The Mad Ones: Crazy Joe Gallo and the Revolution at the Edge of the Underworld

( 7 )

Overview


In the 1960s, a trio of rebellious young gangsters, the Gallo boys, sought to overthrow the reigning New York Mafia Dons and create a dynasty for themselves—an underworld revolution that was fueled by their leader’s immersion into the era’s countercultural revolution. The Gallo boys are steeped in legend, from being the subject of a Bob Dylan ballad to serving as inspiration for The Godfather trilogy to appearing in photo spreads in Life. Yet never before has their complete ...
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The Mad Ones: Crazy Joe Gallo and the Revolution at the Edge of the Underworld

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Overview


In the 1960s, a trio of rebellious young gangsters, the Gallo boys, sought to overthrow the reigning New York Mafia Dons and create a dynasty for themselves—an underworld revolution that was fueled by their leader’s immersion into the era’s countercultural revolution. The Gallo boys are steeped in legend, from being the subject of a Bob Dylan ballad to serving as inspiration for The Godfather trilogy to appearing in photo spreads in Life. Yet never before has their complete story been told.

Now, “with the authority, swagger, and flavor of a true insider” (ForeWord magazine) Tom Folsom finally gives Red Hook, Brooklyn’s most notorious figures their due and captures the radical spirit of 1960s New York City.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Crazy Joe" Gallo (1929–72) was many things, but he wasn't your average Mafia boss. Though he was determinedly, even obsessively homicidal, this Brooklyn native was also an avid reader of Kafka, Camus, and Sartre; an amateur watercolorist and poet; a bebop aficionado; and a friend of artists and entertainers. His story, or parts of it, have been told many times: in Jimmy Breslin's novel The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight; in the film Crazy Joe; in episodes of the Godfather films; even in songs by Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan. In The Mad Ones, Thom Folsom reassembles all the disparate parts of Gallo's short, protean life, finally making sense of this sensitive, brazen killer.
ForeWord Magazine
“Folsom writes with the authority, swagger, and flavor of a true insider—or at the very least, a low-level Mafioso—in this enthralling tale of power, blood, and glory.”
ForeWord Magazine
Associated Press
“The real fun of this book is [you’re] never quite sure what's going to happen next. . . . You couldn't make this up.”
—Michael Hill, Associated Press Writer
— Michael Hill
Associated Press - Michael Hill
“The real fun of this book is [you’re] never quite sure what's going to happen next. . . . You couldn't make this up.”
—Michael Hill, Associated Press Writer
From the Publisher

“Folsom writes with the authority, swagger, and flavor of a true insider—or at the very least, a low-level Mafioso—in this enthralling tale of power, blood, and glory.”
ForeWord Magazine

“The real fun of this book is [you’re] never quite sure what's going to happen next. . . . You couldn't make this up.”
—Michael Hill, Associated Press Writer

”Actor/narrator Josh Clark delivers a stylistic performance of this compelling tale.”
Library Journal

Associated Press Staff
“The real fun of this book is [you’re] never quite sure what's going to happen next. . . . You couldn't make this up.”
—Michael Hill, Associated Press Writer
— Michael Hill
Library Journal
TV director/producer Folsom (coauthor, Mr. Untouchable) presents a cursory and indulgent look at the legendary Gallo boys, a trio of wannabe Mafiosos immortalized in a Bob Dylan ballad, in the pages of Life magazine, and as the inspiration for the "Godfather" trilogy. Set against the counterculture revolution of 1960s New York City, the tale is more a chronology than a biography; its pace, more conversational than focused documentary. Actor/narrator Josh Clark delivers a stylistic performance of this uneven yet compelling tale. Expect the major motion picture adaptation, currently in development by the Weinstein Company, to generate demand. [The Weinstein Bks. hc, published in May 2009, was a New York Times best seller.—Ed.]—Denise A. Garofalo, Mount Saint Mary Coll. Lib., Newburgh, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Novelistic study of an iconoclastic criminal in revolutionary times. Documentarian Folsom (co-author: Mr. Untouchable: The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of Heroin's Teflon Don, 2007), grittily evokes the period (1950s and '60s) and the place (New York City) in which the Gallo brothers-Brooklyn jukebox magnates and low-level hoods Joey, Larry and Kid Blast-struggled to rise to the top of the underworld. Jimmy Breslin titled his 1969 novel based on the same characters and events The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, but Folsom, who takes his title from Kerouac, is able to tease some heroism out of his protagonists' antiheroic lives, particularly that of the poetically inclined Joey. Granted, he was a punk who could only plead the Fifth in answer to Bobby Kennedy's questions during the 1960 Senate hearings on organized crime. He bragged about hitting Murder Inc.'s Albert Anastasia as he waited for a shave in a Midtown barbershop, and unsuccessfully took on the Profaci crime family in a brazen but poorly executed coup attempt, spending most of the '60s behind bars on an extortion rap. So how did Joey become the toast of the town from the time of his release until his public 1972 execution at a spaghetti joint in Little Italy? Jerry Orbach, who played the character inspired by him in the film of Breslin's novel, was among the New York players who treated Crazy Joe like the "King of the Streets," as an epic song penned by Bob Dylan and dramatist Jacques Levy called him. In prose as tight and hard-boiled as any James Ellroy novel, Folsom focuses on the quirks that made Joey an unusual kind of gangster. He modeled himself after the giggling psychopath played by Richard Widmark in the film noirKiss of Death; he was fascinated bebop, action painting and existential philosophy; he made alliances across racial lines, including one with Folsom's previous subject and literary collaborator, Harlem drug dealer Leroy Barnes. Riveting, richly atmospheric pulp nonfiction. Author tour to New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta/Zoe Pagnamenta Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615730223
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company
  • Publication date: 8/26/2009
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged; 6 hours
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


TOM FOLSOM is a writer, director, and producer of television documentaries for A&E and Showtime, and the co-author of Mr. Untouchable: The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of Heroin’s Teflon Don written with its subject, drug-kingpin Nicky Barnes. He lives in New York City.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Waste of money

    Writer i saw on tv show. Mobsters. Thought he was an expert on the gallos and would be as good a writer as selwyn. Folsom is all over the place and just irritates me with how bad this 10$ book is.

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    Posted February 23, 2012

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    Posted December 31, 2010

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    Posted December 27, 2010

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