Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Review: Pallbearers and Gamblers by Michael John Cruit

Pallbearers and Gamblers
By Michael John Cruit
Genre: Fiction
Book Description:
It’s 1971 and the Vietnam war rages.  Michael Dibiaso returns from his tour of duty in Vietnam and the army assigns him to a special unit that acts as pallbearers and honor guard for soldiers killed in the war.  These experiences turn Michael into a bitter opponent of the war.  After his discharge from the army he continues to attend funerals of fallen soldiers.
Michael’s family has been involved with the Chicago Mafia for years. His father had been good friends with Al Capone.  His brother Sergio works with the Mafia in their Stardust Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Sergio becomes embroiled in a fatal dispute with a Mafia capo and Michael gets involved.  The brothers decide to get revenge by stealing the year-end skim from the Desert Inn – seven million dollars.

Book Review:

Pallbearers and Gamblers is about recently discharged, Michael Dibiaso, who comes home to Chicago. There his father, Tony, works side by side with the Chicago Mafia along with his brother. Shortly after arrival, there is already a war threatening to begin. Which leads to some nefarious situations.

Pallbearers and Gamblers is great! It was like watching a movie. I could see Michael coming home to his family. Side by side with Sergio. Honestly, fiction novels that take place back a couple decades is always a hit or miss with me. This is a hit! Michael's character wasn't perfect. I loved that. It's mentioned frequently in the beginning of the book, that Michael had changed, which is what you totally expect from a guy who just came from the Vietnam War. Mr. Cruit did an excellent job with Pallbearers and Gamblers! Five stars!
Author Bio:
Michael Cruit was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN.  He served three years in the United States Army, including thirteen months in Vietnam.  After his discharge he attended the University of Minnesota, earned a degree in sociology and entered the graduate program in social psychology.  In 1980 Mr. Cruit went to Costa Rica to write his dissertation, but never returned to the US.

Social psychology was not useful for survival in the rainforest and he endured several years of poverty.  He survived by panning for gold and making coconut oil, then paddling upriver six hours to the nearest town, where he sold the gold and coconut oil and purchased supplies. Eventually, he learned carpentry and made a decent living working on local construction projects.

There are no roads, no power lines, no phone lines anywhere near his house.  A pelton micro-hydro system provides enough electricity for lights, fridge and computer.  He still lives in the Costa Rican rain forest, with seven cats, five dogs, thousands of parrots, toucans and monkeys and billions of bugs.


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