Book Description

From Publishers Weekly Arlyne Weiss grew up on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the daughter of a Jewish mobster who ran an auto sales business as a front. In 1947, aged 14, she made the decision to emulate her heroine, Bugsy Siegel's girlfriend Virginia Hill, and become a gangster's moll. Her teen years were a carnival of sexual promiscuity, forgiven by her doting father but vociferously condemned by her critical mother. Arlyne considered Jewish mobsters too businesslike and tame; she preferred Italians, whom she found dangerous and hence exciting. Briefly married to small-time swindler Norman Brickman (whose last name she retained), she had a daughter who became a drug addict and died of AIDS in 1989. After 25 years in the criminal underworld, Arlyne became first an occasional and then, in 1975, a full-time police informant; she was a major witness in the government's successful case against the Colombo crime family. Carpenter ( Missing Beauty ), who won a Pulitzer for her crime reporting at New York's Village Voice, expertly recounts Arlyne's anomalous tale. Photos not seen by PW. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Read more From Library Journal From an early age, Arlyn Brickman associated with petty and some not so petty racketeering figures, starting with her grandmother and father. Intoxicated by the glamour and flash, she made herself 'indispensable' to wiseguys by running errands, carrying packages, or offering her home as a meeting place or safe haven--not to mention the dozens of mob figures with whom she slept. Before long, she vaulted from an adjunct role into the thick of bookmaking, loansharking, and drug dealing. Over a 30-year career, she had eight abortions and endured beatings, humiliations, and a brutal rape, eventually becoming a government informant and witness. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carpenter has done a superb rendering of Brickman's story. She goes far beyond naming names and retelling events as she digs into Brickman's underlying motivations and vividly re-creates Brickman's exhilaration over her triumphs and pain over her defeats in her pursuit of the mob girl lifestyle. Highly recommended for all public libraries. (Photos not seen). Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/91.-Lisa Nussbaum, Euclid P.L., OhioCopyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Read more See all Editorial Reviews