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The 25th Hour by David Benioff
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The 25th Hour (2001)

by David Benioff

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This will probably be the only book I ever put on the crime novel shelf as I fear most of them are too brutal for my taste but I liked this one - great characters, dialogue and a page-turning plot. ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
This book was extremely well written, but it suffered from the all-too-frequent malady of the character-driven novel: nothing much happens. The story revolves around a drug dealer who has been convicted in federal court and is living out his last 24 hours before he must report to prison. So he gets together with his dog, his father, his two best friends, his girlfriend and some of his drug-dealing cohorts to— Well, there really is no appropriate way to mark such an occasion, is there?

Along the way, we learn about his life, his friends’ lives, his girlfriend, how he rescued his dog – all the things that make us interested in these people. But the problem is they don’t do much of anything. It seems like they’re all on the verge of making some momentous change, of somehow steering their lives – which have all gone off track, they don’t know how – back in the right direction. The teacher is going to shrug off his fear and grab a little gusto. The obsessive investment broker is going to figure out what’s really important. The drug dealer – who of course we like despite his profession – is going to figure out how to get out of going to prison.

But none of this stuff quite happens; it just almost does. Even at the end, as the drug dealer is riding with his father toward prison and his father suggests taking a wrong turn, and he ends up imagining the life he might have if he were to run – even then, he doesn’t do it. Or maybe he does. We never know. And that was the frustrating thing about this novel. It was a good read, but it left me unsatisfied, wondering how in the hell they found enough going on in this book to make a movie out of it. (Oh, that’s right, I didn’t like the movie either.)

From my husband's collection; read in 2003. ( )
  sturlington | Oct 19, 2011 |
New York, Fiction, Crime, Friendship ( )
  RickK | Jul 10, 2011 |
One of the most unusual books I have ever read. Kept trying to figure out exactly what to expect next, very unusual!!
  Grandy | Feb 5, 2011 |
I loved this book. It's quite short, but the way Benioff writes his characters' thinking is so dead on. I definitely want to see the movie now (though most books-to-movies disappoint)--even just having seen a preview, as I was reading I was picturing Edward Norton as Monty.
Characters: Monty, the main guy, likes having "sway," but is going away to prison for seven years; Slattery, the stock broker; Jake, the teacher with an inappropriate interest in a student; Naturelle, Monty's Puerto Rican girlfriend; Doyle, Monty's pit bull; and various gangsters.

Read it again (March 2011)--still love it! ( )
  saholc | Feb 5, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452282950, Paperback)

Penzler Pick, January 2001: The 25th Hour is a wonderfully written first novel that convincingly portrays the New York City of Wall Street brokers and middle-class white drug dealers, the new affluent class in a city where money can buy you almost anything and is often the most important factor in young people's lives.

Monty Brogan is about to start his last day of freedom before turning himself into the authorities and serving a seven-year term for drug dealing. He's a charming young man who had always dreamed of being a fireman, following in the working-class footsteps of his father, who has had to put up his bar in Queens as bond so that his son can stay out of jail until his sentence begins. Monty, named for Montgomery Clift, does not know how he managed to get himself into this predicament. It was easy money and it carried so many perks, and you'll feel more than a little sympathy for this young man who has managed to kill his own dream for courtside seats at Madison Square Garden.

But before he goes to prison, Monty wants to have one last night out on the town with his two best friends. Frank Slattery is a bond trader, one of the best and most successful risk takers in a very risky business. The other is Jakob Elinsky, an English teacher who envies his friends' lifestyles but who has no intention of ever giving up his job for the easy money, despite the disillusionment of teaching high school students in a tough school.

The three young men enjoy the night into the early morning as they eat, drink, and visit the hottest spots in town. It's a sad night for Monty, but he has a plan that neither Frank nor Jacob know about--and it makes for a shocking ending to this brilliant and disturbing story. --Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:56 -0400)

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