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Legs, the inaugural book in William Kennedy’s acclaimed Albany cycle of novels, brilliantly evokes the flamboyant career of gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond.  Through the equivocal eyes of Diamond’s attorney, Marcus Gorman (who scraps a promising political career for the more elemental excitement of the criminal underworld), we watch as Legs and his showgirl mistress, Kiki RobLegs, the inaugural book in William Kennedy’s acclaimed Albany cycle of novels, brilliantly evokes the flamboyant career of gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond.  Through the equivocal eyes of Diamond’s attorney, Marcus Gorman (who scraps a promising political career for the more elemental excitement of the criminal underworld), we watch as Legs and his showgirl mistress, Kiki Roberts, blaze their gaudy trail across the tabloid pages of the 1920s and 1930s....

Title : Legs
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140064841
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Legs Reviews

  • Greg
    2019-03-28 16:01

    This is a great quote from the book, "I am bored by people who keep returning life to a moral plane, as if we were reducible, now, to some Biblical concept or it’s opposite, as if all our history and prehistory had not conditioned us for what we’ve become. When we get off the moral gold standard, when the man of enormous wealth is of no more importance to anybody than the man in rags, then maybe we’ll look at our own day as a day justifiable social wrath."

  • Maynard
    2019-03-27 16:53

    I am on a streak of five-star books. Of course, when one reads William Kennedy, one knows they are reading one of the all-time great writers. As the back cover tells us, "Legs inaugurated William Kennedy's brilliant cycle of novels. "Legs" is Jack Diamond, gangster, tough guy, bootlegger, lady charmer and brutal murderer. The story is told from the point of view of Diamond's attorney, Marcus Gorman, who exchanges a potential political career to view the mayhem around Diamond's life. It was a trip, and in Kennedy's hands a great read.

  • Brady Dale
    2019-04-18 14:56

    I had been interested in reading William Kennedy's trilogy about upstate New York for a long time, but this is one of those novels that has less of a plot than a biography that is written like a novel. I think when novelists rise to a certain stature, no one asks them to cut the fat anymore. This is a three-million-times told story of the fancy gangster with the hot mistress and the loving wife and people who love him even tho he's really bad. Nothing remarkable here, to me. The narrator is the most compelling character, but he's no great shakes.

  • Mike Moore
    2019-03-23 16:53

    Feels like a classic gangster movie with flashes of Scorsese and Tarantino spliced in. The book is self-aware of its tawdry subject matter, yet it still can't resist the pull to glamorize the lives of a psychopathic hood and his female companions. Occasionally slips into poetic ruminations, which are generally corny in the extreme.The moral ambivalence of the narrator (a lawyer who goes on Legs Diamond's payroll), and his worshipful admiration of his client, combined with some untrustworthy narrator flourishes, are quite affecting. The portrait of the scumbag lawyer is more compelling than that of the charismatic gangster, but the author doesn't seem to realize this except in flashes. This is not a good book, but there are some good impulses. It's not a terrible book, but it has some stretches of insipid awfulness. It's too pretentious to be worthy of beach reading and not smart enough to be worthy of study. I'd say it's an admirable failure, but apparently is was pretty successful. I'll just say I can't recommend it.

  • Graham P
    2019-04-09 15:03

    An intimate yet soaring novel about the last years of notorious booze-runner, Legs Diamond. William Kennedy's first entry into the Albany Cycle, this novel is narrated by the playful and sharp-tongued attorney, Marcus Gorman, and the in typical Kennedy fashion, the story bounces around from past to present, sometimes within the same sentence. What may infuriate some traditional readers made me re-read passages with awe and wonder. There is such a beauty to Kennedy's rhythm to this tale of a likeable thug who charmed his way to the top before falling off the throne, wallowing in poor health and even poorer bank accounts. This is a story of staying important in the scene, taking whatever you can get from the public eye, and it's also a playful drama about a love triangle: Legs, his wife Alice, and the bountiful mistress, Marion 'Kiki'. 'Legs' is ribald, sentimental and rough around the edges when it needs to be, a fine novel about New York and America, celebrity gangsters and the Irish-American way.

