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Son of the Mob Paperback – September 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 11
  • Series: Son of the Mob (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786815930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786815937
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Vince Luca, 17, has a problem. His wealthy family runs the, uh, vending machine business in New York, and Vince is determined not to be part of it. Especially after a hot date is ruined when he finds that his older brother Tommy has conducted some business with Jimmy the Rat and hidden the messy and temporarily unconscious body in the trunk of Vince's car. His dad, the King of the Mob, is reasonable, sensible, lots of fun, gives great presents to his kids--and his name strikes the hearts of other mobsters to stone.

Although Vince keeps a low profile at school, his family connection brings him unwanted advantages, like the birthday Porsche that gets him arrested on stolen vehicle charges, or the football game in which he makes touchdown after touchdown because word has gotten around and nobody is willing to tackle him. Even private conversations at home have to be carried on in the basement because the FBI has bugged the house and an agent is always listening. Vince's life is inextricably tangled up with the family business, no matter how hard he tries to stay out of it. How can he show them he's serious? Then he meets Kendra, and when she innocently reveals that her father's an FBI agent--that FBI agent--it's a match made in heaven. He thinks.

Gordon Korman, author of (No More Dead Dogs) and over 30 other witty YA novels, is at his best in this Sopranos-style spoof about a teen's home life with the Mob. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The Sopranos (minus the vulgarity and violence) meets Leave It to Beaver (minus the "aw-shucks" tone and dated sensibility) in Korman's (No More Dead Dogs) brassy, comical caper. With its razor-sharp dialogue and bullet-fast pace, this tale could fly on either the small or big screen, yet it makes a page-turner of a novel. Korman shapes a believable and likable crew-despite the less than reputable profession of some. Many of the novel's conflicts revolve around the fact that the affable narrator, 17-year-old Vince Luca, refuses to become involved in the family "vending machine business." But of course, since his father is the Mob boss, and his older brother serves as their father's loser lackey, Vince cannot avoid being tainted (e.g., he lands in jail "because my sixteenth-birthday present [a Porsche] turns out to be hot"). Mom turns a deaf ear to the shady goings-on, cooking up a steady storm in the kitchen and willing "to serve a sit-down dinner for fifteen guys at four in the morning with ten minutes advance notice." Things heat up when Vince begins dating-and eventually falls in love with-the daughter of the FBI agent determined to bring down Vince's father. The boy also gets sucked into the maelstrom when he loans money to one of his father's underlings for whom he feels sorry. Funny and unexpectedly affecting, this will grab-and hold onto-even the most reluctant of readers. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Gordon Korman has written more than fifty middle-grade and teen novels. Favorites include the New York Times #1 bestseller The 39 Clues: One False Note, The Juvie Three, Son of the Mob, Born to Rock, and Schooled. Though he didn't play football in high school, Gordon's been a lifelong fan and season ticket holder. He says, "I've always been fascinated by the 'culture of collision' in football and wanted to explore it-not just from the highlight films but from its darker side as well." Gordon lives with his family on Long Island, New York.

Customer Reviews

This story is filled with fast paced action and a likeable cast of characters.
Alex, Vince's best friend, helps Vince with his love life and also gives him advice on what he should do about the family business.
mark twain
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in getting their students excited about reading.
Kelly SanFilippo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on October 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Gordan Korman seemed to have leaped the extra mile in Son of the Mob, I loved everything about, except the ending. Vince Luca 17, a highschool student but also a Mob prince. He recieves what every kid wants a hefty allowance, a porsche for his birthday,and basically anything he wants. Even though the stuff he gets sometimes isn't bought, example the porsche. Good ol' Dad working for the vending machine buisness, Vince's way of putting the Mafia in code, Honest Abe Luca, Vince's father, keeps Vince protected and wealthy. His family consists of many uncles , which are under his father in the uh...buisness. When Vince gets a second date, his first was ruined by a Rat and a brother, Vince and Kendra seem to be the perfect couple except thier fathers are opposites, Kendra's dad works for the FBI, that happens to be the one who is trying to put Anthony Luca into the slammer. The book sends you in twists and turns, almost like a Romeo and Juiliet story. This was favortie book by far, I'm interested to see what Gordon Korman will do next.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By dsl on March 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Vince Luca is a 17 year-old student who just wants to live the common high school life. Chasing girls, playing football, and other "normal" things are what he aspires to. However, Vince is in a rather precarious situation. His father is a mob boss and Vince wants to have nothing to do with it. His entire family with the exception of his mother, believes that one day he will come around and accept his position. Vince suffers the classic struggle of a protagonist trying to escape his family's reputation and image. However, Vince ends up right where he didn't want to be, posed by the F.B.I. as a loan-shark for his father's business.
The book "Son Of The Mob" is the perfect blend of something which, is very serious (mob-affiliation), and applying it to highschool life, something almost all teens can relate to. It is comedic excellence and had me yelling, gripped, and shaking my head at the misfortune and unexpected turns that Vince Luca takes. At every moment, Gordon Korman throws in another piece of the plot to thicken and enrich the book. Not deep by any standards, this book does have an amazing correlation to Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." Vince and Kendra, being the "star-crossed lovers," and their families of completely opposite backgrounds makes the book suspenseful and comical.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hetling on April 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Gordon Korman books are always a fun read, and Son of the Mob is no different.

