“Boyle studies Donnie and his neighbors with a mixture of affection and despair worthy of a Bruce Springsteen song. He has a real thing for working-class folks. People like this, they need people like Boyle.”
– Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
“In his fourth novel since his stunning debut, Gravesend, the grandly talented Boyle is still in the Brooklyn neighborhood where he grew up. He knows the music of the Italian American voices, from punk to bar stool to operatic, like nobody else: Mob goons, college dropouts, melancholy widows and pink-haired rockers mix it up in this deliciously convoluted tale that reads like a fresh new season of The Sopranos.”
– Washington Post
"Outstanding. Battered by loss and unrealized dreams, Boyle’s characters are vividly drawn and painfully real. Fans of literary crime novelists such as George Pelecanos and Richard Price will be highly rewarded."
– Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Boyle’s latest is another slice of gritty urban noir. The author’s exquisitely drawn characters soon uncover secrets and make connections with each other that echo those of a Greek tragedy, with similar results. Boyle comfortably stands next to literary crime favorites like Don Winslow, Richard Price, and Lou Berney.”
– Library Journal (starred)
“A precious gem of a crime novel. Boyle is in top form, delivering a work that had me thinking about Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River and, thanks to Boyle’s dark, knowing humor, the work of New Yorkers like Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin.”
– Mystery Scene
“A marvelously nuanced study of light and dark. The arts bridge generations, start conversations and, in Boyle's masterful hands, provide softening, wide-angle lenses to the broken and tortured souls of the margins.”
– Shelf Awareness
“Another fine novel from William Boyle in the tradition of John Sayles and John Fante.”
– Criminal Element
“City of Margins has a tsunami thrust to it. It keeps coming at you and doesn’t let go. Tough and tumble, very readable.”
"A Jacobean revenge tangle in a Brooklyn where all the players have survived the same nuns. Even the most desperately lost of William Boyle's characters retain a hungry heart."
– John Sayles, writer/director of Matewan, Lone Star, and City of Hope, and author of Yellow Earth, A Moment in the Sun, and Union Dues
"A funny, gritty, touching narrative about the strength of three New York women caught in a world of abusive men, broken families, and mob violence. Crime fiction usually stays within the confines of the genre, but Boyle breaks away from those restrictions."
"A brilliant and nasty piece of joyful ambiguity that I Ioved deeply. What a marvelous and unexpected bunch of female characters, in particular. With this one, William Boyle vaults into the big time, or he damn sure should."
– Joe R. Lansdale, author of the Hap & Leonard series
"As wildly funny and sweet as it is frenetic and harrowing, William Boyle’s A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself is full of dark splendor. Imagine Martin Scorsese and David O. Russell collaborating with Gena Rowlands and Ellen Burstyn and making magic."
– Megan Abbott, author of 'You Will Know Me' and 'The Fever'