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Overview

Posing as jewel thief "Donnie Brasco," FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone carried out the most audacious sting operation ever, working undercover for six years to infiltrate the flamboyant community of mafia soldiers, "connected guys," captains, and godfathers.Now his unforgettable eyewitness account brings to pulsating life the entire world of wiseguys—their code of honor and their treachery, their wives, girlfriends and whores, their lavish spending and dirty dealings. With the drama and suspense of a high-tension ...
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Donnie Brasco

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Overview

Posing as jewel thief "Donnie Brasco," FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone carried out the most audacious sting operation ever, working undercover for six years to infiltrate the flamboyant community of mafia soldiers, "connected guys," captains, and godfathers.Now his unforgettable eyewitness account brings to pulsating life the entire world of wiseguys—their code of honor and their treachery, their wives, girlfriends and whores, their lavish spending and dirty dealings. With the drama and suspense of a high-tension thriller, Joseph Pistone reveals every incredible aspect of the jealously guarded world he penetrated...and draws a chilling picture of what the mafia is, does, and means in America today.




Pistone an FBI agent who adopted the identity of Donnie Brasco, jewel thief, and lived undercover as a Mob member for six years.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Author Pistone narrates this thrilling account of his own experiences as an undercover FBI agent who successfully infiltrated the dangerous world of the Mafia. During a six-year period in the 1970s, Pistone adopted the persona of Donnie Brasco, a successful jewel thief who was looking to "get connected." He slowly and carefully ingratiated himself with the Mafiosi and was about to be initiated as a member when his assignment ended. Successfully earning the trust of many high-ranking "wise guys," he was able to expose the activities of several important families, including the Bonannos and the Colombos. Though it reads like a thriller, this work also provides listeners with much concrete information about Mafia financial and familial operations. Pistone's narration and the inclusion of excerpts from actual FBI surveillance tapes bring the events of this tale chillingly to life. Taking into account the recent release of the movie version starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp as Pistone, this excellent production is essential for public libraries with crime collections.Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., Ohio
Melanie Duncan
Barbara Chessner is overweight and prematurely gray, and her real-estate career has hit the skids. When her husband announces that he wants a divorce, Chessner hits the bottle to drown her sorrows and then stumbles outside into a thunderstorm to cry to the heavens, "I'll do anything you ask. "Anything"." Barbara awakens the next morning with a centerfold's body and blond hair, and suddenly, she's selling houses like hotcakes. So what if her breath reeks of brussels sprouts? She pops breath mints by the boxful and goes to meet a handsome tycoon. The tycoon, however, is a "darksider," a person who made a deal with the devil in order to fulfill his dreams. This is a fiendishly funny novel, with riotous surprises and nonstop action. Disney/Touchstone has optioned it for a movie, and the intense national advertising campaign and sweepstakes contest will draw attention to a deserving work.
Kirkus Reviews
A fourth novel (after The Club, 1995, etc.) from Heller (whose name may or may not have inspired her novel's witty hook) puts a devilishly zany spin on the hard-to-enliven subject of midlife crisis.

Things couldn't get much worse for real-estate agent Barbara Chessner of 666 (yes, that's 666) Seacrest Way, Banyan Beach, Florida. A bottle of wine has become her nightly norm; she can't sell a house to save her life; and, at 38, she's already gray- haired and dumpy. One night in the midst of a powerful thunderstorm her misery reaches its peak: Mitchell, her husband of ten years (whom she doesn't even love), dumps her for buck-toothed but blond and busty local weatherperson Chrissy Hemplewhite. On top of everything else, Barbara's suddenly all alone. So she does the only thing she can do: She strikes a midnight-hour deal with the devil. The catch is that she doesn't know what she's done: She thought she was praying to God when she called out to the stormy ocean, "I'll do anything if you'll help me." When Barbara shows up at work the next morning, her stomach is newly flat, her hair is suddenly blond and smooth, her bustline is mysteriously enhanced, and she's acquired a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that has her officemates deeply puzzled. Life picks up all around: She makes an immediate, significant sale to David Bettinger, a former short, fat, bald orthodontist and current stud who turns out to be another "darksider." He gives Barbara the score when in the heat of passion she discovers that he has a tail. Meanwhile, Jeremy Cook, her brother Ben's best friend, becomes rather more than an acquaintance, and her loyal dog Pete turns out to be much more than man-or woman's-best friend.

