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10 thoughts on “Payback

  1. says:

    I really had mixed feelings about this book On the one hand, the nitty gritty details on mob violence, police procedure, working conditions in the tunnels below NYC were incredibly thorough and totally convincing Thomas Kelly has a real talent for creating terror and suspense and for putting ruthless criminals into explosive situations On the other hand, the emotional drama of the story is composed entirely of groaning cliches and stereotypes, the good guys are almost laughably predictable in who they are and what they do The bad brother who coulda been a contendah in the fight game the good brother who gets an education and wants to leave the neighborhood behind are you kidding me with this stuff It doesn t help much that Thomas Kelly is writing from the Irish perspective and only from the Irish perspective What I mean is, any crime, no matter how hateful or loathsome, is okay if the Irish are doing it But when they Italians do exactly the same thing they are portrayed as vicious, insane, cowardly, dishonest, etc Man does that double standard get old fast Italians are all lying, treacherous, greasy Dago backstabbers the Irish are all crazy, sure, and violent, but only because they re such romantics at heart and they love a good fight Bone crunching violence and cloying sentimentality do not mix Throw in phony liberalism of the most one dimensional sort Ronald Reagan was a bad man, sure, but he did not invent racism, in or out of the Irish community and you get a book that is incredibly compelling one minute and all but unreadable the next For all the visceral reality of the construction battles, Kelly s picture of NYC seems almost unreal at times Where are all the blacks Where are the Jews Where are the Latinos, the Orientals, the homosexuals At times PAYBACK is a weird exercise in wishful thinking, STUDS LONIGAN reimagined as wistful nostalgia rather than outraged expose For all that, however, I have to say this book is a gripping read and one I have never forgotten.

  2. says:

    During the 80s building boom in New York, Billy Adare was a sandhog tunneler He attended school at night with a goal of getting his law degres His brother, Paddy, is an enforcer for Jack Tierney, who runs the construction racket in the West Side.We learn of the difficulty these sandhogs had, building the tunnels under the skyscrapers Most of the sandhogs were Irish and the Mob wanted to replace the Irish with newly immigrated Poles, pay less and pocket the difference.When a union rep is beaten to death by Tierney s crazed brother, Butcher Boy, Billy s friends ask him to check with his brother, Paddy, to see if he can learn who is strong arming them.The authro does a good job describing New York amidst the building boom He also seems to be writing about the last of a kind, the Irish sandhogs in the Bronx There is a great deal of violence and much of it is against these sandhogs who want nothing than to make a decent living.We also see the view of the wealthy towards the working man, represented by Billy This is seen in the way he is treated by the family of his girlfriend He was considered less than desireable for their daughter because he worked with his hands.Well done and interesting.

  3. says:

    As a former sandhog myself, this book is intimately close to my roots Both my grandfather and my father were sandhogs Thomas Kelly captures the details of his own turf in this tale of gangsters and hard boiled characters I m not much for the genre I like the films better but I own a signed copy of Payback that my father picked up at one of Mr Kelly s signings It remains a family heirloom Mr Kelly, as a former sandhog, has also served as inspiration for my own book, Spiked Snowballs Flaming Cats I recommend Payback because it takes the reader to places they probably didn t even know existed.

  4. says:

    There are not many fiction books that credibly capture the world of the building trades in NYC where all too often unions have been corrupted and are not worthy of the good union members that they are supposed to serve.

  5. says:

    His first book, and you can tell somewhat, but it does not distract from a rather tight bit of business I would call city noir No really good guys, Unions, Sandhogs, the Irish and the Italians all stirred upinto a nasty bit about family relationships of all kinds Well worth a read.

  6. says:

    Just ok, not into mob violence

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Payback summary pdf Payback, summary chapter 2 Payback, sparknotes Payback, Payback 41bd539 New York City In The Boomtown S Land Values Skyrocketing, New Buildings Going Up On Every Block, Fortunes Being Made Overnight And Extorted In The Morning On The Streets Of Hell S Kitchen, The Construction Rackets Are In The Hands Of The Irish Mob It S Always Been Their Turf Now It S Their Time And The Stakes Are Higher Than Ever Before Which Explains The Sudden Interest In The Irish On The Part Of Both The Mafia And The Feds Led By A Female Agent Trapped By The Necessity To Prove What She Is Clearly Capable Of , And The Growing Struggle For Position And Profit Within The Mob Itself, An Internecine War That Finally Ignites In The Back Rooms And Broad Daylight Of The Neighborhood At The Heart Of The Story Are The Adare Brothers Paddy, A Failed Boxer Turned Mob Henchman Who S Never Left The Streets He Grew Up On And Who, At Thirty Two, Is Beginning To Pay The Price For Years Of Living Large And Billy, A College Graduate, Back Home For The Summer To Work In The Tunnels As A Sandhog Before He Enters Law School And Gets Himself Out Of The Old Neighborhood And In On The American Dream Brothers Divided By Everything But Their Powerful Blood Tie Now, As Their Paths Converge On Familiar Streets In A Cross Fire Of Greed, Treachery, And Violence, Their Loyalties To Family, Friends, Neighborhood, And, Most Important, Each Other Will Be Put To A Brutal And Profoundly Telling Test

  • Paperback
  • 323 pages
  • Payback
  • Thomas Kelly
  • English
  • 09 January 2019
  • 9780449002230

About the Author: Thomas Kelly

Thomas Kelly b 1960 is the author of three novels set in New York City Born in New York, Kelly spent ten years as a construction worker and sandhog working in the subway tunnels beneath the city before attending Fordham University and Harvard University, where he received a master s degree in public administration Kelly parlayed his experience in union politics into a job as an advance man fo