The Butcher

The Butcher

Anatomy of A Mafia Psychopath

Book - 2009
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Discusses the exploits of Tommy Pitera, one of the most notorious hitmen in Mafia history, and DEA agent Jamie Hunt, who brought the killer down, detailing the game of cat and mouse that resulted in Pitera's capture.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780061744655
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 Carlo
Characteristics: xix, 298 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., map ;,24 cm.


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Dec 31, 2010

This should have been an interesting book, if not fascinating but the writing is so horribly awful that I can't finish it. For example, at the bottom of page 54, the author mentions mobsters' fondness for nicknames and mentions "Anthony Gaspipe Casso, Vinnie Beans, Sammy the Bull, ... Anthony Bruno Whack Whack ...." First, you put nicknames like this in quotation marks: Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso. Second, you are consistent in format: what is Vinnie "Beans" last name? Ditto for Sammy "The Bull." Just to make all of this worse, in the first paragraph on page 55, the author relates that the subject of this book, Tommy Pitera, started hanging out with Anthony Bruno where we find out that Anthony Bruno's last name is "Indelicato" and we are told "that he actually became known as 'Whack Whack'" after having just been told his name maybe 20 lines before. Does the author think we are unable to remember this?

We are then treated to this sentence: "Contrary to Bruno's good looks, he began balding prematurely..." What's that "Contrary to [his] good looks" doing in there? There's no contradiction between being good-looking and balding. Further, "He had an abundance of vanity, but no conscience ... morality." What is that ellipsis doing in there, and please, pick one, conscience or morality. Then we get, "As well as having developed an inferiority complex regarding his hair, regarding his appearance, Bruno was a dedicated cokehead." Why do we get both "regarding his hair" and "regarding his appearance"? This is pointlessly redundant.

Lest you think I'm picking pointless nits, all of this foolishness was contained in the space of one and a half pages, and what's worse, every page I've read so far has this kind of attempt at writing on it. Is Philip Carlo really this bad? I read his book about the Night Stalker years ago and I don't recall it being this annoying, and I know I finished it. Or did the publisher either not hire an editor, or or hired the worst editor ever?

Who knows? All I know is, there's no way I can finish this book.


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