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Prizzi's Family [Audio Cassette]

Richard Condon


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Book Description

Aug. 22 1991
By day Charley Partanna is a hit man for the Prizzi family. By night he studies for his high school equivalency exam--when he's not juggling two gorgeous women. But these two may be more than even Charley can handle.

One, Mardell, is a knockout, one-third fantasy and two-thirds legs. The other, Maerose, is Charley's boss's granddaughter. She's hungry for power, honor...and Charley...usually in that order. And she doesn't want to share. For Charley, it's a problem that he needs to solve--but his hormones keep getting in the way.

"Cheerful and funny...foaming with perversity, rascality, obsessional religious mania, assault and battery and our old friends greed and lust." (Time)


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From Publishers Weekly

For anyone who has seen the film of Condon's Prizzi's Honor, it will be impossible to read this "prequel" set a decade earlier without visualizing Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston as Charley Partanna and Maerose Prizzi. Fortunately, that identification only enhances the pleasure of this entertaining depiction of high-level corruption. As in the first novel, Charley Partanna, trusted underboss and hitman for the Prizzi crime empire, has fallen for a woman who is not what she appears to be. In this case, it is Mardell La Tour, a showgirl in a Prizzi-owned nightclub. Mardell is, in fact, the daughter of a wealthy society family, and her showgirl act is only one of a series of identities she has adopted. Enter Maerose, the strong and beautiful granddaughter of Don Corrado Prizzi, who is ambitious to become the first woman boss of the Prizzis, a dream that requires Charley to marry her. Obsessed with Mardell yet pulled by loyalty and lust to Maerose, Charley is trapped between them, all the while carrying out his regular duties as the Prizzi enforcer. Condon serves up this zesty mix with good humor, broadside slams at politicians and evangelism, and generous helpings of Sicilian food.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Wealth and power as wellsprings of criminality (and vice versa) have been an obsessive theme in Condon's fiction; so too has been the figure of the murderously conniving woman. Characteristically, these concerns are at the heart of this novel, a sequel to Prizzi's Honor , that once again has Charley Partanna caught in a romantic triangle with Maerose Prizzi and a gorgeous blonde. Besides explaining why Maerose was banished from the Prizzi family Condon explains why she continues to pursue him in the other novel: she must marry Charley to fulfill her plan to be the first woman Don. As usual with Condon, the characters seldom seem more than props for the plot, or whips in his satiric lashing of contemporary America. The satire here is often heavy, but the improbable, goofy tale will keep most readers zipping along. That and the success of the film of Prizzi's Honor should create demand. Literary Guild main selection. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so great July 19 2013
By Beowulf - Published on Amazon.com
Although this is the second Prizzi book, it's actually a prequel that explains what happened with Maerose and Charlie before the action of Prizzi's Honor. Very forgettable. No plot twists.
5.0 out of 5 stars These are the Prizzis Oct. 4 2010
By HRW - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I immensely enjoyed this book. It gave the real background to what has happened in the later books (Prizzi's Honor and Prizzi's Glory) that I had read first. In the later books the author gives this background in a slanted tongue-in-cheek manner, very similar to how Charlie slants things to talk himself into or remembering certain of his actions. If you are not careful, you find yourself falling into the warped thinking of the Prizzi family: ("Of course those people deserved to be killed!", "How dare they try and cheat the Family out of their drug money!", etc.) I especially enjoyed meeting, seemingly for the first time, characters I had developed an affection for: Charlie Partanna, Maerose Prizzi, Don Corrado Prizzi, Angelo Partanna, and Eduardo Prizzi (a.k.a. Edward Price). You get a deeper insight into their history, characters, motivation, strengths and weaknesses. Hilarious to see Charlie, the Prizzi vindicatore and sottocapo, working to get his high school diploma at night and arranging his kills and work so that it doesn't interfere with his education and how proud all the Family was of him. Also funny to see the deep reverence they all have for fine cuisine. Angelo Partanna, Charlie's father, maintains his role as the brilliant consigliere of the Prizzi family, able to see through tangled situations to the heart of the matter. Any more would be a spoiler. This book could be considered mainly as a provider of background for all the characters.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing July 26 2005
By Maciej K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
after "Prizzi's Honor" I expected a lot from this book - I was really disappointed; it is boring, previsible and naive; the humour is almost absent and when it appears it is substandard; you can read it but don't expect much

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