Prince of Thieves
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Prince of Thieves

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,891 ratings  ·  352 reviews
The men wear masks. Their guns are drawn on the bank manager. She nervously recites the alarm code, and the tumblers within the huge vault fall. The timing and execution are brilliant. It could be the perfect heist. But as the huge sum of cash is stolen, so too is one man's heart -- and that man is the Prince of Thieves...
Charlestown, a blue-collar Boston neighborhood, pr...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 10th 2004 by Scribner Book Company (first published 2004)
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Kemper
I must have larceny in my heart because whenever I see an armored car, I always have that brief moment of idle thought where I wonder how much cash it’s carrying and if I could come up with a plan to rob one and get away with it. Apparently I should have been born in the Charlestown area of Boston because hijacking armored trucks used to be a major pastime of some it’s residents.

Set in the mid-’90s, Doug MacRay is a former hockey star who blew his chance at going pro and is now a recovering alco...more
Matt
Before he was a terrible actor and a mediocre comedian, Dane Cook was an above-average comedian. Back then, he had a funny bit about what all men wanted: a pet monkey, and to participate in a heist. I’ve never wanted a monkey; I’m too realistic for that. They smell, they fling their feces, and there’s always the possibility they will tear the flesh from your still-living face. A heist, though…That’s a little more interesting. There is something undeniably seductive about the planning, intricacy,...more
Patricia
I prefer to read the book and then watch the movie, but sometimes when watching a movie my favorite title credit will flash onto the screen: based on a the book ABC by 123. "There's a book?" I always silently exclaim. If I like the movie--and sometimes if I don't like the movie--I'll seek out the book.

I expected to like the movie the Town in a "wow, this is a really bad movie but I like it" sort of way. However, it turned out to be quite gripping and I really did like it. The book turned out to...more
Laura
Crooks, thieves, heists, jobs, getaways, cuts, cops, drugs, temptations, and loves.

Chuck Hogan’s The Town has it all and more! A dark, suspenseful, action packed tale about friendship and loyalty in a world filled with crime, betrayal, and “if only” dreams.

So far this year, no audio book has been able to hold my attention until this story read by….wait for it…Mr. Donnie Wahlberg! The man has been in my life, heart, and ears for years, but this was just a brand new bag of love! It was kismet! Eff...more
CC
Yeah, I liked this. The writing was spry for the most part, a gold nugget of a phrase every other page or so made me smile throughout. Charlestown's hard, blue-collar roots are undergoing a gentrification and to his own surprise, so is bank robber Doug MacRay. Newly sober and newly burdened by a heavy conscience, he sees what his hard life of crime and dead-ends has done to him, and wants to change.

Change comes in the form of bank manager/hostage, Claire. Pursuing her offers him new hope: she's...more
Jane Stewart
Engrossing. Engaging. Wonderful character development and dialogue. The ending is tragic/sad. I grieved and cried too much.

STORY BRIEF:
Doug’s mother left or disappeared when Doug was in first grade. After that his father went to jail. Doug has lived with the Coughlans ever since. Doug went to jail for a year or so for beating up someone. Now he is 32. He robs banks and armored trucks with his friends, Jem Coughlan, Gloansy, and Dez.

The book opens with a bank robbery. The guys are wearing masks....more
Michael
The worst part of this book was I had the movie tie-in cover so everytime I picked the thing up I had to look at Ben Affleck's face. Worse than his face (which is bad enough), but his profile, framed in some type of thought-provoking prose which, for me, is a disturbing image. Other than that, I thought this was a pretty good character-driven crime story, but it didn't have the hard edge I was hoping for. Characters were well developed for the most part, but were a little caricaturish and they l...more
Ashley
I seen this on my which list on amazon and had to get it!(I got the Version The Town movie cover paperback one) it's was only $3 and I could not pass it up... I was going for "The Strain" trilogy books (i only need book 2-3, Ihave the 1st on the E-book) but this and I had to get another thing while I was at it..

But boy am I glad I did!

