Live book reading with Jon D’Amore and ‘Deadfellas’

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‘It’s been a slice’ at Flappers Comedy Club Sept. 9

By Laura Voeth

Mobsters and monsters? An unlikely pairing to be sure. But author Jon D’Amore’s artistry brings this storyline together so skillfully, it is almost credible. Each character is well rounded and colorful, and the dialogue true to the author’s New Jersey heritage.

It is clear that D’Amore had a ball adapting Deadfellas from a screenplay he had co-written to this story of four New Jersey mobsters sent to Nevada to investigate why a Mafia-owned casino was suddenly losing money. He deftly weaves the gangsters’ tale with that of an old Shoshone curse and, “Voila!” – The Corleones meet The Walking Dead.

Deadfellas is a hoot, from the preface right through to the epilogue. And in case you get confused by all of those Italian names, D’Amore has included a cast of characters in the back, complete with descriptions.

D’Amore’s first novel, The Boss Always Sits in the Back, is a memoir of his young life. He lived on the fringe of the New Jersey underworld and his involvement in a gigantic scam against Las Vegas casinos resulted in dramatic changes in gambling laws, and almost cost him his life. Both books have all of the necessary ingredients: sex, deception, drugs and murder, yet they are told with humor and humanity.

It was apparent at a September 9 reading of Deadfellas at Flappers in Burbank that D’Amore has a zest for life. His loyal following includes actors, writers, producers and musicians. His personality and “joie de vivre” filled the room and was infectious. His writing reflects these qualities. Even the most serious subjects, (death, dishonor, mobsters and monsters) are injected with humor. His tales of life on the streets are imaginative and playful. He is a wonderful storyteller who captivates his audience.

“All I want to do is entertain,” he says, and “Mama Mia” does he. These two novels are screaming to be made into movies. D’Amore is waiting for Hollywood to “make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

“Deadfellas” can be purchased at BarnesAndNoble.com and Amazon.com.

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