Steve Buscemi makes ‘Boardwalk Empire’ work

Filed under: Top Stories — Boardwalk Empire @ 7:34 am

Casting Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, the man who runs Atlantic City with utter and charmingly matter-of-fact corruption, was an unorthodox decision. With his bulging pug eyes, jack-o’-lantern mouth and air of bony twitchiness, Buscemi is the living definition of character actor. From his role as the frighteningly hilarious hit man in “Fargo” to Tony Blundetto in “The Sopranos,” Buscemi is a custom-made weasel — he even voiced the bad guy in “Monsters, Inc.”

He is, in short, the character we are much more accustomed to see being played by the handsome guys… the power-mad but still soulful commander of lawless men whose own narcissism and murderous impulses are made more palatable by physical attractiveness.

Read more at Critic’s notebook at

Ebury to Publish Boardwalk Empire in the UK this January

Filed under: Top Stories — Boardwalk Empire @ 11:19 pm

Ebury will be donning furs and drinking highballs as it publishes the official tie-in to the latest American TV series set to make a splash in the UK.

Boardwalk Empire by Nelson Johnson is the book that inspired the HBO series of the same name set in Atlantic City.

Coming to the UK on new channel Sky Atlantic early next year, the series starts in the 1920s and tells of the shady political deals, glamorous spectacle and mob rule in the notoriously free-wheeling New Jersey city.

“Taxi Driver” director Martin Scorsese and “The Sopranos” writer Terence Winter are teaming up as joint executive producers, managing a cast including Steve Buscemi and Kelly Macdonald, as well as star of “The Wire” Michael Williams.

Johnson spent almost two decades researching and writing his non-fiction work, which tells the story of Atlantic City from its inception right up to the 1990s. Publisher Jake Lingwood described it as a look at organised crime in America through the prism of Atlantic City.

He added: “It will appeal to all the people who loved ‘The Wire’ and the associated books, and anyone who has ever been interested in the mob and organised crime. Also, any Scorsese fans.”

Ebury moved in on the title following the RH publisher’s success with recent Sky tie-in The Pacific.

The book includes two 16-page sections of photographic plates—black and white photographs of Atlantic City, including a picture of Al Capone and city treasurer Nucky Johnson (who, as Nucky Thompson, appears as the series’ main character), and stills from the lavish series.

Boardwalk Empire is being published on 6th January as a hardback priced £16.99.

Read more at Ebury crosses the Atlantic for tie-in |

Nelson Johnson Tells the Story of AC’s Black Residents in The Northside

Filed under: Top Stories — Tags: , — Boardwalk Empire @ 12:37 pm

Nelson Johnson wrote his second Atlantic City book, “The Northside,” to finish and broaden the tale of the town he told in “Boardwalk Empire,” the local history thats become a national sensation through its jazzed-up adaptation as an HBO series.

This time hes telling the story of the citys black residents, from the citys founding as a seaside resort to its modern incarnation as a casino town, in the book, subtitled “African Americans and the Creation of Atlantic City.”

The author says theres a story behind the story in his book, one that starts with his long-running work on “Boardwalk Empire,” which made it to No. 25 Sunday on The New York Times influential best-seller list eight years after it was first published, and 28 years after he started thinking about the book.Johnson struggled with his third chapter in “Boardwalk Empire,” which he called “A Plantation By The Sea” – his section on the citys black history.


Touched by Nucky

Filed under: Top Stories — Boardwalk Empire @ 11:45 am

By Amy S. Rosenberg
Inquirer Staff Writer

Nucky and Flossie

Nucky and Flossie

ATLANTIC CITY – A few weeks ago, as Boardwalk Empire anticipation reached a froth worthy of the surf that washes up whiskey bottles around Steve Buscemi’s feet, an idea was kicked around town.

“We’ll have a Nucky tour,” said Jeff Vasser, head of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority. He was referring to former Atlantic County treasurer Enoch L. “Nucky” Johnson, renamed Thompson by HBO, who ruled Prohibition A.C. with a red carnation and a fist full of bills.

A little tricky, perhaps, in a place where so many 1920s landmarks have been torn down and where Nucky Johnson himself – imprisoned for tax evasion, known for a compassionate brand of corruption and gangster hospitality – is a beloved but dubious figure.

So far, and it’s early, no official Nucky tour has emerged. To help matters along, we offer our own best Nucky Tour, a fanciful trip through the world of Boardwalk Empire as it exists – or no longer exists, or, perhaps, never existed – in current-day Atlantic City.

Visit the nine locations at Touched by Nucky at Philadelphia Inquirer website.

Boardwalk Empire’s Librarian

Filed under: Top Stories — Boardwalk Empire @ 1:08 pm
Heather Halpin Perez and Jeff Sutch

Heather Halpin Perez and Jeff Sutch

When Boardwalk Empire, the new series about Prohibition-era Atlantic City, debuted September 19, it had plenty of factors in its favor: an acclaimed director (Martin Scorsese), writer (Terence Winter), and network (HBO). But it also had a powerhouse researcher in its corner: Atlantic City Free Public Library’s Heather Halpin Perez.

The show is based on the book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson. And while the show blends fiction with fact, producers utilized the library to ensure accuracy in historic details.

The newspaper that the character Nucky Thompson reads the day of Prohibition’s enactment, for example, is a replica of the actual January 16, 1920, issue of the Atlantic City Daily Press from the library’s archives. The library also helped producers closely replicate Dr. Martin Couney’s baby incubator exhibit, a popular boardwalk attraction of the era that was featured in the pilot episode.

Read more at American Libraries Magazine.

Visit the AC Public Library on Facebook to learn more about Nucky Johnson and to stay on top of their history programs.

Boardwalk Empire Debuts on New York Times!

Filed under: Boardwalk Buzz,Top Stories — Tags: , — Rob Colding @ 5:59 pm

We are very excited to learn that Boardwalk Empire will enter the New York Times Paperback Nonfiction list at #25!

New York Times Non Fiction Paperback Bestseller List

AC Council votes no on ‘Nucky Way’

Filed under: Top Stories — Boardwalk Empire @ 12:04 pm

A move by city councilman Dennis Mason to rename a one-block section of Belmont Avenue — near a hotel where Johnson used to live — as “Nucky’s Way” didn’t fly.

According to The Press of Atlantic City, the city council voted down the proposed street name change at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Councilman Moisse Delgado, one of five who voted against the measure, says Nucky’s activity was always questionable.


Second Season for Boardwalk Empire

Filed under: Top Stories — Tags: , — Thomas Hogan @ 11:09 am

Coming only days after the premiere of the show, “Boardwalk Empire” has been renewed for a second season.

According to HBO, the 9 p.m. premiere episode of “Boardwalk Empire” on Sunday night averaged 4.8 million viewers. This was the largest HBO series premiere since “Deadwood”, which had the advantage of having “The Sopranos” as lead-in. If you include all three back-to-back airings on Sunday night, “Boardwalk Empire” was watched by 7.1 million viewers

Those numbers sound even more impressive when you consider that “Boardwalk Empire” was up against “Manning Bowl II,” which drew a huge rating in the same male-skewed demographic as the new series.

Details on when the next season of “Boardwalk Empire” will air are not yet available.