From Publishers Weekly
In the 16th title in the Adrenaline series (Adrenaline 2001: The Year's Best Stories of Adventure and Survival; etc.), series editor Willis presents a baker's dozen of bits of fiction and nonfiction, confessions and wiretapped confabs that are the best of the genre from authors Puzo, Pileggi, Maas and others. The families involved Gambino, Bonanno, et al. are no less renowned. Two parts nostalgia and one part investigative intrigue, the book serves up platefuls of stick-to-the-ribs tales of gangland murders, wise guys, heists and stool pigeons, delving fully into the structures and workings of the American Mafia. Standouts include an excerpt from Joseph D. Pistone's book about his shadowy life deep under cover as Donnie Brasco; instructions on administering a hit from the 1973 autobiography Killer, by "Joey," written with David Fisher; and a selection from Pileggi's Casino. Willis, in his introduction, describes his fascination with the criminal lifestyle, but refuses to glorify it; he confesses that he both fears and pities mobsters. Indeed, this pity for today's waning Mafia is echoed in what "Joey" says about hit men in 1973: "[E]xcept in New York there hasn't been much work lately, so I guess you could call us a dying breed." The familiarity in much Mafiana doesn't seem to deter fans (whether readers or viewers, e.g., of The Sopranos), and the engrossing fiction and true crime tales collected here will whet many readers' appetite. Photos.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The world of the Mafia and organized crime continues to intrigue many of us much as poisonous snakes do. For those so inclined, this anthology, a kind of Goodfellas sampler, is essential reading. Both nonfiction and fiction works by such heavy-hitting chroniclers of mob life as Mario Puzo (The Godfather), Peter Maas (Underboss), and Joseph D. Pistone (Donnie Brasco) seldom disappoint. This anthology is especially effective in presenting diverse perspectives on organized crime: those of an undercover cop, an aging don, the children of notorious mobsters, a hit man who sees himself as just another working stiff, a lawyer who is "house counsel" to the mob, and a na ve businessman who finds himself an unwilling front for Mafia interests. While the consensus of the authors presented here is that the world of the Mafia is on the wane, all of these pieces make for spellbinding reading and, taken together, present a far-ranging and intimate view of life on the wrong side of the law. Recommended for all public libraries. Jim Burns, Ottumwa PL, IA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.