  • Kira
    2019-04-13 15:56

    This intelligently written portrait submerges its reader into the world of the prohibition gangster Jack Diamond through the lens of his lawyer, Marcus. It follows Jack's complex love for both his wife and his mistress, his grand plans and the seemingly small things that would eventually derail him. The book establishes its title character as a man married to his myth; he doesn't believe, entirely, that he is this high velocity murderer, ruthless bootlegger the media portrays him, but he certainly seems entertained by the idea that he is. While the pacing may be a bit esoteric and sluggish in places for modern readers, much of the book is written in stylish metaphor, with a very authentic noir feel. Coupled with the shoot outs and action spread throughout the book, Legs is a worthwhile escape for any one who needs a little more authenticity after the debacle of the film remake of Fitzgerald's Gatsby.

  • David
    2019-04-13 18:14

    Kennedy creates the world of Legs so vividly, I feel like I'm there. Not that I'm an expert on the world of bootleggers during prohibition, but it seems perfect to me. Even beyond that, though, Kennedy gets to the heart of the yearning of his characters. What they hope for. What they dream. How their lives change and acquire meaning as life denies those hopes and dreams. This is a great book for the world is recreates, but an even better one for the human core of the characters in that world that is really the more important focus. That really takes this book beyond a thriller novel into the realm of immortal literature.

  • Jennifer S. Brown
    2019-04-15 10:02

    This fictional story of real-life gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond was gorgeously written. Kennedy's prose is incredible, although at times the action was gritty enough that I felt like I wanted to cover my eyes, as if I were watching a movie, so as to only halfway see the gory stuff. The chronology bounces around a little and it's so hard to keep track of all the gangsters--who is on who's side and who owes money to whom and the like. But the story is fast-paced and gave a real insight to the less-than-glamorous life of the 1920s/1930s gangster.

  • Jordan West
    2019-04-19 12:12

    Probably at least a 3.5, this is an entertaining portrayal of an iconic gangster that explores the iconography of gangsters which I would have perhaps rated higher if I hadn't read Doctorow's similarly-themed Billy Bathgate at the start of the year; the stylistic voice and analyses of crime and human violence captured in that novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy at his best, overshadowed Kennedy's book for me.

  • Greg
    2019-03-27 16:15

    Not as good as Ironweed, but still interesting. I was interrupted by life a couple of times while reading it, which may have had an unfair effect on my opinion of it. But if you like well-written gangster stories, this is for you.

  • Mont
    2019-04-01 13:52

    “ People like killers. And if one feels sympathy for the victims it’s by way of thanking them for letting themselves be killed. ” –Eugene Ionesco. (The epigraph of “Legs.”)This is a fictionalized portrayal of the real gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond. The book is ironically entitled “Legs” even though everybody who knew the guy called him “Jack.” The press invented the the sobriquet “Legs” because Jack outran death. Surviving gunshot wounds or altogether avoiding them over the course of numerous assassination attempts, Jack became famous as “the-Most-Shot-At-Man in America” until he was definitively gunned down in Albany in 1931. Writer William Kennedy owns Albany’s history, and he chooses to begin his Albany cycle of novels with the story of Legs-- I mean Jack.To reveal that Jack gets killed is not a spoiler. Anybody with a passing acquaintance of American gangsterism knows this, and if not, it was revealed by Kennedy in the opening of the novel when a handful of Jack’s acquaintances gather in a bar to fondly remember him 20 years after his death.Marcus Gorman, a heavy-set Albany attorney resembling Thomas Aquinas, narrates this story. Gorman eventually overcomes his fear and remaining scruples to becomes Jack’s reluctant consigliere. In doing so, Gorman abandons his safe but boring world to enter the electrically charged world of Jack, who wages war on Dutch Schultz, Leo Rothstein, and half a dozen lesser gang leaders in the Bronx, Jersey, Manhattan, and the Catskills. Gorman has the gift of sympathetic insight into himself and human nature, and he sprinkles his narration with observations about culture and philosophy. And, of course, he tells us about Jack and where the bodies are buried.Jack had sauce. With luminous energy, Jack “advanced the cause of joyful corruption and vice.” He had indefatigable faith in his ability to triumph over hostility by refusing to recognize failure “even after it had kicked him in the crotch.” Through the eyes of Gorman, we see Jack as a Gatsby-like man with the theatrical presence of a psychopath-- “but not a psychopath in the extreme sense. He was aberrated, yes, eccentric, but his deeds were willful and logical, part of a career pattern.” (58) Jack became a manipulator of the politicians and left a legacy of money and guns that wold dominate the American City and become an ancestral paradigm for modern urban political gangsters.Some of these characters go on to invade or make cameos in other novels in the Albany cycle. I have read three Kennedy books, and I adore his writing because it is infused with sympathy and acknowledges the weight of history, of Catholicism, and of the dead upon the living. Moreover, he writes with lyricism, regional color, and a splash of magical realism--thrown in for accuracy’s sake. I have also reviewed the second volume in the Albany Cycle, “Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game.”I leave you with a sample of Kennedy’s writing, in which Gorman reflects upon the fact that his chance for a career in politics is now ruined due to his association with Jack, a manwho failed as a hypocrite:In Congress I would have learned how rudimentary hypocrisy is turned into patriotism, into national policy, and into the law and how hypocrites become heros of the people. What I learned from Jack was that politicians imitated his style without comprehending it, without understanding that their venality was only hypocritical. Jack failed thoroughly as a hypocrite. He was a liar, of course, a perjurer, all of that, but he was also a venal man of integrity, for he never ceased to review his vulnerability to punishment, death, and damnation. It is one thing to be corrupt. It is another to behave in a psychologically responsible way toward your own evil. (118)

