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  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

  • Written by: Don Winslow
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)
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The Winter of Frankie Machine

Written by: Don Winslow
Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
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Publisher's Summary

Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community.

He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day, when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine. Frank consigned his Mob ties to the past years ago, which is where he wants them to stay. But a favor being called in now by the local boss is one Frank can't refuse, and soon he's sucked back into the treacherous currents of his former life. Someone from the past wants him dead. He has to figure out who and why, and he has to do it fast.

©2006 Don Winslow (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the critics say

"Elmore Leonard fans who have not yet discovered Winslow will be delighted by his fourth thriller....Winslow has created plausible characters and taut scenes of suspense that will keep readers turning pages." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Winter of Frankie Machine

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite Don Winslow book so far!

I've been working my way though Don Winslow's books - The Force, City on Fire, Power of the Dog Trilogy, and now this one. I have to say - it's my favorite so far. Winslow works with familiar tropes; he isn't reinventing the wheel with his characters but he does a good job making them feel real. Without giving too much away, someone is trying to kill Frankie Machine and he must examine his past to put together the puzzle. Frankie is a cool character, the narrator is great and the story moves along at a good pace, Definitely worth the read/listen.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Slow to start but when it takes off its exciting and a great listen I recommend

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting characters

Good story by Winslow. Narrator does a decent job. Frankie machine is a great character. A retired mobster that gets pulled back in. #Audible1

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  • Eric Taylor
  • 2012-06-28

Five stars straight across the board

This is an understated but GREAT story. Also a subtle and insightful look into the people who make up "organized crime".

I enjoyed this story all the way through, but I only realized how good it was after I finished it the first time. It kept coming back in flashbacks to this scene or that scene, as well as the overall mood and feel. Winslow says a lot without saying it all the way through the story, and for me, that's one of the marks of a good writer.

I've listened to "Winter" 3 times now and plan to listen to it again soon. I've also read all of Winslow's other books and keep watching for new ones. If the values of people who live on the edge bother you, this isn't a book for you. Otherwise, enjoy!

P.S. I don't know whether I'd put Don Winslow at the top of my favorite writers list, but he's close. Maybe other people would enjoy listening to these writers, too. Here's a short list:

Don Winslow (everything),
John Grisham (before Theodore Boone),
Peter Hamilton (complex and interesting hard sci fi),
Michael Crichton (books like "Prey" make learning fun and scary),
Nelson DeMille (especially "By The Rivers Of Babylon"),
Christopher Reich (especially "The Big Short"),
Greg Bear (long, complex, fun hard sci fi stories),
Alastair Reynolds (great hard sci fi),
Richard K Morgan (Altered Carbon trilogy and Thirteen. After that he seemed to lose it.)
Paolo Bacigalupi (Windup Girl, Ship Breaker, Pump Six etc). Paolo is great!
Michael Connelly (just about everything he's ever written).
Lee Child, Lincoln Child, & Ken Follett

Hope you find some authors here you enjoy. And hope I got my spelling right. :)
Cheers --

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96 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 2011-06-29

Fantastic!

This is one of my two all-time favorite audio books. I've listened since 1993. I have it on cassette, audible download and in print. Dennis Boutsikaris is the perfect narrator for this book. "It's a lot of work being me." I thoroughly enjoy listening to the reminiscences of this older man. You don't have to be a mafia hit man to relate to Frankie Machine. You only need to have lived long enough to have memories to share. If you have, you won't be dissapointed. It's a great listen.

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56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • The Lance Gifford
  • 2010-10-30

The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine

I've quickly become a rabid fan of Don Winslow's evocative mystery thrillers. In "The Winter of Frankie Machine" Winslow neatly introduces Frank Machiano, AKA Frankie Machine, who, a stone killer for the mafia, is a likeable, even admirable guy. Frank manages to maintain his integrity even as those around him cheat, lie, steal, kill and--worst of all--betray all that they stood for. Retired from the hitman business--as much as anyone can retire from the mob, Frank is unwilling dragged into the life again as crime and corruption reach toward the highest office in the land. Through it all, Frank stays true to his daughter, his ex-wife, his friends and himself.

Dennis Boutsikaris lends his reading a casual intensity that perfectly captures the winter sunshine of San Diego. A terrific choice for this book.

