RARA-AVIS: Dead City by Shane Stevens

From: davezeltserman (davezelt@rcn.com)
Date: 09 Sep 2008

  • Next message: Ron Clinton: "RE: RARA-AVIS: Dead City by Shane Stevens"

    This was recommended to me a while back, and it's one of the cruelest, most violent crime novels I've read. When I mean by most violent is the for crime novels that are meant to have a sense of realism as opposed to books written to be over-the-top or are more cartoonish. This was written by Shane Stevens in '73, and from trying to do web searches on him he seems to be kind of a mystery man.

    Dead City follows three players in the Jersey City mob, Joe Zucco, one of the crime bosses, Harry Strega, just out of Vietam Nam and trying to work his way up in the mob, Charlie Flowers, a depressed sort whose career as a hit man has stalled out and is now doing strongarm stuff. The book pulls no punches as it follows their exploits, deceits, double-crosses, and the dirtiest aspects of the mob business. Reading this, you can't help but feel that Stevens must've had friends in the mob. This is a book that should be considered a classic, and sadly, it's hard to imagine any NY publisher taking this book if it came in today. I don't think I could recommend this book strongly enough.

    --Dave www.davezeltserman.com

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