  • Malachi Antal
    2019-04-10 10:50

    with charming one-liner's like, "And Eddie had died of TB[,]" set pace for this Roaring Twenties nonfiction read like fiction. in youth with Eddie when tramping witness a hobo blackjacked by a bull from boxcar, 'The bull left him where he fell. "The bastard," Jack said. "He'd do the same to us." But the Diamond brothers always outran the bulls, outscrambled them beneath the cars.'encounter with Hessian playwright is a classic on the Continent. standard hoodlum compound elaborated, 'The fortress notion was comic but not entirely without foundation, for Jack did have floodlights on the house to illuminate all approaches, and the maple trees on the lawn were painted white to a point higher than a man, so anyone crossing in front of one was an instant target. Jack installed the lights back in 1928 when he was feuding with Schultz and Rothstein, right after a trio of hirelings tried to kill Eddie in Denver.'reminiscent of white painted trees in Latin America.writer correctly researched the heavy Dutch influence in upstate New York, in lower boroughs in general. mention of the Vincent 'Mad Dog' Coll gang.Legs Diamond perpetually inebriated; associated strongly with Jewish gangsters like Monk Eastman so much so that announcer says, "On your right, folks, is where the notorious Jewish gangster Legs Diamond ..."era when could smoke a cigar in pub, Charles Lucky, is mentioned.excellent rat-a-tat pace like a Browning machinegun. good novel research when writing so might emulate better writers like, William Kennedy.

  • Cat
    2019-04-12 12:17

    Ironweed was so much better! This one just kind of drifted around aimlessly, in my opinion. It took me way too long to finish it! Not a very coherent review. But it was just OK. I never really felt like I got into any of the characters. The narrator is probably the most interesting character, but he's also the least self-aware and least introspective person I think I've ever encountered, so there wasn't much to chew on with him.

  • John Dowling
    2019-04-14 15:58

    Kicking off Kennedy's Albany trilogy, this is a semi-factual romanticisation of legendary gangster Legs Diamond's life. It has some good moments, but owing to the narrative style of telling it from multiple points-of-view I found it almost a chore to get through.

  • John Whiting
    2019-03-20 18:01

    Great story and character development. I love everything I've read by this author.

  • Dawn
    2019-04-15 16:59

    I enjoyed reading about this local "legend". Looking forward to searching for certain places from the book!

  • Bradley Cox
    2019-04-01 17:56

    My favorite and most accessible of the Albany trilogy.

  • Sue
    2019-03-28 10:57

    1st book is Kennedy's Albany series. Since we live near there, thought I should read it. While I enjoy his writing, the subject matter of this gangster tale didn't hold my interest - broads, bootlegging, violence. Local legend Jack "Legs" Diamond surely had nine lives.

