PRIZZI’S GLORY <i> by Richard Condon (Signet: $4.95) </i>
Although it has “sequel to the hit film” written all over it, Richard Condon’s latest novel is a mordantly funny satire on business and politics in contemporary America. Drug trafficking, loan sharking, prostitution and related activities have given the members of the Prizzi family everything anyone could possibly desire except respectability. Maerose and Don Corrado plot to obtain that elusive quality by sending made-over versions of Charley Partanna and Eduardo Prizzi to Washington--as Cabinet members, at the very least.
Charley initially is appalled at the notion, but Ronald Reagan’s legacy of corruption and malfeasance quickly makes the former hit man feel right at home in Washington. (“The dear old man, shuffling through history, had been more instantly lovable than Corrado Prizzi, but the overall effects produced had been the same.”) Condon’s rollicking tale of the all-too-friendly takeover of the U.S. government by a multibillion-dollar famiglia seems distressingly plausible.