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The Wonderful World of Bernies: An Irish-Italian adventure in Queens Paperback – June 9, 2017
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The pages of this book record events that really happened in Queens and New York City 1941 to 1973. All that has been done by the biographer, who is an insider to crime scenes and democratic politics, is to color the events a little and for that no extra charge has been made. The characters themselves need no color. They are the three Bernies. The three Bernies are all real, one is a jerk, one is the great Irish Senator who worked on the front of liberal politics in Queens, and one spent most of his professional life prosecuting murderers. Owen is real, the Irish grand dad, even when he thinks his name is Eugene, Tommy is real especially when he figured out how to win betting on a horse race. Laura is real, Frank's mistress, (Frank is grand dad on the Italian side). Laura went to Paris after Frank died and was found two years later on a Paris street frozen to death clutching an empty wine bottle. The whole pathetic happy and unhappy crowd are not poetic ideals, but flesh and blood humans.
(There is a very loud amusement park right in front of my present lodgings. Excuse me while I get up to close the window.)
Other books may excel in thought, and knowledge of human nature; some may even rival this tomb in originality and size; but for hopeless and incurable veracity, nothing yet discovered can surpass this marvelous (dare I say it?) masterpiece. At last we have a book clear in style, accessible and entertaining, and not pretentious, certainly not pretentious. In fact, it cannot be reasonably faulted. Can a work be faulted, if it is aware of its faults?
So if you want to know the real skinny about growing up Irish and Italian in Queens, this book will help. But I do have two complaints: One is the story question of why Joan, who was otherwise the family saint, stole the District Attorney's Shakespeare was never answered and the other is that the story did not end with an exciting chase scene. There were enough murders, I guess, so a chase was not needed.
An extraordinary book produced by Dr. Patten’s extraordinary mind. His prose is refreshingly spontaneous and direct. The subject matter ranges widely, sometimes abruptly, illustrating the author’s interests, attitudes and preoccupations. Dr. Patten’s early childhood was formed by the Italian [his mother’s] side of the family. Later his father’s Irish ancestry played the dominant role and expected him to follow the older “Bernies” into politics. But, at the end, they supported his chosen career choice, which has been spectacular. His various achievements – work on Myasthenia Gravis, L-Dopa research, “largest neurological practice in the known world”, several teaching positions , piano playing and tap dancing – are all elucidated with wit and wisdom. But mostly this book invites the reader to think out of the box and appreciate and enjoy the surprising synapses of Dr. Patten’s mind.
Dr. Patten brings the reader along with him on a magical ride at each chapter.
Buy this book- truly worthy of anyone's free time "well spent". Dr. Patten is a master at his craft........
This is a great read!