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Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob [Paperback]

Kevin Weeks
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 1 2007

I grew up in the Old Colony housing project in South Boston and became partners with James "Whitey" Bulger, who I always called Jimmy.

Jimmy and I, we were unstoppable. We took what we wanted. And we made people disappear—permanently. We made millions. And if someone ratted us out, we killed him. We were not nice guys.

I found out that Jimmy had been an FBI informant in 1999, and my life was never the same. When the feds finally got me, I was faced with something Jimmy would have killed me for—cooperating with the authorities. I pled guilty to twenty-nine counts, including five murders. I went away for five and a half years.

I was brutally honest on the witness stand, and this book is brutally honest, too; the brutal truth that was never before told. How could it? Only three people could tell the true story. With one on the run and one in jail for life, it falls on me.

Frequently Bought Together

Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob + Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal
Price For Both: CDN$ 26.35

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Product Description


“Weeks lands a knockout punch with this compelling look at one of the most intriguing figures in the American underworld.” (– George Anastasia, bestselling author of The Last Gangster)

“Rarely have the nuts-and-bolts of ‘the gangster life’ been laid bare in such shocking, unvarnished detail.” (– T. J. English, New York Times bestselling author of Paddy Whacked and The Westies)

“Mesmerizing and fascinating ... no organized crime fiction I have read has anything on this book. I couldn’t put it down.” (– Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Society)

“…most interesting and accurate. When Weeks talks about Bulger, he’s got the goods and he makes clear the others don’t.” (– Boston Sunday Globe)

“Weeks has made his literary bones. He has credibility…” (– Boston Phoenix)

“Absorbing.” (—Deseret Morning News)

“Bulger has spawned a handful of books about his mayhem. So far, Weeks’ is the best. ” (– Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“A dazzling story...Brutal is the most revealing and chilling true crime story that I have ever read.” (– Julian Krainin, Producer of “Quiz Show” and “Something the Lord Made”)

About the Author

Kevin Weeks is out of prison and living a clean life in Massachusetts.

Phyllis Karas is the coauthor of two previous books. She is a contributor to People magazine and an adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Journalism. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with her husband.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally-candid Jan. 24 2011
Very well written book on one of the most intriguing and most wanted mobsters of our time, James "Whitey" Bulger. Brutal takes you inside one of the most violent organized crime syndicates. The two and a half decade run of Kevin Weeks and his association with Bulger are detailed graphically and candidly in this book. "Brutal" grabs a hold of you from the moment you start to read it, engulfs you with its sheer brutality and leaves you craving for more.

Another well-written book about the Boston Irish mob, which will provide further insight into this fascinating topic (from the view of two Boston journalists)is Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill's "Black Mass". I have purchased Rat Bastards (about alleged enforcer James O'Shea), however have yet to read it. The Westies (T.J. English - author) is another book written on the New York Irish Mob and also looks like a very good read. I like the writing style of T.J. English (Born to Kill) and am sure I will not be disappointing. A book which really peaks my interest is Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob written by Edward MacKenzie Jr.

Furthermore, the most interesting looking book on this genre (which I haven't read) is the book Paddy Whacked. Paddy Whacked is also written by T.J. English and looks like a very informative read. It would probably be the best book to start out with if you are new to this topic. P.W. details the rise of the Irish Mob from its early origins here in North America and it looks like a very interesting read (which I will undoubtedly purchase in the near future).

In my view there are too many Biker (1%) and Italian Mafia (LCN) books out there and not enough about the Irish Mob. Dick Lehr, T.J.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  99 reviews
95 of 115 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brutally Disgusting March 22 2006
By Steve Landry - Published on
I have read each book that has come out of the sordid, fetid story of South Boston, Massachusetts and master mobster Whitey Bulger's corrupt alliance with the FBI, including this latest and most useless scrpit by Bulger's errand boy, Kevin Weeks. Having grown up in the town during Bulger's reign of terror and knowing about the tales of terror as they occurred, I would simply advise people thinking of purchasing Mr. Weeks' book to save your money. If you do buy it, do what I did after reading the first one hundred pages or so. Throw it in the trash. As I read the book, or more precisecly, the half truths and outright lies in it, I realized I paid this fool blood money. For him to actually claim in the book that he is a borderline genius should have been my first clue to try to get my money back. A persistent reminder of what a weak minded coward this moran is, was his description of how he stood by and watched as the diminutive psychopath Bulger, strangled the life out of two young women. Weeks claims he was a champion prizefighter - never happened. He claims he was shot at by, and shot back at, his fellow gangsters - never happened. I could go on, but to save my time and your money, skip this one. Do not allow this fool and criminal, but most of all craven coward to earn a cent from living a life without contibution or honesty. If you are of a mind, send a check to the family of those two poor women he didn't have the balls to save.
43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all- Brutal; but a good read. March 19 2006
By kooky Kid - Published on
Fascinating.As far as mob- true crime books go, this one is pretty good, the protagonist and the co-author Phyllis Karas collaborate on an extensive "memoir" from Kevin Weeks' POV. The background growing up in the Southie projects before busing and drugs is telling; the environment in the authors case was deeply colored by an extremely violent and coarse father with a hair trigger temper who was in fisticuffs ALL of the time, wacking his kids around without justification. Childhood innocence and safety being denied him, kevin becomes a soldier- a boxer and a thug who believes in the law of the jungle. Although purportedly a near genius with an 150 IQ, the emotional life of this amoral man is never developed- all he knows is that if some guy says screw you- that's justification to crack his head open. If he has to be told a second or third time, he's too stupid to live. The macho neanderthal perspective fits in perfectly with Whitey's (Jimmys) plan, Kevin is an aide-de -camp with his own sideline businesses , but mainly Kevin is like a personal bouncer for Whitey- a fascinating multidimensional psychopath with a touch of Robin Hood- (he once took part in LSD experiments during his early prison stint, perhaps this exacerbated his evil side.)

