The 25th Hour
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The 25th Hour

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,533 ratings  ·  268 reviews
Penzler Pick, January 2001: The 25th Hour is a wonderfully written first novel that convincingly portrays the New York City of Wall Street brokers and middle-class white drug dealers, the new affluent class in a city where money can buy you almost anything and is often the most important factor in young people's lives.

Monty Brogan is about to start his last day of freedom

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Published (first published 2000)
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Joshua Allen
I really like this movie so figured I should check out the source material -- turns out it's exactly like the movie..? Or, you know, vice versa. But it almost feels like it was written with a movie in mind, what with its shortness and visual descriptions and whatnot. The fact that the author went on to be a screenwriter surprises me not a whit.

Also can I say the author is WAY too handsome to be a writer? It's SICKENING. But it does lend some authenticity to his descriptions of Monty, the protago...more
notgettingenough
David Benioff is perfect.

I know, I know, he can't be. For a start his books are really popular, so he can't be good, right? I mean not really good, not if he's making a living out of it.

And honestly, his novels: they start at the start and end at the end, they have a story to them and fantastic characters. I mean, how passé can you get?

Hang on a tick. I think this is what I meant to say:

I started this yesterday, began it again at breakfast and couldn't do a thing until it was finished.

Yayyyyyy...more
Richard Vialet
This is the real deal. Taut, engaging writing, themes that aren't shoved down your throat, and great characters that stick with you. Pretty-boy drug dealer Monty gets pinched and is about to get sent upstate for 7 years, so he decides to spend his last free day saying goodbye to his friends and family, including Wall Street hustler Frank, school-teacher Jacob, who fantasizes about his sexy high school student, and Monty's girlfriend Naturelle, whom he thinks just might've been the one that dimed...more
Adam Floridia
Pre-reading: This has long been one of my top ten favorite movies. Top ten may not sound like much, but this is coming from someone with a dvd collection topping 600. You see, I used to work in a store that sold used albums (ironic since I don't know shit about music) as well as a few movies and video games. My corpocratic tyrant of a boss typically paid me not in cash, but in movies, and that is the story of how my collection began. (Aside: that entire aside was simply so I could take a jab at...more
☮Karen
City of Thieves is one of my all-time favorites so I’ve had The 25th Hour on my shelf with hopes of getting to it much earlier than now. When I learned that the movie was currently playing on cable, I read the book and then immediately watched the movie. They are almost exactly alike. Not so strange, I guess, considering David Benioff also penned the screenplay. Wasn’t thrilled with the choice of Edward Norton playing Monty, the guy counting down the 24 hours until he has to report to prison for...more
Lisa Rathbun
I am amazed that a book with such a simple plot in which very little happens could be so very compelling. The reason is that the author created realistic and interesting characters. It is the last day before Monty goes to federal prison for seven years for drug dealing. You experience his thoughts and the thoughts of his two best friends, Jakob and Frank. The latter two, as well as Jakob's "mentor", an older teacher, seem to illustrate the statement that "most men lead lives of quiet desperation...more
Carol
Taking place during a 25-hour period, the novel presents the story of Monty Brogan, all-around good-looking bad boy who's managed to get himself arrested for drug dealing. And he's headed to jail after one more night of celebration. During the course of the story, we're introduced to his girlfriend and his two best friends. In 210 pages, I felt like I knew these characters, truly understood them. This is no small accomplishment for any writer. The characters are all tragically flawed, especially...more
Devon
Monty Brogan is a handsome guy, he's got a beautiful girlfriend, he owns a gorgeous Corvette and an attractive apartment. He's got two best friends that he's had by his side his entire life and a dog named Doyle that he loves more then anything. But in 24 hours, it'll all be out of his hands and he'll be on a bus to Ottsville Prison. You see, Monty didn't get his Corvette by playing by the rules and paying taxes. For the majority of his life, he's been making his money by selling drugs on the st...more
Paula
I read this entire book yesterday afternoon & evening. It's by the same author who wrote City of Thieves, which I read last week. In the movie vs book debate, I always prefer to read the book first before seeing the movie. Haven't seen this movie yet, but it can't be as good as the book. Marty Brogan is a unique character; one really wants to feel sorry for him, but as the laws of karma go, he got what he deserved. I most liked the character of Jake, who reminded me of the character played b...more
Peter
When I first started reading Benioff's debut novel I found the characters unique and interesting. But the more I read I found their intrigue coming more from the fact that they seem to be a reflection of emotions and feelings that everyone has. This book requires that you do not judge its characters but instead think about the 'cards' that they are dealt and wonder how you would play the hand. It showcases to me just how paper thin a person's sense of right and wrong can be in a complex world. T...more
K
Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhh! My well-meaning husband deleted my review by mistake. Sorry, just had to get that out. And let you know that I may not be doing the book justice because it's hard to put your heart and soul into it the second time around.

