Sunday, January 1, 2012

Best Reads, November-December

Still a bit derelict about keeping up with this stuff. Things appear to be settling down, so I hope this year I can stay up on these posts.

A Vine in the Blood, Leighton Gage. Another in the Chief Inspector Silva series. This time’s Silva’s team of Brazilian federal police must find who kidnapped a star soccer player’s mother on the eve of the World Cup. Great story, well-developed characters, no weaknesses of craft. Maybe the best book in the Silva series.

Casino, Nicholas Pileggi. The book on which Martin Scorsese based the movie. Told primarily through interviews, which means everyone is an unreliable narrator. Pileggi edits artfully and allows the reader to make up his own mind about who’s worse than who. Lefty Rosenthal (DeNiro in the movie) does not come off nearly as well here.)

Eddie’s World, Charlie Stella. Stella’s first organized crime book, which is hard to believe. The writing is tight, the plot holds together, and the dialog is reminiscent of George V. Higgins. If you’re looking for a look into what it’s really like to be a connected—not made—guy, this is as good as place as any to start.

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