Writing the book Mallias, the Greek Gangster was an amazing experience. First of all, it was written in the form of a journal. A chaotic one. Certainly not a ‘traditional’ journal. It reads like at times like a tabloid, sometimes like a critique and many times like an analysis of life.
Markella and Mallias, two characters dear to my heart are the leading characters in this novel. Markella writes the journal. She writes it as a form of therapy. Markella needs to remedy the anxiety that has built up inside of her regarding situations that had developed in their life and that were affecting them. She fluctuates between superficial and sublime.
Mallias, her husband, is a card cheat and a mobster. He is the center of her world. She feels the need to gush and flood the world with her feelings. But she can’t. So she begins this journal, lingering and stalling and trying to convince herself that it is ok to write.
Markella is a character that sometimes says things which are too blunt, perhaps inappropriate at times. Her point of view on some things is refreshingly coarse and no frills, in a very honest and upfront way.
Her husband, on the other hand, is elusive even after having his most confidential details revealed. There is much more to him than meets the eye. Both characters have an eccentricity about them. He has an unusual way of handling things and a very unusual background.
This book is the beginning of a style that I want to explore. I call books like these Fusion.
There are some metaphysical elements fused in a journal penned by a woman, steeped in stereotype while narrating crime, action, and suspense. Elements that are unlikely to be found together are the knotty fiber of this book. A chatty mobster’s wife is an unlikely narrator of the confidential mob business, and a few details of magical realism become part of the literary landscape. Fusing the unlikely make it a more challenging journal to write.
This is based on a true story, so it made it all the more interesting to put together and present it in journal form.