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The Chieftains of South Boston Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Length: 402 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

June 18, 2015
For the last several months, I've been working full-time on the first draft of a sequel to The Chieftains of South Boston. The story picks up twelve years after events in the first novel and is set in the Seattle area, Anchorage and Alaska's North Slope from 1999-2001. Main characters include Matthew Mahoney, Anne Boushay and their two children: eleven-year-old Dylan and seven-year-old Nora. 
My goal is to publish this sequel (as-yet-untitled) sometime in 2016. 

About the Author

Stephen Burke grew up in the Dorchester section of Boston and attended Boston Latin School
during school desegregation. Like everyone in Boston at that time, he saw the city being torn
apart by the crisis.

While earning his MFA in creative writing at Columbia University, Stephen turned back to those
early years in Boston for inspiration. His thesis project is a novel that taps into the influences
that shaped him--what it means to grow up in a particular place at a particular time.

His interest in writing led him to start writing groups in Boston, and later Seattle, where he
now lives.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1035 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Stephen Burke; 1 edition (December 18, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 18, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006NPU0LU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,456 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Stephen Burke grew up in the Dorchester section of Boston and attended Boston Latin School
during school desegregation. Like everyone in Boston at that time, he saw the city being torn
apart by the crisis.

While earning his MFA in creative writing at Columbia University, Stephen turned back to those
early years in Boston for inspiration. His thesis project is a novel that taps into the influences
that shaped him--what it means to grow up in a particular place at a particular time.

His interest in writing led him to start writing groups in Boston, and later Seattle, where he
now lives.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I've never heard of this writer (apparently it's his first book), but I can definitely recommend it. After finishing the book, I know a lot about South Boston, even though I've never been there.
I was really impressed with how the story progresses. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say it starts out with one surprising event in chapter 1. With each chapter, it gets crazier. Every time I thought I figured things out, the next chapter brings in something new.
One brother is in the Irish Mafia and the other is a politician, and their lives are turned upside down by what happens. That kept me turning the pages, but I was most interested in the characters of Anne and Matthew, who get married in chapter 1. I wasn't sure if they would still be together at the end of chapter 10.
I hope there's a sequel to this book. I'm really interested in what happens in their lives. I found the writer's website, but it doesn't say anything about what book he's working on now. Anyway, this one was great. I enjoyed it a lot.
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By DW on January 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An Amazing Read. This Is The Sleeper Novel For 2012.
I was pretty blown away by this book. It's probably about 500 pages in all, but I found myself burning through it because of how well the story unfolds. It didn't take me very long to realize that two of the main characters (Francis and Jimmy) are based on the Bulger brothers (Whitey and Billy) from South Boston. I'm familiar with the history of both Bulgers, and I was quite impressed with how neatly Mr. Burke weaves true life events into the plot.
I'm more familiar with Billy Bulger, so I enjoyed the scenes with Jimmy Mahoney the most. Any politician on the right or left could learn a trick or two from Senator Mahoney. If you know the political scene in Boston, you'll appreciate it. If you not familiar with it, you will be by the end of the novel. In Boston, politics is a contact sport, and The Chieftains plays out like the Super Bowl.
I always hesitate to buy a novel by an unpublished writer, but I am so very glad I did in this case. The prose is excellent throughout. Particularly powerful is the dialogue, which is lean and quite effective in the way it brings each character to life. Mr. Burke is a writer who has definitely mastered the craft of fiction.
This book has been released without any fanfare, but I'd say it's odds on favorite to be the sleeper novel of this year.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of my gifts this Christmas was a new kindle, and I got five ebooks. This was the first I read. I wasn't sure where the story was going at first, but the writing is good enough that I hung in there. I'm glad I did. Like I say, the story reads like a roller coaster ride for the Mahoney brothers. You've got a mobster a politician and a third brother Matt. He gets the roughest treatment in the book but he survives. The roller coaster part has to do with the insane plot turns. Every chapter throws everything upside down. That kept me reading. I like what happens in the scenes with gangster Francis and the political scenes with Jimmy. You're pretty much seeing it all happen through Matt's eyes. So many times you think he's screwed. I'd have to say that Buzzy is my favorite character. Actually he has it a lot worse than Matt. I won't blow the secret but in the last few chapters you don't really want to put the book down. You gotta know what the hell Buzzy is gonna do next.
I have to say that I wanted to know what happens to Matt at the end. I felt things ended with him a little too quickly. A small complaint I suppose. But yes I gotta give this book 5 stars. An awesome roller coaster ride for ninety nine cents. Worth it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
That was Queen Victoria's opinion of conjugal relations._

More on that later.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It has a great story, with just the right mix of fiction and historical fact. All the characters (and that includes the community of South Boston) are fully developed, and everything is believable. And I cared about what happened to them.

The Brothers Mahoney - Francis, the cold -blooded killer who loves his brothers and still carries a torch for the girl next door. Jimmy, the devoted family man and calculating but honest politician. And Matthew, the baby, who lost his beloved mother too young and still doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. They are united by love and devotion to each other and to their late mother, and by their hatred of their father, "Salty" Mahoney.

We meet everyone on the day of Matthew's wedding to the sweet, sensible and wise Anne.

What follows is one week that rocks back and forth between joy and sorrow, kindness and unspeakable cruelty. Francis and his cronies and enemies, Jimmy and his, and Matthew - who just wants to make everything right - grab our attention and hold it from the first page to the last.

And now back to HRH Queen Victoria.

From the beginning to the end, I had to "lie back" and pretend that I was not put off by the INCREDIBLE, number of misspellings and grammatical errors - more per chapter than I have ever encountered in any publication in 59 years as a reader. At each occurrence, I was jerked away from the story as much as if I had heard fingernails on a chalkboard. This isn't what an author wants, and it is disconcerting, to say the least, for the reader. How does this happen? Is there no copy editor? No proofreader?

And at whose feet do we lay the blame? Either the author or the publisher is too lazy or too cheap to see the job done well. And that is a damn shame.
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