And All The Saints

PDF-file by Michael Walsh

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Walsh, author of As Time Goes By (1998) and Exchange Alley (1997), offers a compelling novel in the guise of the autobiography of Irish gangster Owen ("Owney") Madden, raised in New York's infamous Hell's Kitchen (though born of lrish parents in England). Early on, Madden set his mind on becoming the first among the gangsters and, thus, to have the city at his feet. In the age of Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz, Meyer Lansky, and Frank Costello, Madden carved out a turf that included ownership of the famed Cotton Club. A major influence with Tammany Hall and even Hollywood (he was one of Mae West's lovers and was responsible for George Raft's success), Madden later devoted his "talents" to making Hot Springs, Arkansas, a major center of gangsterism. By allowing Madden to present his own tale, Walsh offers an unusual perspective of one man's lifetime pursuit to be the best gangster of all. Fittingly, Walsh's novel is reminiscent of Roddy Doyle's novel A Star Called Henry (1999), a first-person narrative of a fictionalized underground figure. Allen Weakland
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