"A rollicking, wholly entertaining take on the Italian immigrant story."
--Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.
Joe Giordano was born in Brooklyn. His father and grandparents immigrated to New York from Naples. Joe and his wife, Jane have lived in Brazil, Greece, Belgium and the Netherlands. They now live in Texas with their shih tzu Sophia.
|Publisher:||Harvard Square Editions|
|Product dimensions:||4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book provided an interesting glimpse into the immigrant experience in the early 1900s, when so many young Italians came to America seeking a better life or to escape their pasts. The two main characters, Leonardo and Carlo, are from the same place, but from different economic classes. These young men were willing to endure long voyages under horrible conditions and undertake almost any kind of work to get by. They came to America for different reasons, yet soon find their lives intertwined as they try to survive. Birds of Passage describes a time when corruption, violence and racketeering were a part of daily life. It is clear from the detailed descriptions of tenement life, the clashes between the Italian clan-based gangs and between different ethnic groups (the Irish in particular), the labour union issues, and more, that the author thoroughly researched the period. It was an informative and enjoyable read. FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of a blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
Joe Giordano's Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story introduces us to a cast of vibrant characters making their way in a new world while still clinging to the old. The story takes us from Naples to New York and back through the journey of a head-strong immigrant, Leonardo Robustelli, a young man aching to make something of his life at almost any cost. Leonardo's journey takes him through the sights, sounds, smells and red-sauce tastes of rough and tumble Little Italy at the turn of the 20th century where he encounters characters from all walks of life, including shady politicians, corrupt policemen, racketeers, and beautiful young American-born Azzura. Birds of Passage delivers an engaging and fun read with unexpected twists along the way!
(Review by Rick Taliaferro, Adjunct Editor at Bartleby Snopes, and author of CASCADES, May 2013.) Readers who enjoy novels on the immigrant experience, particularly the Italian-American experience, will enjoy "Birds of Passage." As described by Mr. VanTassel, the novel follows the paths of several main characters and a set of minor characters as they struggle for their aspirations. The story dramatizes several engaging parallel plots, interestingly interleaved and neatly resolved. Be sure to read the Bartleby Snopes interview with Mr. Giordano about "Birds of Passage" at: http://blog.bartlebysnopes.com/birds-passage-joe-giordano-contributor-interview-series-5/ .
(Review by Daniel VanTassel, Publisher, The Zodiac Review, and author of The Aries Obsession and The Feminist Gene and the Election of 2016) Joe Giordano's new book, Birds of Passage, is a new and vastly improved Gangs of New York and Godfather II, with a little West Side Story blended in for tension-filled affairs of the heart and conflicts of cultures. I make those references to film because the book is remarkably visual and audible. You will swear you've seen it. The book is a raw and beautiful saga that will transport you across oceans, cultures and generations. Readers' senses are put on high alert early in the story as they begin to viscerally experience the hardships of Italian immigrants at the turn of the 20th Century. Author Giordano masterfully interweaves a poignant love story among a number of subplots, each of which provides another vantage point from which to witness desperate people driven to do what they have to do to survive the brutal reality of Manhattan's lower-east side. Giordano's scholarly research is evident throughout as he gives us a vivid look at the sights and sounds of 1900s New York, Tammany Hall, and Neapolitan and southern Italy. And the author is not limited to speaking in the vernacular of the street. His prose—especially as the book builds toward the end—lends a pleasing, literary quality to the whole experience. We are left somewhat spent emotionally but thoroughly satisfied.