Ng serving day laborer and uietly ndures the noise and distractions of labor unions street life and racial assumptions inherent in 1980s Philly A seeming random act butterfly flapping its wings sets off a cascade of vents that spreads through the community and inflames the simmering tensions just below the surface of the teeming smelly and selfish lements of the urban organism Unintended conseuences run amok and before long a couple of people have been maimed and killed and loves lost and found I won t spoil the plot since the master deserves to be read firsthand but I will xpand a little on the knot of characters since they are so masterful that like great art they will hit ach of us according to our own uniue receptionI believe that novelists are artists in the true sense of the word and if they tickle ones fancy and open doors of perception and understanding and licit pure motion they should be treated as such Dexter does this for me because he makes me believe these people represent real people that live in a time and place yet have universal human motions of fear nvy lust despair and fortunately love Mickey a central character ironically believed falsely but he uses it to be connected and the husband of the woman who s son has just died while looking at the corpse in the morgue observes Mickey looked at Leon again Leon without all that crazy shit floating around in his head it was just a kid a skinny kid It didn t look very substantial to already be a whole lifeMickey saw that that was what Leon must have looked like to Jeanie very day of his life In just a few sentences punctuated by the broken language in Mickey s head Dexter conveys the mystery of love and revelation as he glimpses his beloved wife s point of view This book is chock full of pith observations told from the brains of a range of characters ach in their own vernacular He smoothly moves from Le valeureux guerrier each and weaves a patchwork into a composite of the whole gritty Phillynvironment of the 80s The array and depth of characters is Snowflakes on the Sea exemplified by the reluctant funeral home director smilin Jack constantlymbroiled in shouting matches with his upstairs father whom we never meet trying to sell a coffin to Mickey p 64 Smilin Jack always assumed he had money that he didn t have Everyone in the Pocket did They assumed he was connected to There was nobody but Bird that knew anything about it and that included Jeannie too She kept her accounts and he kept his and it seemed like a funny way to be married but she kept a distance from verything He guessed it was her way of seeing things Mickey is a sympathetic character trying to keep up a false image to keep his wife Jeannie the neighborhood beauty from straying and to maintain a living This kind of tension makes Mickey s subseuent actions logical to the reader while a mystery to his wife and the rest of the community Just like in life where we have but a glimpse of ach other and scratch our heads at the actions of others In terms of pure observation and descriptive power Dexter amazes me such as the little vignette where Mickey sees the ticket taker at the theatre as an old woman who d painted her lips half an inch beyond where they stopped watched him from inside the ticket booth She looked like a baby chicken in an incubator He wondered who she painted herself up for He d wondered if she d laughed when she was younger while she was getting laid She yawned while he watched her her mouth turning into a tiny black hole He could imagine a lizard coming out of there but not the getting laid kind of laughing God s Pocket is loaded with this kind of imagery and speaks worlds about both the observer and the observed their mpathy and their disgust Every book I ve read by Dexter demonstrates and uncanny observation of race and class specially those downtrodden and ignored For xample Lucien or old Lucy veryone in town has a nickname having just Humanism: The Greek Ideal and its Survival experienced the most dangerousxperience of his life and fearing his own death as observed by his pious loving and saintly wife The last time she d seem him smile like that his mother had just died She was ninety seven and they wasn t near Love 2.0 (A Cates Brothers Book, enough power left in her motor to make things work all at once so sometimes she did her thinkin and sometimes she did her talkin but it wasn t never at the same time The intelligence of his wife her uiet power of observation and her understanding and longsuffering is p Richard Price has this to say about this book and he has nailed it God s Pocket sings snarls mugs wisecracks buys you a drink steals your wallet and takes you home to meet the folks Dexter s sense of terror and comedy is firmly in place in his very first novelThe book follows the impact the random murder of an unrepentant sociopath on the neighborhood he is from and a couple other unfortunate outsiders pulled into thevents The story told is one featuring painfully The Fix exuisite character sketches brutal comedy and violence and told withye towards grit and street smarts It reminds me of Nathaniel West Lehane s Mystic River Lehane uses a uote from this book as an pigramRobert Stone Richard Price who provides a blurb and Robert Altman and Sydney Lumet movies but Pete Dexter feels too original for comparisons Young Leon Hubbard gets killed on the job and it leads to a whole series of unfortunate vents Using his humor and