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The Penalty Paperback – October 30, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1493635042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1493635047
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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By Manly Pointer on June 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The beggar/crime boss Blizzard is a fun, interesting character. A man whose legs were amputated after a horrible streetcar accident-- an event which drove him insane, and led to his becoming a major New York hat maker and crime boss (seriously-- the hats are important to his master plan). If Blizzard and his strange plot to take over New York City were the focus of the story, it could have been really compelling. Unfortunately, the main protagonist is Barbara Ferris, the privileged and flighty sculptor who uses Blizzard as her model for a bust of Satan just after the fall. Despite all textual evidence to the contrary, the men in this novel find her witty, charming, intelligent and spirited. She might be physically beautiful, although the mostly pedestrian Howard Chandler Christy illustrations leave that matter in doubt. She also suffers from a portrayal that's marred by sexist attitudes I'm sure were common at the time but haven't aged well.

Many of the chapters do manage to rise above the level of turgid melodrama, and make the read rewarding for patient readers. The resolutions, however, are unintentionally hilarious-- abrupt and far too pat. The film adaptation, with the great Lon Chaney as Blizzard, is far superior. However, if you've watched that film and have some curiosity about the story that inspired it, and about the state of pulp writing from that era in general, this book is worth checking out.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this because I saw a show on Lon Chaney, silent screen character actor, who was an intense and sensitive actor giving much compassion and hardness to his part in the movie. A young boy whose legs are needlessly amputated (in 1913) his anger from this butchery goes on to form his life style as a criminal in the underworld of the city... His liaison with a young artist helps turn him around (her father happened to be the surgeon who did the amputation) and love triumphs all. It was a really good book and for the period written I loved the language used.
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