More Don Winslow, please, and more Dennis Boutsikaris.

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55 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Johnnie Walker
  • 2008-07-12

A new favorite author

I stumbled on Don Windslow this month and have listed to all three of his unabridged books. I wish Audible had others. When I hit this one I was concerned about the change of readers but should not have been. All three are well written and well read. They are not for the squeamish, but neither is life.

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42 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chip Atkinson
  • 2011-10-26

Best Story, Characters, Writing, Narration on Audible

I’ve listened to this novel at least a dozen times in 10 years and it never gets old. Beautifully written, masterfully narrated.

I think it’s the by far the best novel Don Winslow has ever written. It may be the best thriller on Audible. My wife, who’s a romance reader agrees. Regardless, don’t miss out on this one!

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37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Angelo
  • 2007-09-04

stand up guy

well writen and read realisticaly by narator,the main charactor is strong and streat smart, smiles crossed my face many times and actually made me laugh out loud, a retired hitman who loves the sea air and is pulled back to his prior life--------temporerily

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28 people 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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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Darwin8u
  • 2015-09-17

Zen and the Art of Surfing and

Don Winslow is a total guilty pleasure. I think the cliché that there are only seven basic stories needs to be expanded to include reluctant former mobster assassins who surf. I love how the late 2000s brought some pretty amazing surfing/slacker crime fiction. You've got Winslow's 'The Winter of Frankie Machine' and 'The Dawn Patrol', Pynchon's 'Inherent Vice', obviously 'the Big Lebowski' (which isn't technically in the early 2000s and is more of a bowling slacker flick than a surfing slacker flick, but details). Anyway, these are all children of Chandler and the 60s. And they all speak to my need for the beach and revenge. Having worked in a bait shop myself (during a college summer) I can totally relate to the Zen nature of selling worms. There is something zen about both surfing and fishing. it reminds me of an old Utne reader article I read awhile back:

"I remember listening to a dharma talk five years ago by one of my favorite teachers, Ajahn Amaro, a witty British monk in the Thai Forest tradition who lives in a humble hut in the Mendocino Forest in Northern California. He used a surfing metaphor to explain samsara, the endless cycle of birth and death. The Ajahn laughed as he talked about the ridiculousness of surfers.

They struggle to paddle through the crashing surf in search of their perfect wave. But when they finally catch one, they get a fleeting rush of adrenaline, get shoved underwater, come up breathless, and then struggle to get back out again for another round. This, he said, is dukkha-suffering."

The same can be said of fishing and probably mob killing. So it goes.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ted
  • 2015-07-18

Fifteen Stars!!! Among The VERY Best!!!

Like mob drenched stuff? Enjoy the one where the bad guys pick on the wrong guy? Like tough dialogue, laugh-out-loud change of pace? Howzabout heart-string tugging, things-looking-impossible-for--the-star crisis? It's all here in a Sopranos, Coreleone zupa of great writing.

It's important to know that Frank Machiano, the lead guy in this thing, was a retired mob hit man. No, that's not a spoiler... But unless you know that going in, you're likely to find the beginning inexplicably slow. Not to worry, Winslow reveals that fact early on, but fortunately the Audible blurb did it up front.

Dennis Boutsikaris is an terrific actor keeping the cast separate, handling tension with the skill of sensitive juggler, and delivering Don Winslow's tale with a lot more power than my imagination would have, had I chosen to read, rather than listen to "Frankie Machine."

FIFTEEN STARS! Without reservation. Heck, I'd give this book 100.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • lesley
  • 2010-08-09

Frannkie

Absolutely the Best. Where has this novel been hiding all my life. Winslow has given it all to us in Frannkie the Machine, you won't put your Ipod down and you might not even loose some sleep until you've finished.
Consider yourself dully warned.
ENJOY!!! PS You owe it to yourself to get The power of the Dog, after you finish this one!

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13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathy in CA
  • 2012-04-12

Quick, easy listen

This book was entertaining enough if you like mafia stories. I am sure the author did his homework but something about the degrading and depersonalizing way women were referred to put me off big time. I felt that if I heard one more reference to an "amazing rack" I would scream. The narration was well-done and added to the enjoyability factor. I would rate the story as 3 1/2 stars overall.

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11 people found this helpful