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Thy Father's Son: A Novel Hardcover – October 4, 2002
From Publishers Weekly
The son of an Italian New York mafia don finds out he's Jewish in Leo Rutman's unusual novel of American organized crime and cultural identity. Set in 1962, Thy Father's Son is the story of Davey Rossi, a prizefighter and scion of an important syndicate family who finds out that he's actually the adopted, orphaned son of a murdered Jewish mobster and his showgirl moll. Furthermore, his adoptive father took part in the hit on his biological one. The stunned Rossi tries to track down his mother and find out the real story of the gangland machinations behind his father's death while becoming embroiled in vendettas of his own; along the way, Rutman reveals much about the heyday of Jewish organized crime, as well as the evolution of the Italian-American mafia in the 1960s. The book's first-person narration and dialogue can be stiff, but Rutman's original, intricate plot and well-researched historical details make up for the shortcomings of his prose.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Prizefighter Davey Rossi must face the fact that he was adopted by the Italian Mafia don who killed his Jewish gangster father. This well-told tale unfolds in late-fifties/early-sixties New York City, just as the Mafia embraces the drug trade. Rutman delivers knockout boxing descriptions, and the mobsters behave in exactly the way we have come to expect from every pop-culture depiction since The Godfather. That's only a problem for those who have grown a bit weary of stories that rehash the gang wars of a bygone era and attempt to imbue them with a profundity Sopranos fans realize they never really had. Readers looking for a traditional Syndicate story with all the right moves will embrace this book. Others, driven forward by the compelling narrative even as they bemoan its seeming inability to break free of old-style Mafia tropes, might find themselves ruefully quoting Michael Corleone's famous line from The Godfather, Part III : "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" Frank Sennett
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
lot going for it. The twists of plot, interesting and well-defined characters, great descriptions of Depression Era and Sixties New York City, all add to its page-turning qualities. The plot involves an orphan who is raised by a Mafia don, becomes
a Championship boxer to stay out of the "life", but circumstances
and Fate force him to search for his true roots. His search ultimately leads him to find those roots, but only by getting deeper into the "Life". The boxing sequences are described and even choreographed so well by the author, that it becomes a boxing story within a Mafia tale. The book is exciting and fast-moving. With the streets of New York City as a background, this terrific book could become a great movie.
I am disappointed this book is not as popular as its content warrants but it is definitely my favorite book (along with The Quiet Game). Not one to be missed.