The Rolling Bootlegs is the first volume of the Baccano! light novel series.
It was published on February 10, 2003 after tying for the Gold Prize in the 9th Dengeki Novel Prize Competition, and is 215 pages long. The English edition was released on May 24, 2016 by Yen Press and is 224 pages long. It was translated by Taylor Engel.
New York, 1930. The manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited by law, but behind this prohibition, organized crime flourishes-so, too, do bank robbers, bootleggers, assassins, and homunculi. Some want money, some are chasing the secret to immortality, and others just want to have a really good time. You know what they say, though: You can't always get what you want.
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A Japanese photographer visits New York City in 2002, only to have his camera stolen by a boy and his gang. He meets with a bespectacled immortal who introduces himself as the contaiuolo of the Martillo Family. The immortal recounts the events of November 1930 to the photographer while they wait for Ronny Schiatto to retrieve the camera.
November 1930, New York City. A blender working for Barnes finally completes the Cure-All Elixir for the immortal alchemist Szilard Quates, only to wind up murdered at the hands of a street beggar. Szilard and his chauffeur Ennis arrive in the city the next day, when a fire accidentally caused by Randy and Pezzo leads to the total destruction of Barnes' granary. Though close to three dozen bottles of the elixir are destroyed in the conflagration, Barnes manages to carry two of them out in a crate during his escape.
On the way to Szilard's hideout, Barnes is attacked and knocked unconscious by young thug Dallas Genoard. Young Camorrista Firo Prochainezo comes to his rescue by single-handedly taking on Dallas and his crew; while Barnes and the others are unconscious, Firo switches out the elixir with the contents of two liquor bottles he had illegally acquired for his upcoming promotion party. Dallas and his friends recover after Barnes regenerates, assault him, and steal his crate; however, later events force them to leave the crate with the Gandor Family at the Coraggioso.
Ennis finds Barnes and delivers him to Szilard, who devours him and orders her to capture Dallas and his followers. Once she brings the four men back to Szilard, she injects them with the incomplete immortality elixir on Szilard's command. He devours Dallas' companion Scott and instructs the remaining three men to retrieve the elixir from the Gandors.
Meanwhile, thieves Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent plan to rob the Martillo Family as their final hurrah of their thieving career. Their investigation of the Martillos results in them attending Firo's promotion party at Alveare, along with the Gandor brothers and the rest of the Martillo executives. During the party, all the attendees drink the Cure-All Elixir and become complete immortals.
While the party is underway, Dallas and his goons raid the Coraggioso and reclaim the crate, killing five men in the process. Isaac and Miria leave the party a little early and stumble across the Coraggioso right as Dallas' group is making their getaway. They assume that the crate contains the mafia's dirty bribe money and successfully steal it, not realizing that Dallas and his friends are the same people who assaulted them earlier that day. The theft is witnessed by Ennis, hidden nearby.
Later on, the Gandor brothers leave the party for their headquarters and discover their men's corpses. The police, led by Edward Noah, launch an investigation that carries on into the next day. By this time, Isaac and Miria have realized the crate contains liquor rather than money, but they decide to give the bottles to the Martillos as a thank you gift for the jar of honey the Martillos gave them.
They arrive at the Alveare around noontime, and Firo is surprised to recognize their crate as the same one that Barnes had. Ennis, who had secretly followed Isaac and Miria to the Alveare, spots Maiza talking with them and leaves to inform Szilard of Maiza's whereabouts. Isaac and Miria say goodbye to Maiza and Firo and leave in turn.
Szilard is overjoyed by Ennis' news, and has her drive him to the Alveare. At the same time, Dallas and his goons resolve to murder Firo in revenge for the previous day. Meanwhile, the Gandor brothers decide to walk to the Alveare and speak with the Martillos about the raid.
Isaac and Miria run into Edward at the Coraggioso on their way from the Alveare, and he informs them that five Gandor mafiosi were murdered the previous night. They mistakenly conclude that Dallas' gang were Gandor men, and that they must have accidentally killed Dallas and his friends with their pepper bombs. Fearing what the police and the Gandors might do if they trace the Gandors' crate to the Martillos, they run back to the Alveare to warn the Martillos of what has transpired.