Campy, over the top, down-and-dirty, and a whole lot of fun.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101154069
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/1/1997
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 105,196
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Joseph D. Pistone was an FBI agent for seventeen years before retiring from active duty in 1996. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia, Donnie Brasco: Deep Cover, and Donnie Brasco: Mobbed Up. The Academy Award-nominated movie Donnie Brasco and the television series Falcone are based on his life as an undercover FBI agent. He now lives under a secret identity in an undisclosed location.
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Definite read

    If ur into mafia type movies and books this is truly a great one. Way better then the movie which always us. You get more detail and the REAL story! Reccommended. People pkease those of u thay review boojs please quittelling the entire book deyails. People buy the books to read and people like me who like to review before buying do Not want to no all details of the book before even reading it. You ate ruining it for people..pkease stop!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Great read

    I really enjoyed this book. It reaveals the fact that hollywood butchered the story. Am I the only one who feels Joe Pistone did not reveal all of his criminal activities?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    Good Read

    In my opinion, I feel this book is the truly completed version of Donnie Brasco. It tell the reader exactly what the mafia is really like; the honor is truly gone. At the same time I feel it is some what repetious.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Review for Donnie Brasco.

    I am a big fan of true crime. This book kept me well entertained throughout. I enjoy books that come straight from the source. If you enjoy the same, this one's for you. How a man of the law could stand toe to toe with tough guys and murderers. And be tough if not tougher than them. It's truly amazing what he went through and accomplished. Every day risking his life to protect the citizens of this country. I recommend this book for all adults to read. Other books similar to this that I highly recommend are: No Angel by Jay Dobyns: ATF Agent who infiltrated the Hell's Angels. Also Under and Alone by William Queen: ATF Agent who infiltrated the Mongols Motorcycle club. Both books are deeply in-depth. Very much a pleasure to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book has a lot of details. It is sometimes captivating and exciting, but Pistone is foremost an FBI agent and not a literary genius. His eye for detail is great, however, he flip flops throughout the story, often repeating something several times or failing to explain a situation. The book does give you amazing new information on the American Mafia and the trials that helped it crumble. It is, however, not extremely objective in that Pistone is viewed as this incredible angel who defeated the Mafia. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Mafia continues to exist today. It did suffer a great blow due to Pistone's undercover stint and the RICO law, but Pistone leads the reader to believe the Mafia is no longer, which is far from the case. I read it quickly so I didn't feel it was a waste of my time, but it's sometimes hard to track and his repeated 'nothing for nothing' really started to make me mad after the twentieth time.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Walking the Fine Line Undercover

    Undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone takes us into the belly of the underworld in the la cosa nostra families. He explains his understanding of the neighborhoods from is background of growing up in it and being familiar with their code and rules. He make a choice in his youth that takes him in one direction, while friends of his from the neighborhood take another road. As he matures he become an FBI agent and uses this background of his to enter the mafia with the cover story of being a jewel thief.

    He explains to the reader the dual roll he plays of being a convincing crook to the mafia members and associates so he stays alive, and getting the evidence and elements of various crimes needed to later make arrests that will withstand defense attorney's scrutiny in court.

    His survival often depends on his quick thinking and decision making, along with just a bit of luck. He reveals the personal sacrifices he makes of himself, his marriage and his children. At the conclusion of his undercover work he becomes a marked man with a price on his head. He and his entire family will forever be looking over their shoulders.

    This is a in depth look from the agent's perspective of the plan, execution, and need for constant flexibility while working an undercover assignment. It is somewhat dated by the passage of time, but the essence is applicable to today as well

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Better Than the Movie

    What makes this book so fascinating is all the FBI workings you learn about

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  • Posted September 18, 2009

    Fuggedaboutit

    Glad I only spent 5 bucks for this book. It's certainly not terrible, but, I lost interest somewhere between the first and second chapters. It's not as if the subject matter is boring, it's not. But, Pistone writes and thinks like a true cop. All the wiseguys are bad. The FBI always wins and, when they lose, it's someone else fault (either a "fluke," a bad jury/juror or a bad prosecutor, etc.) Pistone's view, here, is a cop's view and it grows boring after awhile. His views are just too black and white for me and, although I finished the book, I certainly had to force myself to do it.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Interesting and Insightful

    Like many, I have a deep interest in learing about the unknown. Reading "Donny's" account of his life in undercover creates a deep appreciation of all the he and his family gave up for us to have a safer world. The Saprano's is a look at the "other side" but only from an entertainment point of view. This book allows the "nice" immage to be stripped away and the ugly side to come into view.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2008

    If you have....

