SON OF THE MOB by Gordon Korman

SON OF THE MOB

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

As if life as a high-school senior isn’t hard enough, what with sports, SATs, college applications, and girls (or rather, the lack thereof), Vince Luca has to cope with the special complications of his father’s involvement in the vending-machine business—the family euphemism for organized crime. Case in point: Vince gets a date with the oh-so-hot Angela O’Bannon, but when he goes to get a make-out blanket from the trunk, he discovers the unconscious body of Jimmy the Rat, who’s just been worked over by his older brother. Poor Vince: his family just keeps getting in his way. After the debacle with Angela, Vince begins a real romance with the cute and spunky daughter of the FBI agent who has been assigned to bring the Lucas down; the bugs he has planted in the house force all vending-machine business—and heart-to-heart parent-son conversations—into the basement. Korman (No More Dead Dogs, 2000, etc.) can reliably be counted on to deliver a hilarious story; he delivers in spades here, as Vince desperately tries to hold out as the only legitimate member of the family while at the same time inadvertently getting himself deeper and deeper in the family business when he tries to get Jimmy the Rat off the hook. Maintaining the balance between situational humor and the real violence and ugliness of organized crime is no easy matter, but Korman pulls it off in fine manner, managing to create genuinely sympathetic characters in Vince’s family—people who love him and want the best for him, but who can at the same time call out a hit on someone as casually as ordering a pizza. Laced with running gags—the hijacking of Vince’s class-project Web site by his brother is priceless—here’s a laugh-out-loud addition to the ranks of dreary teen fiction. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7868-0769-5
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2002




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