The two of them accidentally overhear Dallas and his goons talking behind the fence of a factory lot before they reach the Alveare, and are horrified to learn that they have tommy guns. Assuming that the men broke out of jail to seek revenge on Ennis, Isaac and Miria vow to save their heroine from Dallas' wrath.
Szilard arrives at the Alveare and promptly seeks out Maiza, much to Maiza's alarm. Firo and the other executives learn that Szilard killed Maiza's younger brother and many of his friends, and now intends to kill Maiza as well. Angered on Maiza's behalf, the executives open fire - but are shocked when Szilard remains on his feet and takes out a machine gun.
Firo attempts to attack him to no avail, and Maiza orders him to find Molsa Martillo and Ronny Schiatto and warn them of the situation. Though reluctant, Firo agrees; Szilard opens fire on him as he escapes, but Maiza leaps in front of the muzzle and blocks the barrage of bullets with his own body. Helpless to move, all he can do is watch as Szilard mows down the remaining executives.
Ennis attacks Firo as soon as he exits through the back door, and both recognize each other from the granary conflagration the day before. As Ennis explains who she and Szilard are to Firo, Szilard explains the nature of his past two hundred years of work to Maiza.
Dallas and his two friends come across Firo and Ennis in the alleyway and prepare to kill them, but the Gandor brothers stumble upon the scene shortly thereafter and hold Dallas and his crew at gunpoint. He attempts to blame the deaths of the Gandor mafiosi on Firo, but Luck Gandor reveals that he and Firo are childhood friends and shoots Dallas in the head. Berga and Keith do the same with the other two men. Ennis' warning that they should tie Dallas' group up comes too late, and the three men revive and shoot the Gandors, Firo, and Ennis dead.
The trio make their escape down another alleyway, but are run over by Isaac and Miria by way of Szilard's automobile. Isaac accidentally hits Szilard in the process, but Szilard recovers and takes him hostage right as Ennis rounds the corner. Szilard orders her to hold the thieves hostage for him while he deals with Maiza, and Ennis takes Szilard's knife and points it at Isaac's throat.
Szilard shoots Maiza's legs, sending the capo to his knees. Ennis thanks Isaac and Miria, turns, and literally and figuratively backstabs Szilard before he can devour Maiza. Firo rounds the alley corner, shouting Maiza's name; Szilard severs the connection between him and Ennis, and she collapses to the ground. Meanwhile, Edward and several other policemen arrive at the front entrance of the Alveare to investigate civilian reports of gunfire.
Isaac and Miria throw their pepper bombs at Szilard while Firo runs over to Maiza and Ennis, and Ennis realizes that Firo must be an immortal (much to Maiza's surprise). Randy and Pezzo light Szilard's head on fire, and Firo devours Szilard and saves Ennis' life.
Edward discovers the alleyway scene not long after, and demands answers from Firo; when Isaac and Miria deliberately distract the police, he realizes that they are the costumed bandits the BOI is after and orders his men to chase them. As Isaac and Miria run, they take the money they stole from the Genoard Family and scatter it to the surrounding crowds - though they decide to use the last of it to head to California and mine for gold.
Maiza asks Firo to devour him. Firo refuses, and Ronny and Molsa arrive in the alleway as the executives are celebrating their newfound immortality.
In the aftermath, the Gandors take Dallas and company to an abandoned warehouse, place them in individual barrels, and fill the barrels with with cement. The barrels are subsequently dropped into the Hudson River. Later on, Edward, Bill Sullivan, and Donald Brown locate and deal with Szilard's main group of sponsors (including Edward's former superior Superintendent Veld).
Back in 2002, the immortal is pleased to see that the photographer believes his tale. He identifies some of the patrons in the restaurant as some of the people from his 'story', and the photographer is surprised to learn that the immortal in front of him is Firo, not Maiza.
|Color Insert 01||One Day Before: Inside Alveare|
|Color Insert 02||A Few Days After, Or A Few Hours Before: In Front of the Station|
|Color Insert 03||A Few Minutes Before: On The Road|
|Color Insert 04||Right Before: The Gandor Family|
|Chapter 01||Day One|
|Chapter 03||Day Two|
- The title of the volume is a reference to the band The Rolling Stones.
- The novel is the only Baccano! volume to not have a year prefacing its title. This is due to the fact that Narita had no guarantee that the publishers would want Baccano! turned into a series.
Characters in Order of Appearance