Michael Imperioli is best known for his starring role as Christopher Moltisanti in the acclaimed TV series The Sopranos, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor Emmy Award. He also wrote five episodes of the show and was co-screenwriter of the film Summer of Sam, directed by Spike Lee. Imperioli has appeared in six of Lee's films and has also acted in films by Martin Scorsese, Abel Ferrara, Walter Hill, Peter Jackson, and the Hughes Brothers. Upcoming projects include Bruno de Almeida's Cabaret Maxime, The Last Full Measure alongside Peter Fonda, Christopher Plummer, and William Hurt, and ABC's Alex, Inc.
"Imperioli makes his literary debut with The Perfume Burned
His Eyes, a novel in which 16-year-old narrator Matthew becomes
enmeshed with the late rock legend Lou Reed and his trans muse
--Bay Area Reporter, Spring fiction reading list
Included in the Authors Round the South "Spring 2018 Read This! Next List"
"I found myself totally entranced by The Perfume Burned His
Eyes, the coming of age story of 17-year-old Matthew, who recently
moved from Queens to a Manhattan apartment, where his upstairs
neighbors turn out to be...music legend Lou Reed and his
transgender partner Rachel! Lou Reed looms large in the novel, but
it is mostly about Matthew's own journey through adolescence. There
is a sweetness and vulnerability to Matthew's first-person
narrative, which felt very authentic to me, filled with grit and
heartbreak, confusion and angst, as Matthew navigates his strange,
new world, not only of NYC, but of adulthood itself. Fresh and
original; listen to some Lou Reed music, read, and enjoy (and it's
my favorite book jacket of the year!). ED LOVED AND HIGHLY
--Unabridged Bookstore Newsletter, Ed Devereux pick
"Imperioli does a masterful job with this work, and with his
influences from the acting world, it reads vividly, like a
"Yes. It's That Guy From The Sopranos. If that's what makes
you pick it up, fine. Just do it. Matthew, a 16 year old living in
Queens loses both his father and his grandfather. His mother
uproots the now family of two to Manhattan. He starts an unlikely
friendship with two tenants in his building: Lou Reed and his trans
girlfriend Rachel. Lou becomes a quasi-shamanic father figure to
the boy as he navigates his lonely path to becoming a man.
Heartbreaking. Pure. If you walk away from having read this book
without feeling the deepest of empathy for teenagers and your own
teenage self, you're just a stone, man. You can't be reached."
--Fountain Bookstore, staff pick
"Part nod to the fractiousness of the teenage years, part nod
to a talented and complicated musician for whom the author had
great admiration, The Perfume Burned His Eyes is a short but
powerful read that imprints Imperioli as a master of this
--Books Is Wonderful (blog)
"A fast-paced story with likable characters."
--Wanna Be Omnilegent (blog)
"[Imperioli] captured the setting, the times, and the coming
of age beautifully. It was a compelling read."
--The Cyberlibrarian (blog)
"Vividly imagined, compelling, and sympathetic, The
Perfume Burned His Eyes convinces with the force of its
--Joyce Carol Oates
"It has been a long time since I have regarded the prospect
of taking up a new first novel other than with dull dread and a
sardonic snort of rightfully prejudicial dismissal. Then I happened
on this one: the kind of bird you don't see anymore in the kind of
sky you don't see anymore. Mr. Imperioli can write, and he has
given us a book--that most outmoded of handheld devices, devoid of
all apps--that brings a rare and welcome breeze of imagination and
--Nick Tosches, author of Under Tiberius
"This coming-of-age narrative is a fearless, towering inferno
burning with raw truthfulness, stunning surprises, thrills, poetic
writing, and an odyssey not just to be read, but reckoned
--Richard Lewis, comedian, author of The Other Great Depression
"Michael Imperioli discovers a whole new demimonde in his
journey from Queens to the hideaways and hell-a-ways of Manhattan.
It's a streetwise romp through an underworld of bizarre characters
desperate to find their own transcendence, written with affection,
wit, and telepathic understanding."
--Lenny Kaye, musician and author
"Touching, hilarious, heartfelt, and poetic, with an ending
that is crushing, bruising, beautiful...Unpredictable and sweet as
well, this is a unique accomplishment."
--Lydia Lunch, author of Will Work for Drugs
"The Perfume Burned His Eyes shook me up in a way a
book hasn't since my twenties. I found myself questioning the
narrative I have built for myself in order to survive as an artist
and a parent. It threw me back to being an awkward teenager in
love, and destroyed some of the scaffolding of false memories I had
built. This book allowed me to be with myself as a young, innocent
teen without judgment, and opened my eyes and heart to the hurdles
my teenager is now about to face. Mike's book is gentle, pure,
perverse, and devastating. It delves intimately into the psyche of
what all great artists are made of."
--Nick Sandow, actor (Orange Is the New Black), filmmaker