2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.
hide

Guest Post: What’s With All the Mafia Stories?by Mark Rubinstein, Author of Assassin’s Lullaby

Today I’m pleased to introduce you to Mark Rubinstein, whose new novel Assassin’s Lullaby is one of the latest in a long line of “mob stories” – this time, focusing on the Odessa mafia. Here he offers his thoughts on why stories of organized crime are so well-entrenched in our culture – and imaginations… Enjoy!

The Guest Post

What’s With All the Mafia Stories?
by Mark Rubinstein, Author of Assassin’s Lullaby

Whether it’s The Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, a Jack Reacher novel, or crime novels by Don Winslow, Nelson DeMille, Dennis Lehane, James Patterson, or other bestselling authors, the mafia will likely make an appearance. 

It can be the old Italian mob or Russian Organized Crime, or the Irish or Albanian mafia or the emergence of a Colombian or Mexican cartel kingpin. It can involve the old Untouchables series, the Cagney, Bogart, and Robinson movies of the 30s and 40s, or the more contemporary mafia-thriller renderings. These stories live on in the popular imagination and no doubt, will continue to do so.

Mafia stories seem to have a timeless appeal whether they arise as a blockbuster movie, a nail-biting TV series, or a page-turning bestseller.

There may be many reasons for the enduring popularity of mafia stories whether told on the screen or page.

For one, the mafia may be seen as the realization of the American dream. Against many odds, the mafia Don is depicted as a self-made man who, despite the odds being stacked against him, climbs the economic ladder to success. Though mafiosi are often portrayed as flawed, greedy, and ruthless, they’re pitted against the well-ordered establishment and are portrayed as outsiders who manage to beat the system. Thus, the fictional mafiosi are idealized anti-heroes who succeed in a cruelly hostile world.

We shouldn’t forget that mafiosi are portrayed mythically as “men of honor” bound by a code of intense loyalty and enduring family ties. There’s the well-worn lore that they’re men of passion in an age when such qualities are viewed as rare to non-existent. Of course, this is the fictional mafia while in reality, the mafia (of any ethnic persuasion) corrupts, degrades, and kills. The fictional portrayals romanticize these criminals, often making them heroic figures or anti-heroes. But we all must have our illusions and mafia stories provide us with plenty of illusory lore, especially when it comes to honor, tradition, and family loyalties.

And let’s not overlook the reality that people have always had a morbid fascination with crime, violence and sex, (whether presented in a series like The Sopranos or Game of Thrones) which are richly depicted in countless mafia tales. 

There’s the vicarious nature—and the fantasy—of the forbidden and exciting criminal life depicted in stories involving the dark side of human nature. It’s a darkness we find compellingly attractive. This is especially true for sex, vengeance, and violence. These hidden (largely unacceptable) urges are often at the deeply buried core of our beings, and run rampant in virtually all mafia stories. 

How else can we explain the popularity, not only of mafia tales, but of boxing, professional wrestling, and mixed martial arts, otherwise known as cage fighting? In essence, mafia tales appeal to the primal urges that lie deeply buried within us. And whether reading a crime novel, watching a mafia television series, or sitting in a movie theater, we can get our vicarious fix of these forbidden fruits.

About the Book

In every life, there lurks catastrophe.

So believes Eli Dagan, a thirty-nine-year-old man whose traumatic past led to his service as an assassin for the Mossad. He now lives in New York City, where under various assumed names he’s a contract killer.

Anton Gorlov, the head of the Brooklyn-based Odessa mafia, has a new and challenging assignment for Eli. Gorlov wants to leave the country permanently, so all loose ends must be eliminated. He’s willing to pay $1 million for a task divided into two parts. The job involves extreme measures along with unprecedented danger for Eli, who has lived a ghostly existence over the last ten years.

Is accepting Gorlov’s offer a subliminal death wish? Or is it a way to reclaim part of his damaged soul?

For the first time since his pregnant wife and parents were killed by a suicide bomber years earlier, Eli Dagan faces challenges that will reconnect him with his blighted past and may yet offer hope for a new and better life.

About the Author

Mark Rubinstein is the author of Assassin’s Lullaby. Rubinstein, a novelist, physician, and psychiatrist, has written eight nonfiction books, including The Storytellers. He has also written eight novels and novellas, including the Mad Dog trilogy and The LoversTango. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut. For more information, please visit http://www.markrubinstein-author.com

Share this Fabulous post with the World:
  • Print
  • Add to favorites
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Digg
  • email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • blogmarks
  • Blogosphere

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>