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The Winter of Frankie Machine

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  6,378 ratings  ·  506 reviews
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Knopf
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Ron Smith It's part of Winlow's San Diego "series". Frankie shows up as a minor character in one of the other books.

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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,378 ratings  ·  506 reviews


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James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Power of the Dog is my favorite novel by Don Winslow and it's on a very short list of my favorite books of all time. But The Winter of Frankie Machine is easily my second favorite of Winslow's books while all of the others are tied for third.

What I love most about the book is the character that Winslow has created in the protagonist, Frank Machianno. The first chapter, in which Frank rises and goes through the routine of beginning his day, is alone worth the price of admission. You'll never
...more
Lyn
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant.

This should be on a short list of best crime fiction novels. Ever.

Frankie “The Machine” Machianno is one of the greatest mobster characters ever created, in the range of Michael Corleone and Tony Soprano. Like those two iconic gangsters, Frankie balances his life as a violent criminal with a practical and affectionate concern for his family, immediate and extended. Perhaps more Corleone than Soprano in his sensibilities and old school moralities, he is nonetheless a blue-collar soldier
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Melki
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-fiction
The wire garrote is still clutched in his hands. Old-school, Frank thinks, using a wire. But they probably didn't want to risk the noise of a gun unless they had to. Use a silencer, then. Unless the garrote was meant to make it slow and painful, in which case this hit was personal.

Frankie's a retired mob hit man, enjoying a quiet life in San Diego. But, someone wants Frankie dead. And, until he figures out who ordered the hit, and why, there's not much he can do but run, or fight back.

Friends
...more
Kemper
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
“It’s a lot of work being me,“ Frank Machianno often thinks, and he’s got a point. Despite being in his early sixties, Frank is the slightly fussy owner of several small businesses that keep him hopping. Among them is the bait shop on San Diego’s Ocean Beach Pier where Frank is a local fixture, and he still makes time for the Gentlemen's Hour, when several old timers gather to surf. Since his daughter just got into medical school, it looks like Frank is going to be busy for the foreseeable futur ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
My very first novel by Don Winslow, and definitely not the last one. I would probably have given it five stars right after I finished it, but I got sidetracked and I write the review some three months later. I still feel the story of Frankie Machine is a solid piece of storytelling and Winslow a great talent, but I'm not so sure about shelving it as a favorite.

On the plus side, Frankie in the present day is a great lead : a tough cookie and a workaholic who instead of thinking about his pension
...more
Darwin8u
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, crime
"My uncle always told me, "You always have to use your brain in this thing, and you always have to use the gun."
- "Crazy Phil" Leonetti

description

Don Winslow is a total guilty pleasure. I think the cliché that there are only seven basic stories needs to be expanded to include reluctant former mobster hitmen who surf. I love how the late 2000s brought some pretty amazing surfing/slacker crime fiction. You've got Winslow's 'The Winter of Frankie Machine' and The Dawn Patrol, Pynchon's Inherent Vice, obviousl
...more
Toby
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
I was concerned about reading a second book by Winslow after Savages was so good, fearful that he just wouldn't live up to that book and the hype surrounding him, but this book confirms that I am a scaredy cat for no good reason. I wish I could've reviewed this when I finished it, my mind was filled with superlatives, interesting comparisons and a strong analysis, however since that plane journey I have read 3 more books and spent my days walking around Sydney so my ideas are not as fresh.

The ti
...more
Jennifer Gaarder
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read my reviews at http://jenchaosreviews.com

By Don Winslow
Alfred Knopf September 26, 2006

320 Pages, Hardcover

Frank Machianno is a respected community member in his Southern California home known only as the "bait guy" and surfer, he only wants a quiet and peaceful life. At one time he was a killer for hire for one of the country's notorious mobs. He was Frankie Machine. No one takes down Frankie Machine. Years ago he severed ties with the mafia and left well enough alone, moving to San Diego re
...more
RJ
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Yes, it's a collection of cliches: retired Mafia hit man who never misses is on the run trying to figure out why La Famiglia is trying to kill him. Other than the San Diego setting (stay classy!) there's not much new here, although the storyline occasionally weaves in actual news items such as the kidnapping of young Danielle van Dam, whose name is changed in the book. But author Winslow creates interesting and sympathetic characters, lots of action and fun, a breakneck pace, and a couple of int ...more
Tom Mathews
I loved this book! I never thought that I would find myself rooting for a hitman but I did and I have no regrets. Read this book and you will find yourself cheering for Frankie Machine too.

My thanks to the good folks at the Pulp Fiction group for introducing this and many other fine books.