This was a riveting book. It had everything! Bank Robbery, Long time friends at the end of there friendships, A " I Always Get My Man FBI Agent, Un-knowing beau...more
Rick F.
excellant gritty Boston Crime drama- far deeper and more touching then your typical thriller- READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sarah
I wasn't planning to read this book. I found it on sale at a bookstore so I bought it. I saw the movie and I thought it was good. At first, there were loads of things I wasn't yet familiar with (such as the details of bank robbery, armored trucks, hockey, Irish community etc.) It was predominantly a male thing. But as I kept on reading, I learned a lot about such things. The writer is so skilled and left no detail to chance and I was very fond of the protagonist; an antihero but the sort of man...more
Jana
I thank Ben Affleck's movie 'The Town' for two things: Ray Lamontagne and his beautiful song 'Jolene' which became one of my dearest. And although I’ve never been Bob Dylan’s lyrical sadness type of listener, this is perfect. It makes the same goose skin effect like when I listen to Tracy Chapman's 'Fast car' and Springsteen’s 'River' (although Joshua Kadison's 'Jessie' as well fits into this storytelling category). Second reason why I thank Ben Affleck is his idea to adapt this book into a movi...more
June Ahern
Borrowed from my host, I began this book on a long weekend, hoping I would finish it. I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN! The story is so compelling and each character, especially the main ones: Doug, Jem, Clair and even Frawly, the FBI agent, were believable to their roles. Growing up with a "hood" with "hoods" I got right into the scene and Hogan does justice to his characters and setting. As a reader (the viewer) I was there in every movement and thought. Of course from early on in the story as Doug, a l...more
Tyler Collison
I waited longer than I'd intended to write up this review, so it'll be severely abbreviated, but there's still plenty of talking points:

1. Once the action mounts in this book and you know various parties are on a collision course, you can't bear to put it down. This is true all the way through its conclusion, when I was still unsure of how things would be resolved.

2. Thank God I hadn't seen the movie adaptation of this, because the detail Hogan puts forth in his exploring the various elements of...more
Andy
The main reason I picked this book up was because I read the Del Toro/Hogan collaboration The Strain, but then I saw the movie The Town and thoughts it was the cat's pajamas. The movie was so interesting and enjoyable that I had to read the book. This book did not disappoint in any way, shape, or form. I do not want to give too much away, but if you've seen the film, you're in for a treat, because even thought the film takes form from the book, the book is it's own entity. The characters are mor...more
Lara Adrian
My first Chuck Hogan book, which I'd been eyeing when it first came out a few years ago, but never got around to picking up. So, when I heard the Ben Affleck movie THE TOWN (which I haven't seen yet) was adapted from this book, I had to give it a try. Really enjoyed Hogan's characters--more so Duggy, Jem, and the rest of their bank robbing crew than the victim/love interest Claire, who seemed thinly drawn by comparison (probably because we didn't get into her head until her POV scene at the end?...more
Sallie
I picked this up because it's been re-released under the title "The Town", the name of the new
Movie directed by Ben Affleck. The cast is superb, but I wanted to read the book before the movie - and I was not disappointed. Chuck Hogan writes the most tortured - yet understandable - bank robber you'll ever meet. And it doesn't stop there - the entire crew is nuanced and grabby - you don't want to get invested in them, but you do. Overall, I loved the story - the only complaint was that because of...more
Shandy Kurth
WEW! That was an emotional roller coaster!
I've been the movie the town and didn't know that it was based off of a book so when i came across this one at my local used book store in audio i was like HECK YES!
It didn't disapoint! Great look at street life and the mechanics of robbary but also the characters involved, the main character Doug, you just wanted to shake him and wake him up! And tell him to go with his gut and that it was going to be okay if he would just do what he knew was right!! Lo...more
Esther
Great heist novel about a guy who's a pro at stealing money from various guarded places. In-depth description of the armored car gives you a much deeper respect for why it's so hard to hijack one.

Main character is seeking redemption, but his 'friends' hold him back every step of the way.... The struggle is compelling, and although he's a criminal, I found myself cheering for him every step of the way.
Amanda
The Town is a much better title than The Prince of Thieves - in my opinion. Mostly because the story is as much about Doug MacRay's surroundings as it is about Doug himself. Prince of Thieves just kinda sounds corny anyway :P Anyhow I wanted to read this one because I absolutely loved the movie and I have heard good things about Chuck Hogan; this book did not disappoint!
Terri R.
Took awhile cause I wasn't sure what to write about this book...