  • Bryan
    2019-04-18 11:49

    As other reviewers have mentioned, LEGS is the first of William Kennedy's 'Albany cycle', a series of eight books set in and around the city of Albany, N.Y. LEGS is the story of Jack 'Legs' Diamond, notorious gangster and bootlegger of the 1920's who was murdered in an Albany apartment in 1931 by two unidentified men who were finally able to put down 'the most shot at man in America'. Kennedy's portrayal of Diamond is nuanced, complex--beginning at the height of Diamond's popularity and power, the book then meanders through the gangster's last years, and rather than a straightforward account, it focuses on how the world consumed Jack Diamond and spit out the myth of Legs Diamond.Told in flashback conjured up by four old acquaintances who all knew Diamond, the strongest voice is that of Marcus Gorman, Diamond's lawyer and sometimes confidante. He proceeds anecdotally; flashing forward and back, as the need arises, cutting across time and space to highlight Jack Diamond's relationships with his women and with others to give a picture of the man apart from the legend. And it is a favorable depiction, despite Diamond's gangster methods; to me, it's almost as if Mr. Kennedy is suggesting (through the lawyer Gorman) that Jack Diamond was a prototype of the modern Albany, or America at large--a sort of founding father, with (or because of) his warts and all. Perhaps not, but there is no doubt that the legend of Jack Diamond tapped into a part of the American consciousness, and even if he's less remembered today, that doesn't mean his persona didn't function as a kind of archetype in the twenties and thirties.All that is probably beside the point. LEGS is an entertaining and thought-provoking read about people and time and place, with a great ear for dialogue. The exchanges between characters are too long to copy in a review, but the staccato pulse of the back and forth, and even the `eye' dialogue capture a tone that places the novel squarely within its time period. Some reviewers have also mentioned the sex and violence in the book, though considering the subject matter, I never thought the material tasteless or vulgar. Perhaps I'm desensitized, but I thought LEGS was less sensational, less graphic than many 'true crime' accounts, as well as that of much mainstream literary fiction I've read. It seemed to me to strike exactly the right note, if one's objective were to humanize a figure known primarily for his underworld activities and flashy lifestyle.This is the first book by William Kennedy that I've tried, and it's obvious to me that he is one of America's serious talents--as opposed to the many satiric talents that seem to crowd into the `literary fiction' genre. Personally, I've gotten to where I can barely stand that clever cuteness anymore, and LEGS was a welcome break from that--I look forward to moving on to the next book in the cycle, BILLY PHELAN'S GREATEST GAME. Yet even though I really enjoyed it, something about Mr. Kennedy's back and forth style of storytelling put me off a bit--nothing serious, but enough to make the reading feel somewhat disjointed. Other, more careful readers will probably have no issue, and may even enjoy the presentation all the more for its unusualness.One last note: Why no Library of America treatment?

  • Chris Gager
    2019-04-15 15:13

    The first of the Albany trilogy will be the last read for me but I will read it sometime soon.And now I'm doing it. This book was actually on my to-read shelf and I picked it up somewhere... maybe the local transfer station - a gold mine of free books! I've read "Ironweed" and "Billy Phelan's Greatest Game" so I'm going to go ahead and give a 4* rating(for starters) to the last of the Albany trilogy. Already the tone of the book's been set. Jack Diamond is a violent, charismatic SOB. Warren Beatty might have been a good choice to play him though Mr. B.'s persona might have been a bit soft. Maybe Jack Nicholson or Mel Gibson... Nicholson would be out because he already played Francis Phelan in Ironweed.So far not liking this as much as Ironweed or Billy Phelan's greatest game. Very little of the Albany depression "scene". Turns out that this was the first of the trilogy and that most of Kennedy's books are set there so it's really more than a trilogy. Anyway... this is about a charismatic criminal gangster, infamous/famous in his own time as much as Al Capone, Dutch Schultz etc. A very violent man. I tend to prefer the sociological/psychological over the poetic in these stories but maybe I'm still in George Eliot mode.- As in Billy Phelan...there's the educated, intellectual Irishman fascinated by narcissism, sin, chaos and anarchy - as embodied in the violent career criminal.- The well-received play about Berlin burglars, pimps and pickpockets is probably a reference to Berthold Brecht's/Kurt Weill's music play(based on The Beggar's Opera by John Gay that was turned into The Threepenny Opera. Can't think of the name...- Well... I have to say there's a whiff of the pretentious in the poetic prose from time to time. As if Mr. Kennedy simply chose the story of Jack Diamond as a vehicle for his fancy writing. I DO like the writing because I like poetry but sometimes it seems kind of pointless. The scene with the playwright in Germany is WAY over the top!Finished up last night. My overall feeling about the book is ambivalence. Marcus Gorman, who ought to know better(Kennedy too) than to semi-worship a violent peckerhead just because he has charisma. A lot of those guys had it. Comes with the outlaw territory... We're fascinated by the non-conformist. All that fancy, semi-loving prose in service to a story about a sociopath creates doubt in the final awarding of stars. 3.75 rounds up to 4* - barely. On the other hand... why not celebrate the outsiders... look at them... illuminate what it is about us and them that makes for the fascination. Billy-the-Kid etc.- The doggie in the water reminded me of Ship of Fools.- The repetitive violence can be a bit off-putting but we do get the point: Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse.- Marcus is not exactly sympathetic... a "typical mob lawyer" I guess, but not like Robert Duvall in the Godfather.- Prohibition brought back some of the spirit of the old west. It was a terrible idea - obviously!- The lightning rod salesman... remember Something Wicked This Way Comes?

