Whacking Jimmy

Whacking Jimmy

by William L. Wolf, William Wolf
     
 

It's 1975. Don Vittorio Tucci, head of the Detroit mob, lies on his deathbed as his family and associates secretly jockey for power. Meanwhile, his grandson Bobby Tucci - just an ordinary college student and rock musician, who until now has steered clear of the family business - is drawn into the middle of a power play among the don's hotheaded first lieutenant, his… See more details below

Overview

It's 1975. Don Vittorio Tucci, head of the Detroit mob, lies on his deathbed as his family and associates secretly jockey for power. Meanwhile, his grandson Bobby Tucci - just an ordinary college student and rock musician, who until now has steered clear of the family business - is drawn into the middle of a power play among the don's hotheaded first lieutenant, his consigliere, and Bobby's own mother, who has designs on being the first woman to lead a major crime family. It seems simple: His grandfather promises him a $40 million payday if he'll just stay around for a while, lending some stability as the next rightful heir to the Family. But there's a little complication: He's going to have to "make his bones" - prove himself to the Family. His assignment? Kill Jimmy Hoffa.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Whoever the pseudonymous Wolf may be, he knows how to add a fresh twist to familiar material. Although Jimmy Hoffa's 1975 disappearance has already been put through the fictional grinder by several authors, most recently Jon R. Jackson in his excellent Man with an Ax, Wolf gives his version of the story depth and originality by energizing characters who easily could have become cliches. Don Vittorio Tucci, the Detroit mob leader whose death kickstarts the plot, is an eminently nasty but utterly believable pragmatist. When his daughter-in-law suggests that his 21-year-old grandson Bobby should be his heir, Don Vittorio says, "Bobby's a sissy. He's got hair like a girl. He plays the guitar. Last Christmas he told me he wants to write novels, for Christ's sake. He wouldn't last ten minutes." But Bobby's mother, Annette (the daughter of a Chicago capo, and an astonishingly evil piece of work), persuades the dying man that under her tutelage the boy will do just fine. The fact that Bobby hates his mother and has no desire to enter the family business is also refreshing: there's no instant Michael Corleone-type transformation from upstanding citizen to hoodlum. Wolf has created a gallery of supporting players--a loyal, smart old Jewish sidekick; a pair of inspired black gangsters who keep a boxing kangaroo to soften up the opposition--who are original and often hilarious. As for Hoffa, his death happens far offstage and doesn't have much to do with the rest of the story. But Wolf does have a plausible theory about where his body is buried. 35,000 first printing. (Sept.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The death of Don Tucci leaves the Detroit mob without a successor. His daughter-in-law craves the power, but in 1975 women didn't head crime families. His grandson doesn't want it but he's family; he'll think about it. Unfortunately, thinking about it means finishing the authorized hit on Jimmy Hoffa. Rounding out the field is the resurrection of the formerly Jewish Purple gang by a group of black hoods, their Jewish mob mentor, and a kangaroo. Though the story is entertaining, it lacks substance and cohesiveness. While never degenerating into a free-for-all, the novel is too short to support the number of factions introduced. The hit on Hoffa plays out as an afterthought to the other machinations. Nevertheless, Carl Hiaasen/ElmoreLeonard fans will likely be amused by this pseudonymous entry into the ranks. For larger collections. --Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Richly amusing variation on Prizzi's Honor and other mafia comedies, set in 1975 and focusing on the death of Jimmy Hoffa, by the pseudonymous Wolf, a journalist who insists that he knows absolutely nothing about the actual events surrounding the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Really. Mario Puzo probably won't sue, but no reader will be deaf to the hoarse Brandoesque tones of don Corleone when cancer-ridden don Vittorio Tucci, Godfather of Detroit (who is dying to Frank Sinatra's "Music for Voting Lovers" album), tells his R&B guitar-playing grandson Bobby, at 21 a total innocent who is about to inherit a Family business he doesn't want, "These people who come to you? Don't trust any of them. Especially not your mother The only guy you can rely on is Mendy. He's an experienced man and he's got your interests at heart." Bobby shouldn't trust his mother? Definitely not since Annette Niccola Tucci, don Vittorio's steely stepdaughter and the widow of his late son Roberto, Bobby's father, wants to be the first female don. And the idea of a don Annette does not sit well with the National Commission of mafia chiefs, those Mustache Petes who still observe fading old Sicilian codes. As for Mendy the Pearl, a second-rate scam artist, hood, and owner of the Bull Pen diner who can neither read nor write but is a fountainhead of warmhearted mafia wisdom, yes, if don Vittorio's sissy, pot-puffing, college graduate son can trust anyone, he can trust Mendy Perlstein. Also jockeying for power are, among others, Annette's own father, Tommy "The Neck" Niccola, and don Vittorio's consigliere, Luigi Catello. How can Bobby show he's the right stuff? Well, if he makes his bones' by whacking Jimmy Hoffa.Laugh-out-loud fun.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375501739
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/01/1998
Pages:
243
Product dimensions:
6.47(w) x 9.67(h) x 1.03(d)

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