Richard
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller
8/10

When a retired hitman is targeted out of the blue the old skills come flooding back and the hunt is on as to who would want him dead after all this time. Introduced as a favourite local and somewhat standup citizen, there is more than meets the eye with Frank.

I really enjoyed this short novel about a retired mafia hitman and his forced re-entry into the life that he used to know. The way the tale was weaved from current events unfolding and his previous exploits was deftly done and provided
...more
Skip
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
4, probably 4.5 stars. Frank Machianno owns several small businesses, including a bait shop on San Diego’s Ocean Beach Pier, he sells fresh fish to local restaurants, and has a linen delivery service. He is also a local fixture, keeping the peace and surfing with the old geezers. Sounds dull, right? When an old friend calls in a favor to help negotiate peace with some local mob guys, we find out that he is actually Frankie Machine, a former hitman. And, someone wants Frankie put in the dirt. Win ...more
Mindy
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this back in 2007 and absolutely loved it. Everyone I recommended it to, loved it as well. My brother in law passed it on to his friend that never ever read and he credits this book with getting him into reading. This friend is now a voracious reader. My husband has read almost everything this author has written now and I think it's time I jump back on the band wagon!
Alan Taylor
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"It's a lot of work being me"

Frank Machianno is a worker, a businessman. He owns a bait shop on San Diego pier, supplies fish to the best local restaurants and has a property rental portfolio. Frank also enjoys the finer things in life. He has season tickets for the opera; he surfs, never missing 'Gentlemen's Hour'; he enjoys cooking in the kitchen he has designed to be just right. He loves his 'cucina'.

'"This is a quality-of-life issue"' and 'quality of life is doing the little things - doing
...more
Tim
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: winslow-don, mobsters
THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE by Don Winslow is novel based on the past and current life of an older man named Frank Machianno, who operates a bait shop on a pier and is known and loved by all, and who also is considered by most to be the unofficial keeper of law and order on the pier.

Frank has his hands in several money making ventures; in addition to the bait shop, he also owns other businesses, and supplies tuna to restaurants.

Divorced with a daughter and having a girlfriend, his life has de
...more
Dave
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: don-winslow
Winslow really hit his stride with this thriller. It's a story about a guy running a bait shop in Ocean Beach and a few other interests besides. Frankie is retired from the life, but of course you can't outrun your past. Before he surfed the Gentleman's Hour and became everyone's buddy, he was Frankie the Machine, a mobbed-up west coast version of Goodfellas.

This story doesn't just begin when trouble finds Frankie. It began years ago when he was a driver and hanger on for first one crime boss th
...more
Geoff Smith
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, novels
4.5 stars
Before reading this I read 'Power of the Dog' and thought it was great in places, but possibly a little big for me in its scope, so I was kind of excited at the prospect of reading another Winslow with a clear single character, and so I began The Winter of Frankie Machine.

So this began brilliantly, even better than The Power of the Dog, Winslow describes Frankie's ordinary life with real skill and emotion. I loved it.

Once the story begins we get to see Frankie in action as a heroic tou
...more
Susan
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read by this author. Don Winslow has a truly distinctive voice. His introduction of Frankie "The Machine" Machianno is masterful. We savor his likes and dislikes, look into his life as a fish vendor on the San Diego waterfront. Only at the end to we find out Frankie's previous job: hitman for the mob.

Frankie's heart shows through in his relationship with his ex-wife, his current mistress and above all his daughter. No sense trying to summarize the plot. Someone wants
...more
Warrengent
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Love don Winslow this was a brilliant novel but, no where near as good as the power of dog, which is in my all time top ten books.
If you haven't read any Don Winslow books before I would highly recommended him.
Carol Storm
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
A lot of good stuff here, but nothing we haven't seen before.

A surfing hitman? Lots of SOPRANOS violence, SOPRANOS sex, plus tons of Sixties nostalgia and surfing? How can you go wrong?

Well, first of all, there's not nearly enough surfing, and NO Dick Dale music! We hear a lot about surfing, but never get the feel of the good times or the music. The hero fought in Vietnam, but we don't hear much about that either.

Frankie has a whole career as a mob hitman behind him, but we're supposed to beli
...more
✨Susan✨
This was a good story surrounding a man who had gotten out of the mob and now has a normal productive life, a longtime girlfriend and a daughter who is going to be a doctor. I'm usually not draw to Mob type books but I found it easy to connected to the protagonist. "Frankie Machine", retired.

When a contract is put out on his life he is pulled back in and is desperately trying to figure out the what and why of it all. He is forced to become Frankie Machine again to kill before being killed and p
...more
🔮⚡️Voracious
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favourites
Wow.

Just, wow.

