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, December 20, 2013

The Diamond Collar … Book and Movie Reviews … Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays (whichever floats your boat) ...


The Diamond Collar … yeah, baby, that’s what we’re talking about … James “Head” Giuliani is featured in the new reality TV show on the OWN Network (yep, Oprah’s network) … a former enforcer with the Gambino crew, James’ life was transformed the day he discovered an abused and abandoned Shih Tzu tied to a parking meter on 13th Avenue in Brooklyn. His show, The Diamond Collar, airs this January 17, at 10:00 p.m.

We’re having a Diamond Collar party at Casa Stella the night of the premier … book early … reservations required (there are only so many chairs in Casa Stella) …

Listen to me: This show will make you laugh, cry and appreciate the power of redemption.

Mission for Vengeance … Eight years before this novel begins, there were five people involved in gun-running; four men (Miner, Getterman, Metz and Farret) and a woman (Lena). Each had a role, and were caught, but managed to skip town … all but one, Farret (who’s gone off the deep end with paranoia and is sure the others had set him up).

The story jumps between first (Miner) and third-person … Farret is back, seeking revenge because he thinks he was set up by the others to take the fall. Miner is about to be married and is waiting for his betrothed … but now he has to find Farret before Farret find Miner, et al … Rabe portrays Farret’s increasing paranoia brilliantly.

It’s all about vengeance … and you know what (too many names to list) said about vengeance, amici, right? When contemplated revenge, dig two graves. Personally, I think that’s a crock of shit, but it’s popular so we’ll go with it for now.

The Book Thief … a real fine read by Markus Zusak that I was way behind on … saw the movie first, which I wish I hadn’t, and then read the book on my wife’s Nook (my kindle is so much less aggravating). Having DEATH provide the narration of Liesel’s unfortunate life was a stroke of brilliance that made me jealous as a writer. “Damn,” I thought. “There was a way to tell the thesis, you moron.”

Liesel goes through WWII as a foster child after watching her brother die starving and cold on a train, and then her mother leave for the camps because she was a communist. Between those two horrible events, she sees one of the two gravediggers at her brother’s burial drop a book and she goes back to pick it up—the first of the books she steals. Her foster parents, the Hubermann’s, are wonderful characters; the father doting and adoring, while the mother is the disciplinarian with a golden heart. There’s Max, the Jewish boxer who finds his way back to Hans Hubermann for help (he’ll hide in the basement and teach Liesel about writing books someday, amongst other things) … no spoilers. You could always see the movie, which was good, but not nearly as good as the book. I really enjoyed this one. Highly Recommended. Get it here.

Shadow Dancer … an IRA activist is forced to become an informant for the MIS or go to jail and give up her son … her history includes being a young girl (in 1973) who skated on a family errand and sent her younger brother to the store instead, where he was killed by a stray bullet. And it’s a family affair; she’s got two brothers who are IRA activists as well … I enjoyed this movie and was genuinely surprised by the end.

Reading now: The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men … another Stark House Press delight … featuring Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Carl Solomon and Chandler Brossard (among others) with Colin Wilson, J.P. Donleavy, John Osborne and John Wain (among others) … and there’s another section … criticism and commentary … a total treat.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays (whichever floats your boat) … and how ‘bout those Buffalo Bills & New York Rangers! Right now, the two teams are indistinguishable, except one of them loses on ice. Oy vey …