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Prince of Thieves

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  4,217 Ratings  ·  421 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
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 10th 2004 by Scribner Book Company (first published 2004)
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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
Joe Valdez
Mar 31, 2015 Joe Valdez rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Prince of Thieves, the 2004 heist novel by Chuck Hogan that served as source material for The Town starring Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner, is the best book I've given up on and had to rate with one star since joining Goodreads. It does not make me a happy man to do this and would recommend the book to anyone hooked by the synopsis who hasn't seen the movie. I have seen the movie and trying my damnedest, could find no compelling reason to stay in this taxicab. Let me off here, driver.

Hogan's writ
Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it liked it
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
Jan 09, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
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
Matt Garcia
Mar 21, 2015 Matt Garcia rated it it was amazing
Fantastic crime thriller. Memorable characters galore and Hogan made me feel like I was a part of "The Town." The raw emotion can be felt on every page. Excellent novel
Jun 23, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jane Stewart
Engrossing. Engaging. Wonderful character development and dialogue. The ending is tragic/sad. I grieved and cried too much.

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.
Dec 17, 2010 Michael rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Oct 02, 2010 CC rated it really liked it
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
Sep 10, 2014 Ashley rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 15, 2010 Greg rated it it was ok
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.
Bank robber tale of one of the robbers pursuit of love of one of the bank tellers!
The movie The town, is based on this book!
Rick F.
Aug 29, 2010 Rick F. rated it it was amazing
excellant gritty Boston Crime drama- far deeper and more touching then your typical thriller- READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct 21, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, sr, bum
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
Apr 14, 2014 TL rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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
Sep 21, 2015 Jana rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Jan 18, 2011 June Ahern rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Tyler Collison
Aug 27, 2012 Tyler Collison rated it really liked it
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
Jul 30, 2016 Shawn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
I saw the movie, The Town, a few years ago and got the book after I learned the movie was based on a book. The movie was great, the book is even better. You get so much more depth with the characters and the plot. With the book, you can dwell on the inner life and struggle in Doug; the obsession of the FBI agent pursuing him; and the thoughts and reactions of Claire -- the woman caught up in the middle of it all.

It always amazes when an author can make a sympathetic hero out of a character that
Jan 30, 2011 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 03, 2012 Lennie rated it it was amazing
This was the book that dove me into the literature world. Chuck Hogan's best asset as a writer is his depth and detail into each character as if you know each person in the novel personally. An aspect of writing that is difficult to obtain, but Hogan is one of the best. The story is thrilling, sincere, and will leave you satisfied at the end. Hogan also has a way of shyly putting in short, significant lessons that make you even more root for the main character, Doug. I have read the rest of ...more
Laura Grable
This book was pretty much what I hoped it would be: a fast-paced, easy read. I did think that it dragged in some parts, but overall it was a fun read. It takes place in Charlestown, a section of Boston, and revolves around four bank thieves. Boston is really its own character in the book and it seems to be going through the same changes that Doug is, who the main character. Both The Town and Doug are trying to clean up their act, but just can't seem to get away from a life of crime. Besides ...more
Lara Adrian
Dec 04, 2010 Lara Adrian rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Shandy Kurth
Feb 26, 2012 Shandy Kurth rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 17, 2010 Sallie rated it really liked it
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
Apr 12, 2010 Esther rated it really liked it
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.
Roxie D
I must admit that I loved the movie madly, and was incredibly disappointed with the book. There was very, very little character development, and the main character wasn't particularly likeable. I found the opposite to be true with the film.
This is one of the very, very rare instances where the movie is exponentially better than the book!
Sep 17, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Dec 09, 2011 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Leah Darrow
Mar 22, 2013 Leah Darrow rated it it was ok
One of the rare circumstances where the movie is far superior to the book. It was interesting to read about the robberies, but the character development and dialogue is hacky. Watch the far superior film "The Town" directed by and starring Ben Affleck instead.
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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...

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“Even if a thing is doomed—there is that moment of absurd hope that is worth the fall, that is worth everything.” 3 likes
“Thinking about drinking now was like fantasizing about the perfect crime. How he would do it—if he were going to do it.” 0 likes
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