If you've been fortunate enough to have read this wonderful book, you'll completely understand my one word review. If you haven't yet read this, I recommend that you get yourself a copy, now. Utterly gripping, I haven't felt an impact from a book like this in quite a while and I even started slowing my reading pace towards the end, hoping to prolong the story for another few hours. This book sucked me in from page 1 (I often find that such a cliched saying but in this case, it's so
...more
E.
This was a fun book. Violent at times, bits of humor, tender moments, a mystery, thrilling parts, a twist here and there, interesting characters.
I enjoyed the way most of the story was told in flashbacks. It covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
Recommended to anyone who likes thrillers but wants something a little different. And if you can keep up with who's who among the names Jackie, Paulie, Frankie, Johnny, Mikey, Mouse, Mouse Jr, Mo-Mo, etc. (Spelling may be off as I was audio
...more
jo
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
this is a truly excellent noir, but i get VERY ANNOYED when there is all that mafia involved, with their mispronounced (audiobook) last names and the various mispronounced italian all over the place. but heck, super cool hard boiled mystery.
Piker7977
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Frank the Bait Guy. Everyone loves him. This is the guy who runs a bait shop on one of San Diego's piers. Frank is a man who lives on a strict schedule. He times his breakfast, shower, drive, and business hours with the goal of achieving the most efficient day possible. Frank is there to help out the local fisherman, sponsor little league soccer teams, guide fathers on where to take their sons fishing, advise surfers on where the big breaks are located, and carve out a little time for himself.

I
...more
Jean-marcel
Jul 29, 2014 rated it liked it
This is my first exposure to Don Winslow's writing, and while I can't say I was bowled over by this book, I've learned that he has a lot of stuff out there, and much of it looks rather interesting and even diverse.

The voice of the American Italian rings very true in this book. There's a subtle undercurrent of absurdity as Frankie recalls his past and tries to figure out who has put a contract out on him, and why. In the early chapters we see Frank as an intensely hard-working middle-aged man who
...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Frank Machianno has it all figured out - his daughter is starting medical school, he gets along with his ex-wife, he has a loving relationship with his girlfriend. He runs a bait shop and surfs in the early morning hours before checking on his laundry business and real estate management. Yeah life is a good for Frank who has a well defined routine of the good stuff. That is until his past life intrudes upon this calm that shatters his new life completely. Y'see, Frank Machianno used to be called ...more
Bob
Apr 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny, violent, wildly readable and often very tender, Don Winslow’s story about hit man Frankie Machine being forced out of retirement when his otherwise peaceful existence is threatened is probably his best book yet. Following the excellent, but overlong “Power of the Dog,” Winslow channels early, peak Elmore Leonard here, inhabiting his pages with quick, witty dialogue and the usual collection of Mafia types, strippers, politicians, and druggies.

Some might feel the conflicted “warm” killer, F
...more
Almeta
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: dying2read
Did my reading taste change or is my available reading material less idealistic?

I remember when, in describing a story, the main character would be called “The Hero”. I notice a shift now to “The Protagonist”. Much of popular fiction is presented from the point of view of a criminal, a sociopath, a generally not nice person; not a Hero.

Frankie Machianno's wife and daughter don't think of him as much of a hero, but his girlfriend, surf buddies, current business associates at least think of him a
...more
Matt
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Winter of Frankie Machine is a mix of The Sopranos and Grumpy Old Men. Perhaps that's even insulting to describe this novel compared to those other shows/movies. The novel flits seamlessly back and forth in time while Frank "The Machine" Machianno tries to find out who put a hit out on him while he is trying to live a legit life. The fun part about this book is that Frankie Machine is a great anti-hero to root for even though he has his share of demons in his closet. Winslow's prose is delig ...more
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2,924 followers
Don Winslow was born in New York City but raised in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. At various times an actor, director, movie theater manager, safari guide and private investigator, Don has done many things on his way to being a novelist.

His first novel, A Cool Breeze On The Underground, was nominated for an Edgar, and a later book, California Fire and Life, received the Shamus Award. The Death An
...more
“Life’s like a fat orange, Frank thinks. When you’re young, you squeeze it hard and fast, trying to get all the juice in a hurry. When you’re older, you squeeze it slowly, savoring every drop. Because, one, you don’t know how many drops you have left, and, two, the last drops are the sweetest.” 3 likes
“He’s hunted enough guys to know that their own heads can be their worst enemies. They start seeing things that aren’t there, then, worse, not seeing things that are. They worry and worry, and chew on their own insides, until, when you do track them down, they’re almost grateful. By this time, they’ve been killed so many times in their minds that the real thing is a relief.” 1 likes
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