And All the Saints
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No crime figure of our time influenced the course of modern American culture the way Owen Madden did. Starting as the leader of the Gophers, the most violent Irish street gang in Hell's Kitchen, the Irish immigrant Madden rose to prominence as the leading brewer and bootlegger in Prohibition New York. In due course, he also became Mae West's lover, the founder and proprietor of the Cotton Club, the owner of five heavyweight champions of the world, the man who gave his childhood friend George Raft his big break in Hollywood and more. Now, Michael Walsh has created a fictionalized memoir that uses Madden's voice to trace his life from his boyhood in England to his heyday in New York and beyond.
And All the Saints was the winner of the 2004 American Book Award for fiction.
it’s just a matter of time before somebody breaks out his heater and then we really got trouble. ’Twas Lansky what broke it up. The little yiddeleh somehow manages to interpose himself between Johnson and Capone and like a sheepdog starts shooin’ ’em both toward the front door, where the limousines are still idling. He steers Capone into one just as the cop cars pull up, sirens going full blast, and there’s that fool Billinghurst, who’s got more guts than brains, pointing, and Johnson waving at
thought for a moment. “How ’bout we just drop the ‘n’? How’s ‘George Raft’ sound?” He looked at both of us. “Got a nice masculine ring to it.” We both thought it sounded just peachy keen, and that’s how George Raft was born. Goo Goo Knox was right all along, A hack named Rowland Brown warmed him up, casting him as a gangster, how about that, in Quick Millions, followed by Hush Money and Palmy Days. I saw them all. George couldn’t act much—his tough-guy image was mostly derived from imitating
particular meeting, I gave the Gov fifty grand, which Charlie thinks is to buy protection, but which in reality is to buy the presence of the Arkansas National Guard, which shows up and takes him into custody, gee I’m so sorry, and packs him off to the slammer for thirty to fifty in Siberia. Eventually they shipped Lucky back to wopland and I guess he got delusions of George Raft glamour or something, because he was at the Napoli airport a couple of years ago, strolling out to shake the mitt of
happen to any mug crosses me on my turf. Which is what’ll happen to them if they so much as open their gobs. They saw me: Owney Madden of Tenth Avenue.” I was shouting now, full of inseparable rage and pride. “Owney the Killer!” Police whistles brought me to. I have a dim recollection of Art or Johnny or both of ’em dragging me away quick time, of ducking down into the stairwell of one of our cribs and into the railroad tunnel that ran over to Pennsylvania Station from Death Avenue and finally
baby arms, would try to take flight, runnin’ like hell toward the edge of the roof, making chirping noises, getting up a head of steam, and if we didn’t look lively and hustle, she’da been over the edge in a second. “I wanna fly!” she’d say as Da would catch her in his great arms before she could do herself any harm, sheltering her in his shoulders, protecting her with his fists. “Oh, you’ll fly someday, my sweet,” Da’d say. “You’ll soar. Over across the great wide ocean, to the magic land