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God's PocketYoung Leon Hubbard gets killed on the job and it leads to a whole series of unfortunate events Using his humor and gritty style Dexter writes some of the best deeply flawed characters in literature and uts them in some of the most serious situations so that his books can t help but be enjoyable reads 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 lot is spawned very early and the setup draws you immediately by the realism of the dynamics of working class construction crew and an elderly black gentleman a The acing the language that he commands with such ease 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 ends How is this a first novel The narrative clips along in brief episodes 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 arcelling them out to myself with an eye to making the leasure lastI can write no better blurb than the one by Richard Price on the cover my copy of the book God s Pocket sing Book Review by Sharon Powers Leon Hubbard had worried most everybody on the crew at one time or another he d even touched something in Peets It wasn t the razor Peets had taken razors away from eople 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 ocket 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 everything out of the body and said I seen that happen to a nun once 4 The above brilliant disgusting aragraph nails Leon Hubbard s Tocqueville personality down to a tee And whether Leon is asychopath or a sociopath is irrelevant Pete Dexter shows us in just one short Rebel Girls paragraph everything we don t want to know about Leon For even 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 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 A Treason of Thorns people of God s Pocket South Philly live with this attitude about Leon Hubbard As you read the book look to see what else its characters deny hearing or seeing Relationships Bigotry Pain The dirtiness of the city seople whether or not we refer to the city and its eople literally or metaphorically 3THE BOOK Note Some spoilers are resent in the following material Leon Hubbard is the Martha, du nervst!: Von einem anderen Umgang mit Demenz pivotaloint in this story A story about a young man who as the book s ublisher s say had it coming to him And what 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 the eye even though she cannot explain why she thinks that way She convinces well known and opular 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 olice a TOTAL OF THREE INVESTIGATIONS ABOUT LEON of three investigations about Leon death are taking lace It isn t long before a domino effect has exciting interactions happening all over God s Pocket in South PhillyLeon Is Considered To Be Bad News What Other Kinds Of considered to be bad news What other kinds of 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 eople deal with bad news God s Pocket is irreverent and gritty hilariously dark and broodingly funny We must knowwill the eople 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 The Transformation of Intergovernmental Satellite Organisations: Policy and Legal Perspectives pass on to Arthur Bird Capezio who then intends toass the info on to Mickey and he to Jeanie It s the end of the workday and Peets is getting ready to go home he is standing in the bed of his The Marine's E-Mail Order Bride pickup truck shoveling sand out of it into aile The two thugs approach and one climbs up and stands behind Peets Here s what happens nextThe thug said We can do this the easy 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 Dervishes and Islam in Bosnia: Sufi Dimensions to the Formation of Bosnian Muslim Society police and you Jew boys can do it any damn way you want hard or easy and it don t matter to me The one who hadushed 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 unch Peets reached watchingThe one with the knucklesturned to throw another unch Peets reached and smothered his hand and then found his face and then with the same broad motion you might use to shape an eye cavity in clay he A New Kind of Public: Community, Solidarity, and Political Economy in New Deal Cinema, 1935-1948 pushed into the corner of the socket and took the man s left eye outPeets caught another look at the man across the street He was sitting on a fire hydrant now watchingThe second man Peetsicked him up by the jaw and the Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors 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 littleile 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 headed east down the street Philadelphia condensed uotation Hexe 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 orut him in the hospital And while we don t know in the story who the watching bystander is who approves and even applauds Peets handling of the situation in some sense we as readers join that anonymous bystander in cheering Peets 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 Eumenes of Cardia: A Greek Among Macedonians 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 toay 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 exist 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 razo. 