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Mob: Stories of Death and Betrayal from Organized Crime

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Overview


Adrenaline Books' search for the world's best and most exciting stories has taken readers from the peaks of Everest to the jungles of Papua, New Guinea to the battlefields of World War II. Now, the editor of publishing's most successful adventure literature series takes readers into the heart of organized crime. Some of our culture's greatest literary talent has been drawn to this topic, which taps into our culture's deepest preoccupations -- greed, violence, desire. Mob features work from best-selling writers ...
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Overview


Adrenaline Books' search for the world's best and most exciting stories has taken readers from the peaks of Everest to the jungles of Papua, New Guinea to the battlefields of World War II. Now, the editor of publishing's most successful adventure literature series takes readers into the heart of organized crime. Some of our culture's greatest literary talent has been drawn to this topic, which taps into our culture's deepest preoccupations -- greed, violence, desire. Mob features work from best-selling writers such as Peter Maas, William Kennedy, Martin Cruz Smith, and Mario Puzo; from acknowledged masters of the genre such as Nicolas Pileggi (Wiseguy, Casino) and Joseph Pistone (Donnie Brasco); and from law enforcement insiders and mobsters such as Sammy Giancana and Joseph O'Brien.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the 16th title in the Adrenaline series (Adrenaline 2001: The Year's Best Stories of Adventure and Survival; etc.), series editor Willis presents a baker's dozen of bits of fiction and nonfiction, confessions and wiretapped confabs that are the best of the genre from authors Puzo, Pileggi, Maas and others. The families involved Gambino, Bonanno, et al. are no less renowned. Two parts nostalgia and one part investigative intrigue, the book serves up platefuls of stick-to-the-ribs tales of gangland murders, wise guys, heists and stool pigeons, delving fully into the structures and workings of the American Mafia. Standouts include an excerpt from Joseph D. Pistone's book about his shadowy life deep under cover as Donnie Brasco; instructions on administering a hit from the 1973 autobiography Killer, by "Joey," written with David Fisher; and a selection from Pileggi's Casino. Willis, in his introduction, describes his fascination with the criminal lifestyle, but refuses to glorify it; he confesses that he both fears and pities mobsters. Indeed, this pity for today's waning Mafia is echoed in what "Joey" says about hit men in 1973: "[E]xcept in New York there hasn't been much work lately, so I guess you could call us a dying breed." The familiarity in much Mafiana doesn't seem to deter fans (whether readers or viewers, e.g., of The Sopranos), and the engrossing fiction and true crime tales collected here will whet many readers' appetite. Photos. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The world of the Mafia and organized crime continues to intrigue many of us much as poisonous snakes do. For those so inclined, this anthology, a kind of Goodfellas sampler, is essential reading. Both nonfiction and fiction works by such heavy-hitting chroniclers of mob life as Mario Puzo (The Godfather), Peter Maas (Underboss), and Joseph D. Pistone (Donnie Brasco) seldom disappoint. This anthology is especially effective in presenting diverse perspectives on organized crime: those of an undercover cop, an aging don, the children of notorious mobsters, a hit man who sees himself as just another working stiff, a lawyer who is "house counsel" to the mob, and a na ve businessman who finds himself an unwilling front for Mafia interests. While the consensus of the authors presented here is that the world of the Mafia is on the wane, all of these pieces make for spellbinding reading and, taken together, present a far-ranging and intimate view of life on the wrong side of the law. Recommended for all public libraries. Jim Burns, Ottumwa PL, IA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An anthology of previously published material on the uniquely savage business of crime as practiced by the organization known variously as La Cosa Nostra, the Outfit, the Syndicate, the Mafia. Prolific anthologist Willis (Adrenaline 2000: The Year's Best Stories of Adventure and Survival, etc.) largely avoids the sensationalistic, foam-flecked school of crime-writing (notwithstanding an excerpt from 1973's purported hit-man-memoir, Killer) in favor of works of sufficient restraint and specific knowledge about the Mob's closed society to provide the reader with varied perspectives. Among the veteran authors included are Peter Maas, with a section of Underboss in which Sammy Gravano explains with typical self-serving bluster how a real-estate transaction spiraled into a public execution, and Nicholas Pileggi, whose enlightening Casino excerpt details how cold-blooded killers utilize wily frontmen and shell companies to partake in supposedly legitimate industries from construction to gaming. There are also dispatches from the front lines of gangster prosecution, including FBI agent Joseph Pistone's memoir of infiltration, Donnie Brasco, and Pino Arlacchi's Mafia Business, an extremely insightful exploration of organized crime's tribal Sicilian roots. Classic crime fiction is represented by Mario Puzo's The Godfather (the pivotal scene in which Michael accepts his legacy) and William Kennedy's bittersweet Legs, which highlights the lifestyle's greater futility. Ace satirist Bruce McCall imagines a taut intercepted discussion of "Gangland Style" that seems oddly congruent with doomed Gambino chieftain Paul Castellano's resigned musings on his crumbling empire, recounted by FBI agentsJoseph O'Brien and Andris Kurins in Boss of Bosses. "At some point, a real gangster cuts the ties that bind him to the rest of us and to the planet," Willis notes, and these disquieting narratives confirm this unromantic truth often obscured by our cultural fondness for the perpetrators. Lots of familiar pieces here, but the variety of Willis's 13 selections makes for an anthology crime buffs can't refuse.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560253242
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Series: Adrenaline Series
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 319,476
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Clint Willis is the series editor of Adrenaline books. His twelve anthologies for the series include Adrenaline 2000: The Year’s Best Stories of Adventure and Survival; Epic: Stories of Survival from the World’s Highest Peaks; Rough Water: Stories of Survival from the Sea and The War: Stories of Life and Death from World War II. He lives in Cape Elizabeth, ME.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2003

    Multi-dimension depiction of the Mafia

    The editor, Clint Willis, has brought together complimentary exerpts from a wide range of sources. The book presents a view of the mob from almost every perspective imaginable: a hit man, an academic, law enforcement, a mob lawyer, a mob wife, etc. Willis even includes portions of some of the best related fiction, including Puzo's Godfather. The anthology is a must-read.

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