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Who's Sorry Now? The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy Paperback – August 26, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (August 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452283809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452283800
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,620,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sopranos actor Pantoliano, who plays the belligerent and misogynistic Ralph Cifaretto, enters the celebrity memoir arena with a jovial account of his 1950s and '60s youth in Hoboken and Fort Lee, N.J. In addition to his familiar Sopranos role, Pantoliano has appeared in over 60 movies, including Memento and The Fugitive, and will make his directorial debut with the upcoming Just Like Mona. But he saves his career for future volumes, instead concentrating here on his eccentric Italian-American family and the stormy relationship and "shared misery" of his parents, Mommy and Monk. Equal space goes to his relatives, girlfriends and childhood "pals in the projects," a gang of "piss-ant grade-schoolers" who broke into railroad cars to steal whatever they found. Young Joey's grades suffered, and by junior high, he lived in a "dyslexic bubble," but wound up righting himself by acting in school plays, eventually moving to regional theater and, finally, Hollywood. Chapters are headlined with street addresses ("310 Jackson Street," "159 Palisade Avenue"), noting each of the family's evictions or moves to yet another Garden State location. Readers meet colorful characters, including cousin "Patty-Boy," local dogcatcher Uncle Popeye and wise guy Florie, who moves in after exiting the Atlanta Penitentiary ("A New York mobster in the house had serious cachet for a twelve-year-old"). The once-dyslexic "Joey Pants" writes with energy, humor and honesty, and his passionate closing chapter, with Joey attempting to break away from his clinging, cursing Mommy to become a big-time actor, is the icing on the cake.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Although Joey Pants, as he calls himself in his hugely entertaining autobiography, will be instantly familiar to fans of the television series The Sopranos (he plays Ralph Cifaretto), the actor has been around for years, turning in wonderful performances in films such as Midnight Run and television fare such as NYPD Blue. Born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey, the author came out of a working-class family. His parents were problem gamblers, and the family was periodically uprooted and moved to a new apartment after failing to pay their rent. He grew up among wise guys, and one of his closest relatives was assumed to be a killer. Pantoliano writes in a style that will be instantly familiar to his fans: tough, outspoken, but with a charming side, too. The author's somewhat convoluted route from street kid to actor is downright fascinating, and in one fell swoop, he proves to be as fine a writer as he is an actor. One warning, though: he peppers his prose with profanity and makes no apologies for it. It's entirely appropriate for the story he's telling (he came out of a time and place where cursing was a part of everyday speech), but it might offend some readers. David Pitt
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

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Jones on October 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Let's face it...as much as we hate Ralphie Cifaretto...you gotta love Joe Pantoliano...what a great story...
In a world where most actors are caught up in their own self-importance, Joey is a down-to-earth "stand up guy."
The book made me wish I was Italian!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Neopolitan Goddess on November 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm a little late weighing in here, I just bought the book earlier this year and just now got around to reading it. Anyway, as an Italian American with an extended family that "got off the boat" in Hoboken, NJ, and as someone who ran some of the same streets that Joey once did, I can totally identify with the way Joe Pantoliano grew up and with the cast of "characters" that comprised his family, friends and neighbors. The book was extremely entertaining and written in a way that had me laughing out loud more than once. It's admirable that Joey expresses no bitterness or self-pity -- I think this is partially because people of his generation, in that place and time, just accepted the fact that family was the way it was, you didn't sit around feeling sorry for yourself, you just dealt and made a life for yourself! Also, in spite of the dysfunctionality, there was love there for Joey and I guess he chose to focus on that, whether it's just a trait he's been blessed with or if a little therapy helped him get there, it's still admirable and wonderful that he is able to see that & rejoice in it. I can understand how someone not from this subculture would see his mother and some of the other people in the book as complete monsters or animals but remember their shortcomings didn't come from an intention to be cruel, it came from the difficulties they faced as largely uneducated immigrants or children of immigrants starting with nothing in a new land. They were people who were weak and maybe more corrupt than most but not totally evil. If they knew better they would do better, so to speak. It's also nice to see the real, un-glamorized version of what it means to be a wise guy -- no mansions, Mercedes or limos for these connected guys.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fred Maxwell Silvers on October 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My first introduction to Joe Pantoliano was in the classic film La Bamba in 1987 when he played the real life character of Bob Kean (Kuhn). My next introduction to Joe Pantoliano was the even more classic film of Midnight Run with Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin and here we are 15 years later and I see Mr. Pantoliano in just about every decent movie worth watching and to top it off we see him join the ONLY TV SHOW worth watching,(The Soprano's). The bottom line is Mr. Pantoliano is a well gifted man who comes from an amazing background and his story is well told with David Evanier who wrote Making the Wiseguys Weep (The Jimmy Rosselli Story). Thank you Mr. Pantoliano for your career, it is well worth following.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chris Milnes on September 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ok, I may be biased. I was a fan of Joey Pants from way back but the truth is this book is a great read. I loved it. You can read an excerpt at his website if you want to check it out before buying - i did. [web page address] - cheers and enjoy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brownwey on December 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My brother got me this as a birthday gift - not something I would have bought myself. I figured it was one of those books where someone is cashing in on their current fame. It wasn't - it is an inner glimpse at a totally disfunctional family that I couldn't put down. Joey Pants was always one of those actors you love to hate - after reading this I can see where he got his inspiration - his nutsy Mommy (I have to admit I get a little uneasy reading about a guy in his 50's who still refers to his mother as Mommy). From this I have great admiration for Joey now - it is amazing what he overcame - the very things that would have caused most people to give up and accept their existance - inspired him to seek a better life. Anyone wishing to see the day-to-day live of a Goomba growing up in Jersey should grab this - a great read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robin Ferruggia on July 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The best part about this book is the author's unique voice. It's creative and to the point. The way he describes things carries the book.
The story itself is an interesting one, but it's more about his dysfunctional parents and their marriage than about the author. His mother is quite a trip. He had a rough time growing up but goofy as some of them were, his extended Italian family was a strong source of support and I think that's why he didn't drown in his parents' craziness.
This story is not about the mafia, although some people in it apparently have some bad connections. It's about a boy growing up in a close-knit, somewhat goofy family in 1960s New Jersey. And there's a lot of great insight into the family members and their peculiarities that makes it well worth the read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By V Ryan on December 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I feel like I grew up with Joey Pants. His family is my family! I picked up this book because he played in one of my all time favorite movies, "Goonies," and I new his face, but not his name. He's just one of those kind of actors. I don't mind saying that I hate him in the Sopranos, 'cause who doesn't? But after reading this book, even I am proud of what he made of himself. And it has restored my faith in my own abilities. I now must write a book about my verbally abusive Italian-American man-hating mother. Although his family had problems, you still get the sense that in the end they all sit around toasting to love and family like the last scene in Moonstruck! It's a quick read and you'll love it!
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