THE GOOD RAT by Jimmy Breslin

“You dirty rat.” This line was attributed to James Cagney in PUBLIC ENEMY. Those three words have been repeated millions of times by Cagney imitators, however they are never said in the classic 1931 gangster film. Despite that the quote labelled rats and snithces as people not to be trusted and murder of these Judases was justified by their betrayal of the criminal code.

In THE GOOD RAT Jimmy Breslin chronicles the testimony of Burton Kaplan, a septagenarian dealer/shylock/scammer testifying against two renegade cops from the NYPD. Breslin is getting old like the ‘dirty rat’ witness, but in this book he re-animates the Mafia with the long passages of murder and crime. Most of them are terse. The words of Kaplan himself. A career criminal acting as liaison between the crooked cops and the mob, Kaplan one time asked his cops ‘How come Steve shot him?’

‘Steve’s a much better shot.’ was the answer.

Urn off those SOPRANO re-runs and sit on the lounge chair to read THE GOOD RAT.

You won’t get up until you read ‘the end’.

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