Description from Goodreads:
Since the start of the 20th Century, the Italians and Chinese in the Little Italy/Chinatown area in New York City have endured an uneasy truce. In the first three quarters of the century, the Italians ruled the neighborhood with an iron fist. But starting in the 1970’s, the dynamics began to change, as more Italians moved out and droves of Chinese began flowing into Chinatown from China. This did not bode well for Italian mob boss Tony Bentimova (Tony B), so he enlisted the help of his most trusted killer, Big Fat Fanny Fanelli, all six foot six inches and six hundred and sixty pounds of her, to ensure the Italians maintained control of all the illegal rackets in Little Italy, which was slowly, but surely being transformed into Chinatown.
I’m not sure exactly what I just read. I suppose it was a satire of some sort. And I suppose as a spoof it was pretty funny. But I have to admit it left me scratching my head a bit. For example, though there is a character called Big Fat Fanny Faneli, she isn’t by any means a main character. She shows up in chapter one, then the book jumps back tree generations and the next 45% of the book is dedicated to history. Fanny shows up again in the latter 1/3 of the book, but is still on the sidelines. So, other than sounding snazzy, why is she the title character?
I’m not just being snippy here. It’s a legitimate question. I’m not entirely sure I was able to pick out the point of the events that occurred, i.e. the plot. I’m not claiming it didn’t have one. It did. But just like the title of the book is focused on an insignificant character, the events leading up to the culmination of the novel seemed less than focused. Amusing, worth reading, but scattered and a little too far reaching.
Again, I do have to admit the book is funny. There is a lot of irony in it and anyone who enjoys mob stories would recognise the themes here, purposefully exaggerated as they may be. So for a fun, fast read it’s worth picking up…as long as you aren’t easily offended. I don’t think there is a group or race that isn’t insulted here. At least it is equally spread, so at no point does it feel as if any one grouping is being targeting for racist commentary, but there is no shortage of it.
Lastly, it had a perfectly good ending in place. It had wrapped up nicely and everything. Then it had to ruin it by going and tagging on a cliffhanger for book two. Grr. Still, the few hours it took me to read the book weren’t wasted.