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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Friends of Whitey Bulger
would be an appropriate subtitle for this roman a clef wherein Whitey, Steve "the Rifleman" Flemmi, notorious FBI agent John Connally and their circle get the classic Higgins treatment. Once again the soliloquies are the star attraction, full of Higginsian rifts and rants, ribald, vulgar, always shrewd and sometimes wise, but always lush of language, on the...
Published on September 16, 2002 by Frank J. O'Connor

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sad
A great fan of Higgins, I have read many of his books many times. Perhaps he didn't have time to polish At the End of Day, perhaps it was pushed because he died. It's just not very good. The dialogue doesn't work, the Bulger/Flemmi theme is overplayed, and if it weren't by Higgins it would have sunk like a stone. And no matter what conventional {ab}usage allows, the...
Published on March 23, 2006 by Eisenring


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Friends of Whitey Bulger, September 16, 2002
By 
This review is from: At End of Day (Paperback)
would be an appropriate subtitle for this roman a clef wherein Whitey, Steve "the Rifleman" Flemmi, notorious FBI agent John Connally and their circle get the classic Higgins treatment. Once again the soliloquies are the star attraction, full of Higginsian rifts and rants, ribald, vulgar, always shrewd and sometimes wise, but always lush of language, on the thousand and one shocks that make getting through the day such an difficult and unrewarding task. While its true all the characters talk in the same patois (even the woman talk out of the side of their mouths) you grant Higgins the indulgence so absorbing are these blue collar monologues. Updike speaking through the mouth of Rabbit is the closest comparison I can think of.
Sadly, this was Higgins valediction, so it is appropriate that it is such a Boston story; for nobody delineated the world of hoodlum Beantown these last thirty years like George V. Higgins. Like all the best, he created a world, and for all the sordidness and cynicism animating it, it was not without its charms: in his wonderful novels the pen does prove mightier than the sawed-off shotgun.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe this is his last, September 9, 2000
This review is from: At End of Day (Hardcover)
The books of George V. Higgins are, I suspect, an acquired taste. They are considered by many readers to be too difficult because there is no straight forward narration and because so much of the books are made up of dialogue - or more often, long monologues. The plot emerges slowly from what the characters say. A reader who is in a hurry to be engaged in the story is likely to be disappointed. But for those who have grown to love Higgins's ear for vernacular and the peculiarities of ordinary speech, all of his books are treasures that can be savored slowly for the richness of the language alone.
At End of Day is the story of an unholy alliance between two members of the Boston mob and a select group of FBI agents whose careers have been made successful through information these mobsters have provided about their Mafia counterparts. The FBI, in turn, has protected these men from prosecution which has allowed them to even commit murder with impunity (though this is "against the rules"). This tale is all the more interesting because it is based on a true story.
It is a shame that this is the last Higgins book we will have. He died as it was going to press. On the positive side, he wrote so many books during his career that fans of his style should have no trouble finding something to satisfy that acquired taste.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping last work in an outstanding ouevre, January 6, 2002
By 
jack nye (manchester, uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: At End of Day (Paperback)
The sad death of George V Higgins means this will be his last book. It is certainly one to remember. Readers new to Higgins will at first find his style somewhat "difficult": his novels centre on the criminals, law enforcement agents and politicians (they are usually amusingly similar) of Boston, but instead of the usual descriptive narrative, the plot unfolds through the conversations of people often only tangentially concerned with its developement. Once one gets used to this digressive way of telling a story one quickly becomes engrossed in the story he is relating: in this case, the disturbingly close relationship between Boston's chief FBI agents and two leaders of organised crime in the city (apparantly based on a real case). I have to confess to being slightly disappointed with some of Higgins' most recent works (although they are still better than most "crime" fiction), but this last novel is brilliant; I know it is a cliche, but I could not put it down. One is genuinely engaged by the diverse and acutely drawn characters, though Higgins cleverly constantly reminds us that behind their apparant good-nature and charm, most of them are really either cold-blooded loan sharks who have no compunction in using extreme violence to maintain their way of life, or law enforcement officials (and their families) with a somewhat ambivalent attitude to the law they are supposed to be enforcing! As with most of Higgins' novels, I immediately went back and re-read it, and of course saw things I had missed first time: you certainly get good value out of his books. I would class this as one of his best, and it is very sad to think that there will not be any more. It is my intention to go back and read every one of this excellant author's magnificent contribution to modern American literature (and, I contend, he is far too good a writer to be "ghettoised" in 'crime fiction'.)
Readers new to George V Higgins would find "At End Of Day" a good place to start, those who know what to expect will not be at all disappointed. My advice is READ IT!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not GVH's best, but better than "Black Mass" on the topic, August 11, 2000
By 
Anonymous reviewer (NY State United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: At End of Day (Hardcover)
I read "At End of Day" in honor of Higgins's passing. In a (perhaps not so) strange coincidence, it deals with exactly the same topic (shady symbiotic alliance between FBI agents and two Boston organized crime figures) as the recent and highly touted non-fiction book "Black Mass" (apologies for forgetting the authors). While not GVH's best novel (even among the recent ones, I prefer "The Agent"), I found it much more enjoyable than the disappointing "Black Mass". One slight cavil, possibly attributable to various rush factors: AEoD is not as well-edited as other GVH books, with a variety of typos and misspellings. Maybe not for Higgins newcomers, but recommended to fans of his Boston crime work, and anyone who's read "Black Mass" ought to check it out for a different approach.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New to Higgins;Excellent starting point, March 28, 2001
By 
Brandon (Champaign IL usa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: At End of Day (Hardcover)
George V. Higgins' "At End of Day" is reminiscent of the work of KC Constantine, with its wonderful addiction to dialogue. I have not read "The friends of Eddie Coyle", but it is next on my list. AEoD is a long trip through the lives of two FBI agents and two gangsters,who, while they do work together, are not buddies,least of all Arthur McKeon(the treacherous McKeach).GVH's chracters seem to deliver Shakespeare length monologues, but they never become tiresome. Some readers may wonder where the action is, but when you read Higgins' vivid description of McKeach beating a potential business rival,you'll be glad the violence is kept to a minimum. Every character could be a living,breathing person(and some are, this is based on a true story) and there are about three novels' worth of conversation in this book. I enjoyed every line (twice, 'cause I relly had to read it twice for understanding!). A beautiful end to what I hope was a killer career
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close enough for jazz ..., October 30, 2008
By 
Charlie Stella (Fords, New Joisey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: At End of Day (Hardcover)
Higgins is one of my favorites, end of story. If he has to be categorized as a "crime writer", there are 4 or 5 of his classics that rate as the best ever (Eddie Coyle, Digger's Game, Cogan's Trade, etc.).