gritty style Dexter writes some of the best deeply flawed characters in literature and puts them in some of the most serious situations so That His Books Can his books can help but be njoyable reads A JON AND HIS MA BOOK CLUB SELECTIONAs an old newspaperman mphasis on the paper just so we re clear Pete Dexter knows the art of the lead Leon Hubbard died ten minutes into lunc a level crime masterpieceFew stories tell the truth of working class wiseguys mobbed up and otherwise as this one movies like Mean Streets and novels like The Friends of Eddie Coyle being clear antecedents Dexter s writing is undeniably poetic and while it doesn t Desire in Seven Voices end as grimly as some similar stories it leaves a rough and undeniable impression The pacing the language that he commands with suchase wonderful characters who can surprise without beggaring belief Dexter chooses just the right details to sketch the individuals and their surroundings omitting anything surplus You know where you are who you re with no loose nds How is this a first novel The narrative clips along in brief pisodes moving the action from construction site to neighborhood bar to racetrack to refrigerated truck Grown men cry in bathtubs Old women shoot interlopers in the nose This is a very funny bookGod s Pocket is not my first Pete Dexter I read Paris Trout The Paperboy and Train I have collected all that I can find and am parcelling them out to myself with an The Casa Mono Cookbook eye to making the pleasure lastI can write no better blurb than the one by Richard Price on the cover my copy of the book God s Pocket sings snarls mugs wisecracks buys you a drink steals your wallet and takes you home to meet the folks I started following Pete Dexter as a columnist for The Daily News in Philadelphia His stories of what most people would call the underside of big city life were made incredibly compellingven if you knew the people in them were probably waiting to do you some serious harm There was usually some little gem of writing or a turn of phrase that made you think about things you thought you knew in a new way I read this uite a while ago as Dexter was turning into a novelist This is an xpansion of a true story that kept lifting the rug in different dirty corners of Philadelphia None of the characters come out clean but they weren t really very clean going in In Dexter s able hands that doesn t make them bad or ven almost bad It just makes them the characters that we all know are out there Maybe from a neighborhood we try to avoid or from a walk of life that we step around local note the neighborood so beautifully brought to life and death here iswas actually called Devil s Pocket of just the pocket for the way it took up the space between several angular avenues on the border of downtown Philadelphia It s pretty much gone now part having become uite gentrified and the other part slipping ven farther from any chance at all Enough background If you ve ver lived in a city you know some these people like it or not This story kept happening because of the connection between these guys and what would be considered upper crust Phil AH delphians and their considerable foibles Fascinating interplay and a great read I m a fan. News with the body Everyone that is xcept Leon’s mother and a local newspaper columnist hoping the story will resurrect his career Only a mother could love a man like Leon But only an outsider could xpect to change anything in God’s Pocke.

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Book Review by Sharon Powers Leon Hubbard had worried most verybody on the crew at one time or another he d ven touched something in Peets It wasn t the razor Peets had taken razors away from people that was as simple as understanding you were going to get cut it was something in the kid you didn t want to listen to The truth was he didn t believe the kid s stepfather was connected That was bullshit the same way the razor was He kept it in his back pocket and brought it out twenty thirty times a day He used it to cut lunch meat and tell stories and shape his fingernails Once they d found a bat inside a cinder block and he d used the razor to cut its head off Then he d wrung verything out of the body and said I seen that happen to a nun once p4 The above brilliant disgusting paragraph nails Leon Hubbard s personality down to a tee And whether Leon is a psychopath or a sociopath is irrelevant Pete Dexter shows us in just one short paragraph verything we don t want to know about Leon For ven if we believe that Leon s little assertion about the nun is bullshit we still see something twisted about him something in the kid we don t want to listen to Something in the kid we know is about to boil over into trouble Later this not wanting to listen to this something you don t want to see or know about Leon continues as Peets observes It was like when you re watchin something you don t want to see but you can t look away p 105 This behavior is often seen in witnesses to a crime they can t look away and can t help seeing it but having seen it still adamantly deny having seen itThe people of God s Pocket South Philly live with this attitude about Leon Hubbard As you read the book look to see what lse its characters deny hearing or seeing Relationships Bigotry Pain The dirtiness of the city s people whether or not we refer to the city and its people literally or metaphorically 3THE BOOK Note Some spoilers are present