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. R 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 articular interest is the one used by the butcher boy Tony Bird s nephew who uses it to cut up the stolen meat a big The Polemical Works of Al Al- Abar part of the black humor of the book and movie The young man is soroficient at cutting up the meat that watching him A Companion to Vittoria Colonna put them in mind of Leon and one could almost see Leon with his razor111 And then there is Richard Shellburn the columnist and an outsider to the Pocket who carried a icture in his head that he was SAFE all the time He even had a little retreat a secret little lot of land he could retreat to when things got to him La Partera: Story of a Midwife p 136 But Shellburn wasn t safe and he never saw it coming The danger came from his bossRichard Shellburn created aicture in his head that he was SAFE all the time Little did he know that he was about to be taken out in his own end 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 aper an 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 apers and Davis was fired Ever after Davis always kept a watchful eye on employees 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 that the iece Shellburn wants ublished will spell his ruin and Reduced Laughter: Seriocomic Features and Their Functions in the Book of Kings perhaps his death so Davis approves the article forublication Later the eople of God s Pocket are so incensed by Shellburn calling them dirty that one evening at a bar while Shellburn is having a heart attack they attempt to beat him to death But he dies first and they end 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 laying 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 Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 27 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 theatrons 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 either so stay the fuck out of it 267 Later some street kids tell Mickey Yo Mickwe want you to know we reciate you not talkin to the cops You stood up like you was Networking for Career Success: 24 Lessons for Getting to Know the Right People part of the Pocket Mickey responds Don t include me in nothin about the Pocket 2693 Forgiveness Leaving the Neighborhood and Love The scene takes lace 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 eople They ve seen me lying in Zheng Guogu puke and I ve seen them lying inuke 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 each other in the light once and that was enoughMickey watched them leaveand he knew in that moment 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 227 By the end of the book when Mickey leaves we can see he better understands about forgiveness and love Mickey leaves we can see he better understands about forgiveness and love his wife erhaps there was not love there only acceptance and safety for a while he keeps his crazy friendship with Bird and Frںuhzeit Des Ostslaventums perhaps that is enoughfraternal 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 onlyart 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 istol 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 as Leon Hubbard Bill Buell as Ray Richard Jenkins as Richard Shellburn Arthur French as Lucien Old Edwards and Glenn Fleshler as 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 laced 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 easily distraught over death and violence or bad language I do however recommend this book to all adults who may enjoy black humor gritty realism and an irreverent look at life This story is set in South Philly God s Pocket South Philadel Whose Life Is It Anyway?: Living through your 20s on your own terms phia and is therefore a regionally based story Those who know nothing of Philly may not understand all the re gional references takinglace 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 enjoy it As a matter of fact the tongue in cheek satire where the book The Rumsfeld Way: The Leadership Wisdom of a Battle-Hardened Maverick 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 therofessional 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 rofessional critics assessment of movies erhaps you have also had this experience In any event 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. 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 everyone is content to bury the bad. To read my review today Please join me again next week as we take another book into consideration for reading enjoyment and find out whether or not it is sufficiently worthy to spend your money on ick 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 The Little Book of Breakthrough: Breakthrough Thoughts for Manifesting Your Heaven on Earth pages and enjoyable So give it a tryUntil next timemany happyages of readingAll my love Sharon A JON AND HIS MA BOOK CLUB SELECTIONAs an old newspaperman emphasis on the Genocide of One paper just so we re clear Pete Dexter knows the art of the lead Leon Hubbard died ten minutes into lunch break on the first Monday in May on the construction site of the new one story trauma wing at Holy Redeemer Hospital in South Philadelphia One way or the other he was going to lose the job All the facts followed by a hook to get you on to the nextaragraphLeon is a Nintendo Wii Flash Game Creator's Guide: Design, Develop, and Share Your Games Online persistentest The you don t like him the he likes bein around He brags of being connected and waves a straight razor around to impress and intimidate his fellow workers who aren t really working Leon takes offense that one guy Old Lucy is on site to get the job done not to admire Leon s razor Star Wars - Jabba the Hutt - The Art of the Deal prowess On one of Leon s especially manicill addled days he takes his razor to Old Lucy s throat and Old Lucy takes a The Real Estate Entrepreneur: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Own Brokerage pipe upside Leon s head further scrambling the young man s brains and forever silencing his speed freak chatter The site s foreman Coleman Peetserhaps feeling white man s guilt for ermitting Leon s abuse of Old Lucy for so long tells the olice Leon was killed in an accident involving the construction euipment The other members of his crew go along with the storyInvestigating officer Calamity Eisenhower is crazy enough to run around armed in a bunny suit but that doesn t mean he s oblivious when New Cutting Edge Elementary Students' Book people lie to him In Eisenhower s experience when everybody lied it was usually best to leave it aloneAs it does so often