Scarface: The Novel. The Legend.

Scarface: The Novel. The Legend.

by Armitage Trail


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‘I’m Scarface. I’m just about ten times as hard-boiled as Johnny Lovo ever thought of being. I’ve bumped off six or eight myself and another one – especially a rat like you – wouldn’t mean a thing in my young life. Get me?’

Scarface is the iconic fictionalization of one of history’s most notorious gangsters, Al Capone. It follows Tony Guarino’s harsh upbringing on the streets of Chicago, where a young man unwilling to contemplate a life of humble poverty hungers to reach the big time. Tony has grown up in a world where every gangster is a hero and every cop an enemy, so his path to power is paved with force and brutality. At only eighteen, Tony shoots dead gang boss Al Spingola, and this is just the beginning of his uncompromising journey into organized crime. He eventually becomes the most powerful and feared man in the Chicago underworld, luxuriating in a world of opulence, dames, and danger. But while Tony struggles to balance a life of violence with a code of honour, Scarface ultimately proves an ancient maxim – the fate of those who live by the sword.

Scarface was first published in 1930, and remains one of the most potent evocations of the origins of American gangster culture ever committed to print, and an ever-green work of cult fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781912574674
Publisher: Dean Street Press
Publication date: 02/04/2019
Pages: 166
Sales rank: 1,056,228
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.35(d)

About the Author

Armitage Trail (July 18, 1902 - October 10, 1930) was the pseudonym of Maurice Coons, an American pulp fiction author, best known for his 1930 novel Scarface. This novel depicted a fictionalized account of the rise of gangster Al Capone. It was adapted into the 1932 film Scarface directed by Howard Hawks and produced by Howard Hughes. The 1932 film was later modernized and remade as 1983's Scarface. His only other significant work is detective novel The Thirteenth Guest, though Coons is speculated to have written under a variety of pen names.
In his early adulthood in Chicago, Trail spent nights socializing with gang members in order to gain materials for Scarface. Though Trail never formally met Al Capone, the latter may have known of the work. After the release of the 1932 film, at which point Trail was already dead, Capone reportedly sent some of his men to question screenwriter Ben Hecht after Capone was offended at the 1932 film's portrayal of him by actor Paul Muni.
Producer Howard Hughes approached Trail about his novel with the interest of adapting it to film. Trail sold the rights to Scarface to Hughes for $25,000, moving to Los Angeles in the process. After selling the rights to Scarface, Trail began to struggle with potential alcoholism. He lived flamboyantly in Hollywood, rapidly gaining weight, wearing wide-brimmed Borsalino hats, and hiring a servant. Trail died of a heart attack at the Paramount Theatre in 1930, aged 28.

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