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justina bandol
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 8:11:50 AM
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Please help me understand what the underlined words refer to:

Johnny Shush - mob boss controlling, among other things, the real estate market and maintenance services for elevators; Finnegan Five - underbosses (as far as I understand)

A few years ago, one of Shush’s men was caught by the cops torching a pool hall (nothing to do with elevators, some unrelated business of concern to organized crime). The cops flipped him, and he turned state’s evidence. The nervous stoolie captured the Finnegan Five on magnetic tape sharing war stories about the delightfully gusty entrails of a new luxury high-rise.

Thank you.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 8:28:27 AM
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Good grief, Justina, I find myself as much at sea as you. This excerpt is written in a kind of American "underworld" slang and I, as much as you, look forward to one of our AE posters "translating" it for us!
alertec
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 9:28:47 AM
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It simply means the innermost parts of the building. Gusty puzzles me. Are you sure it's the word?
justina bandol
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 10:12:01 AM
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Positive. And why „delightfully gusty”? Besides, why would some mob officers share anecdotes about the „entrails” of a building? There has to be an allegory here, but I don't quite get it.

We are in a book about elevators (symbols, of course) and the whole industry and politics surrounding them.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 10:34:57 AM

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justina bandol wrote:
Please help me understand what the underlined words refer to:

Johnny Shush - mob boss controlling, among other things, the real estate market and maintenance services for elevators; Finnegan Five - underbosses (as far as I understand)

A few years ago, one of Shush’s men was caught by the cops torching a pool hall (nothing to do with elevators, some unrelated business of concern to organized crime). The cops flipped him, and he turned state’s evidence. The nervous stoolie captured the Finnegan Five on magnetic tape sharing war stories about the delightfully gusty entrails of a new luxury high-rise.

Thank you.


My first thought was that "gusty" was a typo, and that what was meant was "gutsy". That carries the idea of "strong, bold", or "without reserve". So I would take that to mean the inside of the new luxury high-rise was impressive in its decor or accoutrements.

Their "war stories" might be tales of what they did either to the luxurious places or to the wealthy people who lived there, but that is just a guess on my part, not having read it.



We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
thar
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 10:42:01 AM

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windy elevator shafts?

The entrails being the guts - the shafts - and gusty being windy, with gusts coming through from the ventilation on the roof?

That only works if you are thinking about the shafts, not being cosy and enclosed inside the actual elevator.

But if by using the theme of elevators, that also includes elevator shafts, and maybe who you throw down them....Whistle

Not really my field either. Ages since I tortured a snitch by threatening to throw them down a lift shaft. Ah, happy days.
RuthP
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 12:01:38 PM

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My guess would be that the word is "gutsy", not "gusty". Depending upon greater context, it could either mean bold (gutsy is still used to mean "brave, daring"), or it could mean literally "guts-like" i.e. like intestines. This would work if one were considering the flues, ductwork, and (possibly) service passages in the building.
thar
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 12:25:46 PM

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But 'gutsy entrails' is redundant, surely. Unless you are really playing with words, but then how do the inner workings of a building show determination? I am more inclined to airflow. But I know very little of the innards of big buildings, and even less about the engineering of ventilation.
I am at the moment constrained ventilation-wise by having a wasps' nest just over my windows, hence them not being as far open as I would normally have them, and closed at dusk - and to me that feels very strange. Whistle
justina bandol
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 6:31:04 AM
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My gut (!) feeling is that it is indeed gusty, not gutsy, and it does mean windy. I just wasn't sure why „delightfully” gusty, on the one hand, and on the other, why would the „windy part” be important to a mob boss. I thought they might have concocted some hideouts there? There is a scene in the novel taking place actually in the underground of an abandoned warehouse on the margins of the city, where the mafia had some kind of torture and interrogation chambers. One of the corrupt politicians connected to the mob complains that it is very hot in there and dingy. So would it have been possible for the mob to use the „entrails” of a luxury high-rise to the same (or similar) effect? Would that be realistic? I am not that familiar with the history of New York.

There is also thar's idea of throwing someone down an elevator shaft, which fits the Mafia background perfectly, but I'm not exactly sure what to do with it further. Why would the ventilation be relevant if you do that?

Or - am I stretching it too far - could it be that the building had some secret inner passages / rooms / hidings / whatever that allowed entrance / exit at both ends (that's why „gusty”) ie had some secret exits and that could therefore be used to escape (hence „delightfully”)? Or am I being too fantastical? What do you think?

And thank you everyone for being there for me.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 9:26:30 AM
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Justina - if nothing else, at least this thread shows that it's not your comprehension of English that's at fault here - we are all stymied as well.Dancing

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