    If you have ever wondered about the life of 'The Wiseguy,' whether or not you are of Italian decent or not, this is a remarkable read. I saw the movie first and have not read the first book of the same title, though am glad and pleased to have read this one. Mr. Pistone has done a pairamount job with his writing and telling of his life undercover. I highly recommened this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    Putting One's Life on the Line

    Former FBI Agent Joseph Pistone and former Delaware Deputy Attorney General Charles Brandt, have teamed up to write this true Crime Thriller which is based on six years of undercover work by Pistone, a/k/a Donnie Brasco. Donnie Brasco went ¿under¿ the same year Teamster Boss, Jimmy Hoffa was killed (1975). Brandt wrote about Hoffa in his 2004 book, ¿I Heard You Paint Houses¿. Pistone, likewise, has written about his fascinating work in previous books. ¿Unfinished Business¿ is fast paced and heart-stopping. And troublesome. When he was undercover, Donnie Brasco determined that, if necessary, he would KILL an innocent person rather than blow his cover. In fact, he did beat the crap out of two thugs to maintain the façade. However, he claims he probably saved their lives. One wonders. Donnie Brasco ¿went under¿ as a jewelry thief. The FBI actually trained him in the field it didn¿t take much as few thugs know about jewelry. I would like to have heard more about the psychology or reason(s) Joe Pistone was selected for this dangerous operation. Whatever the reason(s) for his selection, it was a stunning success. But it lasted much too long and recklessly endangered Pistone¿s life and numerous investigations. Pistone stayed under so long because he wanted to achieve ¿made man¿ status before surfacing. Fortunately, his handlers pulled him out before it was too late. Pistone¿s efforts coupled with talented, ambitious and determined federal prosecutors, exposed and decimated the Mafia¿s operation in New York and other U.S. Cities. Among the prosecutors Pistone worked with are Rudy Giuliani (2008 Presidential Candidate) and Michael Chertoff (now Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security). Pistone and men like Giuliani, Chertoff and others, helped along immeasurably by the Witness Protection Program, mandatory minimum sentences and RICO Statutes combined to deliver a breath-taking blow to organized crime in New York and elsewhere. To this day, the Mob continues to suffer from the efforts of these brave, bright, hard-working men. In many respects this book (after page 75) reads like a series of victory laps. The narrative explicates the dramatic success that Pistone¿s efforts brought to criminal prosecutions outside New York as well as a number of prosecutions in and around New York including the ¿Pizza Connection¿ cases, the ¿Mafia Commission¿ case, the Lucchese Family prosecutions, and cases as recent as 2006 involving the so called rogue ¿mafia cops¿. The ¿rogue¿ cops were convicted and will probably die in jail. These are all tremendous victories for the government and it will apparently be a long time before the mafia can make a recovery, if ever. But Pistone¿s efforts were not appreciated by everyone, including fellow agents and especially one supervisor who gave him such a difficult time that Pistone actually quit the FBI for a time. After being undercover for 6 years (1975-1981), he would testify in a number of trials usually with devastating results. I found the first 75 pages most engaging, Watching Donnie Brasco sweat and weave his way through the mob is thrilling and scary beyond any comparison. He could have been ¿whacked¿ at any time. For any reason. For ¿disrespect¿. For being a traitor to the mob. For no reason. The word ¿whacked¿ must appear 200 times in the text. Fortunately, it doesn¿t apply to Mr. Pistone. YET. Killings were often performed by Zips hoods imported from Italy to do messy work. Hoods with a curious morality. Listen to this excerpt regarding one Zip, Luigi Ronsisvalle, age 47 and imported from Catania, Sicily with a fourth-grade education: Luigi confessed to 13 murders the way you or I might confess to having eaten the last slice of cake in the refrigerator. His first slice of cake was at 18 in Sicily. His last slice was the 1979 pay-for-hire shooting of a restaurant chef who had allegedly raped a Brooklyn fath

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2005

    Amazing!

    If you liked the movie you'll love the book. There is so much more to the story. Lefty had me on the floor laughing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2002

    Loved it!

    Brave guy infiltrates the mob and takes you on an inside tour of a Mafia crew and their daily doings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2000

    Good rendering of FBI undercover work

    As disturbing as the intrusiveness of the FBi is, this is a good story of the stressors placed on an FBI agent investigating organized crime and some of the horrible requirements of the job. But it also shows how some people,uneducated and from dysfunctional backgrounds can stray into organized crime but really are not that bad as people but are taken down anyway by the FBI. Lastly, this book touches on how little regard the Justice Dept has for what it demands of its agents.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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