Mulholland Books presents...THE IRON WILL OF SHOESHINE CATS It's New York, 1963, and college student Russell Newhouse has just made the acquaintance of notorious Jewish gangster Shoeshine Cats. Cats wants a tiny favour. And - for his own reasons - he also wants to educate Russell in the world of crime, cops and the gritty reality of life on the edge. Russell knows a lot about books, a bit about girls, and nothing at all about the mob. That's about to change.
'THE IRON WILL OF SHOESHINE CATS just may be the best book you never read. Think The Godfather on laughing gas, or Catch-22 with guns. It's also as good a novel about life in the 60s as you'll ever pick up. Witty, sexy, thrilling, and all story. You can't put the damn thing down. If you're still one of the blessed who reads for pleasure, get this book, because it's a pleasure to read.' -- Stephen King 'A vibrant, hilarious addition to the genre of mob tragicomedy...his snappy, concise prose and dialogue is on par with Raymond Chandler.' -- Publishers Weekly 'The best book I've read this year is out! Haven't read any good fiction lately? Go out and buy The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats, and don't blame me when you don't get anything done for two days.' -- Jonathan Evison 'In this smart and surprisingly poignant gangster story, Hesh Kestin peppers the stew with an unusual blend that's part American Graffiti, part Sopranos and part The Chosen.' -- Julie Salamon, author of The Devil's Candy and Hospital
An honors graduate of the Brooklyn streets, where he grew up across from the former headquarters of Murder Inc., Hesh Kestin reported on war and civil mayhem in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, and on global terrorism and its nastier counterpart, global business. His work has appeared in publications as diverse as Newsday, the Jerusalem Post and Playboy. After hanging up his trenchcoat Kestin founded two prize-winning newspapers, the independent Israeli daily The Nation and The American, a weekly for expatriates. He is also the author of a collection of novellas, Based On A True Story.