Sunday, September 1, 2013
Book Review: Malavita by Tonino Benacquista
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.