Anyway, this is not a book for people who like happy books about happy people in happy situations. This is the story of Monty Brogan, a charismatic and wildly successful drug dealer who has finally been caught and has 24 hours before he needs to report to...more
M
I first read this book in about nine years ago, and I loved it then. Second time round, it's even better.

Without being overly dramatic, or explicit in its descriptions of emotions, places, and people, this book manages to be evocative, and haunting. I feel Monty's sadness, and the spectrum of pain and regret experienced by all of the characters. Indeed, the whole book is tinged with regret, that feeling of, "What if I hadn't done that - what if I had taken a different path?" that we all go throu...more
Jonestw4
I didn't enjoy this story, though I got through it hoping something interesting would eventually happen. It didn't. The story traces the final 24 hours of a drug dealer's life before he's to report to prison for seven years (for his dealing). It's impossible for me to have any sympathy for a drug dealer, although Benioff does his best to pull it off. There are also too many charaters here, and for a thin book -- one that's barely over 200 pages -- there's not enough space given to developing the...more
Matt
I expected to find a sample of Old Spice cologne wedged into the binding of this pulpy, masculine novella. The cologne would have been fitting, because while you would not find this tale published in the New Yorker, it would be very comfortable in Maxim Magazine. I mean that as a compliment.

The 25th Hour is about a convicted New York drug dealer's last night on the town before he has to surrender himself to jail. His last night takes us on a tour of the city populated by Russian gangsters, prost...more
Maja Kvendseth
One of my absolute favourite books of all time, 25th Hour shows more than any other book I've read the possibilities we as human beings have to choose between - and even more so the ones that slip away because of the choices we do make. The premise is interesting enough and every single character equipped with emotions, motivations, and agendas of their own. The movie is somewhat different even though it is the same story, but I recommend reading the book first to get full access to the poetry o...more
Emmaline Hill
This was an absorbing quick read, but nowhere near the level of benioff's City of Thieves, which may be my favourite book of all time. The 25th Hour read like a writing exercise - explore character, emotion and relationships by going deep on an unusual event or time period. Benioff looks at what one individual - and the people who care for him - goes through in the 25 hours immediately before he goes to prison for 7 years. Over the course of the book benioff skilfully shows that this man has gre...more
Alex
Man, I like this Benioff writer. This was his first novel and while not as powerful as City of Thieves, it still has a lot going for it. A bit racey and has some violence. The ending is fantastic. He only has one more published work (a collection of short stories) so I should maybe wait on that one.

I was not surprised to learn that this book had already been made into a movie by Spike Lee as it was very cinematic.
Христо Блажев
Последните часове на осъдения: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/2...

“25-ият час” на Дейвид Беньоф (да, онзи David Benioff) е приятно написана драма за последните часове на свобода на мъж, който в живота винаги е избирал лесните решения. Растящ в бедност, в постоянна нужда да се доказва колко по-умен и интересен е от всички, Монти Броугън затъва бавно в търговията с наркотици, но без излишна жестокост и насилие – просто момче, което гради луксозния си начин на живот върху пясъчни основи. Около...more
Margaret
David Benioff's novel "City of Thieves" is brilliant and should be a Must Read for everyone. This novel, Benioff's first (?) or at least written earlier than "CoT", is clearly an earlier work and a good warm up from this really talented writer. As in "CoT," the main character is something of a cipher, and in any event is a different animal from his fellow men, including being instinctively attracted to and attractive by women. "The 25th Hour" does not move along the plot the way "CoT" does - he'...more
Ed
I've come to enjoy Benioff's stories of developing friendships. Whether friends from early on as in this book or those formed by necessity in City Of Thieves, he really hits all the nuances. Loved the ending of this book, quite literally the last three pages really set this story apart for me.
Linda Prieskorn
Great story with great characters. What do you do with the last day before you report to the federal penitentiary to serve 7 years for dealing drugs. The character of Monty is interesting as he struggles through his last day and we see all the mistakes he has made in his life.
Jim Bullington
This is a fascinating book. A look at the result of poor choices and their consequences. Three men, all saddled with regrets, and all trying to deal without betraying friendship. I read this book in one day finishing at 1:22 am.
Neil Healy
Being a New Yorker, I'm pretty skeptical about stories set in the city. Right off the bat I liked this one and found myself caught up in it, till finally, I finished it in a few sittings. You have to see how it ends and still you know it's going to be a hard landing.

