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What Zizi Gave Honeyboy: A True Story About Love, Wisdom, and the Soul of America Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 28, 2002


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, February 28, 2002
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 209 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0066212669
  • ASIN: B000H2NDH8
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 8.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,872,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Zizi is an ailing but feisty 83-year-old Italian matriarch, widowed and living alone in Yonkers, N.Y. Honeyboy is her nickname for her nephew, author Celente, a divorced analyst who directs the Trends Research Institute. Here, Celente shares about 20 conversations that the two had in 1999 over home-cooked meals and Scrabble games at Zizi's kitchen table. (Recipes for Zizi's breaded chicken cutlets and anise cookies are included.) In the spirit of Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, this is a book in which a wise, spiritual older person offers heartfelt advice to an overworked baby boomer. However, while Albom freely shared his emotions, Celente generally responds with facts and figures. For example, when Celente complains about Zizi's lifelong cigarette habit, she jokingly asks if marijuana would be preferable. Celente curtly says that he used to smoke pot but doesn't anymore. Before Zizi can respond in what could have been a lively debate, Celente compares and contrasts the effects of smoking marijuana vs. tobacco, launching into a long, statistic-laden monologue. The book also contains a fair amount of politically incorrect observations made, ironically, by Celente and not Zizi (e.g., when Celente speaks of some of his acquaintances who won't hire a black acupuncturist, he says, "these guys aren't racists, that's just the way it is.") Not surprisingly, the book is at its strongest when Zizi talks and Celente listens. Her recollection of a near-death experience involving the entertainer Danny Thomas is both poignant and hilarious. This is a sweet if at times frustrating inspirational tome. B&w photos.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Celente, a top trends analyst featured in newspapers and on TV, was going through a painful divorce. Zizi, his 80-year-old aunt, had just lost her husband. They had already been close, but now they were spending much more time together and forming a special bond. Zizi's endearing, homespun wisdom has been all but lost. Working through painful phlebitis in her legs, she continues to serve up huge Italian meals for Gerald and impart her thoughts on the sorry state of affairs of fractured families, the displaced and abandoned elderly, and the corrupt government that says it cares but does little. "Look at all these pills they want me to take," she says. "What are they, crazy? If I took every one of them I'd either be a drug addict or I'd be dead." As she looks back on missed opportunities, she tells Gerald, "Don't save all your money for a rainy day, because you may end up spending it all on rain. Spend some on sunshine. Enjoy your life." Zizi's wisdom is good medicine for Gerald and can help anyone through tough times. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

He will wake you up about where things are going.
Flubadub
My wife and I both read this book over the past week, and we both loved it loved it loved it.
Jason A. Gagnon
It's a real "find" and a provocative and often very amusing read.
Weinroth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Julio Garcia on April 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book and couldn't put it down until I was
done reading it, a pretty fast bittersweet read.
Celente does a great job of showing how the default culture
in America has really screwed things up - from the fake food
most folks now get to the phoney political system.
He laments what we lost in the breakup of the traditional
extended family without coming across as a sentimental
reactionary.
Zizi for president!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Donald A. Kirkwood on March 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A very light easy read that has it all from nostalgia, humor, sadness,to most of all- important messages to where America is today. If you find yourself in the eye of a stress storm being bombarded with today's events including no time for yourself and family this book is for you. Very insightful!
I picked this book to read because I know Mr. Celente's reputation for getting it right in identifying trends in his previous books. He called everything from the Dot Com demise to the end of the cold war well before the actual happenings.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John H. Faville on September 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked the book! I had heard the author interviewed on NPR and was so impressed and intrigued by the premise of the book that I decided to order it here.I appreciated the semi autobiographical way in which Celente presented the conversations he had with his aunt. And, not being Italian myself, I found the insights into Italian-American culture of the thirties throuh the present very interesting.Zizi is presented as neither omnisciently wiser than anyone else, nor as a caricature. Her life experiences are presented from the viewpoint of a typical person of her era, living, learning, and doing the best she can throughout her long life. I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in sociological history, or just warm conversation with an older, wiser relative.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Elling on April 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Who hasn't wished that they had Aunt like Zizi? The lady makes great anise cookies, tons of delicious Italian fare and sends you home with all the leftovers!! She serves all her dishes with a healthy dose of common sense and insight gained from observing life the past 83 years. Through her Gerald Celente puts a human face on the trends that have been on the front page for the past twenty years and the new ones that will be on tomorrow. A great read and a great lady!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Weinroth on December 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book, Gerald Celente pays tribute to his remarkable Aunt Zizi. In a series of conversations, the two make important points about our world today and the challenges of living in it. If you've wondered if the "good old days" really are better, read WHAT ZIZI GAVE HONEYBOY, and you'll not only be armed with information, but you'll be ready to do something about it. I buy up remaindered copies of the book and give them to my friends, who share my opinion of it once they've read it. It's a real "find" and a provocative and often very amusing read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a quick read, but a heartwarming one, sure to spark memories in many Italian-Americans about life the way it used to be, in the days when several generations often lived together under one roof, when life was hard but laughter somehow came easy anyway. The photos which accompany the text will touch your heart.
But this isn't just a trip down memory lane but an examination and critique of modern life, as seen through the eyes of Zizi, a wise and loving Italian aunt. She happens to be author Gerald Celente's aunt and it is clear that she has been a pivotal figure in his life, offering support and comfort as he went through a traumatic divorce, dispensing wisdom and love as needed. In the hours Celente spends with his aunt, talking and enjoying the meals she prepares (some of the recipes are included in the book), he begins to think about life past and life present and takes the reader along for the ride.
After reading this book, you may find yourself thinking about the pitfalls of modern life and what has been sacrified in the pursuit of progress. You may also think about what the future holds for each of us.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. J. on May 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
OK, that may be a little exagerated, but I couldn't put the book down - and thoughts of "The Prophet" DID cross my mind at times. I only bought it for an easy read - it was that and more. It's a book that I expect to re-read and (selfishly) I won't loan it out - not for a long time. However, at the current price, I might buy extra copies to give away. Unlike one reviewer, I appreciated the author's commentary (and the statistics) using real life examples to illustrate ZiZi's wisdom. ZiZi (and the author) put into simple words what many of us have thought many times while observing present day events and then, the author's commentary and statistics, add new perspectives. I'm not Italian - and this book didn't make me wish to me. Plain & simple - it's a delightful book who's author (and his aunt) just happen to be Americans of Italian descent- and the book wouldn't be the same if they weren't. I'll definitely try out ZiZi's Anise Cookies recipe - maybe today!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason A. Gagnon on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My wife and I both read this book over the past week, and we both loved it loved it loved it. Think Tuesdays with Morie, but less annoying.

The conversations between Zizi and Gerald (Honeyboy) are really just excuses for Gerald to pontificate on his favorite subjects, while giving them a patina of respectability by tying them to his aunt and her generation- the so called Greatest Generation.

The drug war, food politics, welfare, corporate welfare- you get Gerald's views on all of these, and his views are interesting and his facts often depressing. If you are already a part of the progressive-green-libertarian movement that he looks forward to in the 2002 volume,than much of this is old hat. If you are not, this book might change your mind on a number of topics.

There is recipe for cookies in here I have purchased the ingredients for already!
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