Book Review and Movie Comparison: London Boulevard by Ken Bruen

Image result for london boulevard ken bruen

Read between: 8th-11th July
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 288
Published: (this edition) November 25th, 2010 (originally published, 2002)
Publisher: Transworld Ireland
Synopsis: When Mitchell is released from prison after serving three years for a vicious attack he doesn’t remember, he reluctantly finds himself caught up with Robert Gant, a ruthless lowlife with violent plans.

Attempting to stay out of Gant’s way, Mitchell finds work as a handyman at the mansion of a faded movie actress. When she eagerly plies him with cash, cars and sex, Mitch starts to wonder if even this job comes with a catch.

But it isn’t long before Mitchell’s violent past catches up with him. When people close to him start getting hurt, Mitchell is forced to act, and take brutal on revenge on those who’ve stolen his life..

Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: Mitchell is fresh out of prison- an ex con, who wants to put his past behind him. Of course, it’s not that simple or that easy, when his old friends wrangle their way back into his life- especially Billy Norton, a man who beats innocent people for rent money.

It’s Norton’s fault that Mitchell finds himself caught up with the violent Robert Gant (Tommy Logan in the original publication) which really doesn’t help his new life plan. Add his sister Briony into the mix, a woman with her own problems, and he has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to stay on the right path.

His only way out is to hide behind his work as a handy man for faded actress, Lillian Palmer…which is more than he bargained for! Is everything with Lillian as it seems? Can Mitchell hide from his past forever?

This book has an awful lot in it, despite being only 288 pages!

There was never a dull moment- I mean, the only gory bit that really got me was the gory death of Briony’s poor dog. I hate it when animals die in fiction. Always makes me have to stop.

However, the writing, although written in first person, was simple and repetitive in places, for example:
“Aisling was wearing a killer black dress. I said ‘Killer dress’ ”

It’s weird how he thinks something, and then we have to be told that he is voicing those thoughts, rather than just dialogue, but it wasn’t always a bad thing because at least it gave us an insight into Mitchell’s mind.

I was definitely hooked on the story, and it’s a good book. However, it is pretty violent in both content and language so it’s not for the younger or the faint hearted of readers. If you want something light-hearted, this isn’t it!

3/5 stars!
It kept me on my toes!

London Boulevard ( 2010) – Starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley and Ray Winstone

Director: William Monahan



William Monahan changed a LOT of the book when turning it into a movie, a few of the gory scenes are removed, and differences have been made. The main difference is that of the actress. In the Ken Bruen novel, she is in her sixties. In the movie, Monahan has changed her name to Charlotte, and cast 25 year old Keira Knightley in the role. (Not that I’m complaining- I love Keira)

However, the storyline is pretty much the same, apart from the ending.

I do believe the writer and directors tried to stay true to the book, but a lot of the content was probably far too sickening to pull in the money the movie needed to do well. Despite that, I can definitely see the inspiration!

Watch the trailer above and see what you think! Having read the book now, I would say the movie isn’t the most accurate adaptation but for a gangster/crime/thriller movie it’s pretty good- and I usually tend to avoid that genre.

Thanks for reading!



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