Boyos: A Novel

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Overview

Richard Marinick grew up running with the Southie gangs during the Whitey Bulger era, and learned to write during a ten-year prison stretch. He writes what he knows, and his shattering, utterly authentic first novel, Boyos is the result.

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Overview

Richard Marinick grew up running with the Southie gangs during the Whitey Bulger era, and learned to write during a ten-year prison stretch. He writes what he knows, and his shattering, utterly authentic first novel, Boyos is the result.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Marinick's confident and brutally authentic first novel should appeal to devotees of hard-boiled crime and urban literary fiction. Set in and around "Southie," the South Boston working-class Irish-American enclave popularized by such novelists as George V. Higgins and Dennis Lehane, the story focuses on Jack "Wacko" Curran, a rising young player in the criminal underworld. Local "boyos" like Curran resent the steady influx of young working professionals, who are gentrifying the area and pricing the old-time residents out. Curran and his coked-out brother, Kevin, work for mob boss Marty Fallon, wholesaling drugs to a network of area dealers. Tired of giving Fallon a cut of every score, Jack dreams of replacing Fallon and figures that the bankroll from the armored-car heist he's planning will put him on his way. Trouble is, Danny King, Curran's getaway driver, has spilled the beans to Fallon. Meanwhile, things on the street are building to an all-out war. The police are systematically raiding the Irish mob joints in Southie and the Italians are hungry for revenge. A one-time Southie gang member and ex-con, Marinick writes what he knows in this visceral, accomplished debut. (Sept. 15) Forecast: A blurb from Robert B. Parker will help, but series potential is limited as the novel lacks a detective protagonist. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Jack "Wacko" Curran is not an easy guy to root for. His only concern seems to be the next job and the next payoff, everyone else be damned. Working with his brother Kevin, who is actually more "wacko," Jack moves coke and commits sundry robberies while planning for the big hit an armored car heist. Like any regular working stiff, Jack also has personal problems: a girlfriend who wants him to go straight, an employer who's unhappy with his ambition, and a brother in constant need of babysitting. Debut author Marinick is a Southie product who spent time in prison for hitting an armored car, so he knows his subject. The writing is gritty and serious, the action intense, and the characters well drawn and compelling despite their imperfections. This one should go over well with those who like their heroes flawed; Dennis Lehane fans will also appreciate the Boston ambiance. Marinick lives in South Boston. Craig Shufelt, Lane P.L., Oxford, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A hardboiled debut as fresh and authentic as it is uncompromisingly ugly. Mindless, desolate, and violent, South Boston is home to hookers, pushers, addicts, murderers, and Jack "Wacko" Curran. Sure, there's a scattering of "citizens," but real "Southies," like Jack and his crackhead brother Kevin, don't take them seriously. During especially dark moments, Jack acknowledges his own "insane" nihilism: "There was nothing normal about associating with killers, selling drugs, or sticking a gun in someone's face. . . . But what was he supposed to do, be a sucker, get a job?" Most days, though, Marty Fallon, reigning king of racketeers, is on hand to keep life interesting. Nobody's action-drugs, women, protection, gambling-turns a profit in South Boston without Marty collecting "the Fallon tax." Convinced he's a better man than Marty, Jack's been looking for the kind of score that will supply tangible evidence, a big one that he can use, publicly and humiliatingly, for Fallon tax evasion. An armored truck comes his way stacked with money and rife with challenge. The plan is set, the heist goes down, and the message goes out to Marty, as volatile, ruthless, and certain of his own entitlements as Jack. Pusher, cold-blooded killer, amoralist, and antihero, Jack has almost no redeeming qualities, but you won't easily forget him.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932112320
  • Publisher: Justin, Charles & Co.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 11.04 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2006

    Tired of chasin' these . . . , they got no morals

    Great Read! This book is loaded with well-develoed and believable characters that prowl the drug and criminal underworld of South Boston. Marinick knows his subject and goes straight to the heart of the matter -- betrayal and treachery. This is a story about the two Curran brothers seeking to survive in a brutal world by means of violence, drugs and crime. The brothers also want to break lose from the grip of local mob boss Marty Fallon. Like the sharks swimming in the waters off Castle Island, the book describes cocaine addicts and criminals having a feeding frenzy among themselves. Not only does Marinick take you in and out of the minds of these individuals, he takes you in and out of the public housing projects and streets of South Boston. The story takes the reader on a journey down a dead-end way of life that can only result in tragedy. It's a tale about the strong and the most brutal having a chance to temporarily surivive in a savage world of their own making. Marinick also creates a strong sense of place. And the reader will come across details like eating a spucky, drinking frappes, and wearing a scully while walking to the packy that combine to add flavor to the Southie experience. I've noted a few inconsistencies in the novel but these minor points are not enough to detract from a well told story and well written book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2005

    If you know Boston

    This book has great dialogue and enough plot and action to keep the pages flying. Marinich knows the scene and the lingo plus a great awareness of the human character. Nothing like a bad boy to spin a good tale.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2005

    boyos, the best crime novel ever, dawgs!

    Yo, Boyos is a most excellent story about the crime underworld. Absolutely authentic, man. If you buy this book, you have made a good decision and educated yourself, dawg. I like the book because the action never ceases to suprise me. From dudes getting popped in the brain, to dudes getting murdered with hammers. This book........makes all other crime novels obsolete.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting crime thriller

    In the Southie side of Boston, Jack 'Wacko' Curran and his even crazier brother Kevin earn a living working for mob boss Marty Fallon by mostly selling drugs to neighborhood dealers, but also perform other duties as assigned. After gaining needed experience on the job, Wacko decides it is time that the siblings become self employed or do a hostile takeover. To bankroll his venture, Wacko plans an armored car heist........................ Meanwhile Marty has not become a mob chieftain by sitting idly by as his underlings gain the skills until they branch out or try to replace him. Instead, he knows when trouble is brewing and believes the Curran brothers are the current duo to put on ice. Fallon knows about the upcoming robbery and turns to his pals in the FBI to put away the latest pretenders to his Southie crime kingdom, but if the Feds fail him, war is imminent with no one sure which side the cops might be on........................... This is an interesting look at the criminal mind from an insider¿s perspective (the author is a former Southie mobster) that grips the reader from the moment they realize how dangerous Wacko and Kevin are. The story line moves forward at rapid pace while insuring fans have a deep look at the ambitious Wacko and to a lesser degree sly king of the mountain Marty and drug crazed loony Kevin. None of the key protagonists are likable or admirable, but these BOYOS will fascinate readers as few characters do........................ Harriet Klausner

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