Monday, July 3, 2017

Irreview, Book Review: Road to Paradise


The novel Road to Paradise is a sequel to novel Road to Purgatory and ostensibly ends the tale of Michael O'Sullivan, Jr., that began in the graphic novel, Road to Perdition.

Road to Paradise starts with Michael Satariano (O'Sullivan's alter ego) running the Cal-Neva Lodge in Lake Tahoe, having "retired" from his violent mob ways while remaining in the mob world.  He's generally happy in life with his wife and daughter, but has recently learned his son has probably been killed in Vietnam.

And then an exiled mob boss shows up in his office and asks him to do a job, which Michael refuses.

Without giving up too much detail and the plot, Road to Paradise wraps up the story of Michael O'Sullivan, Jr., in a way that that brings the whole trilogy full circle, while still pushing the narrative forward into new territory.

Like the first two books in this trilogy, I like Road to Paradise.  I don't love it, but I do like it and I'd love to see a graphic novel version of this one, as well.  Author Max Allan Collins continues to seamlessly blend the fictional with the non-fictional and as a peek into the world of the American Mafia, it's as educational as it is entertaining.  Collins also improves upon Satariano's character greatly, something that I felt was a bit flat in Road to Purgatory.  Sadly, the character of Satariano's daughter didn't quite do it for me, and she came across as mostly as a foil for Satariano, as well as a plot convenience (she is, effectively, the novel's major plot point).

That stated, the ending is pretty impressive.  Not necessarily for the plot and story, but for how well Collins wraps up the trilogy.  There is an aspect of the graphic novel that was missing from the entire novel trilogy (and is missing from the film), and its absence had me curious as to whether or not Collins was going to retcon it out of the story, or just ignore it altogether.  I am happy to state that he did neither.

Rating: 9 - (Style: 3 stars; Story: 3 stars)

Side note: This book didn't seem to have the typo problems the first two had.

Things I Learned:
  1. The Papago people - a Native American people of the Sonoran Desert, formally known as the Tohono O'odham
  2. New word: Banlon - a synthetic yarn used in clothing... technically, Ban-Lon (I actually think this is something I had known, just forgotten)
  3. New word: jute - a natural fiber that is used for making rope and cloth
If anything, this book trilogy has taught me more about textiles in the past month than I think I've ever learned before.

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