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The 25th Hour

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  5,261 ratings  ·  490 reviews
An absorbing novel of crime, its terrifying consequences, and a bond that redefines the friendship of three restless young men. Wall Street speculators, the Manhattan downtown club scene, Russian gangsters, immigrant neighborhoods - all the elements in the urban turf of this finely crafted contemporary crime novel wed danger with excitement and possibility. They're the rew ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 25th 2002 by Plume (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  5,261 ratings  ·  490 reviews

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Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit
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.

"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 Natu
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Two stars completely defines how I felt about this book. It was ok. It kind of pains me to say this because his other book, City of Thieves, is a marvelous five-star read!

The good: well-drawn characters that are introduced to us as individuals and then shown in a whole new context when these three friends all come together.

The ok: I couldn’t summon much interest for the story or for those well-drawn characters and I found that I didn’t much care what happened to any of them. There were a coupl
Joshua Allen
Feb 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up The 25th Hour because of my initial interest in Benioff’s other book, City of Thieves, but I often prefer to read an author’s work in order of release, especially with one I have no experience. I wasn’t disappointed in The 25th Hour, but I do believe that City of Thieves will be the better book.

This one is a small book encompassing (like its title hints to) one day in the life of four main characters. Three of these people are friends, the other being the main character’s girlfriend.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Another tough one to rate... 3.5/5, rounded down.

I've wanted to read a David Benioff book for a while now. I don't know why it took me this long to do that, but I finally did. While my rating for this book isn't as high as I expected, I did enjoy several things about it.

I really loved the writing style. I loved it a lot. Benioff's words pack a punch; he says a lot in so few words.This book was not as action packed as I suspected it would be, but the prose kept me engaged and interested the ent
Aug 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: challenges
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
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Asghar Abbas
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

One of those hip New York books by a young waspy guy that is supposed to be chic. In this case, it actually was; very, very, good work with fleshed out and thoughtful characters.

Benioff incidentally is one of the show-runners of Game of Thrones.
Frank B
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very readable, and a good study in how to develop characters and scenes. However, it is a bit overwritten in my opinion, I prefer sparse prose.

Mary’s hazel eyes drown in pools of painted shadow, pennies just visible at the bottom of the wishing well. Jakob wonders why she and her friends favor such a morbid style, as if their models were not chosen from the covers of slick magazines but the refrigerators of the city morgue. And her hair. When was the last time she washed her hair?

In saying that
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tough,sad, claustrophobic tale, filled with dark humor. An urban romp around the 'burbs of New York city. A well written debut, who became a well know screenwriter. **and, I never saw the movie** ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it liked it
So I'd seen the movie years ago but didn't really remember the premise at all. I really enjoyed the somewhat simple idea behind it: the 24 hours with a man and those around him the day before he heads off to prison. I was expecting flashbacks with heists and action, but this story is pensive and reflective. It's real, it has heart and really great character and relationship building for somewhat short novel. ...more
Lisa Rathbun
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
I loved the City of Thieves and willing to read anything the author put out. But this almost silly book about a juvenile, pompous little drug dealer who considers "sway" the all important goal in life is really a disappointment. What a jerk. The other characters arent much better and the whole "plot" sways away under the tedious tide of words. Hard to get through. Best parts are the portrayal of the relationship between "buddies", fathers and girl friend but even these ties are loose and seem ru ...more
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5* This short book really packs a punch! A good story leaving you with a bit of a nebulous ending, but well worth it. The one major flaw is that the book is too short - more could have been added on various storylines. Oh well... All in all a good read with great characters (especially Jakob). If you want a MUCH better book by Benioff, read City of Thieves (one of my all time favorites).
Matthew FitzSimmons
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a truly outstanding book. Several chapters I went back and reread to think about how certain effects were achieved. If you're a writer, this one is a good one to add to your list. Highly recommended. ...more
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Brilliant gritty first novel by Benihoff and a great way to start off the new year with a 5
Mehmet Dönmez
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was very recent that I realized that Spike Lee’s best film 25th Hour was an adaptation and as I did, simply ordered the book oversea...

Fantastic vivid ballad to friendship, New York and relations, my insufficiency on slang vocabulary did not diminish the pleasure I have tasted.

The only piece of art that make me weep in different disciplines, I thought for the movie version Terrence Blanchard excellent score impressed me as well but having read the book now I understand it is nothing but Mont
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Monty (Montgomery) has screwed up his life. He is 26 years old, is handsome, has a beautiful girlfriend and a great apartment. Monty had a scholarship to attend a private high school, but messed that up. He started dealing drugs in high school and ended up getting tossed out of school. Monty says he was just six months away from having enough money to quit, but he got caught by the Feds, and in 24 hours he must report for a seven-year sentence. The best he will get is a reduction in his sentence ...more
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 by To ...more
Scott Jacob
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Michael Cannell
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I could list the cliches -- the tough guy who nurses an abandoned pit bull back to health, the Wall Street trader who makes a fortune but it still unfulfilled, the shy teacher who regrets his failure to assert himself with women. But I will only say that this book, a slim volume, was so suspenseful that I literally felt sick to my stomack in its final chapter. After its unusual and poetic ending, I immediately wen to the library to look for the next book by David Benioff.
Amanda Provan
Jul 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was honestly a waste of time. I kept reading it because I was waiting for something to happen, and it never came. The whole book summarised is Monty is caught dealing drugs, his friends throw him a party and his dad drives him to jail. End of story. I don't recommend this to anyone, it was really disappointing. ...more
Josh Peterson
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible writing. Vivid storytelling. Characters that you feel like you know. Somehow only 182 pages. Truly never knew where it was going. And that ending, especially the last line. Masterful. 9.5/10
Candace Smith-Lee
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lewis Dragisic
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wonderful wonderful book.
Very disturbing, very sad. It is a dark story. I didn't want Monty to go to much sorrow here. I had to force myself to read it although it is short and readable. ...more
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Bret Easton Ellis...: The 25th Hour Ending 3 40 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 25th Hour starring Edward Norton and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In 2005, Viking Press published Benioff’s collection of short stories, When the Nines Ro

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