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Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob Paperback – March 13, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Weeks lands a knockout punch with this compelling look at one of the most intriguing figures in the American underworld.” (– George Anastasia, bestselling author of The Last Gangster)

“Rarely have the nuts-and-bolts of ‘the gangster life’ been laid bare in such shocking, unvarnished detail.” (– T. J. English, New York Times bestselling author of Paddy Whacked and The Westies)

“Mesmerizing and fascinating ... no organized crime fiction I have read has anything on this book. I couldn’t put it down.” (– Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Society)

“…most interesting and accurate. When Weeks talks about Bulger, he’s got the goods and he makes clear the others don’t.” (– Boston Sunday Globe)

“Weeks has made his literary bones. He has credibility…” (– Boston Phoenix)

“Absorbing.” (—Deseret Morning News)

“Bulger has spawned a handful of books about his mayhem. So far, Weeks’ is the best. ” (– Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“A dazzling story...Brutal is the most revealing and chilling true crime story that I have ever read.” (– Julian Krainin, Producer of “Quiz Show” and “Something the Lord Made”)

About the Author

Kevin Weeks is out of prison and living a clean life in Massachusetts.



Phyllis Karas is the coauthor of two previous books. She is a contributor to People magazine and an adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Journalism. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with her husband.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061148067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061148064
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have read each book that has come out of the sordid, fetid story of South Boston, Massachusetts and master mobster Whitey Bulger's corrupt alliance with the FBI, including this latest and most useless scrpit by Bulger's errand boy, Kevin Weeks. Having grown up in the town during Bulger's reign of terror and knowing about the tales of terror as they occurred, I would simply advise people thinking of purchasing Mr. Weeks' book to save your money. If you do buy it, do what I did after reading the first one hundred pages or so. Throw it in the trash. As I read the book, or more precisecly, the half truths and outright lies in it, I realized I paid this fool blood money. For him to actually claim in the book that he is a borderline genius should have been my first clue to try to get my money back. A persistent reminder of what a weak minded coward this moran is, was his description of how he stood by and watched as the diminutive psychopath Bulger, strangled the life out of two young women. Weeks claims he was a champion prizefighter - never happened. He claims he was shot at by, and shot back at, his fellow gangsters - never happened. I could go on, but to save my time and your money, skip this one. Do not allow this fool and criminal, but most of all craven coward to earn a cent from living a life without contibution or honesty. If you are of a mind, send a check to the family of those two poor women he didn't have the balls to save.
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Format: Paperback
I'm an Irish-Catholic guy in his 40's who grew up in Boston in the late 60's and 70's. I've read Streeet Soldier and Brutal several times each, and I personally believe much more of what Eddie Mac has to say about the "real" Whitey, as opposed to the relatively reverant tone in which Weeks still speaks of Whitey. Sure, Eddie Mac and Weeks are both equally dangerous sociopaths, and will surely go to Hell (assuming it exists) for all the evil they inflicted on their fellow human beings over the years. Having said that, Weeks still seems to be loyal to Whitey, and probably knows exactly where he is hiding out these days. For that reason, I don't believe a word he says when he defends Whitey against allegations that he was a rapist, a child molester, etc. Eddie Mac definitely gives the reader more insight into what Whitey was really like...and isn't that why we all read these books, anyway?
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Format: Hardcover
Fascinating.As far as mob- true crime books go, this one is pretty good, the protagonist and the co-author Phyllis Karas collaborate on an extensive "memoir" from Kevin Weeks' POV. The background growing up in the Southie projects before busing and drugs is telling; the environment in the authors case was deeply colored by an extremely violent and coarse father with a hair trigger temper who was in fisticuffs ALL of the time, wacking his kids around without justification. Childhood innocence and safety being denied him, kevin becomes a soldier- a boxer and a thug who believes in the law of the jungle. Although purportedly a near genius with an 150 IQ, the emotional life of this amoral man is never developed- all he knows is that if some guy says screw you- that's justification to crack his head open. If he has to be told a second or third time, he's too stupid to live. The macho neanderthal perspective fits in perfectly with Whitey's (Jimmys) plan, Kevin is an aide-de -camp with his own sideline businesses , but mainly Kevin is like a personal bouncer for Whitey- a fascinating multidimensional psychopath with a touch of Robin Hood- (he once took part in LSD experiments during his early prison stint, perhaps this exacerbated his evil side.)

The one thing that the reader walks away with is that in this part of Boston and in this mileu, all the cops and robbers are in bed with each other-metaphorically of course. FBI, police, gangsters, and various thugs. What a cesspool! Kevin says throughout the whole book that it's always about money, not power- but in the end he's bankrupt; and he's telling all these tales of his businesses and how successful he could have been if he and Whitey went legit.
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Format: Hardcover
I am an avid reader of this scene. Since the Departed has come out I have read "the Brother's Bulger", "A criminal and an Irishman", "Rat Bastards", "Street Soldier", "Black Mass", "Paddy Whacked" and "Brutal". No doubt Brutal is a great read, but when I read reviews about Rat Bastards and Street Soldier, it said "they just brag about how good they were"......Brutal seems to fall into the same description. Although it is indirectly bragging. I find it funny how at the end of the book Weeks talks about how he is not proud of what he has done, while he highlights all the murders he took place in. As well, before the book ends and he explains how disgusted people are with him, he is sure to mention how tough he still is with his quotes. The one disappointing thing about this book is that Weeks talks about how many people he beat up (and how smart he is) and puts down virtually all things Irish and Boston that are not his own work. I won't put this book down completely though, Weeks was a top echelon guy. Unlike Shea, he was Whitey's protege and unlike Carr, he actually knows what happen. Sometimes when reading this book you have to remember that it is about Kevin Weeks and not Jimmy Bulger.
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