Posts Tagged With: gangster

book review | Hunting Whitey by Casey Sherman

hunting whitey casey sherman dave wedge book reviewAuthor: Casey Sherman
Title: Hunting Whitey
Series: –
Genre: True Crime; Nonfiction
Pages: 368
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Not gonna lie, I had no clue who James “Whitey” Bulger was up until reading “Hunting Whitey” by Casey Sherman. A life and death book of a legendary South Boston mob boss.

About the Book: A ruthless mob boss, self proclaimed gentleman, and a loving father to his children. James “Whitey” Bulger’s name is mentioned along side such notorious ones as Al Capone or Vito Genovese. This is a book of his long overdue capture, long and tough years in prison, and death by murder.

My Opinion: A pretty good book, well written, with plenty of details and names (an important factor for fact-checking). I’m just surprised I had no clue who this man was, since he was second most wanted man in the USA, just after Osama bin Laden.

While the book is good, and I approve of it for October, if you just want a tale of mobsters and gangsters, I’d go with something more fun, like one of those Hollywood Godfather books (there’s a few “former” gangsters who wrote amazing memoirs). But this one gets a solid 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, mafia, murder, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Hollywood Godfather by Gianni Russo | memoir

hollywood godfather gianni russo gangster mobsterAuthor: Gianni Russo
Title: Hollywood Godfather
Series: –
Genre: Memoir; True Crime
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

While “Hollywood Godfather” by Gianni Russo has its own issues and problems, deriving mostly from the times it all took place in, and the inequality dominating the masses back then, the story itself was a fascinating read.

About the Book: If you’re wondering where you’ve heard the name or seen the face – Carlo Rizzi from Godfather, and many more. A real life mobster in a movie about mobsters, and he wasn’t even the only one. Gianni Russo tells us in detail how the movie got produced, what events took place, and what people got to be in it. Being a business man at the core, he also mentions what markup he made on soda cans he was selling to the crews. From estrangement with his parents, to first business ventures re-selling pens, to meeting a mobster who’ll become a father figure, to making it in the world. Gianni Russo leaves us with words: “yes, you can“, so if you needed any more motivation…

My Opinion: It was funny to read about the need to fake danger for the bright stars rubbing shoulders with mobsters, wanting to imagine they’re part of this thrilling world. From trash bags filled with newspapers, to introductions. Even more fun was to read about all the people Gianni Russo knew, such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and so on, what where they like. There’s many historical events too, mob orchestrated happenings involving politicians, assassinations, and such. And while I wish he would’ve spoken out about some issues, instead of just glossing over them, I enjoyed the book, and the people I get to know in it. Some things will never look the same ever again.

I never know how to rate a memoir. It’s one thing to rate a creation, a whole other to rate someone’s life. So, taking in writing, and how captivating it was, I give it a 5 out of 5.

 

Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, crews, gangs, etc, mafia, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ioan Grillo “Gangster Warlords”

1Title: Gangster Warlords
Author: Ioan Grillo
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction, Crime
Pages: 384
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gangster Warlords” is a very well researched, and very well written, informative book on the title topic. It’s pretty amazing to read given facts, given opinion, and not feel bias leaking, nor an attempt to steer the reader one way or the other. That’s some good quality journalism right here.

About: The book is about the rise of the CEO kingpins, gangster warlords. In the age of politicians being worse than organized crime warlords, it only makes sense majority of the world gets both touched and screwed over by both. It makes even more sense that often we find ourselves hating the politician more. Someone who was meant to serve us and help us is doing the opposite. At least the gangster didn’t lie. Hell, in some cases gangsters are notorious for their good deeds, and end up being well protected, to a point of being untouchable, by the common folk who love them. For paving the roads, for building schools, for funding education, for, even, fighting crime. But that’s only a small fraction of the whole story. And likely the most rosy one too.

My Thoughts: The book is well written. I said that already, but it really is. Not once did I feel author’s word to have weight in my opinion that I was allowed to form through facts given. And, sure, things might have been opted out, but what was there was enough. I learned a lot. Best of all, I learned how different is a person who was pushed into crime for the sake of survival, and the one who entered life of crime for the sake of power. And how very differently common folk treat these people.

This was a good read. It is mostly set in Mexico, and gives good insight for making your own comparisons by the news and documentaries that are flooding all the media places. Poverty breeds all sorts of survivors. Not all of them are goodhearted, and it’s not always their fault either. 5 out of 5, for being such an eye-opener.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Burdett – Bangkok 8 | Sonchai Jitpleecheep 1

706011I wanted to read this book for a very long while. Might be ever since I figured out Asia is so much more interesting than Europe. Or America, for that matter. I regret slightly that I’ve not read “Bangkok 8” by John Burdett (Sonchai Jitpleecheep 1; ISBN13 9789955235439; 375p.; Goodreads) a little earlier, since this was one amazing book. The characters, the story. It was nothing I expected, and I love it.

