“Small-time” is the story of the smaller operations of the mob. Not the big New York families we’ve all seen the documentaries for, but the smaller organizations in the little towns. Mostly centered on gambling operations as well. Sure, these arms of the mob would report back to the bigger organizations, but they ran things primarily on their own. It sounds really intriguing, right? To get that closer look at a side of the mob rarely talked about, and from an almost first-hand perspective from someone who lived it! What could be better? Except that this family memoir delivered more on the family drama, than the involvement with the mob.
I applaud the author for documenting this side of his family history while he still had the chance, but I think he was perhaps a bit too close to the source material. By interviewing his family and family friends at a Panera Bread, names were casually thrown all over the place, and when so many of these men are named after their fathers and were all friends or related, I had a really hard time keeping track of who was who and doing what. But there were times where the author was very focused on just how the mob worked and set up shop in this little town that I found fascinating. There were even moments where it looked like the author wanted to solve a cold case of a potential mob hit, but then lost the plot of both of those lines of intrigue alongside recounting his family history. The accounts of his grandfather and father's relationship went on so long that I forgot that his memoir started with this murder to begin with.
All in all, I guess I was just expecting something a bit different from this memoir about the mob, as is evidenced by the fact that it took me nearly three weeks to read less than 300 pages. So, I’m giving this 2 stars mainly because I was bored and disappointed for so much of this book. Needless to say, I’ll look elsewhere for my fix on mob history in the future.
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