9 Down, 43 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)

Montgomery Brogan is going to jail for 7 years, and he knows he’s not going to make it out alive. Charming, good-looking, not to mention a highly successful drug dealer, Monty’s always dreamt of being a heroic fireman, but he no longer has much of a future ahead of him.

On his last day of freedom, he goes around his beloved New York with his beloved pitbull, Doyle, to connect one last time with everyone important to him, especially, girlfriend Naturelle, and best friends, Wall Street bond trader Frank Slattery and high school teacher Jakob Elinsky. And then there’s his boss, Mr Blue and his crazy Ukrainian bodyguard Kostya. Noone wants Monty to go, but at the same time, they’re conflicted that know their own lives will carry on nonetheless, and try to make amends. With the exception of Monty’s father, whose reticence belies a desperate need to save his son.

As befitting a man on his way to the gallows, The 25th Hour is imbued with a deep sense of loss and quiet pathos, but still shot through with a healthy dose of humour. David Benioff manages to keep a palpable air of restrained grief, while drawing us into the characters and their all too real thoughts and needs.
Inevitably, every book or film set in New York will end up being a paean to New York. This is might be me resorting to cliché, but the city is truly another character in the novel. All of Monty’s most cherished memories are from the city and he relishes every step as he treads around his neighbourhood on his last day. As opposed to the bustle and flow of New York, Benioff’s writing is bleak, economical and almost spartan, but ultimately both are wrought in beauty.

Nothing much really happens until the end, but the book works beautifully as a character study, as we go through the minds of Monty and his friends, through the classic themes of love, friendship, family and loyalty. There’s not much plot to speak of, but I was drawn into the book irregardless. What would you do if you only had a day left?

The 25th Hour
(ISBN No: 0452284198) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be Peeps by Scott Westerfeld.

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2 Responses to “9 Down, 43 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)”


  1. 1 farah March 5, 2006 at 0:47

    hey there, I just read about six posts of yours in a row, it’s been a while since I last came here.

    reading your blog is like watching a really good film. i feel for the characters, laugh, smile to myself, ponder a little bit on some things brought up and hope the screenwriter comes out with a new work of genius soon.

    i’m trying to read a book every two weeks..it’s getting easier as I get a groove going. congrats on going strong with the reviews so far.

    the gadget post was damn sweet.

    ok. long comment ahh.

    see ya guys for k.o.c.

  2. 2 Billy March 6, 2006 at 17:07

    aah.. not sure bout that genius bit… but thanks for the props.
    post your book reviews also leh.


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