Boardwalk Empire by Nelson Johnson reviewed in The Scotsman

Filed under: Boardwalk Buzz,Reviews — Boardwalk Empire @ 11:33 pm

Published Date: 30 January 2011
By Lee Randall
BY Nelson Johnson
Ebury Press, 312pp, £16.99

Looking for two words to sum up Atlantic City, New Jersey? They’d have to be “sea” and “sin,” especially when describing its heyday in the first half of the 20th century. Not only were normal rules of decorum suspended, even Federal law didn’t take hold: Prohibition never happened there. The economy was dependent on tourism, so the city pandered to visitors, and as one long-time resident said: “If the people who came to town had wanted Bible readings, we’d have given ’em that. But nobody ever asked for Bible readings. They wanted booze, broads, and gambling, so that’s what we gave ’em.”

As a lawyer for Atlantic City’s planning board in the 1980s, when applications for many of the casinos were being approved, Nelson Johnson – now a Superior Court Judge – grew fascinated by the resort’s complicated history. He spent 20 years fact-finding and interviewing eye-witnesses, a task he describes as “a race against death”. Many key sources were elderly and initially reticent. He was persistent, and the pay-off, Boardwalk Empire, benefits from the wealth of detail he unearthed or scrupulously verified. Johnson moves with a reasonable degree of grace between novelistic scenes and straightforward factual reportage. Many of these facts are so eye-popping that they require no further embellishment.

Read the rest of Lee Randall’s review at News.

Audiobook of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ will enhance interest in old AC

Filed under: Boardwalk Buzz,Reviews — Boardwalk Empire @ 10:34 am

If the launch of the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” has ignited your interest in Atlantic City, the book that inspired it will further enhance it.

The audio version of “Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City” (Audible Inc., $22.95), narrated by Joe Montegna, can be downloaded to your computer or any listening device.

It begins when the notion of a vacation destination on the barren sandbar was no more than a gleam in the eye of a local doctor, whose vision never included its evolution into a bastion of corrupt politics.

— Fran Wood

Read more at Audiobooks for ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and ‘Freedom’ |

A view of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ from the UK

Filed under: Boardwalk Buzz,Reviews — Boardwalk Empire @ 9:31 pm

Best title for an article ever:

Boardwalk Empire: as classy as Mad Men, but with wrestling dwarves.

Critics are currently splashing the superlatives over Boardwalk Empire, the jazz-age television drama which has just begun in the States. It doesn’t air in the UK until January, but you can stream it online if you know where to look. And besides, this being an acclaimed HBO series in the vein of The Sopranos and Mad Men, you should probably work up an opinion on it now, since it’ll be the stuff of dinner party small talk from now on.

Read more at Telegraph Blogs.