Throughout this captivating book, there exist a team of very amusing characters. Consisting of nine people, these characters are Tony's friends. They are Abel, Bones, Ernie, Horse, Lloyd, Red, the Vitamin Kid, Cico and Florence. Not only did they make you laugh, they also got you thinking. As things got a little slow through out the plot of the book, they kept you on the edge of your seat. Never knowing what they would do next, they assisted greatly in maintaining the interest of the reader. Although most commonly perceived as Tony's friends, each character had their own personality and uniqueness. .
Of all of Tony's seven friends, Cico and Florence emerged as the most fascinating ones. Through the course of this book, they instigated much of what Tony thought about and did. Cico is one of Tony's closer friends. Unlike most of the other guys, he is quiet and gentle. Cico parallels Tony in many ways. Knowing that Tony is devoutly religious, he introduced Tony to a whole new world. He exposed him to a new belief system when he took Tony to see the golden carp. The golden carp, the pagan god who lives in the river, is in Tony's mind throughout the entire book. Florence is another one of Tony's closer friends. Although he doesn't believe in God, he attends catechism to be with his friends. Florence's active, vocal questioning of Catholic is partly a result of his own difficult past. Both of his parents are dead and all of his sisters are prostitutes are Rosie's. Florence showed Tony that the Catholic Church is not perfect and that religion can fail. Tragically, Florence drowned which contributed greatly to Tony questioning the power of God. Together, Cico and Florence helped Tony put things into perspective and broaden his horizon. .
The rest of Tony's gang is also quite as interesting as Florence and Cico. Horse, the instigator of the group, loves to wrestle. Although he is rough and tough, the boys are more afraid of Bones because he is reckless and perhaps even crazy.