This is an odd book. A mixture of Gangsta Tales, reminiscences of the old neighbourhood and the author's interest in his own toughness (he even supplies pictures of himself). The three themes jostle like Rude Boys on a pavement going in different directions. The stories of the kosher nostra are no different in type from gangsters from the East End or from Calabria. The other themes though are not really connected any more than coming from South London makes you a member of a Certain Well Known Drug Family. Here I feel a Philip Roth novel is trying to escape. It did not succeed any more than the author's manufactured rage at "rats", but it did make me think about how we assemble our own identity.
Good in parts.
One person found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?