On the lighter side of memoirs, this
little treat really stuck out. To be honest, I was anticipating
its dismissal, assuming it was really about some guy's family and would
likely have no impact or interest on the reading public beyond the
author's immediate family and friends.
It was exactly
that which made the book so endearing.
now a successful consultant, tells the story of growing up in an Italian
American family in the fifties and, through the years, overcoming life's
little obstacles. Characters make appearances with (nick)names like Big
Buck Tooth and Ignorant Louie, and you get a genuine flavor for what
growing up Italian was in the fifties (and thereafter).
The most compelling
parts of the novel are his youngest years, where he describes an
upbringing (simple, joyful, funny) that not only has all but disappeared
from the American landscape, but the folks who have the tales to tell are
disappearing as well. This history is about to vanish forever. And even
when the times were not that innocent, they practically defined
innocence by today's standards.
probably really was designed to educate/impress/serve Cusato's family, but
don't let that push this one aside. It turns out having a grounded family
(unlike, say, Augusten Burroughs) is far more interesting than the
The book is broken
down into 40 easy to read chapters (including an epilogue which the author
admits "everyone hates"-- including me) making it easy to read
in snippets. Priced at $21.95
on Amazon (no doubt do to the inclusion of images) it's a great
book for snowy days.