Boyle has the chops to write from the perspective of a half-dozen people, a decade before the events of his first novel, but only tangentially related ... Boyle tangles his characters in situations that people who live in brownstones and houses packed so close together than you can borrow a cup of sugar by knocking on your neighbor’s kitchen window from your own will understand ... And there’s no nostalgia at play here, no good old days to go back to ... There’s a foundation of sadness and loss, but true to the nature of his characters, Boyle deflects the gloom with humor ... Our time spent with the characters breeds empathy, not contempt ... City of Margins is not an epic, because Gravesend is not Troy, but more a place like Pompeii, and this story gives us a perfect snapshot of its people like the pyroclastic inferno of Vesuvius’s eruption. Another fine novel from William Boyle in the tradition of John Sayles and John Fante.
...a dark but moving portrayal of working-class lives that evokes the 'kitchen-sink dramas' of such mid-century British novelists as Alan Sillitoe ... Eschewing sentimentality yet still managing to find embers of tenderness in these stunted lives, Boyle blends powerful social realism with a strong noir sensibility.
... 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.