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The Resource A friend is a gift you give yourself : a novel, William Boyle

A friend is a gift you give yourself : a novel, William Boyle

Label
A friend is a gift you give yourself : a novel
Title
A friend is a gift you give yourself
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
William Boyle
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
An unlikely trio of women in New York find themselves banding together to escape the clutches of an unhinged Mafia enforcer
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Boyle’s follow-up to the well-received The Lonely Witness (2018) is being promoted as Goodfellas meets Thelma and Louise, and this is one bit of marketing hype that pretty much works. The novel incorporates the snappy timing of both those films, and the Elmore Leonard–like cinematic prose begs for a film adaptation. In a classic screwball-noir opening, Brooklyn Mob widow Rena Ruggiero leaves her neighbor for dead after he makes an unwanted pass, and she beans him with an ashtray, fleeing in the neighbor's most prized possession, a 1962 Chevy Impala. The wackiness continues after Rena arrives at the Bronx home of her daughter, Adrienne, only to be turned away. But here comes Adrienne's neighbor Lacey “Wolfie” Wolfstein, retired porn star and grifter, to the rescue, taking in Rena and her granddaughter, Lucia, who is on the outs from Adrienne. Then Adrienne is gunned down right in front of the three women, and Rena swaps the Impala for another classic car, an Eldorado belonging to Adrienne’s boyfriend, Richie, who left a half-million dollars swiped from the Mob in the trunk. We knew this had to end in a road trip, and, sure enough, Rena, Wolfie, and Lucia, after piling into the Caddy, head for the fast lane, as the trio bonds out of fear and respect for each other’s determination. Better floor it, Wolfie! Mob henchman Hammer Dude is on your tail. Recommend this triumph of moral ambiguity to fans of black humor, including that of Carl Hiaasen and Dennis Lehane, in addition to Leonard. -- Jane Murphy (Reviewed 1/1/2019) (Booklist, vol 115, number 9, p42)
  • /* Starred Review */ Early in this addictive hardboiled crime novel from Boyle (Gravesend), Rena Ruggiero, the widow of murdered Brooklyn mobster “Gentle Vic” Ruggiero, hits her octogenarian neighbor, Enzio, over the head with a heavy ashtray after he makes an unwanted pass at her. Thinking him dead, she takes off in Enzio’s prized ’62 Impala. With no real plan, she flees to the Bronx, the home of her estranged daughter, Adrienne, and her 15-year-old granddaughter, Lucia. When Adrienne slams the door in Rena’s face, Adrienne’s neighbor, con artist and retired porn star Lacey Wolfstein, invites her into her home. Meanwhile, Adrienne’s ex-boyfriend, Richie Schiavano, has just killed members of a major mob family, stolen a briefcase full of cash, and plans to grab Adrienne and Lucia and run. A violent confrontation between the hapless Richie and a brutal mob enforcer ensues, and Rena, Lacey, and Lucia end up in possession of the money fleeing for their lives. Boyle skillfully mixes a classic Westlake/Leonard–style caper with the powerful tale of three women facing the ghosts of their pasts. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Assoc. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed 01/28/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 4, p)
  • Boyle's third Brooklyn noir (after Gravesend The Lonely Witness) follows three women as they navigate perilous relationships and flee a crazed mob enforcer. Sixty-year-old Mafia widow Rena fights off a lecherous neighbor by striking him over the head with an ashtray, leaving him for dead. She then steals his mint 1962 Impala and runs to her daughter Adrienne, who refuses to let her in the house. Adrienne's boyfriend Richie has just knocked off five members of the Brancaccio crime family, absconding with half a million. Adrienne's disturbed daughter Lucia eventually winds up with the money and the chase is on. But first Rena and Lucia stumble upon former porn star Wolfstein, who's pursued by a jilted chump she scammed out of 15 large. And then comes Crea, the enforcer who gleefully pulps his victims with a hammer. VERDICT Boyle's fiction rises above the stereotypes of urban noir, not so much for the plot as for the quirky, flawed female characters with rich inner lives, the gritty dialog, and atmospheric street settings, in which authentic details abound. Offbeat humor leavens the mix and adds to the fun. --Ron Terpening (Reviewed 04/01/2019) (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 3, p59)
  • Aided by an obliging grifter, a Brooklyn grandma on the run tries to mend her relationship with her estranged grandchild as the three outrun mob goons in the latest from Boyle (The Lonely Witness, 2018, etc.). Things haven't been good for Rena Ruggeiro ever since the death of her husband, Vic, nine years ago and her realization that her daughter, Adrienne, had been running around with Vic's right-hand man, Richie Schiavano, since high school. In spite of Vic's connections, Rena's always kept her nose clean and stuck to her routine in her Bensonhurst community, beginning with Mass and McDonald's coffee every Sunday. There's no sense in Rena getting overexcited like Adrienne would. After all, Adrienne hasn't spoken to Rena ever since Rena said her piece about Richie and his quality as a partner. Now, however, Adrienne has a 15-year-old daughter, Lucia, who doesn't even know her grandmother. Rena ponders these problems but doesn't act until her pushy neighbor, Enzio, makes a move and she wallops him with an ashtray that brings him down and maybe kills him. What can she do but grab the keys to his classic Impala and high-tail it to the Bronx in the hopes that Adrienne's in a charitable mood and can help her sort things out? But Adrienne is much the same, and Rena finds herself trying to figure out her next step as she sits in the living room of Adrienne's neighbor Lacey "Wolfie" Wolfstein, a soft-core porn star-turned-con artist who's taken a shine to Lucia. All this is prologue to the real drama, a caper-inspired road story of quirky personalities on the run littered with gruesome deaths as the truth about the hit on Vic comes out—along with so much more. Deploying an inimitable tone that packs sardonic storytelling atop action and adventure, with a side of character development, Boyle's voice works even when it feels like it shouldn't. It's just the right kind of too much. (Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10761335
Cataloging source
IG$
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1978-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Boyle, William
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3602.O9735
LC item number
F75 2019
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Female friendship
  • Older women
  • Automobile theft
  • Grandparent and child
  • Mothers and daughters
  • Organized crime
  • Families
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Target audience
adult
Label
A friend is a gift you give yourself : a novel, William Boyle
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Pegasus Books hardcover edition.
Extent
302 pages
Isbn
9781643130583
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1086317876
  • (OCoLC)1086317876
Label
A friend is a gift you give yourself : a novel, William Boyle
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Pegasus Books hardcover edition.
Extent
302 pages
Isbn
9781643130583
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1086317876
  • (OCoLC)1086317876

Library Locations

    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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