With a plotline that might best be described as "Sopranos-lite," Korman gives us Vince, a 17 year old hero who is the white sheep of a mafia family, headed by feared crime boss Anthony Luca.

Like other boys his age, Vince is preoccupied with girls, unfair teachers, and homework assignments. Unlike his peers, however, Vince also has to deal with a range of ethical questions related to the criminal activity of his family. He doesn't want to partake in the ill-gotten gains of his family, but everything he wears, eats, and drives is tainted with mob-money.

Things get sticky when Vince finds out that the girl he's dating is the daughter of the FBI agent assigned to build a case against his father. To make matters worse, Vince decides to take a hand in his father's activities. In an attempt to prevent violence, Vince takes responsibility for some of the debts owed to his father by some lowlife thugs, but that puts him in the position of trying to collect money himself.

This is the first Korman book that I've read for about ten years or so, and I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I measure this up against some of his early works, such as "No Coins Please" and the Bruno and Boots series. Maybe it's just me, but some of the jokes, especially the thick-as-flies mob references, seemed a little over the top.

However, Korman has matured in several ways, and I appreciated that he was able to give a lot of competing plot lines their due space. The only exception to this was a storyline involving an FBI insider somewhere in the ranks of the Mob. This was barely mentioned early, but became the biggest climax at the end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on June 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is literally the best book I've read! It has a distinct voice, and a (very hot =P)believable main character. Sometimes it can be confusing, but once you catch up with the fast-paced action, you'll love it.

It's a classic Romeo and Juliette tale with the softy-mobster meets tuff-FBI-agent-kid. Vince wants nothing to do with his family's business, and from what we can tell, neither does Kendra. They're obviously a perfect match but before they can get any real action in, their outside lives kick in. Since Kendra's father has Vince's house bugged (and for another secret reason) her father soon finds out about the teens' secret love. I don't want to give away the book, but as most fairy tales turn out, they live happily ever after.

I would keep this book away from kids under 11. There's nothing X-rated, but there is some suggestion of sexuality. This is a great book for younger teenagers. I hope you love it as much as I did!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Gordon Korman's SON OF THE MOB gets as much mileage as possible out of a funny situation -- the teenaged son of a mobster falls in love with the daughter of the FBI agent investigating said mobster -- but ultimately runs out of gas while taking unrealistic turns that at times make little sense. Of course, you could argue that a book written to be humorous does not have to drive over the suspension bridge of disbelief, but I'll argue that it sure would get the narrative from here to there a lot faster.

Vince Luca is the protagonist with a heart, Alex is his dweeby friend, and Kendra Bightly (set up for the gag line, daughter of "Agent Bite-Me") the girlfriend. Vince has a bad-boy older brother named Tommy, a Godfather-type dad named (guess what?) Anthony, and a mother who lives to feed her family too much like an Italian (fancy that!) grandmother. The Luca family has a lot of "uncles," if you know what I mean, and Vince commands a lot of respect simply because of his name. I can hear the stereo even as I type!

There's a few good gags in the book, and the plot is carefully constructed, it's just that the actions and the twists and turns don't seem terribly real. Vince does not want to be a mobster's son, yet takes advantage of many of its perks. Anthony Luca is ruthless, but has a heart. Mom cooks, but turns out to hold a larger than expected (or to be believed) role (pass the butter). It's all breezy and maybe entertaining, if you like this sort of thing.

Kids looking for a lot of bang-bang, shoot-em-up, Mario Puzo-type stuff will be disappointed, as this is more skewed toward the trials and tribulations of first love and fitting in with the family than with any violence. It's also safely clean, language, sex, and violence-wise.
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