Il Dottore

Il Dottore by Ron FelberIl Dottore
by Ron Felber

First things first: as an account of a true story, Il Dottore is fascinating. And it’s obvious that author Ron Felber had a blast writing it. (Seriously, though—who wouldn’t?)

But whereas Il Dottore makes gains based on the inherently fascinating story of mob connections, double lives, and what-have-you, it takes those gains and fritters them away in the area of the writing itself. If it were a rough draft, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. As a “finished copy,” it sucks.

(Also in the vein of considering Il Dottore as a rough draft, I noticed a higher-than-average incidence of typos. Sure, there’s the possibility that I was primed to be on alert based on my opinion of the book. But there’s also the possibility that Il Dottore could have used a few more edits.)

As is, Felber manages to take a true story and make it seem phony. Unless of course it’s not a true story and he’s just pulling our collective leg, which—who’s gonna know? Take a “true” story involving mob figures (many of whom are now dead), anonymous characters (including the title Dottore), and hearsay, and who can possibly know how much is invented, exaggerated, etc.? All this is wanton speculation, however, and not particularly relvant. The bottom line is: Il Dottore is mostly great, if you can ignore the writing. The ending is nice, in a testament to the “Good Guys Don’t Always Finish Last” adage, but it feels a little phony. Dramatic license? Who knows.

A fun, quick read, but definitely not one to put on your “100 books to read before I die” list.