My Ride with Gus

Charles Carillo, Author
Charles Carillo, Author Pocket Books $22 (256p) ISBN 978-0-671-53568-1
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 252 pages - 978-0-671-53569-8
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Nothing is what it seems in this tight, funny and refreshing 1990s take on A Christmas Carol. The Scrooge here is architect Jimmy Gambar, favored by both a successful career and the love of a beautiful woman. But after Jimmy's egomania sparks a lovers' quarrel on New Year's Eve, and a potential one-night stand drops dead in his apartment, he encounters his very own ghost of days gone by: his big brother Gus ""The Ghost"" Gambuzza, a reputed gangster. In an odyssey that takes him from Soho through Brooklyn, Jimmy confronts the past he's been avoiding for most of his adult life. Carillo neatly balances the quirky and sometimes hilarious events of the long night with artfully arranged flashbacks. Through conversations, memories and Jimmy's subtly portrayed point of view, the members of the Gambuzza family grow and become more complex, as does Jimmy himself. What started out as a wild ride to get rid of a corpse ends up as a touching and believable story of family love and survival, a testament to Carillo's storytelling abilities. (Apr.)
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