Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Prizzi's Glory, by Richard Condon

(hb; 1988: third book in the Prizzi quadrilogy)

From the inside flap:

"The Prizzis have long proved that with good planning, a Mafia chief can take his family from the humblest beginnings to a billion-dollar base in America. And the acquisition of such large amounts of money automatically commands respectability -- success demands it, money buys it. After all, those old robber barons, the Mellons, the Astors, achieved the ultimate in respectability, so why not the Prizzis? And in Prizzi's Glory, they go for it!

"Franchising their multifarious operations, the members of the Environment will turn their attention to mainstream America where the Game of Politics is played. Helping old Don Corrado Prizzi, capo di tutti capi, achieve his last wish, his granddaughter Maerose -- interior decorator de luxe -- sees to it that the word goes out: the gambling, narcotics, extortion, murder, pornography, loan-sharking, prostitution -- all their old lines of work -- will be franchised to other up-and-comers, while the Prizzis will use the profits for a new kind of plunder: national political power."


Another sharp-eyed, politically smart and plot twisty skewering of the American Dream from Condon, whose Prizzi family -- along with Charley Partanna and other players -- experience a Life makeover, the likes that few people have fully imagined or realized.

I love reading about these characters. Reading about the Prizzis, the Partannas, and the other characters is like visiting passionate, romantic, calculating, and blackly funny family: you feel what they feel, see what they see, etc., whether you admire their craftiness, or groan at their disingenuous reasonings.

Check this series out.

Followed by Prizzi's Money.

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