Cosa Nostra and other things

1 minutes estimated reading time

I finished a book by Cosa Nostra – A history of the Sicilian mafia written by John Dickie. Dickie’s work demystified the glamour and media perpetuated stereotypes of the mafia. They were never men of honour. In a surprising degree of personal honesty unusual in these type of books, Dickie is forthcoming about the elements that he doesn’t know or understand about the Cosa Nostra. Usually loose ends are glossed over or used to take the material in another direction – a la many conspiracy theorists.

Dickie’s account leaves the alone the American cousins of the Sicilian mafia unless they impinge on the Italian story. The mafia story weaves a complex pattern around modern Italian history. More book reviews here.

I also got to see Clerks II and The Departed. I love Clerks and I really liked what Kevin Smith did with the follow-on film, neatly answering the question how do you top a film that captures the existentialist navel gazing of generation x slackers?

I won’t spoil the plot, but if you haven’t seen it you can look forward to some classic Jay moments, a boom box to die for, drama worthy of Days of Our Lives and inter-species erotica.

The Departed is an American interpretation of Hong Kong classic thriller Infernal Affairs. Leonardo DeCaprio plays an undercover police man coming apart at the edges and Matt Damon is the mole inside the police department.

The film is a good movie in its own right, but lacks of the polish of the performances in the original.