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Badfellas (Malavita #1)

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  856 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Under cover of darkness, an American family moves into a villa in Cholong-sur-Avre in Normandy. Fred Blake, the father, tells everyone he is there to write a history of the Allied landings. His wife Maggie gets involved in a local charity; their teenage children enrol in the lycee. At first glance a family like any other. But Fred's real name is Giovanni Manzoni - an ex-Ma ...more
Paperback, 283 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Bitter Lemon Press (first published 2004)
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Manny

An entertaining story about a former Mob family that relocates to a small town in France. (The Witness Protection Program is having problems keeping them safe in the US). It is a little disconcerting that Fred/Giovanni, a ruthless and brutal killer, somehow comes across as basically a good guy. This isn't Godfather-style idealization of the Mafia - the author spends some time talking about that - so what exactly is he doing? I wasn't completely sure he knew either. But I couldn't put it down, an
...more
Glimmerfee
Die Charaktere sind schräg und konnten mich schon nach kürzester Zeit für sich begeistern. Natürlich hatte ich beim Lesen den Filmcast mit Robert de Niro und Michelle Pfeiffer im Kopf, obwohl ich den Film bislang nicht gesehen habe und das verdoppelte das Lesevergnügen noch einmal. Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm und mit einem Mafiosi als Vater sind Frau und Kinder durchaus mit Vorsicht zu genießen. Interessant wie Sohn Warren in kürzester Zeit zum Mini-Mafiosi mutiert und die gesamte Schül ...more
Vivi Vocat
Après un excellent départ, les personnages étant affectueusement caricaturés et très bien décrits, l'histoire se perd dans des digressions, trop de détails inutiles et le reste du livre s'étire en longueur. En plus c’est trop concentré sur le personnage principal et délaisse le reste de la famille et leurs gros potential.

Je n'accroche pas trop avec le style d'écriture de l'auteur, car les dialogues sonnent faux. Ca se lit mais l'ensemble manque de consistance. La fin est totalement invraisemblab
...more
Andie
Giovanni Manzoni is a New Jersey mob boss turned stool pigeon for the FBI. His testimony has been responsible for sending dozens of wise guys to jail, including the capo di tutti capos, Don Mimino, so naturally, there is a price on his head. It soon becomes apparent that he cannot safely live under the witness protection program in the United States, so his FBI handlers move him to France where we find him living in a small town in Normandy under the name of Fred Blake when the story opens.

Fred
...more
Nancy Oakes
Cholong-sur-Avre in Normandy is the setting of this rather unconventional and darkly humorous tale. The Blake family moves into an old Norman brick-and-stone villa during the middle of the night. They had already lived in France for six years, first in Paris, then on the Cote D'Azur in Cagnes-sur-Mer. There's Fred, the head of the clan, Maggie his wife, and two teenagers, Belle and Warren. Just your typical American family relocating to the French countryside, right? Wrong. Fred is actually Mafi ...more
Lisa
Imagine The Sopranos transplanted to the French countryside….

This thrillingly comic, internationally bestselling Mafia farce is the inspiration for the major motion picture The Family starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tommy Lee Jones, 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 lycée. Or
...more
Filipa
Estreou o filme há pouco tempo e o póster chamou-me a atenção (pelos actores que gosto bastante), no entanto não quis ver trailer nenhum, não me quis informar mais.
Vi o poster, achei graça, ficou-me na memória saber que era baseado num livro.

Dias depois surge um passatempo no facebook acerca do livro em que tinha que se escrever uma frase, lá vou eu tentar a minha sorte e. . . pimbas. Ganhei. Assim que o recebi meti mãos à obra e toca de lê-lo para ver ainda o filme.

Ainda não vi o filme, o livr
...more
Hélène Wilkinson
L'intrigue est très simple : un mafiosi repenti, qui a balancé bon nombre de ses collègues de la Cosa Nostra se retrouve exilé en Normandie avec sa famille, dans le cadre d'un programme de protection de témoins. Un jour, il tombe sur une vieille machine à écrire et c'est le déclic, il va écrire ses mémoires. Les péripéties de cette famille américaine un peu particulière nous font vivre des moments exquis, avec toute une série de personnages mineurs désopilants.

