Journalist and novelist. Rolling Stone, New York, NY, contributing editor and writer.
Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die! (novel), Dalkey Archive Press (Normal, IL), 2006.
Mark Binelli's first novel, Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die! was inspired by the true-life story of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Italian-American anarchists who were executed in 1927. However, instead of staying true to his journalistic roots, Binelli veers quickly into fiction and reinvents the duo as a vaudeville comedy team styled on Laurel and Hardy who makes it big in silent-era Hollywood. The narrative is augmented by invented diary entries, magazine interviews, and newspaper accounts that highlight the team's immigrant status and which explain their social theories of comedy. Portraying a pair of legendary knife throwers in films such as Never a Dull Moment, Sacco and Vanzetti develop a populist appeal that lands them a spot on a USO tour with Bob Hope, where they chat with Charlie Chaplin and perform in Italy. But then things turn bad. After President McKinley is assassinated, the pair winds up in jail.
Binelli mixes popular culture with political history to weave a story that has little to do with the real Sacco and Vanzetti and more to do with a celebration of anarchy and comedy—or rather the anarchy that is comedy. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the novel "ambitious in scope and brimming with sharp-edged black humor." Through his story, Binelli, who is a first-generation Italian-American and the son of a professional knife-sharpener, reveals his interest in the "social construction of ethnicity," according to Brendan Driscoll in a review for Booklist. Most critics hailed Binelli as a writer to watch and praised the novel, though some acknowledged its shortcomings. Etelka Lehoczky summarized in the New York Times Book Review, "its joyful nostalgia, pinpoint characterizations and postmodern brio more than make up for a weak second reel."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Believer, October, 2006, Morgan Meis, review of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!
Booklist, September 1, 2006, Brendan Driscoll, review of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!, p. 51.
Entertainment Weekly, July 28, 2006, Troy Patterson, review of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!, p. 71.
Library Journal, June 1, 2006, Jim Dwyer, review of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!, p. 106.
New York Times Book Review, July 30, 2006, Etelka Lehoczky, review of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!, p. 12.
Publishers Weekly, March 6, 2006, Judith Rosen, review of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!, p. 39.
Reviewer's Bookwatch, August, 2006, Jason Warrant, review of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!
San Francisco Chronicle, July 28, 2006, Malena Watrous, review of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!, p. E4.
Center for Book Culture Web site,http://www.centerforbookculture.org/ (May 11, 2007), Theodore McDermott, "An Interview with Mark Binelli."
Mark Binelli Home Page,http://www.markbinelli.com (May 11, 2007).
"Binelli, Mark." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/binelli-mark
"Binelli, Mark." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/binelli-mark
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.