Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Johnny Porno -- Charlie Stella

I've reviewed a couple of Charlie Stella's books before (see here and here), so I was eager to read his new one, the first paperback original that Stark House has done. I was probably expecting something like the earlier books, but this one's a little different. It's a historical novel, set in the early 1970s, and it's a more ambitious novel, on a much bigger scale and with a much bigger cast.

The title character, John Albano, can't work as a carpenter because he's lost his union card. He punched out the wrong guy, something he does more than once. He works as a service driver during the week, and on weekends he picks up money from showings of Deep Throat. Mob money, so you know that won't work out well for him. Luckily for him, when he punches out a cop, the incident was caught on tape. Unluckily for him, the cop loses his job and wants to kill him. And he's not the only one.

Psycho cops, bent cops, straight cops, Feds, wiseguys, good women, bad women,really bad women, guys on the make, gamblers, dumbasses, good guys, bad guys. This book's got 'em all (and more), and all so well-drawn that they seem like real people. There are also three or four plots going in, and they all converge in the final pages. I don't know how Stella managed to keep all the balls in the air, but he doesn't drop a one. Stark House's first original is a winner. Check it out

7 comments:

George said...

I have this on order. Now, after reading your review, I'm REALLY eager to read JOHNNY PORNO!

Charlieopera said...

You're more than kind amico.

Hope you enjoy it, George.

Dave Zeltserman said...

I'm guessing the name Johnny Albano is Charlie paying homage to his hero (and his lookalike when alive), Lou Albano!

But what about the title???

John McFetridge said...

Everything about this sounds great. It's on order.

Gerard said...

I am putting together a book order right now and find that Stark House must not use Baker and Taylor as a distributor. I'll have to order from elsewhere.

Charlieopera said...

The captain lives.

Grazia fellas.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Happy to hear of this. Go, Charlie, go.