The Easiest Thing in the World

The Easiest Thing in the World

by George V. Higgins
     
 

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George V. Higgins, the poet laureate of Boston's criminal underworld, has written such classics of the genre as Cogan's Trade, At the End of the Day, and The Friends of Eddie Coyle—the inspiration for the classic Robert Mitchum film. His dystopic Boston is filled with low-down hoods, crooked fuzz, and ruthless crime bosses, all brought to life by Higgins's

Overview

George V. Higgins, the poet laureate of Boston's criminal underworld, has written such classics of the genre as Cogan's Trade, At the End of the Day, and The Friends of Eddie Coyle—the inspiration for the classic Robert Mitchum film. His dystopic Boston is filled with low-down hoods, crooked fuzz, and ruthless crime bosses, all brought to life by Higgins's trademark dialogue: a pitch-perfect rendering of the criminal vernacular that hits as hard and cuts as deep as the brass knuckles and switchblades wielded by his creations. The Easiest Thing in the World is a riveting collection comprised of stories, film treatments, and two never-before-published novellas. It's the kind of stuff we've come to expect from Higgins: tales of corruption and revenge, wrapped in sizzling dialogue and a wicked sense of humor. The Easiest Thing in the World is an indispensable addition to not only the Higgins library but also the canon of American crime fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A last helping of deceptively meandering monologues from the late master of miasmal crime fiction. The biggest surprises here are how little most of these 15 tales depend on crime, and how little that matters. The stories that attorney Donnelly hears-listening is one of the things Higgins's heroes do best-are just as mordant whether they involve serious crime ("Warm for September") or not ("A Place of Comfort, Light and Hope"), or whether Donnelly is just talking about his own arrest for DUI ("A Principle of Dominant Transience"). Higgins (At End of Day, 2000, etc.) can be as remorseless unmasking a detestable newspaper publisher's secret vice ("An End to Revels") as in showing just how far a devoutly religious wife will go to turn her counterfeiter husband from his erring ways ("The Devil Is Real"). His special gift for blather, with a sting buried deep into the wool, is shown so characteristically in the title story, in its ruthlessly explicit tailpiece ("The First of the Year"), and in a tale about a once-high-flying broker's meeting with a pair of SEC agents ("Life Was Absolutely Swell") that it's a relief to see Higgins try something off the pitch: "The Heroic Cat in the Bag," for instance, shows a golfing attorney paying the price for an act of kindness; "The Last Wash of the Teapot" is a sort-of-playscript about a spendthrift collector's legacy to his librarian widow; and "Landmark Theater May Shut Down" finds a guy who couldn't make it as a lawyer reflecting on his long ownership of a small-town movie theater. A top-flight posthumous collection, topped off by the hundred-page "Slowly Now the Dancer," whose narrator travels to Maine to bury his hated grandmother, seething withenough resentment for a dozen felonies without committing a single one.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786716661
Publisher:
Avalon Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/10/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
308
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

George V. Higgins was a former Boston district attorney and newspaper columnist. The author of numerous works of crime fiction, including The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Cogan’s Trade, and A City on a Hill, Higgins died in 1999. Matthew J. Bruccoli, the Jefferies Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, is the editor and author of many biographical and critical works on American writers.

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