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Review: The Kitchen is a woman’s place, indeed

Movie Review: The Kitchen Part revenge-quest, part sisterhood of the travelling pants with pistols, The Kitchen has so many male constructs sewn into its inseam, first-time director Andrea Berloff doesn’t have a lot of room to move. It’s a man’s cut, yet but makes it comfortable by wearing it all a size too large, boyfriend style, writes critic Katherine Monk.

And so it ends… with a bang.

Fiction: Mob Rule - Part 49 The family feud finally explodes in a hailstorm of bullets and foaming blood on the front lawns of Hyannis as Jack and his mob brothers storm the Kennedy castle By John Armstrong We got off the highway and headed toward Marchant Avenue, the road the compound lays on. Just before the turn for the long driveway I waved them to a halt again and got back out, standing in the street and directing the trucks down the road toward their respective “points of insertion”, as Beppe put it. Then I stood there looking at my watch. At two minutes to five, in the first misty light of dawn and the fog off the Atlantic still swirling around us, I got back in and waved our own group forward and into position. Then we waited again, listening to birds chattering in the trees. A car came down the road and slowed to see what was going on. Our driver pulled his gun from under his jacket and waved the driver through. Just as he passed, the first semi in our group ...

Countdown to Confrontation

Mob Rule: Part 47 A presidential bid is about to get bloody as the bosses from the Big Apple face off against the boys from Beantown's brassiest, classiest and gassiest family, The Kennedys By John Armstrong It all came together fast, fast enough to scare me. Call me cynical but I have a basic mistrust of anything that goes too smoothly. It usually means there’s a joker in the deck, ready to pop up and laugh at you when things fall apart. But I looked over my work and couldn’t see where it was, if it was there at all. There was one thing I could see laying in the weeds and ready to bite us, but there was little I could do about it. We were moving as quickly as we could, not least because we had no way to house and feed 2,000-plus soldiers even if we wanted to, and the plan was to sign them up and then move them out almost immediately. So with all this speed did we have the element of surprise? Not on your life. You can’t keep the raising of an army quiet, especia...

Jack and Vanessa get out of Dodge

Mob Rule: Part 40 When Jack realizes he's stuck between The Kennedys and his old mob buddies back in New York, he makes a bold squeeze play to abandon the Presidential campaign trail and return to the family fold By John Armstrong So now I was in the middle of a triple-cross, because surely the last thing Meyer and Frank expected was for me to come home having made a side deal with one of my co-conspirators.  But, like Sidney said, this was a game where the rules changed while you played. It wouldn’t matter anyway unless I figured out how to excuse Vanessa and myself from this party without getting shot. I had to keep myself ready for any opportunity to get a small head start on them, even a few hours. They’d relaxed on watching me so far as I’d noticed and as I thought about it I realized why. They’d hamstrung me in the most efficient way possible: I had no money. I’d gotten so used to Sydney or one of the others paying for everything or simply signing for it ...

Mob Rule: Part 19

Route 1 to the heart of darkness Jack settles back into the Kennedy cottage where he gets a warm welcome from Bobby and gets a good look at The Grandfather: Joseph P. Sr. By John Armstrong It was as quiet as New York ever gets on the way out of the city and traffic was light when we got onto US 1 headed south. The freeway runs over top of what was the original Boston Post Road, three hundred years old under its modern surface and ironically, that cement and tarmac was poured and paid for by the Kennedys at their end and the New York Families at ours, our respective crews meeting in the middle somewhere. I remember that because it was one of the illustrations of how a closed economic system works, back in college. We collect our tribute from the people and in return, we have to keep things working, such as roads. Plus, it’s a basic cost of business. Where would we be without transportation? Or sewers, or whatever. Say we have a contract to let for 100 miles of freeway ...

