Item description for Boyos: A Novel by Richard Marinick...
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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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Oct 25, 2004
Publisher Justin, Charles & Co.
ISBN 1932112324 ISBN13 9781932112320
Reviews - What do customers think about Boyos: A Novel?
Thank god for the PEP :) Jan 24, 2008
I was locked up with Rick for quite a few years. He wasn't my buddy, and from what I recall, we only talked on a few occasions. He is a VERY intense dude, and the success of his first novel is no big surprise. Both of us were fortunate enough to have spent some time at MCI-Norfolk state prison (never thought I would be saying that) where we were allowed to participate in an OUTSTANDING college program. (Won't say the name of the college, but it is one of three college programs still running in the United States following the loss of PELL grants for prisoners.)
I have not spoken with him since his release, but I do know that he has not forgotten where he came from. He spends a lot of his time coming into prisons and spreading a message of hope for those who will be getting out of the system soon. He is legit, and I am only passing on the props that he deserves.
And for those of you who might think that prisoners do not deserve college, let me put it this way: Graduates of the program at Norfolk have a ridiculously low recidivism rate. Some of our grads include lawyers, major newspaper editors, social workers, college professors, award winning poets/writers, and many (myself included) who are involved in a variety of human service programs.
Didn't know you were once a state trooper, but I think I can forgive you for that. :)
Authentic, raw, real, and fascinating portrayal Oct 3, 2007
I'm from Southie (although not from the same era as the author) and I found his work to be a well written and accurate description of what Southie hard guys are like. Marinick adeptly portrayed the variagated nature of Southie criminals: the drug adaled, the sharp and resourceful (Wacko Curran), and the vicious, greedy types of criminals that Southie has produced. And, with the Irish gangsters, there's alway humor in the midst of their lawbreaking.
If a reader wants a look at what life was like for some criminals from the "Good Will Hunting" setting, read this book. I've known some of the real life characters that Marinick writes about and I recognize them in his words.
Marinick is a talented writer with an insight into a dark, dangerous, and intriguing segment of criminal life. But not only that: he shows that Wacko has a love in his life and she means more to him than dominance in Southie's criminal world. That was an excellent subplot.
Buy it, read it. It's well worth the effort if you want an look at why South Boston has such a grip on America's interest ("Good Will Hunting," "The Departed"). For nonfiction Southie books (although, I have to believe that Marinick's work has a basis in real life), I'd reccomend "A Criminal and an Irishman," by Pat Nee. He has a straightforward, honest (for a criminal) manner that is very disarming and entertaining. I could see Nee and Wacko Curran having a beer together.
Good effort Mar 29, 2007
I liked the pace of this book. Now that I know that this is his first book, I look forward to following up on how he develops characters outside of a crime familiy syndicate. Overall, I thought the book was easy to follow but it had a few areas where the plot became disjointed. As someone that knows the streets of Boston, I enjoyed the frequent references to routes that were driven although some are not as easy to navigate or have gone away due to construction.
Good try out of the box. I look forward to the next one...
Vivid, but somewhat sentimental and weakly plotted Jun 23, 2006
Marinick does an excellent job of creating a scene and catching the rhythms of a certain kind of colloquial speech and conversation. He is a writer with a strong natural talent, if he can learn to discipline it and not become distracted by details that are peripheral to the plot. The hard-boiled detective novel of course thrives on gritty detail, but sometimes (as in the endless descriptions of different cars, kinds of guns, and street routing) Marinick tries the reader's patience.
He also does a good job of introducing a cast of characters. The relationship between the protagonist Jack ("Wacko") Curran and his brother Kevin is especially well handled, revealing how the deep bond between the two brothers clouds the judgement of the elder and how the younger one's cocaine addiction draws him toward a sordid final act.
Other relationships are less well drawn. Wacko's soft spot for the conventional girl-next-door, copper-haired Elaine is a case in point. Only one of many examples: "She smelled like vanilla beans, he lingered, his face in her curls for a moment." Give me a break. A hard-boiled hero can be allowed a weakness for a dame, but this kind of writing is more soup than nuts.
Marinick has set up his hero for future adventures. It remains to be seen if he has more than one book in him. If he does, he will likely develop as a writer with greater control over plot and character. This first novel is still worth reading for the vivid world it creates.
Five star review for a first time author Feb 11, 2006
Fast paced, a tight and intricate plotline and with a varied cast of characters Richard Marinick scores five stars for his first novel 'Boyos'. Unlike many crime novels published these days 'Boyos' doesn't fall into the trap of trying to be a synopsis for a movie. The characters are true to life, low life to be more accurate and the author obviously has a detailed understanding of the Irish American take on crime families. The book isn't without a couple of faults, though. The anti-hero, Jack Curran, could do with a little more character development to put some flesh on his bones, there are occasional passages in the book which have more detail than is required by plot and the frequent references to the songs playing on the radio become something of an irritation after a while and don't really contribute to either the sense of time and place or atmosphere of the scene. Overall the book is a great addition to the crime genre, avoids many of the usual pitfalls of the gangster novel and is a satisfying read.