At End of Day was Higgins playing off the FBI/Whitey Bulger fiasco. It wasn't his best effort, but it was close enough for jazz to rate way about the rest of the field. There are a few books of his I couldn't get through (or had to fight my way through--much like James Ellroy's Cold Six Thousand--just couldn't get through it). End of Day isn't one of them. He left us with a beauty.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sad, March 23, 2006
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This review is from: At End of Day (Paperback)
A great fan of Higgins, I have read many of his books many times. Perhaps he didn't have time to polish At the End of Day, perhaps it was pushed because he died. It's just not very good. The dialogue doesn't work, the Bulger/Flemmi theme is overplayed, and if it weren't by Higgins it would have sunk like a stone. And no matter what conventional {ab}usage allows, the old Higgins would never have used "gunsel" to describe a gunman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Vendor, October 13, 2010
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This review is from: At End of Day (Hardcover)
I am extremely pleased with the service I received from Magnolia-Avenue. The product was as described-in excellent condition and delivered promptly. I will deal exclusively with this vendor whenever possible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Higgins' Last His Best, May 9, 2000
This review is from: At End of Day (Hardcover)
George V. Higgins' reputation has gradually grown from "brilliant crime novelist" since his THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE to "one of the great American novelists." AT END OF DAY is his last book and his best. The brilliant Boston-based dialogue, which drives the story unlike the dialogue of any other writer, peaks here in a novel based on some true events.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Winter Hill, September 18, 2013
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This review is from: At End of Day (Hardcover)
Great story based on Whitey Bulger/FBI case, written fifteen years ago. Higgins does great work, or did until R.I.P. in 2000
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At End of Day
At End of Day by George V. Higgins (Hardcover - May 10, 2000)
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