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Champagne and Cocaine: A Novel
     

Champagne and Cocaine: A Novel

by Richard Vetere
 

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New York. Winter. 1980. Behind the glitter of the disco era, the city streets run wild. In countless secret spaces, high stakes poker games fuel an underground economy flush with cocaine, champagne, and call girls. Winners are on top of the world. But no one wins forever, and when aspiring novelist and inveterate card player Danny Ferraro goes "all in"—and

Overview

New York. Winter. 1980. Behind the glitter of the disco era, the city streets run wild. In countless secret spaces, high stakes poker games fuel an underground economy flush with cocaine, champagne, and call girls. Winners are on top of the world. But no one wins forever, and when aspiring novelist and inveterate card player Danny Ferraro goes "all in"—and then some—he winds up owing the mob big money. And when you owe the mob, you pay—or else. With nowhere to run, Danny is forced to commit unspeakable acts just to stay even. Richard Vetere's gritty novel strips the gloss of the "Godfather" era and lays bare the gritty reality of the subversive blackmarket as Ferraro struggles to free himself of its grip. Vetere (The Third Miracle, The Writers Afterlife) delivers his most riveting work to date, with page-turning action and an insider's view of a hidden culture.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/02/2016
Jealousy, fueled by Colombian cocaine and washed down with Moët and Mumm, leads to murder in this realistically detailed slice of mob life in early 1980s New York City. Danny Ferraro used to be an English teacher, but he now makes his bones at cards, taking the occasional beating. He still hopes to write a novel. Sometimes he chauffeurs girlfriends of his gangster pal, Lou Santucci; Lou's married, and his wife was once voted Queen of the Italian Feast of Mount Carmel, but currently "she looked like any woman would who ate what she wanted and smoked day and night for the last thirty years." When one of the girlfriends goes over to a rival mobster and ends up dead, Danny gets another chore: find a perfect place to hide the body. Referencing a disco-era soundtrack, Vetere (The Third Miracle) captures day-to-day life in the clubs and all-night poker games with an air of authenticity. (May)
From the Publisher
“Referencing a disco-era soundtrack, Vetere captures day-to-day life in the clubs and all-night poker games with an air of authenticity.” —Publishers Weekly

“Vivid, detailed descriptions . . . fast-paced narrative . . . This well-crafted thriller will appeal to fans captivated by noir and the mystique of mob life.” —Foreword Reviews

"Everything the title promises: heady, dangerous, and utterly addictive. . . . Vetere paints a beautifully gritty portrait of New York in its disco heyday. For those of us longing for that vanished city of filth and vice, Vetere’s new novel is a gift straight from the graffitied heavens." —Stefan Merrill Block, author, The Story of Forgetting

“Vetere captures the decadent ‘80’s just as the iconic decade leaves the starting gate. His lead character Danny Ferraro is a deer in the headlights blinded by the lure of depravity, the mob, drugged induced sex and the gaudy glamour of the night club scene. Vetere’s page turning Champagne and Cocaine oozes vibrantly, written by an author who knew New York City at that time well enough to put his own stamp on its origins.” —Judge Ed Torres, author, Carlito’s Way and Q&A

"Evocative and gritty as only New York can be, Richard Vetere’s Champagne and Cocaine is testimony that intelligent men spiraling through destructive choices can make for a hell of a read. — Robert H. Patton, author, Patriot Pirates and Cajun Waltz

"I devoured it" —Tony Danza, actor

“More than a novel, Champagne and Cocaine is a smooth read, a meditation on the dangers of mixing reality with art in New York’s disco era.  Ferraro is one of Vetere’s greatest characters.” —Fred Gardaphe, author, From Wiseguys to Wise Men

“An insightful window into the life of one man’s struggles . . . when he must choose between the night life of gambling, drugs, and lots of sex and the contemplative life of the writer and teacher. Nicely paced in elegantly colloquial prose.” —Anthony Julian Tamburri, author, Re-reading Italian Americana

Past Praise for Richard Vetere:

“ In this utterly unique story, novelist Vetere unfolds a caper of inter-dimensional scope.” –Publishers Weekly

“ An original, hilarious and poignant tale of second chances, the role of fate plays in our lives and the triumph of the creative spirit.” –Adriana Trigiani, author, The Shoemaker’s Wife

“Vetere is a man with a writer’s soul!” –Israel Horowitz, Newsday

“Vetere demonstrates the ability to mix the poetic with the colloquial.” –Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781941110294
Publisher:
Three Rooms Press
Publication date:
05/24/2016
Pages:
220
Sales rank:
1,327,909
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Richard Vetere is a playwright, novelist, poet, screenwriter, TV writer and actor. He wrote the novels The Writers Afterlife (Three Rooms Press) and The Third Miracle (Simon & Schuster), which is now in several languages. He co-authored the screenplay adaptation for the movie produced by Frances Ford Coppola, starring Ed Harris. His plays, performed globally, include Machiavelli, Caravaggio, Gangster Apparel, The Marriage Fool and his Pulitzer-nominated One Shot, One Kill. He’s a member of the Writer’s Guild, the Author’s Guild, Dramatist Guild, Poets & Writers and the NY Playwright’s Lab. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia University and teaches a master screenwriting class at NYU and Queens College. He lives in New York City.

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