The internationally best-selling novel originally published as Malavita, now a major motion picture: The Family starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tommy Lee Jones, directed by Luc Besson and produced by Martin Scorsese.
The Blakes are newcomers to a small town in Normandy. Fred is a historian researching the Allied landings, Maggie enjoys charity work, and their kids are looking forward to meeting other teenagers at the local lycee. Or so it seems.
In fact, Fred is really Giovanni Manzoni, an ex-goodfella turned stool pigeon who's been relocated from New Jersey to France by the FBI's witness protection program. He's got a two-million-dollar bounty on his head, but he and his family can't help attracting attention (imagine the Sopranos in Normandy). And when imprisoned mobster Don Mimino gets wind of their location, it's Mafia mayhem à la Josh Bazell's Beat the Reaper - or like The Godfather as if written by Carl Hiaasen. Because while you can take the man out of the Mafia, you can't take the Mafia out of the man.
"Think Goodfellas family style with a Gallic flair. Ballerini's French pronunciation is fine enough, and he nails the American and Italian-American accents and attitude. The teenagers are believably bored-superior-affecting. His Fred, an unapologetic killer discovering himself while writing his memoirs, is a study in shifting characterization. And the straight-ahead narrative is clear and well-paced. Good, bloody fun, including the delightful melodies used to change scenes." (AudioFile)
"This action-comedy book is all good fun throughout. . . . There are some very funny moments." (Newsday)
"Hilarious . . . Snappy writing and brisk pacing add up to a comic crime novel Elmore Leonard fans would relish." (Publisher’s Weekly)
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A genuine laugh riot. Balerini is a master.
- Richard Delman "I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books."
- Candace Russell