• Chicago

  • A Novel
  • By: David Mamet
  • Narrated by: Jim Frangione
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars (117 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A big-shouldered, big-trouble thriller set in mobbed-up 1920s Chicago - a city where some people knew too much and where everyone should have known better - by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Untouchables and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Glengarry Glen Ross

Mike Hodge - veteran of the Great War, big shot of the Chicago Tribune, medium fry - probably shouldn't have fallen in love with Annie Walsh. Then again, maybe the man who killed Annie Walsh should have known better than to trifle with Mike Hodge. 

In Chicago, David Mamet has created a bracing, kaleidoscopic tale that roars through the Windy City's underground on its way to a thunderclap of a conclusion. Here is not only his first novel in more than two decades but the book he has been building to for his whole career. Mixing some of his most brilliant fictional creations with actual figures of the era; suffused with trademark "Mamet Speak", richness of voice, pace, and brio; and exploring - as no other writer can - questions of honor, deceit, revenge, and devotion, Chicago is that rarest of literary creations: a book that combines spectacular elegance of craft with a kinetic wallop as fierce as the February wind gusting off Lake Michigan. 

©2018 David Mamet (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Chicago

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent Dialogue and Settings, Not Much Action

Would you try another book from David Mamet and/or Jim Frangione?

Yes

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Chicago settings during that time period

Which character – as performed by Jim Frangione – was your favorite?

Mike, the main character

Did Chicago inspire you to do anything?

No

Any additional comments?

Mr. Mamet creates great characters but for a story set in the Capone era, I expected more action. This is a character driven book with excellent dialogue not enough insight in gangland Chicago. The Title and cover photo do not represent what happens in the book.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Just brilliant

I don’t think there’s a line in the book you can anticipate, everything’s the unexpected. Informative, a perfect evocation of the period and wonderful characters. I couldn’t stop listening.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dialoge awkward

I don't know if it's the reader or the fact that Mamet is known more for scripts than for novels, but the dialogue when read aloud seems stilted. The words themselves within the quotes are fine, it's more the overuse of said that got to me after a while.

I will probably have to read or listen to this again at some point to really review the story plot aspect.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

More Parlow!

Maybe a chuckle or two but I did not think I'd be laughing out loud. The buddy-banter is hilarious and now we heard Mike's side it makes me want more of Parlow.

Could have used a more dynamic reading, more divergent voices, but that's pretty subjective. I listen to a lot of audio and found the performance bland as compared.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not my style

The author uses dialog to advance the story. And the language is hard to get the cadence. I found it difficult to keep the characters straight because the reader had little if any distinction in his voice for each character. After 4chapters I had had enough. Not my style.

1 person found this helpful

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It will make a great movie.

It is hard to listen to be said, he said, he replied. I would have better enjoyed reading. I will most enjoy the play or movie.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Start somewhere in the middle

I purchased this b/c I like Mamet-talk, but I must warn the potential listener. That Great Mamet-Talk shows up in the middle and more or less casually slow walks to the denouement.
If you choose wisely in your desired “middle-spot” then you will rewarded.

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Good in parts, ultimately disappointing

I started asking myself, in reference to some ethnic tropes that pepper this story, how one differentiates between tired stereotypes, and the ironic subversion of those same stereotypes. I was more than willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the author. But in the end, I could not come to a satisfactory conclusion one way or the other. Similarly, I started to feel, particularly with the dialogue, that the story would be more suited as a play or script, where the author has well-deserved recognition. There are parts that truly do sparkle, and engross the listener, but ultimately they are too few and far between.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not much too it

Seems that this book contains a lot of meaningless rambling that purports to be insight into the human condition. It is not very insightful nor is the plot entertaining. Some of the dialogue is nice but not very meaningful. It remarks on some Chicago landmarks and the way they used to be but they are mere references to legitimize the concept rather than describe the landmark.

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Narration is horrible

The he said/she said narrative is awful. I mean how many times can you hear he said/she said? I couldn’t take it and won’t finish the book. Also thought the story was weak.

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Profile Image for Gavin Jones
  • Gavin Jones
  • 04-07-18

Ask yourself...

Did you think that "Deadwood" got loads better after Al Swearengen began talking like Hamlet?

Would go into your local chip shop and ask for "two servings of your finest seafood and vegetable hunger solution"?

If not then it won't take very long for this book to get on your nerves

2 people found this helpful