Posts Tagged ‘birds of passage’

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Author:  Joe Giordano

eGalley, 291 pages

Published in 2015 by Harvard Square Editions New York

Genres:  New Adult, Fiction

Synopsis:  What turns the gentle mean and the mean brutal? The thirst for wealth? The demand for respect? Vying for a woman? Birds of Passage recalls the Italian immigration experience at the turn of the twentieth-century when New York’s streets were paved with violence and disappointment.

Leonardo Robustelli leaves Naples in 1905 to seek his fortune. Carlo Mazzi committed murder and escaped. Azzura Medina is an American of Italian parents. She’s ambitious but strictly controlled by her mother. Leonardo and Carlo vie for her affection.

Azzura, Leonardo, and Carlo confront con men, Tammany Hall politicians, the longshoreman’s union, Camorra clans, Black Hand extortion, and the Tombs prison.

My Review: This book has been called “rollicking” by author Ben Fountain, however I didn’t find it carefree at all.  This is a story of two men who travel to America in the early 20th century.  They come here for very different reasons, but end up crossing paths.  It reminds me of The Godfather by Mario Puzo in that it describes how men fall into the world of the mob and just how brutal that can be.

While the writing is good, I did get confused once in while due to the fact that there are a lot of characters introduced here.  Sometimes, that overwhelms a reader and causes them to have to try to keep track of who is who.  The only other criticism I have is that the ending was too open-ended for me.  I felt let down that there was no real conclusion.

That being said, this was a good book.  I enjoyed the conflict and thought that the main character development was good.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the ‘mafioso’ genre and the internal struggle between trying to get ahead and feeling trapped into doing that at any cost.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.