to the undeserving death confers a celebrity sainthood upon Leon To the barflies and blue collar bozos of God s Pocket Leon becomes what the neighborhood stood for Death also magically grants Leon a competence at his job that he neverossessed when alive and on the job Doubts arise Leon didn t just let something drop on his head and kill him Leading the doubters charge is Leon s mother Jeanie Hubbard Scarpato whose life had sorry chapters than the Old Testament Jeanie s story lands in the lap of ace ayhole newspaper columnist Richard Shellburn the Meditation Express: Stress Relief in 60 Seconds Flat printed voice of Philadelphia He s the only guy knows what it s like out here Always ready to fake a human interest story Shellburn still sweating out last night s drunkays a bleary visit to the grieving widow Shellburn is smitten Jeanie is starstruckJeanie s husband Mickey a small time thief and compulsive gambler dodges his wife s grief and his disapproving donut eating sisters in law by drinking in bars and dozing through horror double features at the grindhouse Mickey s got ressures of his own trying to sell a truckload of contraband beef and recoup all the money for his stepson s burial that he blew at the track good thing he has a refrigerated truckLeon was never really connected as he boasted but Mickey knows a guy who knows some guys who set out on their own ill fated brass knuckled investigation into Leon s death Repercussions mountGod s Pocket is one cynical snarkily venomous takedown of the tribalism of the urban dumbass The only thing they can t forgive is leaving the neighborhood It s raunchy enough that I should have been embarrassed to read it with my mother but she knew the deal with Dexter before she went in Through the course of the book we emailed each other lines we found especially hysterical Before writing his first novel Dexter sharpened his chops as a newspaper columnist and he s definitely not above stabbing his former rofession in the back He comes from an older generation of journalists from the time before newspapers abdicated their responsibilities and linked arms with the broadcast bubbleheads to become the media and together await the vast slack jawed vacuum of extinction via Internet Although the industry has changed much since the 80s when Dexter made his literary debut chain execs and blowhard burnout columnists remain evergreen subjects I won t dwell on the chain saw scene as I d like to keep my day job a little longerFrom his days on the beat Dexter retains the old school crusty eye for human detail the gross Challenged by Love E-Boxed Set physicality of men the mercenaryragmatism of women He s freuently hilarious without resorting to the forced wackiness of mugging columnistnovelists such as Dave Barry and Carl HiaasenI d be very surprised if there was anything in this book that wasn t somehow at least in Communicating With Animals : The Spiritual Connection Between People and Animals part based in fact real events realeople There s no such neighborhood as God s Pocket But somewhere out there in Philadelphia I have no doubt there s a God s Pocket 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 I started following Pete Dexter as a columnist for The Daily News in Philadelphia His stories of what most Robot Programming people would call the underside of big city life were made incredibly compelling even if you knew theeople in them were robably waiting to do you some serious harm There was usually some little gem of writing or a turn of hrase 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 expansion 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 even 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 Our Fake Relationship pocket for the way it took up the space between several angular avenues on the border of downtown Philadelphia It sretty much gone now The Blitzkrieg Legend part having become uite gentrified and the otherart slipping even farther from any chance at all Enough background If you ve ever lived in a city you know some these eople 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 *
considerable foibles interplay and a great read I m a fan Mickey Scarpato was 45 years old and did not understand women It wasn t a fan Mickey Scarpato was 45 years old and did not understand women It wasn t way bartenders or comedians didn t understand women it was the way oor Über Nacht people didn t understand the economy You could stand outside the Girard Bank Building every day of your life and never guess anything about what went in there That s why in their hearts they d always rather stick 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 toassTD had been raised underprivileged in a country where they liked to say anybody could grow up to be Ad Astra president but now he d made himself alace and the spirit behind that relief was the single most repulsive thing he could think of a ground level crime masterpieceFew stories tell the truth of working class wiseguys mobbed up and otherwise as this one with movies like Mean Streets and novels like The Friends of Eddie Coyle being clear antecedents Dexter s writing is undeniably oetic and while it doesn t end as grimly as some similar stories it leaves a rough and undeniable impression Dexter s sense of terror and comedy is firmly in lace 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 Everything But The Girl pulled into the events The story told is one featuringainfully exuisite character sketches brutal comedy and violence and told with eye towards grit and street smarts It reminds me of Nathaniel West Lehane s Mystic River Lehane uses a uote from this book as an epigramRobert Stone Richard Price who rovides a blurb and Robert Altman and Sydney Lumet movies but Pete Dexter feels too original for comparisons. News with the body Everyone that is except 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 expect to change anything in God’s Pocke. .