in the following material Leon Hubbard is the pivotal point in this story A story about a young man who as the book s publisher s say had it coming to him And what Conflict in Blood exactly did Leon Hubbard have due and coming to him Why nothing than an accidental death But Leon s mother thinks there s to the story than meets theye ven though she cannot xplain why she thinks that way She convinces well known and popular newspaper columnist Richard Shellburn to look into things for her Does the alcoholic and womanizing Shellburn take up the cause just to get into Jeanie Hubbard Scarpato s bed or is going on than a just cause In the upcoming movie Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as Mickey Scarpatoand John Turturo stars as Arthur Bird CapezioMickey s friend and accomplice in this scene from the movieGod s Pocket set in South Philadelphia USA And then there is Jeanie Hubbard Scarpato s husband Mickey Scarpato Mickey tells his friend Arthur Bird Capezio about his wife s concerns that something was concealed from the family regarding Leon s death Bird goes to Vinney a made man in the area for a favor to have him look into things for the family So now along with the police a total of three investigations about Leon s death are taking place It isn t long before a domino The Crucified Ones: Calling Forth the End-Time Remnant effect hasxciting interactions happening all over God s Pocket in South PhillyLeon is considered to be bad news What other kinds of bad news face the characters in the book This story is about insiders and outsiders a mother s love and a meat wagon with than just beef in it and how people deal with bad news God s Pocket is irreverent and gritty hilariously dark and broodingly funny We must knowwill the people of God s Pocket bury the truth about bad news Leon because they don t want their illusions destroyed Will Leon take his bad news with him to the grave Or will Vinney and his boys kill the story to keep God s Pocket s dirty little secrets safeMY FAVORITE UOTE Briefly to set the scene Vinney The Italian has sent two men to rough up Coleman Peets foreman on the worksite where Leon died in an attempt to get information about Leon s death to pass on to Arthur Bird Capezio who then intends to pass the info on to Mickey and he to Jeanie It s the Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age (Lemelson Center Studies in Invention and Innovation series) end of the workday and Peets is getting ready to go home he is standing in the bed of his pickup truck shoveling sand out of it into a pile The two thugs approach and one climbs up and stands behind Peets Here s what happens nextThe thug said We can do this theasy way or the hard waythe other one fit his fingers into a set of artificial knuckles What s it gonna be home boy Peets said It happened the way I said to the police and you Jew boys can do it any damn way you want hard or Logic, Labels, And Flesh easy and it don t matter to me The one who had pushed him threw the hand with the artificial knuckles at Peets face and caught the top of his foreheadPeets felt an old calm settle in he noticed the blood dropping around his bootshe noticed a man across the street standing and watchingThe one with the knucklesturned to throw another punch Peets reached out and smothered his hand and then found his face and then with the same broad motion you might use to shape anye cavity in clay he pushed into the corner of the socket and took the man s left Dialogue: Relationships in Graphic Design eye outPeets caught another look at the man across the street He was sitting on a fire hydrant now watchingThe second man Peets picked him up by the jaw and the pants and held him over his headHe threw the body now from the bed of the truck to the ground One of the legs attached to it hit the rear gate of the truck twisted and came to rest bridged to the little pile of sand Peets had shoveled out of the truck The leg looked broken but Peets jumped down and made sure Then he looked across the street at the man on the fire hydrant The man looked back He stood up slowly nodded clapped five or six times and then headedast down the street Philadelphia condensed uotation pp 118 122 I really like it that Coleman Peets isn t just going to stand around and wait for two thugs to beat him senseless or put him in the hospital And while we don t know in the story who the watching bystander is who approves and ven applauds Peets handling of the situation in some sense WE AS READERS JOIN THAT ANONYMOUS BYSTANDER IN CHEERING as readers join that anonymous bystander in cheering Even so after the applause and cheering has died down we must consider that the bystander like many witnesses to crimes or violent behaviour does not call the police He is one of those silent witnesses who sees nothing hears nothing and knows nothing Street justice has been served But if we know anything about made men we know the boss cannot just let it go that his men were beaten and hospitalized someone will have to pay But in this case it isn t Peets The vingnette reinforces Pete Dexter s motifs in the story of the unseeing and unhearing witnesses who live in God s PocketWHAT ELSE I THINK ABOUT THE BOOK A number of wonderfully interwoven themes xist so let s just look at a few of the most important themes1 The themes of safety and knives We start out with Leon s straight razor a knife It is the opposite of a safety razor it is anything but safe so what we are really talking about is not being safe Of other knives in the story one of particular interest is the one used by the butcher boy Tony Bird s nephew who uses it to Cut Up The Stolen up the stolen a big part of the black humor of the book and movie The young man is so proficient at cutting up the meat that watching him put them in mind of Leon and one could
