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When the Mob Ran Vegas: Stories of Money, Mayhem and Murder Paperback – July 7, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Benjamin Franklin Awards

Silver - AudioBook Nonfiction

Judge's comment: "Stroke of genius in audiobooks. The author reads like he's sitting down across from you at the table in the coffee shop. I loved it!" --Independent Book Publisher's Association

USA Book News Award

Winner - AudioBook Nonfiction --USA Book News

Book of the Year

Winner - AudioBook/Spoken Word CD --ForeWord Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

What is it about Las Vegas that captivates us historians? Is it how the skim worked at the Stardust and how millions of dollars walked out the door uncounted? Or what really happened when Frank Sinatra threw a chair at the casino boss of the Sands? Did you ever hear the story about how some very bad Vegas guys rigged the gin rummy games at the Friars Club and took a bunch of famous people to the cleaners? Howard Hughes had some weird notions about the Silver Slipper and put his money where his paranoia was. It’s all Vegas, and it is fascinating history. Vegas in the ‘50s and ‘60s was indeed another world. Those were the days when small-time gamblers like me, in town with my wife for a weekend of shows and great food, could ride down the elevator at one of the Strip hotels with Lucille Ball, have an A table at the Versailles Room at the Riviera to see Rowan and Martin, with Edie Adams opening, and laugh until it hurt when Buddy Hackett played the old Congo Room at the Sahara. Behind the scenes, the Mob ran Vegas in those days. And stories abound. Through years of study and interviews and just talking to people from all strata of Las Vegas comes this book, a glimpse into the money, mayhem, and murders of early Vegas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berkline Press; 1 edition (July 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977065804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977065806
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Melissa Allen on September 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
As much as I enjoyed the stories and histories, I found the organization of the stories was lacking in clarity. Stories jumped from 1930s to th 1970s then back to the 1940s without a sense of continuity. Many times, I had to look back at other chapters to get a sense of what time I was reading about. Other then that disconnect, the stories were fascinating, the tone was clearly that of someone excited about the topic, and a breezy read. For someone that grew up in post-mob Vegas, it was an eye opening look at the city just before my time....
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very dull, and not particularly well written. It has a few interesting stories, but also many of the stories are about the authors family trips to Vegas, seem to have no point other than that the author wanted to tell you about the time he saw Jerry Lewis (or whoever) in a coffee shop, and have little or nothing to do with the subject of the book. This is especially obvious to words the end, where it seems these stories were added as filler. It's also obvious the author is not a professional. The story jumps around a lot, is convoluted and confusing in parts, and often you find the exact same sentences, word for word in different parts of the book describing people or events, like they were copy & pasted to save time.

There are many other books about Vegas and the mafia that are much better. As an avid reader, who is especially interested in this subject, I can honestly say this is one of the worst books I've ever read on any subject. Don't waste your time or money on this one.
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Format: Paperback
This book was recommended to me by a bookstore in Vegas. They didn't have it in stock so I purchased it from Amazon on my return to Australia.

While I found this book very informative and factual, it is rather repetitive at times and I found myself asking, "didn't I just read that?" It is apparent in some sections that the information is fairly scrambled and does not flow.

This book is more or less a summary of the days when the mob ran Vegas, as opposed to a detailed account of this era.

Of note, even though the book contains 240 pages, the font is somewhat larger than most books and can be read in a matter of hours.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who is after a brief run down on the mob and the days they ran Vegas.
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Format: Paperback
Steve does a great job sharing some detailed secrets and lesser known exploits of bizarre mob behavior- including the seemingly innocent who partnered with them. I especially loved the coverage of Frank Sinatra (what an ego-maniac) and the Stardust story, which had some nice details that I hadn't heard before. Great and entertaining reading!
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Format: Paperback
A few years back, Steve Fischer was selling his Vegas memories on Ebay. I found his auctions by accident but kept going back for more. He wouldn't only sell you things but tell you stories about the items. People started asking him to write a book and lucky for us he listened. Because I was in touch with Mr. Fischer, I was able to get a book through him and have it signed. I couldn't put it down. I read it in one long, very long, night. The stories are insightful, detailed but not to bogged down. This book tells you about the beginning of Vegas. The one of years gone by that shaped the one we visit today. The pictures are nice to have too. I found that I was able to follow the stories as they ran from the 1930's to the 80's. Yes there were times I had to go back and read a name or two again, but that's me and my comprehension of things. It was an exciting time that I would have loved to see, and through his story telling you are able to relive it without having been there. I live in Reno and understand the lure of the casino and it's money. I get asked all the time if the mob is still here in Nevada. Well to tell the truth I don't know. But I can say that they once were here and made their mark. The men who started Vegas were ruthless, mean, played hardball and didn't care who they killed to get to the top. Steve Fischer shows us a time in our history when the men of the mob weren't afraid to put it all out there and let it be known that you didn't mess with them. Some stories are funny, some are gruesome but all are entertaining. I LOANED this book to my mother who is a big fan of Vegas, and I haven't seen it since. I think she passed it around to her friends. I want it back because Mr. Fischer was kind enough to sign it for me and I want to read it again. Get this book, you won't be sorry you did.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a well written account of the mob in Vegas by a professional writer, this isn't what you want. If you just want some casual memories from an enthusiastic Vegas lover, it's fun.
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I was born in Vegas, I lived there during a lot of his stories about Las Vegas, and I really liked hearing about the behind the scene things. But the book is really written pretty poorly, more of like a guy who sat down one day and put down his thoughts and stories. Many, many of the stories are told multiple times, making it a bit hard to follow. But it was funny reading about the old times.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a pretty mediocre book. It's a collection of vignettes about Vegas and the Mob, some stories are fairly interesting, others less so, none are really spell-binding. Since the book does not follow any sort of chronology, you sometimes encounter people who've already been killed in a previous story. Without a lot of background knowledge its hard to place these stories into any coherent framework. It's kind of like sitting next to an old-timer in a bar, you're going to get some stories, but you're also going to get a fair bit of rambling and you'll walk away not really sure how much of it is true or what to make of it all. Left me hungry for more of a history.
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