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Bagman is not one of the old guard pulp heroes, but he certainly does belong in their stable. He fits right in with the Shadow, Crimson, Mask, Green Lama, Spider, and so on. I was curious about the book, as I love pulp, masked avengers, and th 30's and 40's. This book slaked my thirst for pulp without a doubt.
Mac is a former bag man for the mob, who in a moment of inspiration, puts a grocery bag over his head to foil a crime. The mask effect is less than he'd hoped for. Even his pals warn him that he'll get his behind stomped if he keeps putting a bag over his head, but he continues, and what fun that he does. McCullough is a fanboy, and he models himself after his heroes. He creates a lair because Doc Savage has a lair. He has a library of pulp novels that he uses like roadmaps, and he gets upset when he misses an episode of the Lone Ranger. This pays out well, as we finally get to see a cosplayer get to live out their fantasy. This is brilliant work. Bell's writing packs a Hawaiian Punch, and the 30's setting is the perfect backdrop for his bagged hero.
May I say that, Roberto Scarlato's narration is pitch perfect, and carries the tone of the novel well. He is one of my favorite narrators, and at this point I'd trust him to read the ingredients on a pack of chewing gum to make it exciting.
This is a great new character, one who is deserving to stand in the same ranks as DOc Save and the Lone Ranger. Get it, read it, love it.
Tales of the Bagman by B.C Bell is a book I listened to on audiobook.
Set in the 1930s Frank McCullough works for the mob but decides to protect the people of Chicago instead. Frank puts a bag over his head in order to hide his identity and calls himself 'The Bagman' evoking fear in his enemies which just happen to be the people he originally worked for after an incidence involving his uncle.
I really loved the relationship between Crankshaft, who is an auto salesman and Frank. In a way Crankshaft is his sidekick but also keeps him in check and grounded. Crankshaft is a father figure to Frank and is loyal to no end. I really enjoyed their humour.
I was glad I listened to Tales of the Bagman on audiobook rather than reading it. If I'm completely honest,if it wasn't for the narrator, Roberto Scarlato bringing the story to life and keeping me entertained with numerous character voices and his easy listening voice I don't know if I would have finished the book. Mr Scarlato has a way of bringing you into the world of 1930s Chicago with voices that I've only heard before from one of my all time favourite movies ever, The Untouchables. He brings all the characters to life that you will feel as if they are all real people existing today and forget that it's set over 80 years ago. You will be so enthralled by his voice that you won't want the story to end then you'll sigh and say 'now what'll I read/listen to?'
A great read for anyone who loves a good mob/ vigilante story laced with loyalty and humour.