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Publisher's Summary

Now a PBS documentary, this astonishing memoir of growing up in rough-and-tumble Jersey City “will steal your heart” (People

With deadpan humor and obvious affection, Five-Finger Discount recounts the story of an unforgettable New Jersey family of swindlers, bookies, embezzlers, and mobster-wannabes. Helene Stapinski ingeniously weaves the checkered history of her hometown of Jersey City - a place known for its political corruption and industrial blight - with the tales that have swirled around her relatives for decades. Navigating a childhood of toxic waste and tough love, Stapinski tells an extraordinary tale at once heartbreaking and hysterically funny.  

©2001 Helene Stapinski (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“By turns hilarious and alarming, [Helene Stapinski’s] book reads on the surface like something by Damon Runyon and Elmore Leonard, with a dark undertow of real-life pain and disillusion.” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

“What [Frank] McCourt did for Limerick, Ireland, Helene Stapinski does for Jersey City.” (The Star-Ledger)

 “Hugely entertaining.” (The Sunday Times - London)

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