The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

Book - 1997
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A satire on the cult of the Mafia tells the story of an inept gang of Sicilian cretins and their criminally foolish plots.
Publisher: Boston : Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Company, 1997
Characteristics: 249 pages ; 21 cm
Copyright Date: ©1969
ISBN: 9780316111744


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May 26, 2019

If it was real, historians would refer to it as the most lopsided mob war in history.

There was a time when bicycle racing was the most popular spectator sport in America. Long after that glorious era had passed, old-fashioned New York City organized crime boss, Baccala, a man that loves breaking the law so much that he will deliberately drive three blocks out of the way so he can drive the wrong way down a one-way street, decides to put on a six day bike race, with his eye on gambling revenue.

Baccala tasks ambitious, disrespectful, and worse, inept, underlining Kid Sally Palumbo with organizing the race, which turns into an utter failure on day one. As punishment, Baccala demotes Kid Sally to chauffeur. Humiliated and infuriated, Kid Sally puts his incompetent gang to work waging war on Baccala's organization.

Meanwhile, Mario Trantino, an aspiring artist living in small-town Italy with a talent for racing bikes, has arrived in New York for the race, and has decided that he will do whatever is necessary to remain in America. Very quickly, Mario figures out the con game, learns the ins and outs of art fraud, and becomes involved in a relationship with Kid Sally's little sister, Angela.

All the while, the one-sided body count continues to rise.

The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight is a very funny book. If Mafia books are your thing, and you enjoy dark humor, you might find this worth a read. It's a classic humorous crime novel.


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