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What makes this account of the Mafia life and times of Sammy Gravano so seductive is Peter Maas's skillful editing of interview material. From his opening line--"Yeah, you could say I came from a pretty tough neighborhood"--to his final poignant comment on having gotten all his tattoos removed except a head of Christ that resists being eliminated--"I guess God still wants me"--Gravano is nothing if not a compelling storyteller. He talks about his years in a youth gang, his robberies and shylocking, his murders, his lack of remorse (about which he is "not happy"), the ceremony of becoming a "made guy," his mentors, his "crew," his preference for gangsters over racketeers, his fascination with the Godfather films, his many business ventures, and his final years of disillusionment as the Cosa Nostra code he had passionately admired was breaking down, so that he chose to testify against his last boss, John Gotti. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Maas (The Valachi Papers, LJ 6/1/69) and Sammy "The Bull" Gravano team up to write a somewhat informative book on the Cosa Nostra of New York from the 1970s through the early 1990s. Maas narrates Gravano's life story while quoting directly from his subject. One early quote sets the book's premise when Sammy says, "I wouldn't have minded going to Vietnam. You got medals for killing people there." Through the many descriptions of Sammy's involvement in the Mafia as a hitman and leading up to his appointment as underboss to John Gotti of the Gambino crime family, the reader gets a real sense of a street thug. We learn that Gotti and Gravano masterminded and carried out the murder of Paul Castellano, then boss of the crime family, outside of Sparks Steak House in New York City. Eventually, after both were indicted on murder and racketeering charges, Sammy opted to "rat" on Gotti and served only five years. As a depiction of life in the Cosa Nostra from a man who brought down perhaps the most famous mob figure since Al Capone, this book is recommended for libraries looking to expand their organized crime collections. [This book, which was embargoed until publication, has provoked a lawsuit by relatives of Gravano's victims under the Son of Sam law, though HarperCollins has denied that Gravano was paid for his contributions.?Ed.]?Brent Newmoyer, "Library Journal.
-?Brent Newmoyer, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I was close to not even buying this book when I was reading these reviews saying it was slow and boring and exactly the same as John Gotti's book except harder to stay interested... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rachael
I read the Ice Man before this book. While a bit gruesome, that book had me more on the edge of my seat than this one. Read morePublished 3 months ago by David A Schroeder
EXCELLENT ALL THE WAY AROUND!!! WOULD DEFINITELY PURCHASE FROM THIS SELLER AGAIN!Published 4 months ago by BEVERLY