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Bedfellows Paperback – October 16, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 425 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612183964
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612183961
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,622,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A zany cast of characters drives this lighthearted Mob story set in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Beach. Jack Schiavone, who lost his job and ended up in jail protecting a girlfriend, moves to Brooklyn and opens a mattress store. He gets involved with the Mob when one of the Donato family’s enforcers comes by to collect protection money. Business has fallen off for the Donatos—the economy hurts mobsters, too—and now the Russian Mafia is trying to move into the Donatos’ neighborhood. But the family has a plan: hire a hit man, albeit a cut-rate version who doubles as chiropractor, to solve their problems. Meanwhile, Jack has fallen for Donato’s daughter, a legal-aid attorney, and together they try to convince the don to get out of the rackets and go legitimate. There is not a lot of action until the end; instead, the story is propelled via anecdotes about the family in all its glorious insanity. There hasn’t been a Mob crew this funny since Jimmy Breslin’s The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Fans of Tim Dorsey will embrace these strange bedfellows. --Stacy Alesi

About the Author

Bob Garfield is a columnist, broadcast personality, and author. He is co-host of On the Media, a Peabody Award–winning weekly news magazine produced by WNYC and distributed by NPR. He is also co-host of the insanely popular Slate podcast Lexicon Valley, a weekly conversation about language. An inveterate journalist, he is a columnist for both MediaPost and the Guardian and the author of three previous nonfiction books. Another book, yet untitled, will be published in January 2013 by Penguin Portfolio. Garfield has also written for such diverse publications as the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Wired, Sports Illustrated, and Playboy. He lives in suburban Washington, D.C., with his film-producer wife, Milena Trobozic Garfield, and youngest daughter. He can barely locate Brooklyn on a map.


More About the Author

Bob Garfield is a columnist, critic, essayist, pundit, international lecturer and obscure broadcast personality. He isn't exactly a media whore, but he's extremely promiscuous.

Garfield is co-host of National Public Radio's weekly Peabody Award-winning program on the media, cleverly titled "On the Media." He is also a columnist for both MediaPost and The Guardian , writing on the subjects of marketing and media, respectively. The Guardian column is slightly longer because of superfluous vowels in words like "labour."

For a dozen years, Garfield was a commentator/correspondent for NPR's "All Things Considered." Dubbed by The New York Times "the Charles Kuralt of Bizarro World," he specialized in quirky Americana. A 1997 collection of his roving weirdness, Waking Up Screaming from the American Dream, was favorably reviewed and quickly forgotten.

For 25 years, Garfield wrote the AdReview column in Advertising Age, and became the most feared and influential commentator of advertising who ever lived, if you don't count Jay Leno. Garfield was the longtime advertising analyst for ABC News. He's been a regular on Financial News Network, CNBC's "Power Lunch" and "Adam Smith's Money Game" on PBS. He also served as a political-advertising analyst for CBS, before being bounced in 1992 following an unfortunate Green Room incident. It was his most traumatic TV experience since "Oprah" in 1991, when he was humiliated by Mr. Whipple before a live studio audience.

As a lecturer, panelist and emcee, he has appeared in 36 countries on six continents, including such venues as the Kennedy Center, the U.S. Capitol, the Rainbow Room, Broadway's Hudson Theater, the Smithsonian, Circus Circus casino, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium (Grand Ole Opry), the United Nations, Harvard, Columbia and Princeton universities and, memorably, a Thai Kickboxing ring in Cape Town, South Africa.

He's been a contributing editor for the Washington Post Magazine, Civilization and the op-ed page of USA Today. He has also written for The New York Times, Playboy, Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, Wired and many other publications.

His 2003 manifesto on advertising, And Now a Few Words From Me, is published in eight languages (although, admittedly, one is Bulgarian). His 2009 book, The Chaos Scenario, accurately predicted the agonizing death of the very industries that constitute his livelihood. His prescription for salvation, Can't Buy Me Like, will be published by Penguin Portfolio in March 2013. His first novel, Bedfellows was published in the fall of 2012. Garfield co-wrote "Tag, You're It," a snappy country song performed by Willie Nelson, and wrote an episode of the short-lived NBC sitcom "Sweet Surrender." It sucked. He is also the co-host of a Slate.com podcast on language titled Lexicon Valley. That's pretty good, actually.

Garfield has won many journalism prizes including some doozies and two National Press Club poker championships. He lives in suburban Washington, DC, where, in separate incidents 11 months apart, he was twice rear-ended by federal employees.

Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

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  • "Funny" 30
  • "Characters" 28
  • "Writing" 15
  • "Action" 7
  • "Suspense" 3
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Silea TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I regularly listen to two podcasts Bob Garfield co-hosts, one on media and one on language. I enjoy them both. Thus, when this book was subtly recommended during one of them, i bought it without hesitation.

While certainly entertaining, i can't really recommend the novel except as an airplane read or for other Bob Garfield fans. It's light and amusing, but also extremely campy and not remotely believable. And i'm not talking about technicalities of organized crime or anything like that, as i'd be in no position to vet such details. When i say it's 'not believable', i mean it's hard to imagine there exists, anywhere in the world, people who would make the series of decisions that are made in this book. A healthy dose of Suspension of Disbelief is needed.

Did i laugh out loud while reading it? More than once. But did i also consider putting the book down because it was just too contrived? Probably more times than i laughed out loud.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Scott E. High VINE VOICE on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a cast of characters(or caricatures)!!! Since I've never read a funny book written about the Mafia, it took me a while to get with the rhythm of this story. Once I was on board I started to notice how the author worked in several comedic angles both in his character development and in his story line, some of which made me chuckle and some made me laugh out loud. You had to pay attention though, because like a fast 'one liner' comedian, the zingers would often come on the heels of the previous comment and could be missed if you were still laughing from the prior joke.

This book is proof that a bad economy affects everyone. You were promised "change" and unfortunately we all got it. Could anyone else have dreamed up a story where a Mafia Family looks to Amway as their back-up income stream? Too funny.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Ballister VINE VOICE on December 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bob Garfield's BEDFELLOWS is sure to be the most hysterical book you have ever read about the topics of organized crime and mob warfare. In the tradition of The Godfather and The Sicilian, this book has Dons, hitmen, beautiful women, and corrupt cops. In addition, it has a hitman who has never once killed anyone even by accident, a mob daughter with a much larger bra size than IQ, a sandwich salesman who is a few slices of pepperoni short of a sub, and Amway.

The Donato crime family is in serious trouble. Revenues are declining, the russians are moving in on their turf, and not worst of all, they seem to be losing their edge when it comes to being a feared crime family. Don Donato and his crew of semi-competent mobsters must band together before they lose influence in their own neighborhood...or worse, have to go legit.

The book is almost farcical, the way it portrays the gangsters, mixing stereotypes with complete absurdity. For example, the only hitman the crew can afford is an outrageously stereotyped Jewish chiropractor. But the humor surrounding the violence that goes with any mob story makes the book. Garfield's character dialogue and situation descriptions will keep you smiling (when you aren't flat out laughing).

Definite crude humor, violence and language. More of an "R" than a "PG-13." But definitely a great read.

Fans of Christopher Moore will seriously enjoy this book.

If you don't find this review helpful, please leave a comment as to why so I can improve my reviews.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By delicateflower152 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bob Garfield's "Bedfellows" is a comedic crime novel that will bring a smile to your face. Set in the Ebbets Beach, the "Village" is the home of Don Donato and his "family." The "Cozy Nostra," whose motto is "Our Thing Is To Care," provides security - at a price - for local merchants. However, thinking "Bedfellows" is a novel about the Cosa Nostra and organized crime, in the vein of "The Godfather," would be a mistake. Rather, this is a novel which is rich with parody and one to be read for fun.

"Mr. Mattress" - Jack Schiavone - a former advertising executive who took the fall for his previous girlfriend's embezzling company funds has opened a mattress store in the Village. On the eve of his grand opening, he is introduced to the family's influence in the community. A fellow merchant tells him to expect Casper, Don Donato's representative and an aspiring lounge singer. When the Russian mob is spotted in town and seeks to take over, the action and activities of the characters become hilarious.

"Bedfellows" is rich with quirky, conflicted individuals whose dilemmas provide ample fodder for Bob Garfield to exploit. What other crime novel has a mob boss who, because times are tough, wants his crew to become Amway distributors? What other crime novel has a chiropractor who is engaged as a hit man, even though he has never committed a "hit?" What other novel has a former hit man who becomes a star mattress salesman? These and numerous other situations and characters kept me smiling as I read "Bedfellows."

Conservative readers should be warned that some of the language used by the characters is inappropriate in polite society, but is realistic with respect to those characters. The f-bomb is dropped regularly during conversations between the characters.
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