Paul Bryant's Reviews > Casino Moon

Casino Moon by Peter Blauner
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's review
Nov 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: novels, gangsters-floozies-and-creeps

From My Cousin Vinny :

MonaLisa Vito : Well I hate to bring it up because I know you've got enough pressure on you already. But, we agreed to get married as soon as you won your first case. Meanwhile, TEN YEARS LATER, my niece, the daughter of my sister is getting married. My biological clock is [taps her foot] TICKING LIKE THIS and the way this case is going, I ain't never getting married.

Vinny Gambini: Lisa, I don't need this. I swear to God, I do not need this right now, okay? I've got a judge that's just aching to throw me in jail. An idiot who wants to fight me for two hundred dollars. I got slaughtered pigs. I got giant loud whistles. I ain't slept in five days. I got no money, a dress code problem, AND a little murder case which, in the balance, holds the lives of two innocent kids. Not to mention your [taps his foot] BIOLOGICAL CLOCK. My career, your life, our marriage, and let me see, what else can we PILE ON? Is there any more SHIT we can pile on to the top of the outcome of this case? Is it possible?

Lisa: [pause] Maybe it was a bad time to bring it up.

Now that's what you call a MOMENT OF MAXIMUM TENSION which is a phrase that came out of a holiday I once had. We went to Minorca with Jane and Russell, another couple. We both had 5 year old daughters at the time. So we were late getting to the airport going back. Helen and Russell went off to return the hire car and me and Jane were left at the check in with a MOUNTAIN of luggage and two excited 5 year old kids. And Jane and Russell just… didn't come back for what seemed like hours. This was just before everyone had a mobile phone, which would have solved the problem – why weren't they invented sooner? Anyway, they were so long that we were the only people left to check in and we couldn't until they came back - they had the passports! - and they were just not there. And the check in lady said "We're closing this station in ten minutes" which would mean we're missing the flight. So Jane got really stressed and went marching off to find a Spanish phone & phone the hire company which was an expedition unlikely to bring forth much relief, I thought. So then they were gone and now she was gone and the two little kids running around screaming and me trying to control the luggage mountain and making sure Georgia and Milly didn't injure themselves or hide somewhere amusing and the check in lady saying "We WILL be closing in FIVE minutes, sir" – so that was my


Of course at FOUR minutes to go, Helen & Russell breezed around the corner languidly ambling towards the mountain of luggage, and saying hey, what's the problem, you look a little frazzled. Sorry we got held up. Where's Jane?

In Casino Moon, thirtyish Anthony Russo is the son of a made guy who is wanting to live a straight life but getting nowhere with his straight contracting business in Atlantic City. His marriage is on the rocks. He already owes 50 grand to the boss of his father's mafia crew. He's trying to get out from under by promoting a big boxing contest, but he has to borrow another 50 grand to get that set up. Around about the same time, his dad's crew knocks off some rival gangster and Anthony gets dragged into a situation in regards to the son of the deceased, who he knows, and who thinks Anthony was the shooter. Which he wasn't, but his father has put it about that he was, because his father, bless his little gangster socks, is trying to get Anthony made, which he doesn't want to be. So Anthony and this son have a beef and the son ends up dead under the famous Atlantic City boardwalk, because in this instance, Anthony did in fact perform the transaction. In the middle of this he's met a considerable female wrestler who may be – are you laughing? don't laugh, she's good, she could snap your arm like a twig, but she's real sexy too – who may be the one true love of his entire miserable life. At the point when Anthony finds out Richie Amato has been picked up by the police who have found the disgustingly blood drenched clothes of Larry DiGregorio in his trunk, Anthony experiences a MOMENT OF MAXIMUM TENSION.

But it isn't actually the maximum. It just seems like the maximum at the time. In time he gets to the real maximum moment.

This is a great crime novel which is like a slice of the Sopranos before they existed. Recommended.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Praj (new)

Praj I wish we could vote twice on a review. This vote was entirely based on the genius of Vinny Gambini

message 2: by Diann (new)

Diann Blakely This is so funny! I've always wanted to know this exact speech, and now I have it and shall keep it forever--meaning precisely those occasions when I feel, myself, at a Moment of Maximum Tension and want the whole world To Leave Me The Hell Alone!

message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye I'm sweating. No review has ever done that to me before.

message 4: by Diann (new)

Diann Blakely Please don't feel any further reason for stress or perspiration. To the contrary: I found the YouTube clip and put both on a Facebook page called "Notes on the State of Southern Poetry," and I feel guilty about not being able to give you sufficient and well-deserved credit. If you'll send me a message, however, I promise to remedy this ASAP.

Thank you, Ian!

message 5: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Seems some people have more of those moments than others (question of blood temperature?)Very funny and also cool review and I love the cover of this novel.

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