The Company She Keeps / Edition 1

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2004 Hard cover NEW, Hardcover edition. Autographed and dated New in new dust jacket. Signed by author. NEW, Hardcover edition. Autographed and dated by author Glued binding. ... Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 456 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. NEW, Hardcover edition. Autographed and dated by author Read more Show Less

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At 17, Georgia Durante was the dazzling “Kodak girl,” the most photographed model in the country. Things took a turn when Durante was raped by her brother-in-law, had a child and a failed marriage before she was 20, and became a Mafia wife — all of it chronicled in this chilling true story.
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What People Are Saying

Sidney Sheldon
Georgia Durante has written a gripping, fast-paced, insideris look at an underworld she knew only too well. Breathtakingly readable.
Jimmy Breslin
We've all heard of the Mafia, and read about mobsters, but Georgia Durante saw them up close. She lived with them. She experienced their violence. She survived their wars. In The Company She Keeps, she tells her fascinating story. Once you read it, you'll never forget it.
James D. Henderson
This wonderful story of courage offers an exciting and unique look at how organized crime in this country can destroy much more than the usual victims of its activities. Georgia Durante rose above it. I salute her. (James D. Henderson - Former Chief of the Los Angeles Strike Force on Organized Crime, United States Department of Justice)
Susan Forward
Georgia Durante's life exemplifies many of the strengths I've written about. She refused to surrender to abuse, and moved from being a victim to being a victor. She's an inspiration for any woman who feels her situation is hopeless.
Hugh O'Brian
(Georgia Durante) has had quite a life, and the courage it takes to live it. I would have never imagined all (she's) been through. (She) hides a lot behind that lovely smile.
Bill Fleming
I spent a lifetime chasing gangsters out of the lives of decent people with the help of my colleagues in the FBI. Georgia Durante chased them out of her life by herself. She should have worked with us. This is an exceptionally intriguing book with eye-opening lessons for everyone. (Bill Fleming, Special Agent (Retired) -Federal Bureau of Investigation)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974654003
  • Publisher: Borgata Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Edition description: JACKET
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 2.50 (d)

Read an Excerpt

They found him in his trunk. Six bullets in his head. Five days had elapsed since he disappeared. The cool November air had kept his body from decomposing. I knew he didn't have long. He just couldn't keep his mouth shut. A little too hotheaded for his own good. It was just a matter of time, and his time had come. Jimmy "The Hammer" Massaro was a memory now, and a bad one at that. I shudder to think how he got that nickname. Thanksgiving Day 1973 would be the last holiday Jimmy would live to see.

I didn't want to go the funeral. Only went to comfort Bea. Such a gentle soul. She couldn't help that she still loved him, any more than I could help loving Joe. Now she was free to live without fear. She would realize that in time and find peace.

The room had a choking-sweet smell of roses. Old ladies with rosary beads twisted in their wrinkled hands took turns wailing as we moved through the crowd toward Bea. We sat in the front row, Joe and I on the left side of Bea, and her family on the right. I held her hand and stared at the picture sitting on top of the casket. There were no tears in my eyes. I had no fond memories. Only dark pictures developed in my head. I couldn't burn the negatives, no matter how I tried.

The entire Rochester Mob filed in before the night was over. The absence of color was the traditional attire for an Italian funeral. When Sammy G showed up with his entourage, wearing a cream-colored raincoat—he made his point. The level of murmur in the room attested to his rank as he arrogantly strutted to the widow's side.

He took Bea's hand gently in his own. "I'm sorry, Bea," Sammy said with unbelievable sincerity.

Bea snatched back her hand and stared into his eyes with a icy glare. Sam looked away, unremorseful. He nodded in my direction, ignored Joe, turned, and walked to the casket. His bodyguards followed, making a solid wall of human flesh and muscle behind him as he stood with head bent for a brief moment. When he turned to leave, I thought I'd caught a hint of a smile on his lips.

Rose Rotundi, Jimmy's live-in girlfriend, sat across from us in the row of chairs against the wall. She was visibly shaken. She had a lot to be shaken about. It was she who had answered the phone—the call that sent Jimmy busting out the door, in a rage, to his death. She knew whose voice was on the other end of the line—but she wasn't talking. Now, her body stiffened, the little color she did have drained from her face. I followed her gaze to see Gene DeFrancesco making his entrance. "Big Gene" was the name used when referring to him. I had my own name for him: "The Accountant." Not only because he could pass for one, but because he could personally account for a number of bodies found floating in the Genesee River—one mean son-of-a-bitch. He and Jimmy were tied on that score. But Big Gene knew how to keep his cool, and Jimmy couldn't. That made setting him up for the kill easy.

