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Prizzi's Honor

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Prizzi's Honor is a satirical crime novel by Richard Condon published in 1982. It is the first 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 was adapted into a successful film of the same name.

Plot summary

The opening lines of the New York Times review summarize the complexities of the novel:

CHARLEY PARTANNA, underboss of the Prizzi crime family, has a problem. He's just bumped off a traitor in Vegas who'd fleeced the organization to the tune of $720,000 - and now he's discovered that his new girlfriend, Irene, was the dead man's wife. As if that weren't enough of a headache, Charley's also learned that she's been augmenting her income as a tax consultant by working as a freelance hitter, and that she's now been offered a contract by a family rival to do the number on him. What a business for a woman! Charley grouses. This is a serious thing. We were going to get married. You think she decided what business? asks his father, Angelo, consigliere to the Prizzis. She's an American! She had a chance to win even more money so she grabbed it![1]

Complexity builds upon complexity, irony builds upon irony, murder follows murder, and tension mounts as the improbable story of the two killers races to its climax.

External links

  • New York Times review