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Funny Boys
     

Funny Boys

4.2 5
by Warren Adler
 

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A dark comedy of errors about success, the mob, and finding true love.
Even when murderous gangsters are shoving his head into a toilet, Mickey Fine can’t stop making jokes. He wants a career in comedy so badly that he takes a job as a Tummler, a comedian and host for a hotel in the Catskills; a hotel where he knows the very gangsters who abused him are

Overview

A dark comedy of errors about success, the mob, and finding true love.
Even when murderous gangsters are shoving his head into a toilet, Mickey Fine can’t stop making jokes. He wants a career in comedy so badly that he takes a job as a Tummler, a comedian and host for a hotel in the Catskills; a hotel where he knows the very gangsters who abused him are staying. An already dangerous situation escalates when Mickey falls for Mutzie, the “number one girl” of Pep who is arguably the most violent thug in the hotel. Betrayals and politics within the mob play out behind the scenes while Mutzie joins Mickey on stage and the pair inevitably find themselves marked for death. But Mickey is naive to the more sinister side of his audience made up of mobsters and other power players of New York’s underbelly. But as their circumstances start catching up with them and the body counts start mounting, Mickey and Mutzie start angling for a way out. That, of course, isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Set mostly in the Borscht Belt, Adler's satiric take on 1930s New York gangsters falls short of the mark set by such other novels of his as The War of the Roses. Mickey Fine, an itinerant entertainer known as a tumler, has landed a gig at a Catskill hotel frequented by some of the leading thugs of the day. He falls for Mutzie Feder, a frustrated young woman from Brooklyn who's ended up as the girlfriend of Pittsburgh Phil Strauss (aka Pep) after a makeover so she looks like Jean Harlow. As Fine's feelings for Mutzie grow, he runs afoul of the jealous Pep and must develop a plan to free her from the life of prostitution the gangster has planned for her.A At times Adler overdoes the Brooklynese dialogue ("Certain tings make me crazy. Like sweet liddle canaries who can't keep der lips clamped shut"), while some readers may find the parodic element makes it hard to engage emotionally with the characters. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
A tumler and a good-time girl tangle with some nasty mobsters at a Catskills hotel in this latest from Adler (The War of the Roses, 2004, etc.). Twenty-two-year-old Mickey Fine doesn't care that his father thinks comedy is no profession for a nice Jewish boy. He takes a job as social director at Gorlick's, a hotel/casino, even though he knows the clientele is composed of Jewish gangsters, their wives, kids and girlfriends. "Absolutely no wop jokes," warns Sol Gorlick; apparently the gangsters' Italian boss, Albert Anastasia, doesn't find those funny. Readers won't find many of Mickey's jokes funny, but he charms 18-year-old Mutzie Feder, a fellow Brooklynite who dreams of movie stardom but settles for Pep Strauss, a handsome killer who makes her his "number one" and sends her to Gorlick's for the summer of 1937. It turns out that being Pep's number one includes being pimped to Anastasia and passed on to the local madam as a prostitute-not exactly what Mutzie had in mind when she dyed her hair Jean Harlow platinum. Luckily for her, Mickey's fallen in love with Mutzie. (Who knows why, since she's an accumulation of cliches, like all Adler's characters.) So the boy and girl take it on the lam after witnessing one of Pep's contract murders and get all the way to Albany, where Governor Herbert Lehman promises them he'll nail those mobsters . . . just as soon as he wins the next election. A gangster wannabe named Irish catches the couple and brings them back to Gorlick's, where the enraged Pep waits to dole out retribution. It takes some really bad jokes from Mickey and Mutzie's clever manipulation of Irish to get them out of Gorlick's and on the road to Hollywood. You were expecting maybeShakespeare? Undemanding readers undeterred by the cardboard characters, B-movie dialogue and total lack of period atmosphere will probably keep flipping pages to find out where the silly plot is going.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590200346
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
03/13/2008
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.09(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Funny Boys 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yep
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
R u ready for some fun nook se.x.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Since I started it, I finished it, but I wouldn't have started it had I known what a weak story it was. The characters were not compelling or particularly interesting. The story line dragged. No new lines of literature were drawn. The book jacket describes it as "a timeless love story" and a "sweeping American tale." Perhaps the jacket writer might have done better with the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was not familiar with the author's previous works, but have always been fascinating with the whole Murder Incorporated scene and its relationship to the Catskill hotel community. This book was no disappointment. Rich characters, peppy language, mixed with Jewish humor and crime made this a 'stay up all night' and read book, A great find!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm so happy to see Adler publishing again. While I enjoy his website, there is nothing like curling up with a good book. However, this was not one of my favorites. Perhaps because I grew up in the Midwest & am not Jewish, I could not appreciate the humor or understand the Catskill scene.