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Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties Paperback – November 5, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451419200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451419200
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In her first novel for adults, Chicago writer Rosen presents starry-eyed Vera Abramowitz, who longs to escape the life her single mother plans for her, working in the family’s stockyard and meatpacking plant. Vera wants to run with a far more glamorous crowd. Slaving away at menial jobs, she barely earns a subsistence living, but it’s enough to put her in proximity to the city’s Jazz Age action. It is her good and bad fortune to meet and fall in love with two of Chicago’s up-and-coming mobsters, from competing North Side and South Side gangs. And though her passion may be inflamed by Capone henchman Tony Liollo, she marries the relatively safer Shep Green, a flashy bootlegger who battles Capone for control of Chicago’s illegal liquor sales. As Vera morphs from a down-at-heels working girl into a gin-and-gems flapper, she unwittingly finds herself at the heart of one of Chicago’s most notorious Prohibition episodes, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. With the rat-a-tat tempo of a Tommy gun, Rosen delivers a smart and snappy shot of Roaring Twenties drama. --Carol Haggas

Review

"Dollface is as intoxicating as the forbidden liquor at the heart of it. Rosen’s Chicago gangsters are vividly rendered, and the gun molls stir up at least as much trouble as their infamous men. Fans of Boardwalk Empire will love Dollface. I know I did."—Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water For Elephants

“With the rat-a-tat tempo of a Tommy gun, Rosen delivers a smart and snappy shot of Roaring Twenties drama.”—Booklist

“Renee Rosen has combined her daring and vivid imagination with the rich history of Prohibition-era Chicago. Dollface is a lively, gutsy, romp of a novel that will keep you turning pages.”—Karen Abbott, New York Times Bestselling author of Sin in the Second City

"Rosen, author of the YA novel Every Crooked Pot, has done her homework and written a flashy story that is more than your average gangster noir. Those interested in novels set in the 1920s and all things Gatsby will not be disappointed."—Library Journal  (Starred Review)

 

Customer Reviews

Well written and kept me engaged to the very end.
Cyndy
Dollface is set amid the gangsters of Chicago in the Roaring '20s, when Prohibition was raging and a good time was the sure cure for anything that ailed you.
Tamela Mccann
The characters are so abstract, and I felt every emotion like I was experiencing it for myself.
Macy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By adam12 on November 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As a baby boomer I grew up watching the Untouchables on TV. Then came Mario Puzo and the Godfather book (made into movies by Francis Ford Coppola), and many movies with Al Pachino and Robert De Niro, et al, all of which defined and promoted our taste for books, movies and TV shows depicting the gangsters of the roaring 20’s. However, throughout this genre, women are rarely portrayed.

In Renee Rosen’s new book, Dollface, we are given a look at this era through the eyes of a “Nice Jewish Girl” who marries into the mob. It’s a love story, it’s a gangland expose, and it’s a great read.

The author has certainly done her homework on Chicago in the roaring 20’s. She also writes in a style that is a pleasure to read.

I recommend this book to men and women alike who want another reason to explore the 1920’s and the gangsters who made them roar.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Silver's Reviews on November 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
It's the Roaring 20's.

Prohibition, speakeasies, gangsters, the rich and the poor. DOLLFACE portrays the life of those living in Chicago during this time. No one was exempt from what was going on.

Vera Abramowitz worked in the typing pool of an insurance firm and also as a telephone operator to make ends meet, and she still made next to nothing. She didn't want to do this for her entire life and then met Shep Green, a gangster. She also met Tony Liolli who also was a gangster. She began dating both men, even though she knew she was playing with fire by dating both of them at the same time.

Despite the danger she was putting herself in, she couldn't help herself. Tony was fun, Shep had power, and she didn't want to turn out like her mother....poor and still working in the slaughterhouse. Then something happened and she found out who the "real" man was and who the "real" slacker was.

DOLLFACE is written in an easy style that grabs you as you want to learn more about this time period. The characters are definitely authentic, and the activity at that time appears to be right on.

You will love following Vera from rags to riches and then through a rough time, but Vera was tough. You will be shocked at what she does as a woman in the 1920's as well as bite your fingernails as you see what risky things she gets herself into. Vera carries this fabulous story along even though it is difficult to like her or to agree with what she does.

I really enjoyed DOLLFACE. The reality of events was terrific. The author captured the perfect picture of this time period and did excellent research.

You will want to read this book if you are a fan of historical fiction and more specifically the 1920's. It was a great read. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ChinacatSun76 on December 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher

I love pretty much anything dealing with the 1920's; the time period appeals to the rebel, rule-breaker in me. With the momentum of the Suffrage Movement and the 19th Amendment propelling them forward, women were finally beginning to demand attention separate from the men they were related or married to. There was jazz. There were flappers and mobsters. And there was fabulous excess. And Dollface has all of those things, though I wish it had more of them and that they appeared sooner in the story arc. The second half of this novel saved the read for me - but I do think wading through the first half, filled with weak women and love triangles, is worth it to get to the pay off at the end.

Dollface follows the young and idealistic Vera Abramowitz as she navigates (sometimes successfully and sometimes not so much) the New York scene in the days of prohibition and organized crime. She's moved out of her mother's house as soon as she possibly can and is one of the faceless many in the secretarial pool at an office downtown. She's sharing a room in town with her best friend and determined to make it on her own. And she's attracted the attention of two men and can't decide if she should think with her head or her libido.

My main problem with Dollface is with the first half of the novel. In that first half, Vera is independent in claim only. She is weak-minded, easily lead, believes that she's a strong independent woman, but falls short of that description time after time. The plot is primarily focused on Vera's inability to decide between the attentions of two rival mobsters.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tara VINE VOICE on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
When I first read the blurb for this book, I thought it was about a woman bootlegger...and it is...like for all of 20%. In this aspect, it's disappointing. To state it bluntly, this heroine is just a tramp who can't keep her legs closed and is weak for a man...well, men. Unable to choose between two gangsters, she beds them both, sometimes one after the other.

I don't consider her strong, which is what I prefer in the heroines I read.

It's not until 62% that the very idea of her bootlegging even comes up.

However, I must say despite my intense dislike for the heroine, the book really captured the times, the lifestyle, the danger, the "toeing the line" between worlds. I mean, you have a woman who wants to provide the best home possible for her daughter and impress the Jewish Ladies' Society or whatever it is, but at the same time, her husband is a gangster and there's a bullet hole in her ceiling...

I also appreciated the theme moral...you may think the grass is greener on the other side...be careful what you wish for...la de da.

"Don't waste your time chasing after the wrong things."

I had a hard time with this chick's friends too, but I got a kick out of what they did at the auction.

Frankly, it's a very well-written story. It really made me dislike the characters, which is a sign of a good writer. I was sucked into the tale. I even appreciated the "tragic" ending, though I didn't find it tragic, but moralistic... I mean, hey, the bad guys can't win. It can't be made to look as though this life is the way to go, right?

I just wish the story had been less about a woman weak for men.
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More About the Author

Renée Rosen is the author of WHAT THE LADY WANTS: A Novel of Marshall Field & the Gilded Age coming November 4, 2014 from Penguin/NAL. Her previous novels include: DOLLFACE, A Novel of the Roaring Twenties and EVERY CROOKED POT, a YA novel published in 2007 by St. Martin's Press.

Renée has contributed to many magazines and newspapers, including Chicago Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Complete Woman, DAME, Publisher's Weekly and a slew of now sadly defunct publications. She lives in Chicago where she is at work on a new novel, ABOVE THE FOLD also coming from Penguin/NAL in 2015. Visit her at www.reneerosen.com.



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