I had a good time reading this...the novel opened quietly but with a bang as well. Jem had me groaning and wanting to smack him from the beginning, you can tell from the small glimpse there he's a little off balance.

I wouldn't call this a "slow paced" novel, to me its more "steady"... it lets events unfold without rushing things and you get a glimpse into everyone's lives and heads. You root for them even though you know that somet...more
Nicolas
L'un des rares bouquins où j'ai vraiment été "avec" les personnages, sans savoir avec qui me ranger et où la lecture de chaque chapitre était prenante de peur qu'il leur arrive un coup de pute. Après y a eu le film (raté) et j'ai moins rigolé.
Dale
Excellent novel. The characters made this book. Doug, Gem, Dez, all of them. You could feel Doug's desperation to break out, and you could completely understand why he couldn't. The ending, while predictable, was exactly what it needed to be.
Greg
That'll teach me to read a book that's soon-to-be a major motion picture written by and directed by and starring Ben Affleck.
Michelle Mysko
A very good heist/romance story. It was made into the move The Town, which is worth watching.
John
Entire libraries could be filled with "how to" books on writing. I suspect dozens of those deal with thrillers. Aspiring authors should save their money and invest instead in Chuck Hogan's Master Class on Thriller Writing, contained within the pages of Prince of Thieves.

Hogan's talents are too extensive to be enumerated in a brief review. I'll focus on how well he places the reader within a scene. His descriptions are vivid, unique yet never laborious or showy. The need to keep a story moving is...more
Susan
3-1/2 stars. This is the male version of chick-lit (dude-lit???) with decent character development and a plot that moves along nicely.

This book may exist on two levels: a superficial, entertaining story about bank robbers, and a more thought-provoking tale of what makes a man tick. At times I felt as thought I was working a little too hard to find some depth to this book that maybe wasn't really there.

This book is about a man's struggle to define himself. The main character is looking to live a...more
Rishi Saikia
SUMMARY: "The men wear masks. Their guns are drawn on the bank manager. She nervously recites the alarm code, and the tumblers within the huge vault fall. The timing and execution are brilliant. It could be the perfect heist. But as the huge sum of cash is stolen, so too is one man's heart -- and that man is the Prince of Thieves... Charlestown, a blue-collar Boston neighborhood, produces more bank robbers and armored car thieves than any square mile in the world. In this gripping, intricately p...more
Sara
I was never interested in this story due to the trailer for the movie. However, one of my co-workers was reading this story and I started to look into the story. It sounded interesting and shortly after, she let me borrow the book.

The book opens up with a robbery but it just didn't grab me and the beginning of the book is key to the story. It took a while for me to get into the story, and the only part that really kept me interested was the relationship between Claire and Doug. I really wanted t...more
four_eyes
I feel like whatever I say of this book will never come close to describing the greatness that it is. Chuck Hogan wrote a page-turning, suspenseful thriller paired with emotionally distraught characters that furthers the story on a level that engages readers with the characters' struggles and inner demons.

The story wasn't just about robberies and scoring big. What made The Prince of Thieves so utterly remarkable was the day to day struggles in surviving and coming to the realization that to hav...more
Craig Meads
Sep 21, 2010 Craig Meads rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone that likes an exciting novel.
Recommended to Craig by: stumbled across it
This is a good book early into it. I'm reading this as a holdover until his and Guillermo Del Toro's second book in "The Strain" trilogy is released. "The Strain" is an amazing book, this is good but not as good.

My reading is currently on hold for this book, waiting to be able to pick it up from the library.

This book is the basis for the upcoming Ben Affleck movie, "The Town".

I've started reading this book again and am enjoying it, I think I will be finishing it this time. I love this book and...more
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Chuck Hogan is an American author. His story "Two Thousand Volts" appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories 2009. He is the co-author of The Strain Trilogy with Guillermo del Toro. His 2004 novel Prince of Thieves was adapted to film as the Ben Affleck directed The Town in 2010.
More about Chuck Hogan...
Devils in Exile The Killing Moon The Standoff The Blood Artists The Town (Prince of Thieves Film Tie in)

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