Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cugino David ... Book Reviews (Authors, Sidor & Bird) … Shakedown .99 cents … Sock puppets: Much Ado About Nothing …


My Cugino, David Francis Calderazzo (he look eye-talian or what?) ... he’s been in The Sopranos and Mobster Confessions and others ... he’s done theatre (Glenn Gary Glenn Ross), (Danny and the Deep Blue Sea) and others ... he’s been in films ... The Legacy of Colonel Santillian and others ... he’s done internet shorts, The Bar and others ...

He’s a handsome devil, he’s got a beautiful woman, daughter and now a granddaughter ... forgetaboutit, who’s got it better’n him?

Here he is in Vegas ...

Here’s his resume on IMDb ...

Here’s a page with some of his videos ...

David is my Bobby Genarro (Shakedown) should Mr. Scorsese ever wanna do another mob movie with some local flavor …

Book Reviews:

Pitch Dark … Steven Sidor’s latest thriller is exactly that; a page turner that melds the occult and extreme violence … Christmas’ll never be the same in northern Minnesota (where the Vikings once held home field advantage before they started playing in a gym) … and the Larkin family, once victims to a rash of what appeared to be random violence at a diner, are just trying to get by running their motel during hard times … but there are some crazies out there, occult worshipping whackos with as much regard for life as gangbangers on meth … the rock they’re after has been pinched by a woman (who pinched it from her boyfriend—who was hired to pinch the rock in the first place—from witches) … the pinch-fest ends in a horrific blood bath but not before Vera picks up the Larkin kid hitching along the road and brings the gateway to hell to the motel. No spoilers here, except to say you’ll be turning pages as fast as you read them. Sidor mixes horror and crime and comes up with another winner.

In Loco Parentis … Nigel Bird’s latest on kindle is well worth whatever the small investment. A teacher of young kids (Joe) has a lot to deal with, including some personal issues about fidelity, drugs and a married woman … but there’s also the profession and kids he loves, and when one of the kids he loves is being abused at home and the school system’s bureaucracy isn’t willing to deal with it, Joe does. The ripple effect (with the aid of a friend who’s moved in) is immediate and well worth the read to find out what happens next. Most impressive is the author’s writing. It is a rock solid staccato style that keeps the pace moving and the interest fiercely alive. Bird has a touch of the hilarious Charlie Williams and the sometimes brutal Alan Guthrie, a winning combination for anybody. This kindle book should be in print, but it isn’t, so it’s a great deal for just a couple fazools. In Local Parentis is terrific, start to finish.

Shakedown … .99 cents … less than a fazool? Are you kidding me? I kid yous not. Edited by Peter Skutches (the maestro), cover picture by Anthony Caliendo, book cover design by David Terrinoire and electronic format by Rick Ollerman.

Buy it here …

Dana King on Rough Riders ... more than kind review here, amici, especially because we at TK happen to think Mr. King is the top of the mob writing game right now (and should be acknowledged as such).

Much Ado About Nothing … there’s been a ton of lengthy, time consuming reading/writing by some very fine people about the latest crime fiction craze: amazon reviews, etc. … apparently some authors duked (shit) on other authors with fugazy reviews while enhancing their own with fugazy accounts (so-called sock puppets). Frankly, I think crime fiction authors need a much better scandal before we start signing pledges to be impossibly reverent. I know of NO AUTHOR (no matter what they claim/who they are), who hasn’t breached at least a FEW OF THE mentions in Joe Konrath’s Writer’s Code of Ethics, a very well done smack in the chops at overzealous righteousness.

Sorry, but I can’t get worked up about this nonsense. My response remains: who gives a shit?

Ultimately, if you let that nonsense get under yours skin, then this will too … my review is better than yours … another fascinating and laughable concept some authors grasp and hold onto for all their worth; knocking the shit out of reviews they disregard or denounce for some incredibly subjective perspective of “legitimate” or "genuine" (i.e., usually having to do with a good vs. bad review of their own work). I suggest they read the same link above (Konrath’s Code of Ethics) and then turn the statements into questions for themselves.

While a NY Times review is worth more to an author than one from the Bloomfield Gazette (because of circulation/exposure), the NY Times review is no less subjective than the one from the Bloomfield Gazette. It is impossible for it to be less subjective … THINK ABOUT IT. It makes no difference how intelligent/incoherent and/or experienced/inexperienced and/or articulate/sloppy an individual reviewer might be … it’s still the opinion of ONE READER. Whether the reviewer has an agenda (good or bad) is something only the reviewer can answer, thus making the review itself all the more as significant/irrelevant as the next.

I call them (reviews) donuts. I'd like them ALL TO BE DELICIOUS BUT THEY AREN'T (NOR CAN THEY BE) Some of them are delicious and some taste awful (guess which ones are the good ones/bad ones)? Neither is any more or less “legitimate” than the next (unless, of course, the check I wrote to my kids to write the review hasn’t cleared yet).

When I first got into this business I was told (by my first agent) how hard it was to get reviewed well by Kirkus. I was lucky with them over 5 books and then they disappeared from my life. Publishers Weekly has been an on-again off-again relationship for me (they love me not, they like me, they adore me, they like me again, they don’t like me, like, don't like) … oy vey, what do I do? Because they are published without a name to the review, I try to give them less weight than the review I get from Booklist, Library Journal, but what I really do is kid myself. There is no more or less weight (outside of exposure) for any given reviewer's opinion. I have no idea why PW likes me one book, doesn’t the next. I have no idea why Booklist is consistently good to me. I wish there were names assigned to all reviews but there aren’t. And just because some authors review for Publishers Weekly (and I have to assume all the others) means gotz (shit). If they have a positive agenda or a negative one, how the FOCK can anyone control that?  They can't, right.  So, book to book, review to review, good vs. bad, I try not to kill myself when the review is negative ... and I try not to stick my chest out when they're positive. The fact is not everybody is going to like (never mind love) any author's work ... nor is everybody going to hate (never mind not dislike) any author's work.

Some authors refuse to review because of the headaches of disappointing/pissing off other authors. I can understand that and have had my own set of headaches for not kissing the asses of those who felt slighted. So it goes. I review books I enjoy. I won’t provide a bad review because I feel this business is tough enough. Does that make me guilty of being less than honest (for not providing bad reviews)? Only if you require blood in the water, but make no mistake, I’m fine with keeping the water clear of blood.


You know what all that sock-puppet bullshit reminds me of ... at least some of the lyrics to this gem by the Stones ...