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Jackie Disaster: A Novel Hardcover – June 25, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (June 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312307691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312307691
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,302,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The world of the private eye and the spy gets spun for the 21st century in Dezenhall's broadly comic romp, in which Jackie Disaster protects the reputations of corporate clients under attack. Born Giovanni De Sesto, Jackie picked up his moniker as a kid boxer fighting in Golden Gloves and has grown up to head Allegation Sciences, with offices in an Atlantic City casino. Hired by Sally Naturale-kind of a mutated Martha Stewart from Jersey-after a woman claims she lost her unborn baby from drinking one of Sally's soy milk products, Disaster heads out to discredit the accuser and make the daffy Sally look as untarnished as possible. Dezenhall (Money Wanders), who once worked in the Reagan White House and currently is president of a crisis management firm, seems to be extrapolating the action from his popular nonfiction book, Nail 'Em! Confronting High-Profile Attacks on Celebrities and Businesses (1999). The undercover scenes with Jackie and his crew, known as the Imps, are great entertainment, with the Mafia hovering in the shadows and that Jersey setting, where "the Rocky movies had once been to the Delaware Valley what the Koran is to Islam." But the more realistic moments-Jackie's romance, problems with his father and raising his orphaned niece as a single dad-don't quite click amid all the clowning. This novel provides lots of fun in a Carl Hiassen mode.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Dezenhall's second novel shows the author growing as a storyteller. His debut, Money Wanders [BKL F 1 02], was funny and perceptive, but his latest effort, again starring Atlantic City crisis-management expert Jackie "Disaster" DeSesto, has a little more depth and does not depend quite so much on wacky set-pieces to tickle our funnybones. There are still some cartoonish supporting characters, but the story itself, concerning a lawsuit over a miscarriage that may have been caused by an organic milk product, is serious and delicately handled. It's almost as if, having tested the waters in Money Wanders, Dezenhall (himself a crisis-management expert) has decided to plunge into the deep end. Highly recommended for fans of the first book and for those who like their comic mysteries to possess serious undercurrents. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Eric Dezenhall is an author and damage control expert based in Washington, D.C. He is the CEO of Dezenhall Resources, a nationally recognized high-stakes communications firm. He frequently lectures in academic and business circles, and regularly appears as a damage control expert in the international media. He has appeared on network television and radio outlets including NPR, CNN, FOX, CNBC, and MSNBC; and has been quoted in publications including Fortune, USA Today, Forbes, and the Washington Post. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today and is a regular contributor to the Daily Beast and Huffington Post.

Eric is the author of eight books, including two non-fiction texts on crisis communications and corporate witch hunts, entitled Damage Control: How to Get the Upper Hand When Your Business is Under Attack (Portfolio, 2007) and Nail 'Em! Confronting High Profile Attacks on Celebrities and Businesses (Prometheus Books, 1999), both of which have been widely cited in business, media and academic circles. He is also the author of six novels: Money Wanders (St. Martin's, 2002), Jackie Disaster (Minotaur, 2003), Shakedown Beach (St. Martin's, 2004), Turnpike Flameout (St. Martin's, 2006) and Spinning Dixie (St. Martin's, 2007). His sixth novel, The Devil Himself (Thomas Dunne, St. Martin's), which deals with the collaboration between the U.S. Navy and organized crime during World War II to secure American ports from Nazi attack, will be published in July 2011.

As an investigative writer, Eric wrote articles about the newly discovered diaries of the late mobster Meyer Lansky, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, the Baltimore Sun, The New Republic, and Ethical Corporation. A documentary he co-produced on organized crime aired on the Discovery Channel.

Eric is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he studied political science and the news media. He serves as a Trustee of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, an organization devoted to fostering educational and career opportunities for outstanding young African-American men. Eric was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. He lives near Washington, D.C., with his family.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Guy on July 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the other reviewers that this book is great fun to read. But apparently no proofreader did so. This publication is absolutely RIFE with typos, punctuation gaffes and distracting errors. SpellCheck isn't enough, Thomas Dunne Books - a live human needs to proof it, too.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Former professional boxer Jackie "Disaster" De Sesto manages Allegation Services, a crisis-management spin-doctor firm. His offices overlook the gaming floor of the Golden Prospect Casino in Atlantic City, owned by his prime customer and girlfriend, Angela Vanni, daughter of a deceased Mafia boss. Jackie Disaster and his team of Imps handle and often deliver scams and cons to paint a rosy picture of his clients regardless of the truth.
Millionaire Sally Naturale hires Jackie Disaster and associates to restore her and her firm's reputation. Murrin Connolly filed a lawsuit claiming that the organic soymilk that Sally's company produces caused her to miscarry. Expert Jonah Eastman suggests a two front attack. First Jackie Disaster and team need to destroy the credibility of Murrin with a negative dirt smearing campaign and second Sally must act contrite in public as a counter to her posh upper crust living style. Instead of smooth sailing, Jackie lives up to his nickname as nothing goes right especially when Sally vanishes. Jackie and the Imps begin a new counteroffensive.
JACKIE DISASTER is a superb satire that showcases a professional who uses any means including dirty tricks to provide counter cover for the rich and famous. The story line stuns the audience with its relative simplicity that paints a dirty image making game by the in crowd to protect their reputation. A cast, starting with the antihero and his cohorts including his father, niece, girlfriend, and new client make for a wild ride down the Jersey shore. To protect the image of Eric Dezenhall, a sequel is required.
Harriet Klausner
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A clever skewering of mercenary, media-hungry "victims," czarinas of marketable "good taste," and Mafia wannabes by today's sharpest satirist of America's quest to reinvent itself. I especially loved the scenes where Jackie Disaster joins forces with the hero of Dezenhall's earlier (and equally perceptive) comic novel, Money Wanders, to trade insights and strategems in the quest to save New Jersey's Martha Stewart. The pace is a quick as the hero's wits.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SnOrK on June 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Last year, I read "Money Wanders" and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to pick up "Jackie Disaster." This book was even better than the first novel by this author. While both books were fun, (I actually laughed out loud many times) "Jackie Disaster" had a really well developed feel to it. The cast of characters was interesting, the plot ran smoothly without telegraphing the ending and I found myself completely caught up in the action. I definitely recommend this one-as well as "Money Wanders." Can't wait for Dezenhall's next book.
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