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Prizzi's Family

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Prizzi's Family is a satirical, semi-humorous crime novel by Richard Condon published in 1986. It is the second of four novels featuring the Prizzis, a powerful family of Mafiosi in New York City. In all four novels the main protagonist is a top member of the family named Charlie Partanna. It is a prequel to the very successful Prizzi's Honor of 1982, which was also adapted into an award-winning film.

Plot summary

Mardell La Tour is actually Grace Willand Crowell, daughter of an Assistant Sec. of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, an immensely wealthy family that lives in a Federalist House in Georgetown.

Vincent Prizzi, son of Don and Boss: Vincent conspired with his own ignorance. He was a perpetually baffled man who chewed on pieces of himself and then spat them out at the world.

Condon's style

While making love: "It was like being locked in a mailbag with eleven boa constrictors." page 68

"The way he did this was whisper into Vincent's ear in Sicilian, then Vincent spoke it into the microphone in Brooklynese, dumping the words out of the depths of his stomach the way a piled wheelbarrow is emptied by upending it." page 59

Real-life names in the book

All of Condon's books have, to an unknown degree, the names of real people in them as characters, generally very minor or peripheral. The most common, which appears in most of his books, is some variation of Franklin M. Heller. The real-life Heller was a television director in New York City in the 1950s, '60s, and 70s, who initially lived on Long Island and then moved to a house on Rockrimmon Road in Stamford, Connecticut.[1] In this book Franklin Heller is the mayor of New York.

A.H. Weiler, a film critic for The New York Times, was another friend of Condon's who in this book is Dr. Abraham Weiler, the best orthopedic surgeon in the Northwest.


Publisher's Weekly

for Prizzi's Glory:

External links

Not a review, but an interview with Condon:

Review by Jimmy Breslin:

Sept. 28, 1986, Section 7, Page 13 of the National edition with the headline: CHARLEY AND MAEROSE: THE EARLY YEARS.
  1. Remembrance of Frank Heller, by Ira Skutch, at