|The Trees, A Novel
The definitive novel about Jews and Italians growing up in Brooklyn after
World War II who seek money and power in a never-before-seen
Las Vegas revealed from an insider’s point of view.
The Trees is an epic novel told in Godfather fashion about a handful of childhood
friends who make it out of the slums of Brooklyn and reunite as young adults during
the years of mob-controlled Las Vegas. Lawrence “Mongoose” Cohen starts running
numbers for local bosses while in high school, and eventually manages the gambling
activities at the Desert Winds Hotel and Casino in Vegas.
There he reunites with Eunicea teenage hearthrobwho’s now a showgirl known as
“Venus.” She initially ignores him but softens after he’s almost killed in a car
bombing Haunted by Venus’s former involvement with underboss Tommy Di Meglio,
Mongoose deals with Tommy, “makes his bones” against his would-be assassin, and
becomes a “made man” as Las Vegas transforms into a legitimate entertainment
mecca ready to do business with Macao in the new millennium.
“Weisleder is a wry observer with a keen eye. The Trees provides a fresh,
captivating look at restless souls pursuing the American Dream.” Davy Rothbart,
reporter for NPR’s This American Life and creator of Found Magazine.
“Stan Weisleder, an LA author, originally a Brooklyn guy, has written a 457 page knockout entitled,
The Trees. When I first saw the title, he told me it was about growing up in one of the more hard-
core neighborhoods, I figured here we go with a sob story about growing up poor and making
something out of oneself and eventually arriving at success.
Wrongo, readers! Stan begins his "fable" with development of characters in true professional style
and delivers one hell of a compelling story about the transition of many local characters who grew
up with mixed ethnicities starting in 1947 and stretching out over a period of fifty years in Brooklyn,
LA, Vegas, etc., along with all the mobsters that you could want to meet. He incorporates Howard
Hughes into the mix along with many other well-known personages: Jews and Italians that make the
American gambling world come to life. I can elaborate on this theme, but my suggestion is that you
read the book. It's a page turner.”
---Stephen Kaufman, award winning author and martial arts grandmaster.
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