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)
We've sent an email with your order details. Order ID #:
To access this title, visit your library in the app or on the desktop website.
A genuine laugh riot. Balerini is a master.
- Richard Delman
The Performance makes the story
I enjoyed this book, but mostly because of the narration. Eduardo Ballerini is truly a gifted talent. The story is okay. I found Fred, the male character, hard to tolerate with all his mafia-laden ways and egotistical viewpoint of the world. The family as a whole is hard to develop feelings for, although the mother, Olivia, seems the most human. I don't know how realistically this story portrays life in the witness protection program, or if it even was meant to, but I probably would not have finished the book if I were reading it.
- Rebecca R.