Rose was now holding her hands tightly in her lap, trying to keep them from shaking. Could he have been the trigger man? I watched the Accountant, and the interaction when their eyes met as he passed in front of her. That's when I knew for sure that he did it. And he knew that she knew. And she knew that he knew. Now, I knew too. Maybe others sensed it, but nobody was talking. They were pretty close. Jimmy trusted Big Gene. They say it's always the one closest to you, the one you could trust with your life.

"Bea, I'm so sorry," said the Accountant.

"Oh Gene, he's gone... he's gone," she said, a spurt of emotion escaping her.

"I know, honey, I know..." he said, tenderly hugging her.

I rolled my eyes. What a wonderful display of compassion. Something I had never seen in him before. Maybe he missed his calling—he should have been an actor.

"Jesus, Joe, can we get out of here now?" I whispered. "I think we've overstayed our show of respect, don't you? Bea has her family, she doesn't need us."

I waited alone while Joe disappeared into the packed parking lot. The silent air was brisk. I pulled my coat collar up over my neck and tucked my chin into my chest. A fine snow was falling now, the kind that accumulated fast. The ground would be covered with a soft white blanket by morning. Trudging through the snow to an open grave in the cemetery was not where I would be tomorrow. I'd had enough of this charade.

Suddenly, a chill surged through my body—and it wasn't from the cold air.

"Hi there," said a voice that sounded like a rusty car muffler.

I turned to see the Accountant hunched inside his coat. "Hello, Gene," I said coldly, but I don't think he noticed.

"I wouldn't want to die in the winter, would you?" he asked, trying to make small talk—I think.

Shoving my cold hands deeper inside my coat pocket, I answered, "Not if I had a choice, Gene, but unfortunately, I doubt I'll have that luxury. With your connections, why don't you put the word in that I prefer the fall," I said with a knowing look.

That was a pretty stupid thing to say to a guy like that, but it just came out. The silence that followed made it even worse. I looked everywhere except at him while I impatiently waited. Joe finally pulled up, and Big Gene opened my door. What a gentleman.

"See ya around," he said with a curious expression as he shut the door.

Hope not too soon, I thought to myself with a shiver.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 16 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2013

    Great Book.  Didn't know she was married to Joey Lamendola.  Lea

    Great Book.  Didn't know she was married to Joey Lamendola.  Learn something everyday

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  • Posted July 9, 2012

    Highly recommended

    I just read THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS by Georgia Durante!! This is definitely a must read!! It is written superbly with honesty and courage. It will hold you spellbound. The travesties Georgia endured at the hands of those she trusted and loved is unimaginable. The story will make your heart ache for her, and also bring a grin to your face as you read how she outwitted top figures. You will revel at her triumphs and find your own courage to deal with your own demons. Do yourself a favor and "BUY" this book. You will not be able to put it down.
    Geri Banville

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2005

    The Company She Keeps

    This book sounds like a Mega Hit Movie. Wow! It really blew me away. Georgia Durante must have nine lives, and I think there are so many good reasons why God has kept her on this planet. She is definitely a survivor who still has wit, humor, compassion and strength as well as a lot of courage. These all are very admirable qualities that she possesses. I couldn¿t put this book down. I was also really impressed when I was reading about her company, Performance Two, and her driving skills. She is so talented. She definitely has nerves of steel as well as a lot of guts. Georgia Durante is an amazing woman and this book is a must read for everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2004

    An Amazing Life Of Survival

    Georgia Durante's life is full of times that test and challenge her. You'll read how she passes all the tests and answers all the challenges. These include an abusive husband, life in the Mafia, raising children, building a successful business and finding happiness. Be prepared as you read for a host of feelings to overcome you. There'll be times when you'll cheer Georgia on. There will also be times when you'll gain this feeling of empowerment for yourself. The Company She Keeps is one of those rare books that will launch you into an examination of your own life. You'll learn that the only thing that can stand in your way is you. Georgia Durante has turned her life into a gift. By sharing all of the moments featured in The Company She Keeps, she helps a good person become greater.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2001

