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City of Margins: Book summary and reviews of City of Margins by William Boyle

City of Margins

by William Boyle

City of Margins by William Boyle X
City of Margins by William Boyle
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2020
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A vivid new cast of characters collide in gritty 1990s Brooklyn, in this latest from acclaimed neo-noir author William Boyle.

In City of Margins, the lives of several lost souls intersect in Southern Brooklyn in the early 1990s. There's Donnie Parascandolo, a disgraced ex-cop with blood on his hands; Ava Bifulco, a widow whose daily work grind is her whole life; Nick, Ava's son, a grubby high school teacher who dreams of a shortcut to success; Mikey Baldini, a college dropout who's returned to the old neighborhood, purposeless and drifting; Donna Rotante, Donnie's ex-wife, still reeling from the suicide of their teenage son; Mikey's mother, Rosemarie, also a widow, who hopes Mikey won't fall into the trap of strong arm work; and Antonina Divino, a high school girl with designs on breaking free from Brooklyn. Uniting them are the dead: Mikey's old man, killed over a gambling debt, and Donnie and Donna's poor son, Gabe.

These characters cross paths in unexpected ways, guided by coincidence and the pull of blood. There are new things to be found in the rubble of their lives, too. The promise of something different beyond the barriers that have been set out for them. This is a story of revenge and retribution, of facing down the ghosts of the past, of untold desires, of yearning and forgiveness and synchronicity, of the great distance of lives lived in dangerous proximity to each other. City of Margins is a Technicolor noir melodrama pieced together in broken glass.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[O]utstanding... Boyle's characters are vividly drawn and painfully real. Fans of literary crime novelists such as George Pelecanos and Richard Price will be highly rewarded." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A dark but moving portrayal of working-class lives that evokes the 'kitchen-sink dramas' of such mid-century British novelists as Alan Sillitoe. Eschewing sentimentality yet still managing to find embers of tenderness in these stunted lives, Boyle blends powerful social realism with a strong noir sensibility." - Booklist

"A Jacobean revenge tangle in a Brooklyn where all the players have survived the same nuns. Even the most desperately lost of William Boyle's characters retain a hungry heart." - John Sayles, author of Yellow Earth, A Moment in the Sun, and Union Dues

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Author Information

William Boyle

William Boyle is from Brooklyn, New York. His books include: Gravesend, which was nominated for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policiere in France and shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger in the UK; The Lonely Witness, which is nominated for the Hammett Prize; and, most recently, A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

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