Author's First Novel Tells a Mob Tale On the Boston Waterfront

By Cosa Nostra News contributor Nick Christophers

The Last Longshoreman: A Chilling Tale of Crime and Corruption on the Boston Waterfront, Marc Zappulla's new fictional book, catapults us back to a lifestyle that few today are capable of understanding.

Technically his fourth book -- he served as a ghostwriter on the first three -- it also is his debut solo effort, a mob-related fictional book. With The Last Longshoreman, Marc sought to re-create a lost world, one in which most longshoremen had to deal with organized crime on some level. Not since Marlon Brando’s unflinching performance in On The Waterfront has this shadowy world been spotlighted in such detail, Marc believes.

Others seem to agree with him. The first print run of the book has already sold out, the author tells Cosa Nostra News.

Zappulla viewed the old waterfront as an inherently intriguing setting for a dramatic work. And to inform his efforts to re-create a true-to-life backdrop, he had his longshoreman father's experience from which to draw upon.

Zappulla studied psychology at Endicott College, where he received a bachelor’s degree.

He found his vocation through his love of writing and developing compelling content.

He was a ghostwriter for sports figures such as Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Gerry Cheevers and strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee. He turned away from sports for his first novel, finding inspiration in his father’s 30-year career as a longshoreman.

"It's true, as far as books go; I'd written exclusively about sports related topics," he said. "However, I found myself with a bit of extra time between projects, and I had an original idea I felt would resonate with a particular target audience.

"To me, the only other project worth noting that focused on longshoremen was the movie On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando back in 1954. Much of my motivation for writing The Last Longshoreman was based on that fact."

Marc was raised in Medford, Mass. during the heydays of Boston's legendary mobsters, including former Irish mob boss/FBI informant Whitey Bulger and powerful Mafia capo Jerry Anguilo. Marc also grew up with an array of friends, some of whom were mob wannabes who'd go on to actually become part of the underworld.

The book's main character, Anthony “Tony” Costa, is a typical wannabe. He wants nothing more than to prove himself worthy of joining his Uncle Dom, a made member of the New England Mafia who mentors Tony into the life by getting him work collecting gambling debts. By 1958, Tony finds himself working on the Boston waterfront. He's only 18, but swiftly learns some of the difficult lessons of life while engaged in the Darwinian world of the docks.

Tony finds it increasingly difficult to be the loving family man; he's evolving into a different person, one who is able to effectively navigate the world of the Boston-based Cosa Nostra, the inner workings of which the book carefully maps out.

As for The Last Longshoreman, the first print has already sold out and is now only available on Kindle, great news for Marc.

Marc Zappulla

Since then, distribution was expanded across Amazon, as well as Barnes and Noble.

"The first print did sell out. Which was great, now the second print is available. I am pretty excited about that.”

So far Marc has had a launch party in the North End of Boston which was a blast.

As far as book signings go he has three on the calendar: One on November 12th in Londonderry, New Hampshire, at cigar lounge Twins. Then two more are planned: one in December and one in January, both in Massachusetts.

He is always running ideas in his head and hopes to work on something new by the Spring of 2017.

To keep up with Marc and his ongoing work, check out his website here.