David's Reviews > Big Man

Big Man by Richard Marsten
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Sep 03, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: noirboiled
Read in September, 2010

A direct descendant of W. R. Burnett's Little Caesar (1929), Ed McBain's Big Man tells the story of Frankie Taglio, a young man in New York who falls in with the wrong crowd (or right crowd, depending on your point of view) and soon finds himself a career mobster. Frankie's rise through the mob hierarchy is somewhat difficult to explain: There are strangely few gangsters between him and the top, and Frankie doesn't seem to have much going for him other than a bit of intelligence and the willingness to use a gun. (Then again, maybe that's all any gangster really needs.) Big Man has a fair amount of action, but its drama is driven less by the crimes that Frankie commits than by the changes in his character as he ascends the mob ladder.
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