I highly recommend the book and its author. It came highly recommended by a good friend, William Link, who is an excellent writer and doesn't hand out compliments. He knows crime stories, having created Columbo.

I recommended it to a...more
Eric
I read The 25th Hour in Four Hours and a bottle of wine. The book is essentially a rough draft of the movie. You'll get additional backstory for most of the characters, yet they are often more fleshed out by the actors and updated script in the movie. Most of Monty's monologues in the film exist almost word for word in the book, however, so while it is a quick read, it is compelling and has moments of impressive emotional depth. If you liked the movie you'll definitely like the book. If you have...more
Jack Keane
I watched the film adaptation of "The 25th Hour" (you know, the one that drops the "The" from the title) a couple of years back, and I absolutely loved it. Sure, the story itself is completely terrible and tragic, but the performances of all involved (Ed Norton as Monty, Rosario Dawson as Naturelle, Brian Cox as Monty's dad, Anna Paquin as Mary, Barry Pepper as Slattery, not to mention the now dearly departed Philip Seymour Hoffman as Jakob), the phenomenal score by Terence Blanchard and Spike L...more
Andrew
4 stars is probably a bit of an overrate but I love the concept of Benioff's 25th Hour - how a convicted drug dealer getting ready to serve a seven year sentence in federal prison spends his last day on the outside. The plot had a few holes and felt forced at times, but Benioff nails the dynamics among the three old friends (the dealer, the English teacher and the trader) at the center of the story.

25th Hour moves briskly (since all the action takes place over 24 hours, it almost has the feel o...more
Giney
Prison is our theme this month and prison is where Monty Brogan is headed. Betrayed by someone he thought he could trust he is headed to federal prison; tomorrow morning he has to report at the gates of Otisville where he will serve a sentence of seven years - minus 84 days for good behaviour. Tomorrow morning, one way or another, Monty’s life as he knows it is going to end.
Benioff’s first novel reads like a sleek, modern high-speed train. Once you’re on board there is no stopping this captivati...more
Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Ho conosciuto questo autore con il suo ultimo romanzo "La città dei ladri", libro che mi è piaciuto tantissimo e che se volete potete cercare e leggere la mia recensione, poi ho letto "la venticinquesima ora".

Ho trovato questa storia molto bella e molto intensa e al più presto recupererò anche il film di Spike Lee considerato da tutti un capolavoro.

Rispetto al suo secondo libro ho trovato questa storia un po' più "densa" e dunque a scorrimento lento, ma con delle chicche di bellezza che esalta...more
C.E.
Curse you "Game of Thrones." Don't get me wrong. I like Thrones. Love it even. It's probably my favorite show currently on TV. The problem is that I assume the gig as Thrones executive producer and one of its chief screenwriters seriously eats into the time Benioff has to write novels--and Benioff is one of the best in the business.

25th Hour is his first novel, followed five years later by the excellent "City of Thieves." On the surface, it's a pretty simple affair. After a successful run as a h...more
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120401
David Benioff worked as a nightclub bouncer in San Francisco, a radio DJ in Wyoming and an English teacher/wrestling coach in Brooklyn before selling his first novel, The 25th Hour, in 2000.

He later wrote the screenplay for Spike Lee’s adaptation of Hour starring Edward Norton and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In 2005, Viking Press published Benioff’s collection of short stories, When the Nines Roll Ov...more
More about David Benioff...
City of Thieves The Kite Runner: A Portrait of the Marc Forster Film When the Nines Roll Over and Other Stories 25th Hour [screenplay] Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2

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“This life came so close to never happening..” 7 likes
“What Slattery wants is a ring painted on concrete in the empty desert. With no living spectator around for miles, just him and the grinning demons. A chance to fight them each, one by one . . . to leave them broken and humbled, or even to lose the fights, but with nobility, and earn the respect of all the men who have showed him none. I want peace, he thinks to himself late at night. I want peace. But then he dreams of fistfights.” 1 likes
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