| There's Been a Big Change in Islamic States of America | By JANET MASLIN | February 16, 2006
Robert Ferrigno's "Prayers for the Assassin" is a futuristic fantasy that puts an Orwellian nation, the Islamic Republic, where the United States of America used to be. The author does not treat this as a pleasant prospect. He imagines a 2040 in which New York and Washington are gone, Mecca is radioactive, Mount Rushmore has been eradicated and the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan has been renamed for Osama bin Laden. Super Bowl cheerleaders are men. Barbie's got a burka. At least Starbucks prices aren't much higher than they used to be.
National Review | Save a Prayer: A novel describes our Islamofascist future. | By John J. Miller | March 22, 2006
From the very first line of Chapter One in Robert Ferrigno’s excellent new novel, you know you’re in a different world: “The second half of the Super Bowl began right after midday prayers.”
/ Mystery Ink | Robert Ferrigno - Prayers for the Assassin | By David J. Montgomery
Every once in a while, a novel comes along that is so dazzling, so audacious that it seizes you by the scruff of your neck and forces you to sit up and take notice. Robert Ferrigno's stunning new political thriller Prayers for the Assassin is just such a novel.
| Days of Judgment | By Anthony Rainone | February 2006
Robert Ferrigno has created a cast of characters who illustrate that Islam is not responsible for the world's problems today; rather, it's the actions of so-called leaders, who commit unprincipled acts under cover of God or government, who are the real threats to us all. It is the allure of might and wealth that get men in trouble -- and that, we are learning, can happen in any government, any regime. Prayers for the Assassin is a cautionary tale, a work of insight and a novel of great courage.
| The Islamic States of America | By Rashmee Roshan Lall | 18 September 2006
This is the quintessential 9/11 book. Perfect to read—or review—in the week that America and much of the world marked the fifth anniversary of the Twin Towers attacks.But this futuristic view of a USA that becomes the ISA (Islamic States of America) before the half-way mark of this century is rather more than a 9/11 book. Robert Ferrigno has literally re-made the world, imagining it anew on that extraordinary premise: what would happen if the West lost its so-called war on terror?
Maclean's | What should I do, Imam? Novelist Robert Ferrigno imagines the Islamic Republic of America in the year 2040 | By MARK STEYN | Feburary 23, 2006
At the speed history's moving right now, you gotta get your futuristic novels in fast, and Robert Ferrigno's is the first in the potentially extensive genre of Islamotopian fiction. In Prayers for the Assassin, the fun starts on the inside cover: a map of the Islamic Republic of America in the year 2040.
| Life in an Islamist US | By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | June 25, 2006
AFTER THE terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it became a cliche that if we didn't do X, Y, or Z -- usually some normal peacetime activity -- then ``the terrorists will have won." For example, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences justified the decision to proceed with the 2001 Academy Awards by declaring that ``if we give in to fear, if we aren't able to do these simple and ordinary things, the terrorists have won the war." In truth, though, most Americans have never thought about what it would mean if the terrorists really did win -- if militant Islamists were to succeed in their quest for political control of the United States. It isn't something that elites in academia, government, or the media generally like to talk about, for fear of being branded racist or ``Islamophobic." American Islamists themselves are careful not to speak too candidly about their supremacist goals.
Brothers Judd dot com | Prayers for the Assassin | 12 February 2006
Crime / Thriller Fiction
National Review Online| Your Wake-Up Call | By John J. Miller |August 2004
The author is now in the summer of his content; his brand-new eighth book, The Wake-Up, is one of his best. READ THE Q&A with Robert Ferrigno here.
Chicago Sun Times | August 2004
Call The Wake-Up a black comedy; its author's powers of observation are so acute they're coruscating. Call it, also, a study of pathology that spans the social and the chemical. It's a complicated, exciting book in which the characters are even more memorable than the plot.
bookreporter.com | by Joe Hartlaub | 2004
Ferrigno's novels have always possessed a unique edginess tinged with a dark humor, and THE WAKE-UP is no exception. As a result, anything can happen in a Ferrigno book; in THE WAKE-UP anything, and everything, does. This is the book that will move Ferrigno's name to the 'A' List of a multitude of readers. ...MORE
| Crime | By MARILYN STASIO | January 12, 2003
There's more than the usual share of macabre fun in Robert Ferrigno's garish new thriller, SCAVENGER HUNT , which presents Jimmy Gage, a reporter for Slap magazine, with a Hollywood horror story so bizarre it has to be taken seriously. The jaded newsman initially brushes off Garrett Walsh's contention that he was unjustly imprisoned for the murder of a teenage movie actress. ''This ancient mariner routine of yours is stale,'' Gage sneers when Walsh, a washed-up film director, flashes his notes for ''The Most Dangerous Screenplay in Hollywood,'' which will explain all. But when Walsh is found floating in a koi pond, nibbled to the bone by exotic fish, Gage makes it his mission to recover the director's screenplay and find the villains who betrayed him. Propelled by Ferrigno's frantic energy, Gage pushes himself into confrontations with all the people who ever knew Walsh and now wish they hadn't. Some of these characters are dangerous, like the sleazy producer Nino Napitano, ''a soft little man'' whose ''mouth was stuffed with tiny sharp teeth,'' and some are purely decorative, like the twin starlets Tamra and Tonya Monelli, who keep losing roles in slasher films to blond babes because ''blood contrasts better against white skin.'' But they're all choice specimens in a freak show as amusing as it is morally repugnant. ...MORE
Washington Post | Golden State grotesques, Japanese tourists and lawyers on the make -- these are a few of our favorite things. | October 14, 2001
Many writers have presented Southern California as a freak show but perhaps none more convincingly than Robert Ferrigno in Flinch (Pantheon, $24). His lurid cast of crazed killers, zonked-out porn stars, bottom-dwelling journalists and connoisseurs of aberrant art ("Gas-chamber photos are a splendid investment") boggles the imagination. Flinch has a hero of sorts, Jimmy Gage, a thirty-something reporter for a rag called SLAP. Jimmy has problems. First, some gangsters are after him, led by a thug called Great White (as in shark) who resembles "a tidal wave in a lustrous black suit, his head shaved, a pair of lightning bolts tattooed on either side of his neck -- they looked like gills."
