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The Greenfather
A Novel

John S. Marshall

May 2017


Trade Paper

$15.95 US
($21.99 CAN)
978-1-941110-51-5 | 9781941110515
1-941110-51-7 | 1941110517

26 per carton




Spring 2017

Title Rights: W

Product Safety: Information Not Available

Published by Three Rooms Press

Simon, New York’s top organic grocery store owner has a secret: his dad is the head of one of New York’s biggest mob families. When his dad dies, Simon agrees to head the Family, provided that instead of murder, numbers and other rackets, the mob uses its muscle to enforce green regulations and promote healthy eating habits. At first the mob’s hit men and extortionists resent being pressed into green service, but they soon become Simon’s biggest supporters. Seemingly overnight, the city becomes literally cleaned up. Simon, who had planned on succeeding his dad temporarily, now finds he likes his new position as the head of the Family. However, the green world doesn’t accept him because he’s running a crime family, and the crime world doesn’t trust him because he’s run afoul of the Feds. Simon takes his wife, Marla, to his ancestral homeland in Italy, for a much-needed sabbatical – and gets even further into trouble.

Loosely based on Mario Puzo's runaway hit The Godfather, THE GREENFATHER showcases Marshall’s comic dialogue, honed year after year in late night television, in the grand tradition of classic mob comedy, like Analyze This and Analyze That. Packed with larger than life goons, right-hand men, Feds and green fanatics, THE GREENFATHER satirizes the environmental movement, crime, families, and crime families.

THE GREENFATHER is sharp, hilarious, and takes no prisoners, except the ones who are supposed to go there. It goes well with a light salad of radicchio and cherry plum tomatoes.

An Excerpt from


by John S. Marshall


“Ommmmmmmmm. Ommmmmmmmm.”

Shangri-Lunch was more than a place where Good Eggs employees could eat undisturbed. It was a basement haven, an ashram near the boiler room, where workers could become one with themselves before going back out on the floor. Simon was sitting on his yoga mat, in the lotus position, with his eyes closed.


“Excuse me, Simon.” It was Emile, the Spice Specialist.

Simon opened his eyes. “Huh? What are you doing away from your bay leaves? Don’t you see me reaching a place of peace?”

“Yes, but—”

“Yes, nothing! I’m trying to be spiritual, goddamn it!”

“I’m sorry, but this came for you.” Emile handed Simon a large, brown paper package.

Simon took the package. It was damp and smelled funny. Marla entered as Emile left.

“Simon, we have a pickled beets situation,” said Marla.

“Wait a minute.” Simon opened the package. It was a fish wrapped in plaid boxer shorts.

“Oh my God!” said Marla. “Do you know what that is?”

“I think it’s a tilapia.”

“That’s awful!” said Marla.

“It’s a little bland,” said Simon, “but if you use lemon butter—”

“No, no! It’s a message! Someone sleeps with the fishes.”

“Marla, I’ve asked you to not use mob clichés.”

“I can’t help it if that’s what someone sent you.”

“Why would somebody send me a cliché?”

“Because they intend for this fish to tell you something.”

“Well, I don’t speak fish. And I find it hard to believe an aquatic message that’s wearing bad underwear from the 1950s.”

Simon sat back on his yoga mat and closed his eyes.

Marla examined the shorts, then gasped. “The skid mark!”

Simon opened his eyes.

“Did you interrupt my meditation to tell me there’s a skid mark?”

“There’s a message right above it. See?”

Simon got up to take a look. Written in black magic marker was:


“That’s unbelievable,” said Marla.

“Tell me about it. Who writes ‘Um’?”

“That’s what bothers you?”

“No, it doesn’t, because this obviously isn’t real.”

“Oh yeah? What’s that?”

Simon saw something poking out from underneath the tilapia. He pulled out a soggy photo. It showed an enormous man in a trench coat and sunglasses with his arm around Simon’s dad. They were standing at the end of a dock, Simon’s dad in a metal tub, the other man holding a jumbo bag of quick-drying cement.

“Oh, Simon,” said Marla. “I’m so sorry.”

Simon stared in disbelief. Then he put the photo in his pocket, reassembled the box and tucked it under his arm. He headed for the door.

“Where are you going?” said Marla.

“I’m taking this to the kitchen.”

“You’re going to cook the message?”

“Do you know what wine goes with cliché?”

“How can you think of eating at a time like this?”

“Whether I like it or not,” said Simon, “I’m still in the Family. And at a time like this . . . eating . . . well, that’s what we do.”