  • Paul Apsley
    2019-04-15 10:04

    Interesting account of Legs Diamond, the gangster. Not sure how realistic it is, but a good read nonetheless.

  • Dawn
    2019-04-17 18:11

    Legs Tries: Jack "Legs" Diamond spends 300+ pages trying to make the world work in his favor. He tries to set up a bootlegging monopoly in upstate New York. He tries to keep his freedom. He tries to get his wife and his mistress to get along. He tries to stay alive so he can keep trying. Yet, even when Jack got his way, he still managed to fail. The same can be said of William Kennedy's LEGS, a fictionalization of the life leading up to the court trails and eventual murder of the non fictional Jack Diamond. It tries to be poignant as it points out the crime inherent in our justice system and how a good man who does horrible things could be trying to be a good person. It tries to leap deftly through the timeline to portray a story being recalled from the memories of it's narrator. It tries to make us care for the characters and their lives. Yet, while it is clear this is what it's trying to do, it still manages to fail. LEGS has one saving grace: It is very straightforward. The author's style is very easy to read. He does not stylize nor try to hide the point he is trying to make nor is it a long read. Kennedy brings you in exactly where you need to be and doesn't put in extra information or red herrings. The story is entertaining, which is very good for LEGS since story is all you will get. There are no hidden metaphors, no puzzles to solve, and very little for the reader to experience. It is no work of art. It is a good story told simply. The best works of literature make us laugh, make us cry, and make us question the way we see our world. Only one question marks the beginning and ending of LEGS: Is Jack Diamond really dead? The answer is yes. It's been yes all along. There is never any doubt about that. There has never been any mystery as to whether Jack Diamond died that night or not. Everyone knew he was dead. But, this book isn't about questions. It's about telling a story. Which is does succeed at.

  • Robert
    2019-04-08 16:17

    I came to read William Kennedy's Legs after a Wikipedia browse. Having read a recommendation of E.L. Doctorow's 'Ragtime', that book's Wikipedia article led me to the Modern Library 100 Best Novels (Ragtime is No.86 on that list) and 'Ironweed' by William Kennedy, published in 1983 is the the "most recent novel in the list".I discovered that Ironweed was the third book (of seven) in the 'Albany cycle', and, nothing if not a completist, decided to make all 7 books in the cycle my summer reading.That meant that I started here, with 'Legs', the first story in the cycle and also the life - and death, since it begins with the aftermath of his death - story of the titular Jack 'Legs' Diamond, a gangster from prohibition-era Albany, NY. If you've watched it, as I have, one is immediately plunged into a world that is redolent of the HBO TV show 'Boardwalk Empire' - with some of the same (real-life) characters - Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano, Waxey Gordon and Arnold 'AR' Rothstein making recurring appearances.I loved the style, the way that the book was written, immediately. There was something of the Joyce and also of Flann O'Brien - another Irish writer I admire - to it, a dabbling in the magically real that never took anything away from the story being told. The world that William Kennedy conjured is as remote to my experience as the surface of the moon and yet everything rang true, the characters he evoked seemed wonderfully real and their life events were moving and fascinating. I know now that I could conceivably have read the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ironweed independently of the others and still enjoyed it, but I certainly got more out of it by having read the whole cycle. I was glad to have started with 'Legs', and I couldn't wait to read the next one.

