Gangster - Audio CD - Abridged Author:Lorenzo Carcaterra, Joe Mantegna (Narrator) The powerful prologue sets the tone. Gabe, the narrator of the novel, is visiting an old man—his uncle, Angelo—at the hospital. The uncle is dying a lonely and solitary death, abandoned by his family, deserted by everyone but Gabe. As Gabe keeps his sad vigil, a woman, Mary, enters the hospital room. He has never seen or heard of her... more » before—but she knows an awful lot about him and even more about Angelo. She tells Gabe that there's much he should know. And as she begins to recount the real story of Angelo's past—and as Gabe, in his own first person voice, tells his own story as it intersects with Angelo's—Gabe learns not only his family history, he confronts important truths about who he is and what he's going to become.
Part One is the story of the making of a powerful New York mobster—Angelo Vestieri. In a shocking opening in Sicily, Angelo's father must make a decision about his eldest son. The family then escapes to America (a scene of a fire on their boat is harrowing and indelible). As Angelo adjusts to his new life, he, along with his best friend Pudge, discovers what must be done to survive: skirt the law as a child, break the law as a teenager, then, as he grows up, become the leader of the law-breakers. His story unfolds against the backdrop of New York from the early part of the century to the early 1930's: the gang wars, the criminal mentality, the relationships between gangsters and their women, the loyalty between men, the moral codes that are embraced or discarded. Part One ends with a tragedy that occurs in Angelo's life, one that drives him further along the path of a hardened gangster with one goal only: to win.
Part Two picks up Angelo and Pudge's story 30 years later. They are at the top—and they must face one last gang war. This is where Gabe enters the story as Angelo's surrogate son. Angelo and Pudge teach the boy everything there is to know about being a gangster. And, as the action unfurls—and there is a LOT of action—Gabe must ultimately decide whether or not to follow in the footsteps of the men he loves or join the safer, and less exciting, world of the non-gangster.
The book comes full circle, dealing with Angelo's last days—and one final truth that Gabe discovers about himself and his past.
Five CDs, 6 hrs, performance by Joe Mantegna.« less