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on April 10, 2017
Wow! What a fascinating book! Although the writing leaves a LOT to be desired, it actually lends to the "flavor" of the subject matter and the character of Donnie Brasco. Brasco (or, actually, Pistone) was an FBI agent who infiltrated the mob under cover, and he gives us a fantastic trip into his life with them. And, believe me, it's a scary, crazy, WILD RIDE, one that us "normal folks" would never experience. Thankfully, there isn't as much violence as I anticipated. I'm enjoying the book a LOT more than I expected, and I recommend it highly.
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on July 22, 2017
This was a fascinating book and I found it incredibly riveting. I had to keep reminding myself throughout the book that the Mafia crews are all vicious animals and deserve no sympathy whatsoever. Agent Pistone did an amazing job in infiltrating this culture, and you went along on this unbelievably wild roller coaster ride with heart stopping, nail biting scenes that kept you turning the pages. It was somewhat comforting to hear Pistone put it into perspective by saying he was only doing his job, as they're doing theirs. I have to admit, I did find myself feeling a little sad with the inevitable results, but the realization is that this is life as they live it and they would have it no other way. I have read countless mafioso books, but I have never absorbed the true sense of what it was like in this underworld as Pistone portrayed it. I only hope he's able to enjoy life with his family somehow without the daily fear of looking over his shoulder. A true Hero and a 10 star read!
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on September 4, 2017
Donnie Brasco is not a book you will read for its literary qualities but rather for the fascinating story of an FBI agent who spent six years undercover with the Mafia. He was so successful as an undercover agent that he was considered as a candidate to become a "made man" with La Cosa Nostra just before he and the FBI pulled the plug. Pistone writes like cops often seem to speak, which is appropriate to the nature of the story and the characters with whom he interacts in the mob. In the process of telling the story he demystifies the Mafia and exposes both its methods and its flaws as an organization. In the end, his work resulted in multiple successful prosecutions of mobsters. I enjoyed the book.
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on October 23, 2016
Good read. I enjoyed the book and the history behind it. If you like "mob" books, you will like this one.
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on April 26, 2014
I could not put this book down and when finished immediately re-read it again. This is a very well written true story of Special Agent Joe Pistone, who I have the utmost respect for. He sacrificed so much of his life just to do the right thing. This true story is way more informative and entertaining than The Sopranos, and the like. This book takes you right there, you live, eat and breath the way of the bad guys along with "Donnie". Special Agent Joe Pastone is a true Hero in every sense of the word. The book tells how he was able to gain the trust of some of the most evil villains, patiently day by day working undercover, to get the thieves, drug smugglers, murderers, all who have never earned an honest cent in their lives, off of our streets for good.
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on January 26, 2014
I literally could not put this book down as soon as I bought it; it is absolutely fascinating. It gives a "fly on the wall" view of the American Mafia before it's downfall in the 1980's. Agent Pistone gives an amazing inside account of the mafia, their illegal activities, motives and the personalities of the mobsters that he deals with.

Make no mistake about it, the men in the mafia are evil. Hollywood likes to glamorize the mob at times, but this book shows the mobsters as they truly are; vicious, ignorant, selfish, greedy animals that are only interested in two things; making money and murdering anyone that comes in their way.

Pistone infiltrates their world and lets the reader in for the ride. If I could use one word to describe Agent Pistone, it would be "badass."

What more can I say? Just buy the book. You will probably be like me and end up reading it more than twice :)
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on March 4, 2013
So cliched but it's absolutely true in this case. The work agent Pistone chronicles in this book is nothing short of amazing. To be that deep undercover, to be so entwined in a life that was fundamentally the opposite of everything he believed in, is breath taking. Throughout this book, I couldn't help but have this feeling of impending dread like each paragraph held the time which Agent Pistone's cover would be blown and he would be subject to the most ruthless of mob justice. One definitely gets the sense that the author is clearly aware of the importance of the work he did which can be a tad off putting at times. Often the author is guilty of the same kind of bravado he claims to disdain in the mafiosi he works so closely beside but overall, despite it's off putting nature, does reinforce the notion that Agent Pistone is a man. Regardless of the super human things he was able to accomplish, he's not super human, he's just a brave man complete with all of the failings of mere mortals. That said, the action in the book is terrific and goes a long way to spelling out the back stories of the beef between Sonny Black and Sonny Red's crews. Great stuff. Highly recommended!
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on July 15, 2013
I've watched the movie several times. For me, when I do that first, and then read the book, the scenes, and differences pop out more vividly. There were good references to locations, and it gives a reader with some passing knowledge of these things more to think about. The only thing that would sometimes confuse me were the recreated conversations that are generously written throughout the entire work. You have to pay attention to who the parties are because the names of everyone, and their status, and general place in the culture of crime change quickly from chapter to chapter. Sometimes I would have to go back later and re-read what I'd already read.
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on June 6, 2015
Good book about FBI agent Joe Pistone as Donnie Brasco. He goes into detail about not only his time spent in the mafia but also how he got his start in law enforcement before life in the FBI. He also talks about the toll it took on his family life. I'd have to agree with one of the other reviews that sometimes it was confusing reading the quotes because it's hard to tell who's saying what. You have to read it very carefully. The book includes many photos of the top dogs in the mafia and also showcased a couple of pictures of Pistone himself. The operation was so secretive that not even FBI agents knew that they were watching one of their own!
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on February 9, 2017
This was one of the most interesting non fiction books I've ever read. I know it sounds like a cliché; but I literally could not put this book down. Even though I knew that the author would survive in the end, the suspense was intense. There were many twists and surprises in the book; many names that I recognized that "Donnie Brasco" encountered. I am extremely glad I purchased this book. definitely a 5 star read!
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