The one thing that the reader walks away with is that in this part of Boston and in this mileu, all the cops and robbers are in bed with each other-metaphorically of course. FBI, police, gangsters, and various thugs. What a cesspool! Kevin says throughout the whole book that it's always about money, not power- but in the end he's bankrupt; and he's telling all these tales of his businesses and how successful he could have been if he and Whitey went legit.Then again, in the "real" world when you lock horns with someone you cannot just shoot the guy through his eyeballs and bury him in the basement. Hello- it's call anger management, emotional maturity and lawfulness.These characteristics or lack of them qualify us as regular folks or as CRIMINALS. We don't have too many heros these days, but in these small corrupt factions where brutes unite, and of course in certain HBO series', most of the world will be shocked and amazed at the utter lack of scruples and the detached violence that was a way of life for criminals of this ilk.Next time you drive by a gated prison like Allenwood or Norfolk and you think, gosh, what would a person have to do to get a sentence in one of these places-if you read this book you'll get a glimpse.

The book was insightful of course, and closer to the truth of Whitey Bulgur than any other books in print.You don't have to worship Kevin Weeks to buy this book; and he's not going to be making red hot millions from his portion of the profits; everyone wants their story to be heard and he's no exception- so read it for yourself and make up your own opinion.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less Truthful About the "Real" Whitey than Eddie Mac Oct. 19 2007
By mattyoh69 - Published on
I'm an Irish-Catholic guy in his 40's who grew up in Boston in the late 60's and 70's. I've read Streeet Soldier and Brutal several times each, and I personally believe much more of what Eddie Mac has to say about the "real" Whitey, as opposed to the relatively reverant tone in which Weeks still speaks of Whitey. Sure, Eddie Mac and Weeks are both equally dangerous sociopaths, and will surely go to Hell (assuming it exists) for all the evil they inflicted on their fellow human beings over the years. Having said that, Weeks still seems to be loyal to Whitey, and probably knows exactly where he is hiding out these days. For that reason, I don't believe a word he says when he defends Whitey against allegations that he was a rapist, a child molester, etc. Eddie Mac definitely gives the reader more insight into what Whitey was really like...and isn't that why we all read these books, anyway?
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest facts about Crime July 19 2006
By William D. Tompkins - Published on
A very honest account of crime in Boston. I never liked the author at all throughout the book. Throughout the book he discusses how he grew into the life of crime, and almost wishes to gather sympathy from the reader. No sympathy here. He deserves what he got interms of jail time. And probably should have been given life/electric chair. Aside from that, I couldn't stop reading about the stuff he was involved in. Irish Mafia details are interesting.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brutally week April 21 2007
By S. D'Annunzio - Published on
I am an avid reader of this scene. Since the Departed has come out I have read "the Brother's Bulger", "A criminal and an Irishman", "Rat Bastards", "Street Soldier", "Black Mass", "Paddy Whacked" and "Brutal". No doubt Brutal is a great read, but when I read reviews about Rat Bastards and Street Soldier, it said "they just brag about how good they were"......Brutal seems to fall into the same description. Although it is indirectly bragging. I find it funny how at the end of the book Weeks talks about how he is not proud of what he has done, while he highlights all the murders he took place in. As well, before the book ends and he explains how disgusted people are with him, he is sure to mention how tough he still is with his quotes. The one disappointing thing about this book is that Weeks talks about how many people he beat up (and how smart he is) and puts down virtually all things Irish and Boston that are not his own work. I won't put this book down completely though, Weeks was a top echelon guy. Unlike Shea, he was Whitey's protege and unlike Carr, he actually knows what happen. Sometimes when reading this book you have to remember that it is about Kevin Weeks and not Jimmy Bulger.
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