J'ai un faible pour le jeune cadre
...more
Kelsie Beaudoin (The Bookworm)
I had heard that Malavita was a French comedy about an American mob family. Perhaps it was the fact that the story was translated, or perhaps because I am not French and so do not have the same humor expectations, but I did not think the story was funny at all. Unrealistic, stereotyped characterizations, and exaggerated situations, but not funny.

This story was not as fine combed as I would have liked. There were several instances that I felt kept the story from moving forward. One of these poin
...more
Liliana Pinto
"Malavita" é um livro completamente diferente do que eu esperava. Esperava um livro repleto de acção e sem coisas muito elaboradas. Mas, Tonino Benacquista, enganou-me bem.

Este é um livro que dá para pensar. Conseguimos entender o que levou Fred a denunciar os seus "amigos" e o que sentiu a família ao ter de mudar de país. É que não foi de cidade, foi de país!

Este não é um livro fácil de ler. Tem poucos diálogos, mas a escrita é compreensível. Dei por mim várias vezes a pensar no quão difícil é
...more
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Hilarious, tormented setup- a Newark, NJ mobster turns informant so the FBI move the boss and his family into the witness protection program. Utah isn't far enough, so they're moved to France. These guys just can't help themselves - their essential gangster-ish qualities shine though. The wife fire bombs the local grocery when she overhears the merchant complaining about Americans; the beautiful daughter takes a ride with a bunch of boys who, when they try to accost her, are beaten with a tennis ...more
Catherine
"Ils prirent possession de la maison au milieu de la nuit."

Best opening line EVER.

In fact, the entire first chapter was one of the best openings I've read.

This is a very fun read, very well written (even the 'illiterate' characters had a strong vocabulary) and I had to reach for my French dictionary every three pages or so. It's not nearly as violent as the film, which I didn't enjoy quite as much, and the ending is much better than depicted in the film.

As an expat living in France, I laughed a
...more
Grace
I was very disappointed with this book. The saying that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover is certainly true in this case. On the face of it this sounded exactly like the sort of book that I would enjoy, however the actual execution of the story for me left a lot to be desired and I felt let down.
Susan
Black comedy, I enjoyed it (read the English version, of course). The ending was a bit over the top for me, but consistent with a Simon Pegg/ Edgar Wright story (though this will be made into a Hollywood movie, no doubt the humour will be lost or wasted).
Claude
J'ai pris plaisir à lire ce livre. J'ai trouvé quelques longueurs, ce qui m'a empêchée de mettre 4 étoiles. Beaucoup d'humour et une excellente histoire.
Svenja
Inhalt:
Mitten in der Nacht bekommt ein kleines Nest in der Normandie Zuwachs, Familie Blake, ein Zuwachs der noch für Aufruhr sorgen wird.
Das männliche Oberhaupt der Familie war Mitglied der Mafia, sein Verrat an seine eigenen Leute brachte ihn in das Zeugenschutzprogramm und da mit der Mafia nicht zu scherzen ist, war eine neue Identität im Ausland nicht zu umgehen.
Denn die Mafia sinnt nach Rache und auf seinen Kopf ist eine beachtliche Summe ausgesetzt, die Familie wird also nahegelegt sich so
...more
Brenda Ayala
Malavita was ultimately a very entertaining read about a high-up mob boss ratting out his fellow cohorts for reasons unknown (at least I don't remember reading why--if someone knows, please fill me in). He, of course, has to take his family into Witness Protection because he has every major mob family in New York fanning out to capture and kill him.

So where do they go? A tiny, boring town in France. Where the family still manages to cause trouble.

You see, each person in the family, including th
...more
Quentin Feduchin
I saw the film. I enjoyed it so much I had to buy the book

Both film and book are quite off beat. You will see and read something rather different from the normal stuff. Not that I'm running down the 'normal stuff', much of it can be pretty good, to both see or read.