  • Mark Desrosiers
    2019-04-12 16:55

    Wonderful fictional memoir of bootlegger Jack "Legs" Diamond, as told by his lawyer (!) Marcus Gorman. Obviously this means you are saddled with an unreliable narrator -- not to mention one who tries to go all naturalistic and tropey like Saul Bellow -- but I dig Marcus's (and Kennedy's) admiration for Diamond's fearless womanizing, statute-shredding, and bullet-swallowing. A very likeable guy, he turns out: Jack lived a long time, for Jack, and I credit it to his sense of balance, even in violent matters, even in the choice of killers and drivers, his sense that all ranges of the self must be appeased, and yet only appeased, not indulged. I make no case for Jack as a moderate, only as a man in touch with primal needs. He read them, he answered them, until he stopped functioning in balance. That's when the final trouble began.Kennedy does offer a fascinating exploration of the (eventual) freelove relationship between Jack, his wife Alice, and his wondrous mistress Kiki. The mythic portents in his pragmatic loyalty to old Alice -- plus that mountainous Catskill setting -- had me renaming that later section of the novel "The Pay-Cock and Juno" (har har) (Jack was Irish). Anyway, a very memorable read. I originally picked it up because Jack is the coolest personage to share my birthday (excepting Mr. Wizard and Neil Tennant).

  • Tom Gase
    2019-04-03 16:50

    I thought this book was closer to a 3.5 star worthy read, but I gave it four. Seems like a combination of the Great Gatsby meets the Godfather. This is the first of the Albany novels by William Kennedy, who also did a good job with Billy Phelan's Greatest Game and Ironweed. Unfortantely, I didn't know these were a trilogy until about seven months ago when reading Billy Phelan's Greatest Game, so I read these three books backwards. Someday I'll reread them again in order. Still I have to thank my friend Stacy for making me read Ironweed, or else I may have never read this book and Billy Phelan's Greatest Game. Legs drags at some points in the book which keeps it from being a five, but the characters are great and the imagery in the writing is really good. I recommend this book series for people who like reading about the era during the Great Depression.

  • Ben
    2019-04-02 14:12

    Marked by Kennedy's wit, charm, and smooth prose, but not as engaging as "Billy Phelan's Greatest Game." I felt the book was a little too long and had to drag myself through the end as the author gets verbose about what it all means. Marcus Gorman, the narrator, begins the story as the reader's surrogate, but by the end has been (in my opinion) corrupted and twisted by what he's seen and done, so that by the end he's constantly apologizing for Jack Diamond and condescending to the "self-righteous moralists" who condemn him. I couldn't quite tell if Kennedy wanted us to agree with Marcus's assessment, or to feel the way I did, which is that Marcus has degenerated and his view of things can't be trusted.But at any rate, I liked the book, and having already read "Billy Phelan's Greatest Game" I'll look forward to finishing the trilogy with "Ironweed."

  • Tom Quinn
    2019-03-24 14:03

    Tough to summarize my feelings on this book. I think Kennedy's style doesn't fit with me. I enjoyed the book, but never got fully invested due to the way the story is told. The story is told from the perspective of the lawyer, but you never really get to know him. He spends too much time explicitly describing philosophical character traits that I enjoy best left understated. The best metaphor for me is a band like Led Zeplin. I don't dislike their music. I understand why people love them. I can objectively identify their sizable talent. Yet...when I am controlling the music you won't hear them.

  • Chortle
    2019-04-08 18:14

    Many have said this is a typical gangster book. The Great Gatsby is a book about a gangster. So, while it is book about gangsters it has lots of art to it and it is not all about the action, shock value and violence. But there certainly is shock value and violence. Brilliant book. William Kennedy portrays the colloquialisms (and classic phrases) of his characters -a strongpoint and very, very entertaining -as if he actually lived with them. Very poetic. Ez read, very humorous. I will reread this book.

  • Carol
    2019-04-10 14:04

    Aside from knowing the author as a pompous twit, I find the book to be typical gangster fare with the note that animal lovers of any kind should avoid reading thisas every beast mentioned in the thing dies by violence (birds, cats, dogs, every hapless little thing suffers). It contains enough literary allusions to do credit to the pompous author's tastes and enough about the areas of Albany, the Catskills and other stretches nearthe Hudson to be interesting for those who like to see familiar place names and history.I'm moving back to Albany, but not because of this book.

  • Scott
    2019-04-04 09:56

    Following “Legs” Diamond through the last year or so of his life up to his gangland-style murder in a version that falls somewhere on the spectrum between somewhat and highly fictionalized, Kennedy’s book makes for great reading and an interesting view of the early depression years, Irish gangsters, and the fascination of both the public and his immediate circle with a charismatic, somewhat thoughtful but totally amoral thief, extortionist, bootlegger and killer.