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Trinities Hardcover – September 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385470037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385470032
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,572,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If the prospect of Yoruba tribesmen employed as drug couriers and detonating all over the inside of airplane cabins seems intriguing, Tosches's (Cut Numbers and the biographies of Jerry Lee Lewis and Dean Martin) new novel has just such a hook. That elaborate scheme is one of the many spectacular elements of an aging mafioso's attempt to destabilize the world heroin trade in order to again reign supreme-for too long the "spics," "niggers" and "chinks" have been getting all the glory. Guiseppe De Pietro, a legendary mobster presumed to be in retirement, enlists his nephew Johnny and an older gent named Louie Bones to do his bidding. Hot on the trail they leave of riddled, acid-burned, beheaded and incinerated bodies is a do-good cop named Marshall and his sidekick, Wang. Tosches's tale advances like storyboards for an action picture, with prolonged sequences of hysterical, over-the-top violence and cruelty. Although the plot wobbles in and out of plausibility and the good-guy cops seem like they've wandered into the wrong book, readers nonplussed by pervasive misanthropy and gore can marvel at Tosches's detailed vision-down to the brand names of chemicals used in making heroin-and his at times extraordinary prose. Film rights to MGM; 10-city tour; audio rights to BDD.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Tosches (Dino, LJ 6/1/92) delivers a well-written but unsavory thriller. Three aging Mafia dons are battling a triad of Asian drug lords over control of the world's heroin market. Several international drug players are murdered, and poisoned heroin is hitting the streets. Part of the Mafia plan is to hack into the Drug Enforcement Agency's high-security computer system while brokering an arms-for-heroin deal with the Asians. The Asian triad plans a double cross; both "trinities" plan treachery. Bob Marshall, a DEA agent, investigates and quickly finds himself in over his head. Johnny Di Pietro, a young Mafioso learning his "trade," comes to terms with its brutality. These "good vs. evil" characters are elegantly paralleled as one ultimately succeeds in destroying the other. Tosches offers detailed descriptions of heroin use, smuggling methods, and the graphic violence surrounding this world. Recommended for hard-core crime fiction collections.
--Stacie Browne Chandler, Plymouth P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeff VINE VOICE on March 2, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Seldom have I sign such a strong divergence in reviews on an Amazon site. For those who found the characters wooden or hackneyed, I would refer them back to the scenes of Johnny in the Inglese Gardin in Sicily and how he experiences fear after a vicious attack on his life. I never saw any description of fear and panic as memorable and detailed as Tosches renders in any Mario Puzo novel, or many authors of much better calibre than Puzo.

For those who found the Chinese characters hard to fathom, Johnny's dinner with the character Silk early in the book is one of the best popularized explanations of Chinese history and philosophy you're liked to ever read. And the author's treatment of the differences in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Fujianese rings true. How many readers knew there were 7 different dialects in Chinese, with major tonal and structural differences between them? Outside of native Chinese speakers, very few I would guess. The author provides great insight into this and makes it a key plot element in the meetings between warring Triads.

The novel has tremendous scope; it is very obvious that Tosches has been there and really soaked up the atmosphere. Yes, it is violent, sometimes hyper-violent. But why would you expect the world of people who sell drugs in billion dollar lots not to be?

There are definitely some implausible plot elements. Interestingly, the characters comment indirectly on that point a couple of times in moments of introspection. But nothing that blew up the experience of reading the book.

At the end of the reading, I felt like I had been in every locale, that I knew every character, and that I learned a lot about the Italian, Sicilian, and Chinese languages.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Huettner on July 13, 2006
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
Trinities is a book that explores the psychology of the two main characters, Johnny, a brilliant family man (read mafia) who is trapped in a low paying union job despite his family ties, and his uncle, an even more brilliant mafia don (retired) who is trapped in his dying body and the laxidazical world he views through his aging eyes.

As Johnny longs to escape through midlife crisis angst, his uncle longs for one last splash of the glory days before he dies. If the reader cannot truly immerse the heart into these two personalities, the reader will lose perspective and simply classify the book as a genre piece of some sort.

I have listened to this book on audio cassette at least seven times - until the tapes gave out - and will buy it again just to have it in my library.

Give it a shot. It's good.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lmann on October 11, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved Tosches' bio of Jerry Lee, Hellfire, but Trinities was a great disappointment, especially since it didn't have to be. Tosches had the makings of a terrific thriller. But the central character and plot are unbelievable.

The book starts with Johnny DiPietro, nephew of an old Mafia don, fulfilling a contract for his uncle. He drives, his buddy does the shooting. To Johnny, the victim is not a person, but Johnny's "new transmission" for his car. He's a slimeball, and thus far rendered believable, ala Elmore Leonard. There is a reference that, as a youth, he had a thirst for knowledge, and that he had at one time read good books. Aside from this, Johnny gives no sense of authority, high intelligence, or competency. Then his uncle, who wants to take over the world's heroin market, decides to use Johnny as his representative in the biggest (and least plausible ) dope deal in the history of crime fiction. Suddenly Johnny, who's making twenty-five grand a year in a union job, is transformed into a wizard with the ability to:

1- Negotiate a billion dollar drug deal with a stereotyped crafty, unfathomable Chinese Triad boss

2- Has a tremendous facility with numbers

3- Is knowledgeable about international banking, finance, the Asian drug market, crops, weapons systems, customs brokerage, and much much much more ( he can do no wrong, make no false step )

4- Is conversant with, and actively thinks about, Dante, Socrates ( whom he criticizes as arrogant for his admonition to "Know thyself", since knowing oneself is impossible), and Milton's Paradise Lost.

There is no sense of irony to tell us this is all meant as parody.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Art Turner on June 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What we have here is basically well-dressed pulp fiction (which, incidentally, I mean as a compliment). Not everyone, especially these days, may enjoy Tosches' iconoclastic embrace of the grotesque, but those who like their humor dark & their narratives darker certainly will. Stylistically, the prose runs to the pretentious at times ("a tumescense that was more than urethral"? Please.), but is generally lyrical & pleasing. Definitely an above-average piece of genre fiction.
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