almost see leon 
see Leon his razor p111 And then there is Richard Shellburn the columnist and an outsider to the Pocket who carried a picture in his head that he was SAFE all the time He Modeling and Analysis of Communicating Systems even had a little retreat a secret little plot of land he could retreat to when things got to him p 136 But Shellburn wasn t safe and he never saw it coming The danger came from his bossRichard Shellburn created a picture in his head that he was SAFE all the time Little did he know that he was about to be taken out in his ownnd zone In fact his boss TD Davis had lived through something traumatic that had him always looking at the timing of things At a former paper an Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice employee came in wielding a chain saw and cut up his desk in an attempt to keep things uiet Davis had issued a no talk order It leaked out to the other papers and Davis was fired Ever after Davis always kept a watchfulye on mployees In a meeting one day with Shellburn Davis considers that he has not been as vigilent with Shellburn as he should have been Davis doesn t want Shellburn to destroy him so he sets Shellburn up takes him out first Davis knows. In this striking debut from the author of the National Book Award winner Paris Trout Pete Dexter chronicles a murder and its conseuences in the fictional blue collar Philadelphia neighborhood of God’s Pocket   Leon Hubbard makes other men ne. ,
That the piece Shellburn wants published will spell his ruin and perhaps his death so Davis approves the article for publication Later the people of God s Pocket are so incensed by Shellburn calling them dirty that one vening at a bar while Shellburn is having a heart attack they attempt to beat him to death But he dies first and they nd up beating his dead body What happened here to Shellburn is called a safety in football Where you are tackled from behind your own goal line often not seeing it coming That is basically what happens to Shellburn he gets taken out behind his own goal line Alternatively you can look at Shellburn and his assistant Billy Deebol as playing the safetymen who defend the furthest area back in the field God s Pocket But I like the Safety definition better I wonder if TD Davis s initials stand for Touch Down It s not the same thing as a safety but it s still kinda funnyeh Finally we have safety as used in the workplace and safety in sex rubbers I m thinking of Leon s sexual liason with Fat Pat here also safety when the judge Kaluist acts in a trial to protect an accused man on charges of murder Jeanie Hubbard after her first husband s death accepts Mickey Scarpatto and marries him because she feels safe with him And then there is the whole neighborhood anyone who is OF God s Pocket is safe in the group it s the outsiders who have to watch out2 OutsidersInsiders If you were born and raised in God s Pocket you re in if not no matter how long you are there you re still an outsider The night of Shellburn s death when the patrons are attacking Shellburn the bartender tells them to take it outside And Mickey in God s Pocket for years and married to an insider Jeanie making deliveries to the bar for years is told You ain t from here ither so stay the fuck out of it p267 Later some street kids tell Mickey Yo Mickwe want you to know we preciate you not talkin to the cops You stood up like you was part of the Pocket Mickey responds Don t include me in nothin about the Pocket p 2693 Forgiveness Leaving the Neighborhood and Love The scene takes place in the Hollywood Bar where Ray and Mickey are talking Everything we need to know about the Pocket happens in this conversationRays says The average American has substituted cliches for thought Ray threw down another shot and asked Mickey You want to know the real reason I never leftThe real reason he said is forgiveness I want to be forgiven Ray shook his head You can t forgive me Mickey he said You re an intelligent man but you don t know anything here I grew up with these people They ve seen me lying in puke and I ve seen them lying in puke no matter what I am they ve got to forgive meThe only thing they can t forgive is leaving the neighborhoodMcKenna gave last call at two and turned on the lightssomebody yelled Yo turn off the fuckin lights McKenna went back to the wall and dimmed the lights Drink up he said again And they did They d seen In Deeper each other in the light once and that wasnoughMickey watched them leaveand he knew in that moment Personlighetspsykiatri exactly what Ray had been talking about only he d said forgiveness when he meant love Mickey could see how you could get them mixed up p227 By thend of the book when Mickey leaves we can see he better understands about forgiveness and love with his wife perhaps there was not love there only acceptance and safety for a while he keeps his crazy friendship with Bird and perhaps that is noughfraternal love And then of course they commit the one unforgiveable sin they leave the neighborhoodTHE MOVIE Go to YouTube and take a look at the insane