Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Mad Ones: Crazy Joe Gallo and the Revolution at the Edge of the Underworld

Joey Gallo died at 43, though not before leaving an indelible imprint both on New York and on American culture. In “The Mad Ones: Crazy Joe Gallo and the Revolution at the Edge of the Underworld”, Tom Folsom deftly evokes a wacky world populated by the sort of characters celebrated by Jack Kerouac.

“The only people for me are the mad ones,” Kerouac once wrote, “the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn.”

Mr. Gallo fit the definition, and Mr. Folsom, who in an earlier book creditably re-created the world of the drug dealer Nicky Barnes, does the same for a man mythologized by cultural trailblazers from Bob Dylan to Gay Talese.

Thanks to Sam Roberts

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