Mob Rule: Part 15

Sex in Vegas, Blood in New York Jack and Vanessa get to know each other in a Biblical sense while an unholy gang war starts to ramp up on the streets of the big apple By John Armstrong Some time later I called the desk and asked them to tell Mr. Cohen we had been unavoidably detained. I lit a cigarette one-handed, as the other was trapped from the shoulder down beneath a large mound of hair snuggled into my chest and portions of a beautiful face peeking out here and there. “This is exactly what I swore to my mother I would not do,” she said. “‘Mind you don’t get swept off your feet by some fancy hoodlum and wind up on your back’, she said, and here I am, on my back.” She tugged the sheet towards her. “My mother also believes the Catholics are taking over the world, through numbers. That’s why the Pope’s against birth control.” “Absolutely true,” I told her. “We’re in a race with the Chinese for domination. It’s why the Earth tilts on its ...

Mob Rule: Part 14

What happens in Vegas... Jack and Vanessa get a massage together, but if they don't get the message you will: He's strapped on his Doc Holliday double huckleberries, and he's ready for whatever happens next... By John Armstrong Normally I wouldn’t fall asleep while someone is kneading and stroking me and anointing me with oils, but I somehow managed it. I was in a half-dreaming state the details of which are not suitable to go into here, and only awoke when urged to turn over, something I found with some embarrassment I needed to do carefully. Vanessa was making very interesting and encouraging moans of contentment practically in my ear which didn’t help matters any. My masseuse showed admirable professionalism by completely failing to notice anything was amiss while casually folding a large towel and laying it on the sheet just where it would do the most good. When they had done about as much as was possible unless we were going to give up on a any semblance of a purely ...

Mob Rule: Part 8

Dinner at Number 4 Patchin Place Voltaire said ‘the finest system would be democracy with the occasional assassination,’ and New York's established mob families couldn't agree more By John Armstrong Don’t ever get Joe started on his apartment, if you can still call it that. Every time he buys a few more paintings or sculptures he ends up buying the next unit over and knocking out a few non-essential walls. It’s more art gallery and warehouse now than it is living space. It’s beautiful though, don’t get me wrong; just that I wouldn’t want to dust it. Number 4 Patchin Place is in a gated cul de sac in the Village just off West 10th between Sixth and Greenwich, 10 or so three-story row houses in red brick and black wrought iron in close proximity to the coffee bars and galleries of the bohemian district. That would have been enough for Joey to buy it but it’s who lived there before him that sunk the hook. The poet e.e. cummings lived at No. 5, long ...

Mob Rule: Part 7

Meet the Goombah Looking to impress his new lady friend, Jack takes her on a ride in his boss's deep purple Packard before giving her a tour of the family business, where the faces of dead dons hang on the wall and a counting room the size of a school gym sloshes over with cash     By John Armstrong I stood outside on the sidewalk smoking and double and triple-checking my reflection in the doors, compulsively smoothing the brim of my hat and adjusting the knot of my tie like a teenager. I was considering a quick polish of my spats on the back of my trousers when I heard the horn. Horns, I should say. Somehow Frank had gotten instructions out for them to use his pride and joy to taxi Vanessa, his 1933 Packard Touring Sedan, a great 12-cylinder beast of a thing whose massive chrome prow makes it look more like an ocean liner than an automobile, as if one had sailed up to the docks and then just said, “the hell with it, what did you say the address was?” ...

Mob Rule – The Bloodbath Begins

Mob Rule: Part One Gang wars are always brutal and bloody, but if you can't take the heat, you best get out of the place where they make the pasta. That's right, if you like your eggs hardboiled and your orange juice on the pulpy side, then John Armstrong's novel is right up your dark alley as he leads us on a continuing journey to the kingdom of Mob Rule. In this opening instalment, shots are fired, someone goes down and someone brushes off their Borsalino to live another day in the gritty city. “If Satan should ever replace God he would find it necessary to assume the attributes of Divinity.” -- Voltaire       By John Armstrong CHAPTER ONE I was already flat on the ground before I heard the bullets. We had just reached the bottom of the steps when Coriolano, my bodyguard, grabbed me by the shoulders and threw me to the sidewalk, then chips of concrete and stone were dancing in the air to the whine of ricochets and the silly sounding ...