higgins, with a new introduction by Dennis Lehane

  • George V. Higgins was a lawyer, journalist, teacher, and the author of 29 books, including Bomber's Law, Trust , and Kennedy for the Defense.
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    The Friends of Eddie Coyle

    A Novel

    George V. Higgins, with a new introduction by Dennis Lehane

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    Picador

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