Payback: A Novel

Payback: A Novel

by Thomas Kelly

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780449002230
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/27/1997
Pages: 323
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 6.91(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Thomas Kelly was born in New Jersey. He spent ten years as a construction worker, including three years as a sandhog in the Bronx. He went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in political economy from Fordham University and a master's degree in public administration from Harvard. Kelly has also been active in local and national politics through labor unions and has run a nonprofit organization for trade unions.

Kelly lives in New York City. Payback is his first novel.

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Payback 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
During the '80s building boom in New York, Billy Adare was a sandhog (tunneler). He attended school at night in the hope of getting a law degree. His brother, Paddy, was an enforcer for Jack Tierney, who ran the construction racket in the West Side.The author describes the difficulty these sandhogs had with the dust, building safety and poor working conditions. Most of them were Irish and the Mob wanted to replace them with newly immigrated Poles, pay less and pocket the difference.When a union rep is beaten to death by Tierney's crazed brother, Billy's friends ask him to check with his brother, Paddy, to see if they can find who is strong-arming them.The author does a nice job in describing New York of the '80s, with the music, the politics and views of the time. There is a great deal of violence in the book and much of it is aimed at the sandhogs who wanted nothing more than to make a living.Billy is a nice character and represents the author's theme of a dwindling race, the Irish in the Bronx and their struggle to better themselves.Well done and interesting.
Othemts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A story set in the mid-1980's about Sandhogs, construction workers who build tunnels, with a mix union-management strife, corrupt politicians, Irish gangsters, and family squabbles turned violent. It was a breezy read full of violence and machismo, but not so much to insult one's intelligence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the book that started it all for me. I never enjoyed reading until i opened this book. It drew me in and did not let go. Congradulations to Mr. Kelly, great book.