>> The Dean's List (2012)

Title: The Dean's List

Author: Jimmy Petrosino

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Diversion Books

Pages: 243

Release Date: March 17, 2012

Rating: 2.90 (out of 4.00)

Grade: B-

Official Site

Everyone sees how college fraternities are portrayed in movies, TV shows, and other sources of media. Unless you are part of a fraternity, do you really know what goes on behind the closed doors of these frat houses? Even then, do all fraternities run the same way or do some fraternities have more to hide than others? In the book “The Dean’s List,” author Jimmy Petrosino takes you deep into the Phi Beta Regnum frat house at Filmore University and the criminal empire they have built in conjunction with “The Commission” consisting of mob bosses. Dean is their newly appointed “Don,” or president of Phi Beta Regnum and after cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor, Bryce, he has to deal with the struggles of trying to live up to the legacy of his deceased brother, Tyler, who was a past Don. How does Dean plan on doing all this while trying to separate his friends from his enemies? You are going to have to read the book yourself to find out.

This book was well written and it was full of violence, crime, corruption, and lots of action, but they still managed to throw in a little bit of romance in there. It was extremely graphic and very descriptive to the point that I did not really have to use my imagination. Phi Beta Regnum was involved in everything from gambling to a bordello to embezzlement to even murder. Jimmy did a great job of making this fraternity seem like the “In-crowd” on their campus, but no one knew what they were really up to. “The Dean’s List” was a perfect mix of “The Godfather” series (The mafia connections and mob vibe), “The Social Network” (the corruption and attempt to build an empire from the ground up), and “The Skulls” (A secret society up to no good). I enjoyed reading the book and was so fascinated by the story that I could not put the book down until I found out what happened to Dean and the rest of the fraternity.

The only gripes I did have with “The Dean’s List” were the numerous flashbacks and the massive amounts of characters. I thought it was great they gave a back story to better explain why the characters acted the way that they did in book, but at times it broke away too much from the main story and it occasionally disrupted the book’s flow. Also, I didn’t think they needed to do a flashback and back story on every character in the book because it started to feel excessive after a couple chapters. In addition, there were so many characters involved in the book and the main plot, that I had to go back a couple pages and chapters several times to remember who this minor character was in the first place. I also felt having too many characters took away the focus from Dean and the other main characters in the book. Again, these were minor issues that did not make this good book a bad experience.

I am not a big fan of fraternities, but I love gangster and mafia movies. I thought this was a perfect read for anyone that is into either one or the other or both frats and the mafia. I highly recommend checking this book out and I can’t wait to see if there is a follow up to “The Dean’s List” or if Jimmy Petrosino releases any other books. For those reasons, I am giving this book a “B-.” 

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