Running at Hialeah

Fiction - Drama
464 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Running at Hialeah is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, slice-of-life, and self-discovery subgenres. The work is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Don Marinelli with some reference to autobiographical events from the author’s own life. In this heart-warming tale of family, loss, identity, and exploration, we are introduced to retired New York City bus driver Bernie Buccellato, an endearing and impulsive character. Determined to scatter his father’s ashes at the finish line of a very specific racetrack, Bernie begins a quest that will see him experience many highs and lows as his past, present, and future collide.

Author Don Marinelli has crafted an utterly charming work that will keep fans of character-led fiction glued to the action from cover to cover. The standout feature of the work, at least in my opinion, is the dedication to the realism and personality of our central protagonist, Bernie. It’s no surprise that the work comes in some part from the author’s own life, as Bernie’s spirit is perfectly infused with the confident, upbeat, and emotive narrative style of the storytelling. His Italian-American flair gives the piece its unique humor, even amidst some of the darkest and more grief-driven elements of the tale. This imbues Bernie with realism despite his free-spirited, wild escapades, offering a great balance point against the adventures that fill the pages with hijinks and wonder. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Running at Hialeah for fans of well-penned drama with pathos, wit, and a highly original style.

Kevin Lane

Thoroughly engaging. Don Marinelli paints a vivid picture using the hot pinks and aquamarine colors of southern Florida. I could actually sense the heavy humidity and smells that he described.
The subtle twists and comedic plot is more entertaining than any high stakes horse race.
Don Marinelli IS Bernie Buccellato.