Money Wanders: A Novel [NOOK Book]


Jonah Eastman, disgraced Presidential pollster, is summoned home to Atlantic City by his ailing grandfather Mickey Price--a legendary Atlantic City gangster and owner of the Golden Prospect casino. When Mickey dies, Jonah is "persuaded" by mob boss Mario Vanni to help improve his image by launching a misinformation campaign aimed at gaining public acceptance and ultimately a way "outta the life."

So Jonah goes to war through a comical and ...
See more details below
Money Wanders: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$7.99 price


Jonah Eastman, disgraced Presidential pollster, is summoned home to Atlantic City by his ailing grandfather Mickey Price--a legendary Atlantic City gangster and owner of the Golden Prospect casino. When Mickey dies, Jonah is "persuaded" by mob boss Mario Vanni to help improve his image by launching a misinformation campaign aimed at gaining public acceptance and ultimately a way "outta the life."

So Jonah goes to war through a comical and audacious manipulation of the media which includes online rumoring, exploiting romantic myths of the mob, and orchestrating a union-backed pseudo-vigil after Vanni is arrested. To pull off these stunts, he enlists the help of his grandfather's Prohibition-era cronies, pimply-faced hackers, a disgruntled Secret Service agent, a cagey Washington lobbyist, a slick Philadelphia publicist, and a street-fighting rabbi.

Money Wanders is a wild and uproarious tour of spin and media manipulation from the lobbied halls of Congress to the dilapidated boardwalk of Atlantic City.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Beltway spin doctor Dezenhall (Nail `Em! Confronting High-Profile Attacks on Celebrities and Businesses) tries his hand at fiction with this comic caper about a Jewish pollster put to work for an aging South Jersey/Philly Mafia don. Middle-aged Jonah Eastman, a D.C. spin doctor for hire whose business is in the doldrums, is summoned back to his Jersey home by his ailing grandfather Mickey, an old-school Jewish capo for the local Cosa Nostra kingpin, Mario Vanni. Mickey's cryptic deathbed missive to his nervous grandson directs Jonah to take on the don as a client (Vanni needs a fast image makeover in order to qualify for an Atlantic City casino license "To be a gangster anymore is an acid trip. There's nothin' left in the life but the fantasies about the life") and gives Jonah a veiled hint about some buried Jewish treasure long hidden from the Italians. Rallying support from a PR colleague, Mickey's Jewish gangsters (one memorably named "Irv the Curve") and a teenage hacker (nicknamed "Dorkus"), Jonah launches a massive disinformation campaign intended to paint Vanni as a pillar of the community. Along the way, Jonah manages to fall in love with a klezmer musician at Mickey's funeral, tick off Vanni's psychopathic consigliere (incongruously named "Noel") and become probably the only pollster to set up shop inside a giant roadside elephant. Mixing light comedy with a nostalgic look at the Jersey shore and the days when the mishpocha and the paisani were kinsmen, if uneasy ones, Dezenhall's debut is a breezy alternative to The Sopranos and shows that with the right press, even savages can be saints. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Money may wander but attention never strays in this comic debut. Dezenhall (Nail' Em! Confronting High-Profile Attacks on Celebrities and Businesses, not reviewed) nimbly skewers the Internet, journalists, politicians, and public relations spinmeisters and their power to dupe huge numbers of people. He starts with p.r. rep Jonah Eastman, a Beltway pollster, who takes on client Mario Vanni, an Atlantic City mob boss who seeks to clean up his reputation and so snare a casino license. Probing focus groups to find out what issues might move people to back the don of the Jersey Shore, Eastman hears them speak poignantly about fears of local crime. He thereby creates DELVAC (Delaware Valley Anticrime Coalition) and gives it a Web site, which he uses to boost Vanni's image as a family guy who wants to keep drug-dealers away from his kids. Eastman boldly fakes a scene, viewable on the site, of two thugs beating up a drug-dealer, who is really an actor from a Wilmington theater troupe. Also on the site, Eastman creates a "Flackenstein," a nonexistent druglord named "Automatic Bart." "Evanjournalists" (reporters who "don't check . . . just run with whatever sounds good") parlay the Net information into news stories that suggest antidrug Vanni ordered hits on Bart's dealers. Soon the carefully groomed, thoroughly rehearsed, periodically Xanexed Mr. Vanni, his popularity soaring, goes to Washington to tell a congressional committee what to do about crime. Stunned silence, which Eastman terms "antiapplause," greets Vanni's nuanced performance. Vanni gets the license. Eastman, himself the grandson of a mafiosi, is left wondering about his own character. His nice, fuzzy romance with a musician from NewJersey (in this treatment, a place of charm) and his keen sense of good and bad people (and their use and abuse of the King's English) suggest he's a guy with depth. Thoughtful, unpretentious, filled with laugh-out-loud funny scenes and delightfully realized characters. Place your bets on this winner.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429972949
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/14/2003
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • File size: 411 KB

Meet the Author

Eric Dezenhall

Eric Dezenhall is the co-founder of Nichols-Dezenhall Communications Management Group, one of the nation's leading crisis management firms, and is the author of Nail 'Em! Confronting High Profile Attacks on Celebrities and Businesses (Prometheus Books, 1999). He lives in Bethesda, MD. This is his first novel.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2002

    Outstanding novel

    I normally don't read fiction, but a friend highly recommended 'Money Wanders' as a terrific read. (Both of us are fans of The Sopranos on HBO.) I'm glad I listened to him. This novel is funny, intelligent and entertaining, with a few unforgettable characters thrown in for good measure. Just like The Sopranos. And, at $20, 'Money Wanders' is a lot cheaper than a year's subscription to HBO. Now there's an offer you can't refuse.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)