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Scarface Nation: The Ultimate Gangster Movie and How It Changed America Paperback – November 11, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (November 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312330596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312330590
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,562,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Is it possible that a kitsch-infused, over-the-top gangster flick that at the time of its release 25 years ago was considered a piece of unmitigated dreck is in fact an iconic cultural linchpin? According to Pulitzer Prize-nominated critic and Entertainment Weekly editor-at-large Tucker, it is, and he may be right. The confluence of director Brian de Palma, screenwriter Oliver Stone, and star Al Pacino yielded the perfect 1980s Sturm und Drang of gangster ethos and has been incessantly imitated in all facets of contemporary pop culture. Tucker's text is divided into two main sections. The first explores the film's inception and development and the personalities involved. The second half details historical and cinematic antecedents, pop culture manifestations, and significance. Replete with interesting interviews, insider anecdotes, and trenchant critical commentaries, Tucker's book is recommended for all cinema and popular culture collections.—Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"There's nothing scarier in the world then a televison critic who gets it. Ken Tucker is my worst nightmare. An intelligent, sharply critical voice of reason in a world of shark jumping."
- Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator of "Gilmore Girls"
 
"Ken Tucker writes with such passion, wit and expertise, that 99.9% of the time, he's far more entertaining than television itself."- J.J. Abrams, creator-producer of "Lost," "Alias," and "Felicity"

“Like a charming after-dinner companion, [Tucker] engages readers with a voice that’s both literate and casual, [raising] the level of TV discourse without intimidation...”- Publishers Weekly
 

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
Do not buy this book, you will regret it.
Tony
Gives the feel that it was quickly written, focuses little on things that should have been given more attention, and focuses too much on minor things.
j c
I highly encourage any film fan to give this a read.
JayT

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark M. Twomey on November 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
For anyone who loves Scarface -- and what kind of a fiend doesn't? -- "Scarface Nation" is an unbelievable cornucopia of inside information, fascinating facts, and linkages to past and present American culture. This book -- henceforth to be known as the "Scarface Bible" -- is incredible not only because of it's focus on the actual movie, but because of Tucker's ability to tie in everything from politics to Miami Vice to MTV Cribs. His description of the 2006 porn epic "Lady Scarface" -- which clocks in at 3 hours long (only one hour shorter than a Viagra warning) -- is so compelling and explicit that I need to remember not to leave this book anywhere my 8 year old daughter might pick it up. If you are into Scarface -- and if you are reading this review I would have to assume you are -- you really need to get this. It would be enough that it is crammed full of things you NEED to know about, but the fact that it is all pulled together by a world class pop culture observer and scribe like Ken Tucker is almost too good to be true. Mr. Tucker, you have made 2008 a great year for the members of "Scarface Nation". As a native of Boston, I only wish that "Red Sox Nation" had as much to be happy about.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Hiltbrand on November 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Wow! Ken Tucker has squeezed an orchard's worth of juice out of Brian DePalma's pulpy gangster classic, "Scarface".
He tags the 1983 film a "superficial masterpiece" (a phrase he attributes to Pauline Kael), yet this indelible cheeseball epic remains both remarkably pervasive and incredibly enduring 25 years after its release. Tucker explores the making of the film and its cinematic signifiers. But he also details "Scarface"'s roots and its incredibly far-reaching reverberations.
The text is compellingly argued and richly documented and the author is amazingly fluent in both high and low culture. (He even provides links for hip hop videos that emulate the "Scarface" ethos.)
Oh yeah, and it's beautifully written. The introduction alone is worth the price of the book. I'll say it again: Wow!
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By JayT on February 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
I don't know how this fantastic book slipped under my radar, but I'm very glad to have found it. Just a hugely entertaining and comprehensive analysis of one of my favorite movies. It goes so far beyond the typical rote re-caps these books often are, and gives fans a real insight into the back-story of the film as well as the cultural impact it has had. I highly encourage any film fan to give this a read.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Lucky on December 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's clearly a great book about SCARFACE and how it went from box office disappointment to global phenomenon, attaining a lofty place in popular culture... but this cheap knockoff isn't it. Simply put, Ken Tucker is not the man for the job. Pedantic and insipid, his tome is borne from the intent to ride a gravy train as opposed to having genuine affinity for the subject matter. While this SCARFACE book is a shrewd commercial move, it's a creative misfire and you're better off just watching the bonus features on the deluxe DVD. Better yet, why not buy a cool black velvet painting of Tony Montana from a service station. It's a better investment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent insightful reading on the most realistic crime drama ever made on American soil !!! highly recommended for die hard fans of this American classic film !! >> moltron <<
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By sandra mercado on August 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought it was a book to read, I have received on time, but I don't like it.
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