    GREAT book

    As a child in the state of new York, and a resident in the city of Rochester, it was very aquird for me while reading this book. As she talked about many different places, and street names, I realized that they are right around me, and many of the people were friends with my grandmother. I also learned that in my house lived one of the members of the mafia. This book was very graphic for me, bacuase I could see the places where she had been. I loved the book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2001

    'The Company She Keeps'

    Georgia Durante's 'The Company She Keeps' is an amazing work of literary art in it's own right. My hat is off to both this wonderful book and most definitly to the incredible lady who lived to write about it. It will be an education to all who read it. I have read it twice and will probably read it many times more. 'Thanks' Georgia! Much success.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2001

    Georgie Girl

    In this fascinating, very human story, Georgia Durante's elucidation of the American underworld poignantly illustrates how the dark side operates. Born and raised in Rochester, New York, she was the original, quintessential, 1960's 'Georgie Girl'. A Mafia darling, throughly intoxicated by the power of the men who adored her. She begins her journey for us as the 'Kodak Summer Girl' of 1969 at age seventeen,while simultaneously struggling to survive the after math of a violent rape by her brother-in-law, and ends it almost thirty years later in the courtrooms of California. Along the way there are high speed car chases through the streets of New York City, abusive marriages, gangland hits, stalkers with shotguns, narrowly missed plane crashes, and of course, treacherous lovers. A profusion of dramas produced under the glare of Hollywood lights, hosted by Angels and devils on both sides of the law.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2000

    Fabulous, Fabulous, Fabulous!

    This book is one of the most wonderful books I have ever read. Georgia Durante makes you feel like her most dear friend who is experiencing her life with her. The things that I read in this book will stay with me FOREVER. I could not put it down. This book had me laughing out loud and welling up with tears. There is no other word to describe it than FABULOUS!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2000

    Insightful look into the 'Mob'--warts and all!!

    I really enjoyed reading 'The Company She Keeps' for a variety of reasons. Though I never knew Ms. Durante personally I am from her home town! I knew of many of the people in the book though I didn't live there during much of the timeline. I can say this--her description of the town itself is right on. I was also fascinated by the rules in a world few people know. I thought Ms. Durante created a vehicle in which the reader could truly experience what it is like to live in this world. I am an actress by trade and have had the good fortune to play a character on the acclaimed HBO series 'The Sopranos.' I used Ms. Durante's book as a character study for my work on The Sopranos as well as other mob characters I have played. She made it easy for me to understand the behavior of women involved in this world. As an actress that is a valuable tool. The picture she painted was exciting, frightening and romantic all at once. I was also very impressed by the author's candid confession of her own mistakes--without blaming anyone for her choices or circumstances. Eventually, her own redemption gives hope to women in any situation

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 1999

    An autobiography of enduring pathos...

    To think that I was actually tracking down another mob book, Mafia Marriage, also written by the wife of a Mafioso, to discover a far more courageous and gripping read in The Company She Keeps by Georgia Durante. Not just a great mob book, but an autobiography of enduring pathos and 'endless nightmares': A small town, covergirl; the Mafia friendships, romances and the murders; the marriages of love, abuse, and betrayal; the stalking of a manic and the FBI (you¿ll have to read to get her code name); the fugitive family and the bonds that broke and then mended; the get-away driver turned Hollywood stunt driver. The lighthearted and inconsequential image of mobster Sammy G being thrown from a horse into the water stands in my mind¿ Also, the irony of mobster Joey T showing up unannounced to Georgia¿s wedding asking a favor: For money! These remind me of how close to the inside Georgia was¿hanging out with choleric mobsters who also are portrayed with almost filial-like protection and caring. This serendipitous read made me think of my daughter and the effects that ones `company¿ can have. And despite the despair and at times baseness of man, the ramifications of `the company you keep¿ and the real life courage shown in this book makes this opportune for teen reading as well. So, sit back, get some coffee, and have plenty of hours ahead when you start this serendipitous read. Don¿t do as I did, and start the book in the evening. Even though Georgia is done with her `mob¿ life about half way through the book, you don¿t get any intermission. Thanks Georgia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 1999

    Nothing like I have read before

    Georgia accountings of her life are unbelieveable. You wonder how many tragic events can actually happen to a person? and yet she survives.

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    Posted July 26, 2011

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    Posted September 22, 2010

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    Posted November 30, 2010

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    Posted December 27, 2009

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    Posted December 28, 2009

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