Now a PBS documentary, this astonishing memoir of growing up in rough-and-tumble Jersey City "will steal your heart" (People) With deadpan humor and obvious affection, Five-Finger Discount recounts the story of an unforgettable New Jersey family of swindlers, bookies, embezzlers, and mobster-wannabes. In the memoir Mary Karr calls "a page-turner," Helene Stapinski ingeniously weaves the checkered history of her hometown of Jersey City-a place known for its political corruption and industrial blight-with the tales that have swirled around her relatives for decades. Navigating a childhood of toxic waste and tough love, Stapinski tells an extraordinary tale at once heartbreaking and hysterically funny. Praise for Five-Finger Discount "By turns hilarious and alarming, [Helene Stapinski's] book reads on the surface like something by Damon Runyon and Elmore Leonard, with a dark undertow of real-life pain and disillusion."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "It's a brilliant book, a darling book. It is the blessedly modest chronicle of a magical consciousness that seems to have been born pulling diamonds out of the muck, hearing angels' voices in the fiercest thunder...? I adored every word of this wondrous book. Get it. Read it."-Michael Pakenham, The Baltimore Sun "In the tradition of...?ita Mae Brown and Amy Tan, Ms. Stapinski is an exciting writer, unabashedly candid, and at the same time unashamedly self-contained. Five-Finger Discount is a must-read."-Victoria Gotti, The New York Observer "What [Frank] McCourt did for Limerick, Ireland, Helene Stapinski does for Jersey City."-The Star-Ledger "Hugely entertaining."-The Sunday Times (London)
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