The film tends to be a bit Americanised, let's face it the Americans made it so how can it be otherwise. But the story is still quite unusual and all the more pleasurable for it, especially as it's made in France with a lot of French
...more
Bibliophile
I can't decide whether Malavita, Tonino Benacquista's tale of an American crime family relocated to a peaceful village in Normandy was so maladroit because it was meant to be a farce (but failed to be particularly funny) or because it was so badly translated by someone who didn't even try to make the characters sound like Americans speaking American English. (A tip: We Yanks don't say "revisions" - we say "homework"; also, we "call" people, we don't "ring" them, and we ask if they're "crazy" not ...more
Rob Kitchin
Badfellas is for the most part an enjoyable comic crime caper. Benacquista tells the story in an easy, engaging style, with a good dose of black humour. The characters, whilst mostly caricatures, are well developed, fun and credible - I like, for example, the way that Fred is consistent in his vision of the world, pre and post witness protection programme). The plot is reasonably predictable, but entertaining, with some nice intertextuality, and I can easily see Badfellas being made into a movie ...more
Josh
'Badfellas' by Frenchman Tonino Benacquista is a different take on the traditional mafia tale in that the story's central focus is on former head of the New York 5 Families turned Government snitch hiding out in the French country side on witness protection. While readers of well know mafia books may find this hard to enjoy due to the substantial lack of action and slow plotting (not much had happened well past 100 pages of a 283 page book), others who don't particularly like the sub genre may e ...more
Andrula
I hate to say it because I had great expectations about this book, but I found it disappointing.
I had read it was funny but it did nit make me smile. I had also read it was about mafia so I was expecting more mafia related tings, but did not found them until the end. And honestly, I did not find the plot interesting.
When did Bella change her mind? What about Livia? I wouls have loved to have closure on that...
Vanessa Montês
(...)

Este livro não é feito pela história, é feito pelas personagens. A história se repararmos bem é muito simples, uma família, cujo pai pertence à máfia e acaba, por certas razões, por testemunhar contra todos aqueles que supostamente são os seus amigos. Mas as personalidades das personagens, isso sim, faz o livro tomar a sua forma. Fred anda numa viagem de auto descoberta. Não pode voltar para trás para a sua velha vida, mas pode recordar tudo o que lhe aconteceu e pensar se se arrepende de a
...more
Katrina
While reading this, I couldn't help but visualise the author writing this and dreaming of the day it was made into a paint-by-numbers Hollywood comedy - because that is how Badfellas reads, like a book tie-in for a film that's already been released.

That's not to say Badfella's is a bad book by any stretch of the imagination...it's just not that great, and there's not a lot to the story or the characters. Although, I wasn't too sure if was something down to the translation being a bit clunky.

Noth
...more
Biblioworm
Книга интересна как сюжетом, так и любопытным фактическим материалом.
Местами просто забавна.
Думаю, в немалой степени это благодаря тому, что написана французом итальянского происхождения про американских гангстеров, естественно, тоже итальянского происхождения, приехавших во Францию.
Рекомендую как легкое чтение для отдыха, а сам обязательно почитаю другие книги этого автора.
Jessica
I was excited to see this book for sale after seeing the previews for the movie. I had never heard of this author before and did not know the movie was based on the book. The previews for the movie seemed hilarious so I had to buy this hoping the book would be even better. Big mistake. Abandoned part way through. The family are supposedly American's living in Paris. #1 They don't speak how American's typically speak, it seems more British. If you're going to make your characters be from a partic ...more
Chad
For me, this book started after the end scene of Goodfellas, where Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) is in Witness Protection and in suburbia. The book even had a reference to Goodfellas...

The book tells the life of an exiled, snitch American Gangster who is currently enrolled in Witness Protection with his family. The book discusses his current situation with the FBI, his paranoia his yearning for his previous life and the strain on the family. The mafia references, the humor and the explosive ending mad
...more
Gianna Mosser
I just wanted this book to be funnier or darker. Either one. I could have seen this entirely as a short story, as the only character that really develops is the son in complete awe of his father. Or maybe the FBI agent. Either way, the female characters were almost unintelligible, and I didn't enjoy it even as much as a trashy chick lit read, for which I thought this would be an equivalent.
Exapno Mapcase
This is a Goodreads First Reads Review.

Okay bear with me for a minute because this gets a little complicated. Malavita was originally released in English as Badfellas, (a homage to the main characters love of the movie Goodfellas,) and is now being rereleased under its original French name due to a movie version coming out, which is called The Family.
The author is Italian-French, and has a British translator which leads to a novel about Americans from New Jersey that doesn’t feel like an accura
...more
Sandra Mogård
I only read this book because I knew that The Family/Malavita was based on it. Loved the movie but found the book super boring. Took m ages to finally get through it.
I guess mafia novels aren't my thing.
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