Reviews

In his first book, Joe Montaperto took us deep into the psyche of a teenager with two forms of identity crises – first, a boy trying to transition into adulthood, and second, a walking a fine line between the various races of his Roselle, New Jersey town, passing himself off, often successfully, at alternate times as a member of different ethnic groups. Now, with his second effort, Lovely Chaos, Montaperto again takes us into the inner workings of his mind, this time as a young twenty-something trying to make a career as an actor and stand-up comedian. Like his first book, Lovely Chaos is written in the first person, and we are completely transported into the raw, uncut, and, yes, chaotic mind of the author.

Living an almost Zelig-like existence, Montaperto details multiple brushes with celebrities and situations which others can only imagine. Not many people can claim to have been by the Dakota the night John Lennon was shot, recount a random meeting with Nastassia Kinski, and discuss performing with both Jon Stewart and Martin Lawrence; but Montaperto can, and does. He does so with the same grittiness as his first book, an endearing quality that makes the reader want to sit down and have a cup of coffee with him, to further probe his mind and the multiple trains of thought that run throughout this book. The stories keep coming, and often take twists and turns that alternately surprise and frustrate the reader – because once you think you have Montaperto figured out, you realize that, much like his posse of characters, you cannot pin him down – or completely know the “true” Joe Montaperto.

Maybe he will have himself figured out by the third book. Until then, he is going to keep us guessing. The tale of Montaperto’s journey, as detailed in Lovely Chaos, is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and is a trip well worth taking.
— Andrew Wolfenson, Author, Bloggin’ Baseball and In Her Defense