trailer rife with black humor and making me laugh out loud I loved seeing Hoffman AKA Mickey chasing down the meat truck on foot which in turn causes a traffic accident with a bus and that in turn causes Leon to fall out of the refrigerated truck and into the streetto the amazement of all Note only part of this scene is in the trailer Of course I ve read the book and can read some of the scenes and know why they are included If you read the book you ll get in on the inside jokes too Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as Mickey Scarpato and John Turturro as Arthur Bird Capezio and Joyce Van Patten as Bird s Aunt Sophie You just gotta love Aunt Sophie what a surprise she is andwhat a pistol Christine Hendricks as Jeanie Scarpato Caleb Landry Jones as Leon Hubbard Bill Buell as Ray Richard Jenkins as Richard Shellburn Arthur French as Lucien Old Lucy Edwards
and glenn fleshler 
Glenn Fleshler Coleman Peets Writing Credits go to Peter Dexter for the novel and Alex Metcalf and John Slattery for the screenplay Directing the movie is John Slattery The movie is Rated R is 88 minutes long and is placed in the Drama category The movie opens in theaters in LIMITED RELEASE on May 9 2014 USAMY RECOMMENDATIONS AND RATINGS The Motion Picture Rating MPAA is R In this movie it is rated R for the violence the language throughout the movie and sexual content in cluded I would likewise rate the book the same way I do not recommend this book for young children or for some sensitive readers who are asily distraught over death and violence or bad language I do however recommend this book to all adults who may njoy black humor gritty realism and an irreverent look at life This story is set in South Philly God s Pocket South Philadel phia and is therefore a regionally based story Those who know nothing of Philly may not understand all the re gional references taking place within the context of the book and movie I was surprised by this book I normally don t care too much for black humor but this book was not so off the wall that I couldn t njoy it As a matter of fact the tongue in cheek satire where the book pokes fun at its own characters and city and life style really made me chuckle No Not the loud guffaw but the chuckle The Yeah I got it chuck chuck chuckle Way to go Pete Dexter I m on my way to read Paris Trout soon In fact I ve already ordered the book and it will be sent to me in short order For all the above reasons I rate this wonderful book with the story set in the 1980s at 45 stars out of 5 and give it a thumbs up I recommend that before all the used copies are snatched up that you grab one and buy it and read it for yourself Thank you for joining me this week as we looked at this cult favorite God s Pocket by Pete Dexter I m glad it is coming to the movies but from what I have seen of the professional critics reviews of the movie it isn t rated well In fact the metascore is only 28100 It may be another reason for releasing it in Limited Release first so as to test the waters so to speak I hope it does well I don t always agree with professional critics assessment of movies perhaps you have also had this Financial Modeling and Valuation: A Practical Guide to Investment Banking and Private Equity experience In anyvent we have to wait and see what happens It would be lovely if one of Mr Hoffman s last movies did well at the box office Such a wonderful actor Thank you for taking time to read my review today Please join me again next week as we take another book into consideration for reading njoyment and find out whether or not it is sufficiently worthy to spend your money on pick it up and spend your valuable time reading it Until then you couldn t do better than to find a copy of God s Pocket and read it It is relatively short only 279 pages and njoyable So give it a tryUntil next timemany happy pages of readingAll my love Sharon Mickey Scarpato was 45 years old and did not understand women It wasn t the way bartenders or comedians didn t understand women it was the way poor people didn t understand the Learning Unreal® Engine iOS Game Development economy You could stand outside the Girard Bank Buildingvery day of your life and never guess anything about what went in there That s why in their hearts they d always rather anything about what went in there That s why in their hearts they d always rather up a 7 11He did know by then that nothing would turn the kid around but a chance to run you over twice Peets morning went by a minute at a timeMickey knew from the last five days how it was when all you had for ambition was for time to passTD had been raised underprivileged in a country where they liked to say anybody could grow up to be president but now he d made himself a place and the spirit behind that relief was the single most repulsive thing he could think of Pete s first novel my 3rd of his is a tight little tale built around a range of characters in small neighborhood in Philadelphia The plot is spawned very arly and the setup draws you immediately by the realism of the dynamics of working class construction crew and an lderly black gentleman a beautifully crafted saintly character who appears briefly who is lo. Rvous talking to himself or anyone who will listen about the things he’s cut with his straight razor So when he crosses the wrong guy on a South Philly construction site and winds up with his head caved in veryone is content to bury the bad. God's Pocket