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Mark Winegardner was born and raised in Bryan, Ohio, near Exit 2, a town of 8,000 which supplies the world with its Dum-Dum suckers and Etch-a-Sketches. His parents owned an RV dealership there, and every summer he traveled with his family across the USA in various travel trailers and motorhomes. By the time he was 15, he had been in all 48 contiguous states. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Miami University and went on to receive a master of fine arts degree in fiction writing from George Mason University. He published his first book at age 26, while still in graduate school.
His books have been chosen as among the best of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Times, the New York Public Library, and USA Today. Several of his stories have been chosen as Distinguished Stories of the Year in The Best American Short Stories. He is the author of two acclaimed novels: The Veracruz Blues and Crooked River Burning.
The Godfather’s final chapter relates that “The bloody victory of the Corleone family was not complete …” and so the Puzo’s estate decided it should be. This takes up Michael’s story from 1955-65, from Las Vegas to New York and is no doubt full of authentic detail but, interesting though it is, it lacks the spark of the master, but if you’re a devotee you should read it.Comparison: Mario Puzo, James Ellroy, Lorenzo Carcaterra.Similar this month: None but try William Landay.