Audible 2010 

AmazonEncore 2011



2012 Macavity Award for Best Historical Novel nominee

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Other Books by Jim Fusilli

Narrows Gate

Author: Jim Fusilli

In the dangerous immigrant neighborhood of Narrows Gate, overlooking the Hudson River, Sal Benno is a neighborhood kid who doesn’t take to school but is able to provide the favors the Mafia needs, a skill that brings him into their inner circle and closer to ultimate danger. His lifelong friend Leo Bell, a newly minted member of the Office of Strategic Services, sticks by Sal through thick and thin, but harbors a dangerous secret that could either keep Sal alive -- or bring his life to an abrupt end. In the middle of it is Billy "Bebe" Marsala, a hugely popular and handsome crooner who becomes a pawn in a mob war that could destroy them all. A novel that rekindles the spirit of such groundbreaking works as Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and Budd Schulberg's On the Waterfront, Narrows Gate is a powerful, epic saga that captures the heart of the immigrant experience -- and the soul of America.

First published as an audiobook original by Audible, with Joe Pantoliano dramatizing the dialogue and Joe Barrett narrating, Narrows Gate was released as a trade paperback by AmazonEncore in November 2011.

Narrows Gate


An instant classic. An explosive gallop for the mind, a joy that you won't be able to read fast enough and will leave you wishing for more at its conclusion. This is a big book that reads with the speed of a short story.

I was reminded of a quote I read decades ago by Dion DiMucci: "They say you can't go home again?! Ha! Try to leave!" Fusilli knows Narrows Gate, and he captures a time and a place in a manner and to a degree that few others have been able to accomplish. Do NOT miss reading this one.


Lee Child:

Outstanding in every way -- major talent, voice, feel and been-there knowledge meets a story as tough and complex as the time that inspired it.


Lisa Scottoline:

Narrows Gate is as tender as it is tough, a big-hearted story in which love and violence conspire to control the lives of people who very quickly become real.  Jim Fusilli writes with urgency and grace, and his is a compelling, gritty and brilliant voice. I loved it!


George Pelecanos:

Jim Fusilli's Narrows Gate is a big, broad-shouldered novel, equal parts Ellroy, Puzo and Scorsese. Fusilli, a critical and fan favorite, further elevates his game with this thrilling, ambitious performance.


David Liss:

Narrows Gate is the expansive novel that Jim Fusilli’s readers have been waiting for -- a broad canvas full of vivid characters, hard choices and steeped in the post-war experience.  Fusilli's take on the men who run the mob and those who can’t escape its pull -- including a familiar and iconic crooner -- is, at its heart, a uniquely American tale of ambition and failure, of people who underplay their hands and those who overstep their bounds. It is, in short, a dazzling novel by a great writer at the height of his powers.


Night Owl Reviews:

Readers who are looking for an all day and beyond read that covers the years from the early 20s through the end of World War II and beyond will grab this one and hold on. This is a family saga of great proportion even though it covers many different families. So, pick this one up, you won't be sorry.


Genre Go Round Reviews:

Using real life persona like senators, singers, and mobsters, James Fusilli provides a terrific timely epic that deeply looks into the first and second generation immigrant experience only in America. 


Marilyn's Musings blog:

Narrows Gate by Jim Fusilli is compelling and unique. Unique in that it is based on real people and occurrences, but fictionalized. It’s the story of the rise of the Italian mobs, the life of a gifted and popular singer and how they are intermingled. For the younger reader, this might merely be an exciting read. For someone more mature who lived during the time period of this book, it’s fascinating to follow along and see where fiction deviates from history. A masterful writer, Fusilli has created a story with all the flavor and nuances of the times and places the intriguing characters are moving through.  


The Internet Review of Books:

With crackling prose more visual than a Scorsese screenplay, razor sharp-dialogue, and meticulous attention to period detail, author Jim Fusilli has crafted a masterful gangster epic that deserves a place alongside classics of the genre such as Mario Puzo's The Godfather and Nicholas Pileggi's Casino. Highly recommended!