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A Meal to Die For: A Culinary Novel of Crime Hardcover – January 10, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Actor Gannascoli, best known for his role as Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos, with an assist from Kupfer (The Journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing), serves up a solid debut filled with mouth-watering recipes. Mobbed-up Brooklyn chef Benny Lacoco prepares the dinner of a lifetime, knowing that someone stands to get whacked when the last course is served. The rat who set up the reigning capo for 10 to 20 is one of the made men at the table, but Benny realizes suspicion could fall anywhere: "I'll be cooking all night and my reward could be a piece of lead in the head." Benny ruminates on how he fell into his life of crime, acting as a food fence to move stolen stock out to select restaurants, "transfusing" inferior olive oil or wine into higher-ticket containers. The mix of haute cuisine and Mafiosi is a natural—obviously Julia Child and Tony Soprano both like to eat, right? And how often do you see a mobster getting disrespect for "revealing his limited knowledge of food and even more limited food choice experience"?
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Review

A Meal to Die For is deliciously sinful and fattening. Not since I read Rex Stout’s Too Many Cooks while stuck on an Amtrak train have I been so entertained and famished at the same time. I hope Joseph Gannascoli and Allen C. Kupfer will dish up many more courses in the future.”—Loren Estleman, author of Nicotine Kiss

“A tasty slice of mob life.”—Steven R. Schirripa, author of A Goomba’s Guide to Life and actor on HBO’s The Sopranos (Bobby Bacala)

“It’s Big Night meets Goodfellas.”—James Gandolfini, Tony Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos


"A Meal to Die For is deliciously sinful and fattening." (Loren Estleman, author of Nicotine Kiss)

"A tasty slice of mob life." (Steven R. Schirripa, author of A Goomba's Guide to Life)

"It's Big Night meets Goodfellas." (James Gandolfini, actor on HBO's The Sopranos)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; English Language edition (January 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765314444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765314444
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,773,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maria N. Favuzza on January 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was filled with such excitement and anticipation that I couldn't put it down. The setting is present day Brooklyn with flashbacks of Brooklyn in the "good old days". In fact, many of the places mentioned in his book brought back fond memories of my childhood. It's an adventure filled with dreams, reality and the will to overcome adversity. I can't vouch for the recipes at the beginning of every chapter though, but I will try some of them. Pretty good effort for a first-time writer and a Sopranos star. I look forward to reading a second book!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By lara jenkins on January 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this for my husband because he is such a big Soprano fan, but I wound up reading it in two days, loved the food, and the story, I know he will too, as will other readers
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter Thomas Senese - Author. on February 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I picked up a copy of 'A Meal To Die For' the other day while in route from Los Angeles to New York, having placed some great expectations on Joseph Gannascoli since I have eaten Joe's delightful cooking, and knowing Joseph, have always been engaged by his giant, inviting charisma. Well, to my delight (and to my appetites dismay . . . as I had a six hour flight on my hands), 'A Meal To Die For' delivered a fun and engaging read unique in the craft of storytelling since there were wonderful culinary delights to draw from in book. The idea of the plot line brought me back to the cult classic film 'The Chef, The Wife, The Thief, and The Lover . . . except my own visuals of the character movement were easily identifiable with as a New Yorker. Overall, Joe Gannascoli offers a delightful novel that readers will truly savor every little morsal of. If you're like me, and you love to eat and read at the same time, then open this book, turn through the pages to a dish you fancy, run to the nearest grocery store and buy all the necessary ingredients, get back to your house, open a nice bottle of wine, and then start cooking and eating till your heart (and stomach) is content!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By New England Reader on July 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up quite by random and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It's a quick, yet delightful, read!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mom of 2 on May 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not so good. I bought it for 3 reasons, my husband is an Italian-American, I love to cook and I love the Sopranos. Dissapointing.
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