Wise Guy: Life in a Mafia Family

Wise Guy: Life in a Mafia Family

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by Nicholas Pileggi, Nicholas Pileggi
     
 

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"At the age of twelve my ambition was to become a gangster. To be a wiseguy. Being a wiseguy was better than being President of the United States. To be a wiseguy was to own the world." — Henry Hill

Wiseguy is Nicholas Pileggi's remarkable bestseller, the most intimate account ever printed of life inside the deadly high-stakes

Overview

"At the age of twelve my ambition was to become a gangster. To be a wiseguy. Being a wiseguy was better than being President of the United States. To be a wiseguy was to own the world." — Henry Hill

Wiseguy is Nicholas Pileggi's remarkable bestseller, the most intimate account ever printed of life inside the deadly high-stakes world of what some people call the Mafia. Wiseguy is Henry Hill's story, in fascinating, brutal detail, the never-before-revealed day-to-day life of a working mobster — his violence, his wild spending sprees, his wife, his mistresses, his code of honor.

Henry Hill knows where a lot of bodies are buried, and he turned Federal witness to save his own life. The mob is still hunting him for what he reveals in Wiseguy: hundreds of crimes including arson, extortion, hijacking, and the $6 million Lufthansa heist, the biggest successful cash robbery in U.S. history, which led to ten murders. A firsthand account of the secret world of the mob,

Wiseguy is more compelling than any novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671723224
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
09/01/1990
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 4.34(h) x 0.83(d)

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Wiseguy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WiseGuy is one of the best books I have ever read. The book is a biography of Henry Hill¿s life in the mafia, but can almost be passed a guide book on how to survive in the mafia. I love how this book is set up where the author, Nicholas Pileggi, gives his 3rd person view on the events that occur in Henry¿s life, then Henry himself tells his side of the story, and sometimes his wife, Karen, tells what she witnessed, and at one point Henry¿s girlfriend, Linda, tells what she had seen. You need all of these points of view to completely understand how Henry and the mafia operated their business.
To love this book, you have to love the mafia. Otherwise, you will not be interested in the story at all. It can be hard to follow everything that is going on if you are not interested and believe me, there is a lot going on. Not only that, you can become confused on whose talking in the story, though Pileggi clearly states on who is narrating with big bold names. Out of all the narrators, Henry speaks about 80% of the time. Then Karen probably speaks about 10% of the time while Pileggi and Linda have narrated 5% of the time each.
Another reason I love this book is the actual story. The story is crazy, violent, romantic, smart, and exciting all wrapped up into 308 pages. There are a few curse words (as made famous by Joe Pesci great performances) and violent scenes, but I do not think it is as bad as most people would think. If you have seen the movie Goodfellas (the movie that is based off the book), you have a good understanding about what the story is about, but there are little things that you do not normally see in movies but read in the books. For instance, do you remember in the movie the part where you see a young Henry Hill break car windows and blow them up? Do you know why he was doing that? I do. To find out, you have to read WiseGuy. Most people think ¿Oh, I have already watched the movie. Why do I need to read the book?¿ Well, I can honestly say I do not enjoy reading, but I couldn¿t put the book down! I loved it and I know you will love it too, even if you don¿t read very often, or don¿t like mafia books. Nicholas Pileggi is a great author, and is now one of my favorites. I completely recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Goodfellas" is a great movie and is perfectly cast. I have enjoyed watching it many times. While digging in my attic this week, I found an old tattered copy of "Wise Guy" that I didn't even know I had. I read it in a 1 day. It is true to the movie (or vice versa) and a book that I could not put down. It offers great insight into the workings of the Mafia and what that life is really like. Great read and highly recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most engrossing books I've ever read. The writing was action-packed and forward moving. I couldn't put the book down and was sorry when I finished it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After becoming a fan of the Martin Scorsese film GoodFellas, I was inspired to read the book on which it is based. The book is Wise Guy, and as soon as I started reading it, I couldn't stop. The inside life of Henry Hill is ten times as exciting as any other, and makes for a fun, fast, and great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have seen Goodfellas many times and it was amazing how closely the movie followed the book. I could not put my Nook down. The writing was so masterful that I felt I was folloing Henry around. Outstanding read that I would recommend to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
if you enjoy reading mafia books, I would really recommend you to read this outstanding book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great mafia book, it is like the day to day journal of a mobster. Mr. Pileggi does a great job of telling the story of a low level hood who was not afraid to get into anything. From his days of parking Cadillacs to him eating mushroom and sausage pizza and drinking Orange Fanta before testifying against Jimmy Burke, this book has it all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Wise Guy¿ by Nicholas Pileggi was based on a true story about a man named Henry Hill. He was a punk kid, who grew up poor in The Bronx dreaming of being a ¿Wise Guy¿in the mob. He began working at the age of twelve at a cab stand which led him to a job offer in the mob. It was a dream come true for Henry but it wasn¿t all it cracked up to be. This book is like a day to day documentary in the life of a mobster. I loved the book because it gave me a true insight into the life of somebody else. Nicholas Pileggi did very well on giving the exact details to this true story. Its an action packed book with many hard core characters. There is also a movie about this book called ¿Good Fellas¿ and you should definitely check it out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fast and furious read. You can hear Liotta talking to you as you read each word.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book rocks plain and simple
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fivi More than 1 year ago
After watching the movie "Goodfellas" I wanted to read the book Wiseguy to get more details of the crimes and murders. However, I felt that the book was pretty much the movie with only details of the jobs Henry and his crew hustled. I kept reading hoping to find out hopefully something new that the movie might have critically missed. Nope! Regardless, good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story! Like the afterword with character update.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Goodfellas is tied with The Shawshank Redemption as my favorite movie. I watch it at least 5 times a year. This book, for me, was nearly impossible to put down. The author has done a jam-up job at telling the story both in third-person summaries and first-person quotes. Thank you for such an awesome read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I literally could not put this book down! I knew it was the inspiration for the movie Goodfellas, but I certainly didn't think that the movie would stick so closely to the book. Incredible to think that this was someone's real life. Amazing!!
PeachesGR More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book it was true to the movie,saw the movie more time than I can count.Because of that I felt like I was part of the book.Sounds crazy but true.
TT2135 More than 1 year ago
B&N Totally sucks as they wont stop sending me emails asking me to review books! Please stop
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
$12.99 is the most ive ever paid for a nook book but this was completely worth it!!