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Robert Hunton's Reviews
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Apr 12, 12
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Read in February, 2012
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Apr 12, 2012 03:40PM
'Speedo' is vintage Jim Defilippi. I say that in respectful consideration (admiration) of his body of work. And that is because this author has established trademarks that I believe place him in an exclusive club--a club with writers who create larger-than-life characters, then allow those personalities to drive the story--the likes of Elmore Leonard, Richard Russo, and William F. Nolan. Nolan, for example, may write in a different genre, but it's the fabulous tension he builds through pure characterization that distinguishes him. Defilippi sets himself apart in similar fashion.
His central figures are always realistically flawed and unpredictable. They run the course from lost, corrupt, and disgraced to sound of judgment, honorable, even heroic. And they are forever recognizable and funny.
The back-and-forth between amateur thieves, Chester Earl (Speedo) and Ralphie, is classic! The plot quickly develops, and it's delicious. You (they) are headed for a train wreck, and it's one you'll want, NEED to have happen immediately. Defilippi won't keep you waiting long. There...I've peaked your interest, and you'll just have to indulge yourself by reading the rest.
'Speedo' is loaded with the flavor and language of the author's suburban New York neighborhoods, the unique experience of his youth, and an ethnic culture that adds color and richness to both description and dialogue.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I chuckled, winced, and guffawed throughout. And I'll be back for more of Mr. Defilippi's clever and adventurous slices of life just as soon as he tosses another fictional pizza deluxe.
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