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The 25th Hour

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  3,056 ratings  ·  309 reviews
"Novels like The 25th Hour don't fall out of trees every day. The tone is dark and intense; its elegant style is cut on the raw side; and the characters come from places we've all been." -The New York TimesAll Monty Brogan ever really wanted when he grew up was to be a fireman. Now he's about to start a seven-year stretch in the federal penitentiary for drug dealing. With ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 29th 2002 by Plume (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
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.

I holy-shit-loved David Benioff’s second book, City of Thieves, back when I read it in 2009, and I’ve been book-pushing it to friends ever since. (FYI, they’ve all loved it, too.) But I never got around to reading his first book until now (partly because it’s kind of hard to track down–also, I’ve never seen the film, which is apparently pretty great).

Ultimately, The 25th Hour was kind of a let down for me, but I say “kind of” because, a) it was really well-written, and b) really short. So even t
Richard Vialet
"This life came so close to never happening..."
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, w
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
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
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
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
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
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
There are films that make you want to read the book, and "The 25th Hour" by Spike Lee is one of those, thankfully I would add, considering that this novel is a masterpiece. Written by an author whom I had already appreciated for "The City of Thieves" and that I found to be also one of the writers of the screenplay of "Games of Thrones", this book is just perfect: never a word that is too much, never granted even if the plot in itself does not leave much room for maneuver and a cast of characters ...more
Scott Jacob
Benioff flat out writes fun books.

His writing doesn't claim density or weighty profundity, but allows readers to be swept up in a clean cut story. It is both a perfect break from emotionally-taxing novels and a thrill to simply lose yourself in the gust of action and gritty description.

For someone who at times takes literature too seriously and feels like they need a revolutionary experience out of every single novel they read, the 25th hour is proof that you can have fun reading. It's okay, j
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
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
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
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
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
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
Francesca Romana
Montgomery Brogan è seduto sulla ringhiera della passeggiata che affianca l’East River, si riempie gli occhi della sua città, tra 24 ore dovrà presentarsi spontaneamente al penitenziario di Otisville. Nel tepore insolito di questa mattinata di Gennaio sta cercando di imprimersi nella memoria fotografie del fiume verde, dello skyline e delle luci della sua New York; da domani è così che la porterà nel suo cuore per 7 lunghi anni.
Questa volta ha perso, sa che penserà a tutto questo, quando in gale
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
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:

“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
It's remarkable how much can truly be said in so few pages. I didn't really like this book when I started reading it. Actually, I thought it was awful. Today when I turned the last page and put the book on its shelf, I was compelled by the fact that I secretly loved it for all it's subtle wisdom. I found it to be incredibly honest, shockingly real, and more than anything, chillingly melancholy. What this book had to say about life was profound if you were able to read between the lines of this r ...more
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
So, of the folks in my family, my Dad and I tend to share books more than other family members. A couple of months ago, he gave me a paperback copy of David Benioff's "The 25th Hour" published in 2001. It's a snappy, street smart novel about a guy from Brooklyn who has been convicted of drug dealing and is told to report to prison some days hence. The characters are bad guys who you can still empathize with. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to google the author (whose name was vaguely familia ...more
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.
Asghar Abbas
One of those, hip New York book by young waspy guy that is supposed to be chic. In this case, it actually was; very, very, good work with thought-out characters.
Benioff incidentally is one of the show-runners of Game of Thrones.
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
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Bret Easton Ellis...: The 25th Hour Ending 3 12 Jul 16, 2014 09:32PM  
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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 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..” 10 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.” 2 likes
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