The Resource Sunburn : a novel, Laurence Shames

Sunburn : a novel, Laurence Shames

Sunburn : a novel
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Laurence Shames
New York mobster Vincente Delgatto goes to Florida to mourn the death of his wife. While in the sun he hires a journalist to ghostwrite his memoirs. The novel chronicles the reaction of his acquaintances to news that he is about to spill secrets. From the mob to the FBI, everyone is in a panic
Joey Goldman, the illegitimate son of the Godfather, turns to his friend, reporter Arty Magnus, for help when his father decides to retire and needs a ghost writer to help him write his memoirs, but there are many enemies out to stop the project
  • Aging Vincente Delgatto, "capo di tutti capo" of the New York Mafia, knows that honor is dead and that the feds have the Mob on the run. He's taken on the worst job in the Big Apple. When his wife dies, Vincente goes to Key West for a rest. Pondering life, death, and his relationship with his two very different sons, Vincente decides to collaborate with a Key West journalist on his memoirs. When news of the book gets out, it throws the Mob, the FBI, and everyone around him into a spin. Filled with wonderful characters, clever dialogue, and an almost palpable sense of place--namely Key West and Queens--it has excitement, tension, laughs, pathos, and a loopy, sweet, spirited wisdom. "Sunburn" is one of those books you just don't want to end. ((Reviewed February 01, 1995)) -- Thomas Gaughan
  • Playing Boswell to a mafia don leads a small-time reporter into big-time trouble in Shames's third, and not up to par, Key West seriocomic thriller (after Florida Straits and Scavenger Reef). Godfather Vicente Delgatto, 76, has moved to Key West but is no more retired than Meyer Lansky was in Miami. Still, Vincente's bilious past is catching up to him, so he decides to write his autobiography, using as his ghostwriter Arty Magnus, a hack reporter for the Key West Sentinel. Though Vincente's half-Jewish younger son has urged him to write the book, his elder son, the full-Sicilian Gino Delgatto, hates the idea. When Gino, a money-mad egocentric and vulgarian, tries to muscle in on union vigorish in Miami and gets kidnapped by rival mobsters, he saves himself by spilling the secret about his father's book. Soon, ghostwriter Arty finds himself chased by mobsters who plan to kill him as a warning to Vincente to forget the book-and by the FBI, who want Arty's notes in order to nail the mob. Shames's ape-talking thugs and plaster-of-paris wiseguys are engaging on a sitcom level, but this tale, though sometimes quite funny, has neither the richness of word and depth of feeling of an Elmore Leonard nor the inspired wackiness of a Carl Hiaasen. Author tour. (Mar.)
  • While Vincent Delgatto, head of the Pugliese family and leader of the New York City Mafia, is vacationing in Florida with his illegitimate son, he looks for something useful to do. Artie Magnus, newspaper editor, needs a project to get him out of a dead-end job. The two come together to collaborate on a book about Delgatto's life and philosophy. The fly in the ointment is Gino Delgatto, the godfather's legitimate son. Gino, a punk and troublemaker, breezes into Key West with a plan guaranteed to upset the balance of power between the ruling families of organized crime. Third-time novelist Shames (e.g., Scavenger Reef, S. & S., 1994) has a good ear for dialect and an even better sense for using a minimum of description to create real people and believable situations. Recommended for all fiction collections.-Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L., Ohio
  • More felonious fun in the Florida Keys with the family of retiring Mafioso Vincente Delgatto (Florida Straits, 1992, etc.). It's like this, see. Don Vincente, the Reluctant Godfather, wants to beat his swords into gardening shears and thinks of maybe writing his memoirs while he's at it; his illegitimate son Joey Goldman, meanwhile, digs up an equally reluctant ghostwriter, Key West Sentinel editor Arty Magnus. The Godfather, who makes it clear to Arty that he's not out to incriminate anybody who's not already dead or doing life, is too honorable to feel any sense of danger, and Arty himself is too dumb. But danger there is. Joey's vicious, pushy half-brother Gino Delgatto -- who doesn't have his hands full enough with his current bimbo, dog beautician Debbi Martini -- goes off to Miami to lean on his father's old business associates, and the negotiations end several days later with him ratting out the old man. At the same time, a pair of FBI agents from the land of snow and ice have been pressed to pin the latest New York mob hit on the Godfather. The Feebies, like Gino, decide that Arty is the weak link; using what they know about Debbi, whom he's taken up with in Gino's absence, they're determined to pump him dry; Gino wants to buy himself back from the grave by killing Arty even before he finds out about Debbi. The Godfather, getting wind of Gino's treachery from Joey, dispatches his old friend Bert the Shirt d'Ambrosia to the Big Apple to set things straight. But what can an old man and an arthritic chihuahua sharing a moth-eaten suit do when they've been away from the city so long they don't even know how to find their mark? Not as original, as funny, or as unpredictable as Florida Straits, but still as bouncy and breezy as you'd expect from a much older pro. (Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1995)
Cataloging source
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no index present
Literary form
Target audience
Laurence Shames
Sunburn : a novel, Laurence Shames
Control code
25 cm.
1st ed.
279 p.
System control number

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