Thailand. Third World occult beliefs, religion, charm, and beauty. It might be hard for a westerner to understand, and that might be one of the great reasons why so many of them lose their hearts here, having to return time and again, just to reconnect. It is definitely hard for FBI to grasp it, not when Sonchai tells them straight: he’ll kill whoever had his soul brother killed, there will be no trial. What do they know of these delicate matters of heart even Buddha would forgive? They went there, to the crime scene, to investigate traffic, commotion. Just to find a raving black giant in a bolted car full of expertly drugged, raging snakes killing him, consuming him. Sonchai’s partner did his best to save the man, but in the end, they both died, leaving Sonchai alone, and oh so very broken. Fatalism, as in many Thai’s, was in his blood, and destruction is always at hand in this throbbing heart of a city. Yet his duty didn’t let him go too far.

FBI had no right to follow an investigation in Thailand, so Sonchai was requested to assist detective Jones on this, in mutual exchange of information. They taught each other as things progressed, and learned to work together, as odd as it felt for both of them. In the end, they found many strings, all leading towards jade and this mysterious goddess-like woman whom no one knows. Yet, as alien as she is, could she really have killed the man like that? What sort of rage had to be consuming the killer to put anyone through this kind of horror?

This was one of the most unique thrillers I have ever read, and I loved every page of it. Characters felt natural, human. Sonchai was unique and wonderful. Jones was strong, with her own opinion, her own actions. There wasn’t much predictability, and if you could predict something, there was likely a surprise hidden in it anyway. I can give it a firm 5 out of 5, for this surely has to go to my favorites.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paige Dearth – Born Mobster

31828238Good story with poor writing to it. “Born Mobster” by Paige Dearth (ASIN B01KVHAPV0; 506p.; Goodreads) is one of those books where you could take out all the walking, talking, sleeping, past telling and re-telling stories, constantly same reactions of listeners, episodes that don’t add anything to the plot, and can be forgotten five seconds after being read, and all the “in that moment they knew Tony would grow into the man he was meant to be”, and you’d lose half a book, but not a thing from plot. The whole “he didn’t even know how wrong he was” ending for every other chapter didn’t help the already predictable story either.

This book tells a story from when Tony was a kid, until he turned eighteen. Why is a book for adults started so early, what’s with all the pre-history, you’ll ask? Well, the abuse is kinda the point of this book, it seems. For he was picked on, beaten, tortured, almost got killed in the very first chapter, and then, at home, yet again spanked by his father, who couldn’t bear the thought of his son being so lame and weak. There’s no real goal in the story other than to torture-console. The highlight of his life was going to Italian Market with his mother, where one day he had a vision, and a spark of hope ignited in him: Mafia men. Made mobsters in suits, fearless, respected…

Salvatore Morano was just the type. New kid, possibly new meat to pick on. But as they tried, they fell short against the wall of disdain and indifference. For Salvatore was the son of Philadelphia’s Mafia Father, growing up among the crime lords, where friends are like family, and family is everything. Soon enough this attitude lured Tony in like a beacon of light in a very dark night. But whether that was for good or bad is hard to tell.

The book is both good and bad, and I can’t just understand how can this be. There’s so much, what I’d call, empty space here, with probably five total episodes that were epic, and added to the plot too, that I just had to power through chapters and chapters and several more chapters sometimes. And the cruelty is not something I’d dare recommend to anyone at all. It takes some serious nerves, lack of experience in these things (I know people who survived similar things, and I’d not dare put this book anywhere near them, for I can’t see how could they read this and not suffer in it all over again), and an ability to distance yourself from both the character AND the plot. I understand that author went through all of this, and therefor was able to write this all, and I understand how this could be educational somehow, somewhere, but it falls short when you realize it was written just for this, just for abuse, horror, torture. There was no real goal, as I said before. Tony might have been considered “born mobster”, but it was not something he was able to do anyway, until someone bigger took his hand and led him to it. From there on plot simply adjusted to the seemingly perfect little killer with kind heart. But then it still all came back to that one episode of being molested, and the need for vengeance (which I completely justify in this case). 4 out of 5 due to mobster part being interesting, and the separations between mobsters and gangsters being so distinct and well written. Author knows her stuff, she does. What she needs is a very good editor, that’s all! 

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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