Book Review: Gravesend by William Boyle

Posted August 2, 2019 by lomeraniel in Audiobooks, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Review / 0 Comments

Book Review: Gravesend by William BoyleGravesend by William Boyle
Narrator: Alan Carlson
Published by The Talking Book on 06-17-19
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction
Length: 06-17-19
Format: Audiobook
Source: Narrator
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Overal Rating: three-half-stars

Ray Boy Calabrese is released from prison 16 years after his actions led to the death of a young man. The victim's brother, Conway D'Innocenzio, is a 29-year-old Brooklynite wasting away at a local Rite Aid, stuck in the past and still howling for Ray Boy's blood. When the chips are down and the gun is drawn, Conway finds that he doesn't have murder in him. Thus begins a spiral of self-loathing and soul-searching into which he is joined by Alessandra, a failed actress caring for her widowed father, and Eugene, Ray Boy's hellbound nephew. Ray Boy Calabrese is back in Gravesend: some people worship him, some want him dead . . . but none more so than the ex-con himself.

Conway swears to kill Roy Boy after he is been released out of prison after. Sixteen years before, Roy Boy killed Conway’s little brother, and surprisingly, and not only he repents but also has a deathwish that will make Conway incapable of killing him. Both start a downward spiraling journey that will affect everybody in the neighborhood.

I really liked the premises of this book, and the raw writing gripped my attention, but I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I were ten years younger and male. Most of the characters were young men with little aspirations in life and the wrong motivations. They were complex characters, and although I was not able to connect to them, I understand the appeal for some readers. I was disappointed at the poor development and inferiority of female characters, but I believe it is due to the masculinity reigning in the neighborhood, and the fact that the book was written by a man.

Alex Carlson did a wonderful job interpreting the characters and transmitting the vibes of the atmosphere created by Boyle. His New York accents just hit the right spot. I only have a small complaint about his interpretation of both main female characters, which sounded a bit forced. They were not the most brilliant characters in the book, but Carlson’s interpretation made them sound even inferior to how they were portrayed.

It was an okay book for me, but I think it will appeal to young male readers.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Story (Plot)
Overall: three-half-stars