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Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2001

    Incredibly Truthful Tale

    The book 'Five Finger Discount' is a detailed truthful memoir of Helene Stapinski's life and the life of her immediate family, friends and collegues. Helene's Grandpa Beansie's children survived the brutal violence (physical and mental abuse) of their father and knew that one day their story would be told, vindication would one day surface, And they are all alive to validate it. 'Beansie' (the Italian Grandpa)and his family is a story in itself, though Stapinski gives you a description of each character that left a bad taste in her mouth,(though she did leave out a few). I hope that Helene or someone in the family follows up with the story of Beansie and his cruel family members who never had an inch of class in their body or a drop of sorrow in their bones. They deserve part II. (or don't they?). They know just who they are! Don't you want to know??? Cheers Helene, credit well deserved!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2001

    Ten Finger Talent

    Stapinski's 'Five Finger Discount'(Jersey City lingo for the acquisition of stolen goods) is a classic memoir of the marriage of Heaven and Hell which is so often the American family-- bound by pathos and humor , by crime and hard-earned domestic pride, in the cauldron of immigration, alienation, assimilation.The author's writing manages the remarkable achievement of maintaining the balance between the necessary irony and poignancy of streetsmart personal reminiscence while at the same time leavening in impressive research and keeping the pages relentlessly turning.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2010

    Revealing and comforting

    This story is about the Polish immigrants that moved to Jersey City, NJ in the early 1930s. My father and his family never talked about their early life, I think there was a lot of shame about being immigrants from Russia. This book helped me understand my father better. It described his early life for me. My Dad still plays the numbers. This book is great especially for people like me who are descendants of Eastern Europeans that settled in Jersey City. Its amazing how many people ended up in the mental hospital. It helped me understand how difficult it is to emigrate. What a complex issue.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2005

    A Memoir

    The author Helene Stapinski reflects on what it was like growing up in Jersey City surrounded by insane family members who were corrupt. Instead of becoming corrupt the author bettered herself by gradurating from NY Unveristy and working as a writer for The New York Times. Helene Stapinski gives a poigant but heartbreaking description of how her grandfather tried to have his entire family killed. Hopefully Five-Finger Discount becomes a televison movie and they author will write a sequal. The only things I found negative about tehe book was the corruption in Jersey City and politics. Not everyone who grew up in Jersey City, NJ is corrupt. I was born and raised in Jersey City and know this for a fact.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2004

    Jersey Citizens Beware!

    This story will prove to be such a true account of your childhood that you may begin to wonder why you weren't mentioned somewhere along the way. From corrupt politics to family loyalties this page turner will keep you wondering just how many times CAN Stapinski pinpoint the exact quirks that make J.C. home?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2002

    Amusing but rambling and pointless.

    I do not give this book superlative grades like the previous reviewers. It was amusing and interesting in several places. The history of Jersey City immigrants and the family history was fascinating. There were also a lot of cute little vignettes sprinkled through the book. But, with non-fiction writing, I'm an old school guy. I want suspense and anticipation. This book didn't have it. After about 100 pages I couldn't figure out where the author was taking me, and from then on it became an effort to get through the endless stream of rambling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
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