Killing them what?

George V. Higgins wrote over two dozen novels (as well as several nonfiction works) before his untimely death in 1999, yet to date only one has been made into a film: The Friends of Eddie Coyle, in 1973.  So it’s big news in my neck of the woods that the man’s third novel, Cogan’s Trade, has been adapted with a cast at least as good as the earlier film: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Sam Shepard, James Gandolfini (surrendering again to the pull of gangster roles), and Slaine, who made such a hulking impression in Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Apparently it’s due out this fall, so that’s another flick to look forward to. I only hope the worst thing about the movie is its title, Killing Them Softly, which is plenty bad enough. The only bad thing about The Friends of Eddie Coyle was Dave Grusin’s score, which sounded like it was written to demonstrate just how dickless the electric piano can sound. A little ways back I argued for Higgins as a worthy addition to the Library of America pantheon, and I’m even more convinced about it now.

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