Sunday, September 1, 2013

Book Review: Malavita by Tonino Benacquista

Title: Malavita
Author: Tonino Benacquista
Enjoyment Rating: **
Source: Library Copy
This book would be rated: PG-13 or R for language, violence

When Fred Blake and his family move to a small town in Normandy, no one in town is prepared for what they're getting. Yes, they're getting American expatriates, but Fred is not the writer he claims to be. Oh, he writes, but instead of writing about the WWII invasions, he's really writing his memoirs about his times as a mob boss. He was such a successful mob boss, in fact, that when he and his family entered witness protection he had a sixteen million dollar bounty on his head and became the only person ever to be relocated internationally.

But instead of being grateful for his family life and his relocation, Fred (and the rest of his family) do whatever they can to thwart the efforts of their protectors. And because he's spending so much time writing down his story, it's almost irresistible for him to start talking about it too. And pretty soon, the mob comes knocking.

If you like books or films that treat violence lightly (think Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill) than you would probably enjoy Malavita. That is not the kind of story I like, and I also felt that it took a long time for Benacquista to get beyond laying the backstory and into the actual events of the novel. The novel is being made into a film, and I think I'll pass. I can already imagine the carnage on the streets of Normandy.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts,Shelah. You are wise enough to realize that it's not "one size fits all" and that as Rosie and Eli grow and change, your and Eddie's parenting will, too. One thing they will never doubt is how much they are loved. That's the important thing. Our friends the Coleys have basically raised their youngest boy and girl as twins -- but always acknowledged their individual personalities. I can't wait to hug Ly-Ly and Po-Po and their siblings again ...
Love, Annie

anna said...

Two stars??? Come on, I need something a bit better than that :) I know you are super busy but could I get a really good book recommendation? (All said in complete jest and love.).

Shelah said...

Anna-- I have new reviews coming for The Other Typist, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, Operating Instructions, and Murder as a Fine Art. All are 4+ star reviews. Also The Bone Season, which I really liked as an audiobook and is the first book in a brand-new dystopian trilogy that is getting tons of hype. About 1/4 of the way through the new Jojo Moyes book, and it's not as engrossing as Me Without You yet, but I think I'm just about to get hooked. Will that tide you over?

anna said...

Yes! Thank you. That should work for a couple weeks.

One of your most faithful blog readers

PS - the sense of an ending was so good! Great recommendation.

craige said...

this book is not for boring people