Moreover, Jimmy is involved in the sibling rivalry from hell with his brother Jonathan, a creepy plastic surgeon who Jimmy fears may be moonlighting as a serial killer called the Eggman. As Jimmy seeks to elude the thugs and to unmask his brother, he enlists the aid of an ambulance-chasing photographer who calls himself ATM, "an unshaven lout with a nest of braids, a fast-food gut and three cameras draped around his neck" and of his friend Rollo, an uncompromising and penniless would-be film maker ("Coma Patient") who is living with a hapless ex-dog groomer who has started a chain of "psychospiritual spas" but longs for his former career: "I was doing good work at the salon, useful work -- the dogs respected me."
Jimmy's odyssey leads to Nikki Sexxx, the star of "Bend Over and Pray #5," then to Pilar, a sultry crime boss whose "eyes belonged in the reptile house at the L.A. Zoo," although "a bracelet of tiny purple flowers was tattooed around each of her wrists, an innocent, girlish touch." You get the idea. This is a world like no other. Ferrigno has worked this territory before in The Horse Latitudes and other novels, and he makes it both funny and scary. If you savor the bizarre, this one's for you.
Los Angeles Times | Flawed Hero Plays Psychological Games in 'Flinch' | By MICHAEL HARRIS | November 13, 2001
Ferrigno's prose is as good as ever, his craftsmanship even better, and he retains his fascination with California subcultures: Chechen and Vietnamese gangsters, porn, pro wrestling, an art gallery that deals in "splatter shots" of crimes and accidents, spas in which the colors of the rooms soothe the nervous and stimulate the depressed. MORE...
James Ellroy | 1999
Heartbreaker is a dark, comic tour-de-force. It's consistently and casually knockout, brutal and hilarious. It's a hothouse flower with a wild sense of place and a wilder believability. Dig it and dig it now.
| BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Fingernails, Cake Boxes: The Fear Is Everywhere | By CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT | May 20, 1999
Gripping action...The reader is thoroughly entertained. MORE...
Publishers Weekly | 1999
(STARRED REVIEW) Ferrigno has produced his best novel in years, a splendidly readable, cinematic thriller.
Washington Post | Mysteries | By Richard Lipez |September 15, 1996
Little goes on here that isn't hair-raising -- Chandler's L.A. is colonial Williamsburg in comparison -- and what makes it all not just bearable but often compelling is Ferrigno's scorching wit and his relentless moral sense...An amazing novel.
New York Times Book Review
Ferrigno has crafted another striking fiction, truer than truth, one that will echo disturbingly through our minds and hearts long after the book's stunning climax.
Dead Man's Dance
Power-packed...filled with sharp-edged scenes. Ferrigno drives his narrative rapidly, pushing the level of excitment higher.
Washington Post | Kiss kiss bang bang | By Pat Dowell | March 21, 1993
Much of the pleasure in Ferrigno's novels derives from a kind of deja vu -- his ability to return the reader to the luxuriant bitterness and furtive romanticism of the hardboiled classics of the '40s. He takes the mood, still resonant, and drapes it around characters who seem at once nostalgic and contemporary. It is surely for this reason that some critics have dubbed Ferrigno the true heir of Raymond Chandler. Memorable...distinctive...horrifying.
Entertainment Weekly | THE BIG SLEEPER | By Tom De Haven | February 12, 1993
Truly astonishing...Every few years another writer is described as the next Raymond Chandler, but Robert Ferrigno may be the real thing. [He] doesn't craft elegant thrillers that peak precisely where you figure they're going to; his just keep blowing up in your face. You can't second-guess Ferrigno or predict where he's going. Or when he'll get there. Or even where thereis. MORE...
A winner with wonderful characters, dialogue, and a sense of place.
The New Yorker | Briefly Noted: Fiction |April 23, 1990
A small marvel of a contemporary thriller: flippant and observant, sexy and sadistic...Though [it] is full of suspense, violence, and sex, one is eager not to call it a thriller; its biting deatails make it seem like a historical novel set in contemporary times, and there's a knowing heartache at its core which stays with you.
Throughout this impressive debut there is a persistent echo of sadness, of loss, of genuine desperation, that lends to Ferrigno's stylish written tale of doublecross and sexual perversity the richer, darker tones of betrayal and love.
TIME Magazine | Unsafe Sex | By MARGARET CARLSON | March 26, 1990
Part Raymond Chandler (were he softboiled) and part Elmore Leonard (before he became famous), Robert Ferrigno has created in his first novel some completely original characters who fascinate without being fantastic...Under the cover of deadpan comedy and sharp-edged eroticism, Ferrigno has produced a work of noir literature that is the most memorable fiction debut of the season. With a magic all his own, he has written an illuminating novel that never fails to entertain but also, suprisingly, makes us feel. MORE...
The San Francisco Chronicle
A brilliant novel about pushing limits, violating standards, operating outside the law, and seeking one's own destiny...Wonderful, a fast and dangerous book.