Since Torres was the first Puerto Rican assistant D.A. for the City of New York, he must have done the research for this West Side story from the right side of the law, but he'll have you believing anyway that he is Carlos Brigante, drug-peddler and delincuente with plenty co-jones who makes his first Mafia connection in the slammer. Carlito's life story is narrated as a long, leisurely rap punctuated by coke-snorting parties, quick lays, Mafia hits, run-ins with the bulls and intermittent busts. After some forty exuberantly crime-filled years, his hermanos in the business get squeezed by the upcoming mob and the big scene has Carlo set up and tangling with a helicopter as he drives a VW bus the wrong way through the Holland Tunnel. Carlito is an irresistible bad boy and you'll be pulling for him all the way. Torres is doing his own script for the movie, so the dialect--the book's main virtue--should survive intact for that wider audience who might otherwise never dig how a wise guy from Spanish Harlem could be simply ""happy as a pig in shit.