Posts Tagged With: mafia

book review | McMafia by Misha Glenny

mcmafia misha glenny book cover underworld criminal organized crimeAuthor: Misha Glenny
Title: McMafia
Series: –
Genre: True Crime, Nonfiction
Pages: 398
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I love reading sensible literature on organized crime, where author doesn’t choose a side, and, due to moral obligations, doesn’t try to paint one or another side a deeper shade of one color. One of such well balanced books is McMafia by Misha Glenny, who has a very healthy view on this all.

About the Book: This book goes through a variety of organized, global crime, its underground industries and their origins. From the times of economy downfalls through, say, the fall of soviet union, or the breaking of Berlin wall, to today. And all across the world.

Crime takes many forms and shapes. And so do reasons for it. Be it extreme poverty and thus a need to make a buck for bread by stealing or selling, or selling the stolen. Or be it flaws in law, criminalization of something you require. It could be medication your country deemed illegal. Or it could be part of your lifestyle: from illegal caviar, to illegal counterfeits. And many more, including drug cartels, mafia, mafiozos of Russia, yakuza, hackers, crackers, and so on. And you know what’s the worst of it? We too are a part of it.

My Opinion: This is a very smoothly written book, with sensible steps from one topic, to another. Each one of those is explained in depths, with origins of criminal organization at hand, how it came to be, to what it does, how it does it, and why it does it, if applies. To actual governments, and law: how they’re handling it, if handling it at all. As for our involvement, well, that’s true. And it’s scary. From materials required to, say, build our laptops, where a company doesn’t ask about the origins of this metal, or that dye. To scam emails, engineered web pages, and our inability to take precautions while on that enticing world wide web.

This is a very worthy read that I would highly recommend to anyone. I give it a 5 out of 5, for many, many reasons.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, crews, gangs, etc, mafia, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Mafia Prince” by Phil Leonetti

1.jpgAuthor: Phil Leonetti, Scott Burnstein, Christopher Graziano
Title: Mafia Prince
Series: –
Genre: Biography, True Crime
Pages: 328
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I read this book twice, for I really wanted to make sure I understood what has happened, and how it all went down. It’s a beautiful story of a personal evolution. Ability to grow above the life you seemingly were born into.

About: This is a beautiful dark story of an often romanticized topic: Mafia. Little Nicky Scarfo ruled Philly’s Mafia Family, La Cosa Nostra, this thing of ours. Under his rule everyone got out of their way, for these people, this mob, was ruthless and cruel. On some incidence a man took his own life in fear they came to brutally murder him, even though it was a mere chance. Scarfo’s nephew, Crazy Phil Leonetti ruled as his second in command, earning his name as the crazy one, following the rules obediently, putting Family above all else, including his own son. But as time went by, and good men, loyal men died for mere fact his uncle thought they were too proud of the job they did under his orders, Phil started questioning him as the boss, and the whole structure too. And he wasn’t the only one tired of a ruthless, paranoid boss.

Mine: I greatly respect people who are able to rise above their given life. Phil Leonetti is a great example of it. Born into Mob to be as good as the Prince of Crime, he obeyed, he lived it, he breathed it, and he killed for it. But he evolved when the chance presented itself, and made sure his own son didn’t have to belong the way he did. He got out when he could, and took anyone willing and able with him, in a sense. Once he saw the stupidity behind aggression, he did his best to straighten himself, and build a better life, outside of the crime for himself and his family. I wish them all luck in it.

It’s a good book, good new perspective. Mafia is not Sopranos. It’s brutal, horrible, and death is easy. Being trigger happy will not keep you safe, loyalty will not keep you safe, for nobody is ever safe in a life like that. 5 out of 5, and then a few extra points for the final word of Leonetti.

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

A.C. Bextor – Empires and Kings [1]

x3Sometimes I pick a book up just because, because it sat there, taunting me or whatever. Sometimes due to such an action I even find good reads. Sadly, “Empires and Kings” by A.C. Bextor (Mafia 1; ASIN B01MZA0MS5; 322p.; Goodreads) is not one of those. It’s just a book about a Russian Mafia Family head, portrayed as the most vile and ruthless monster, who, beside the few base things he did that’ll make you roll your eyes, rather than fear him, hardly did anything.

The book is told from two perspectives. One, the first, belongs to our scary mister Vlad Zaleski, the head of this Mafia Family, one of the most powerful men in the underworld. Back in the day he was required to exterminate a family of a traitor. Wrong time, wrong place, the traitor’s daughter, a mere child, runs into the room, scared by all the noises. Vlad makes her watch the killing of her family, and, due to reasons unclear, takes her with him, and puts her into his own family. Maybe he took pity on the child. Maybe he wanted her there, as a reminder to anyone else who’d like to try and betray him, what’s left of the last man who did: a single girl devoted, loyal to him.

She’s better known as the Traitor’s Daughter. She grew up fearing and revering Vlad as some sort of a god. His son became her best friend, her brother. His sister became her sister, and best friend. Growing up among the mafia men has changed her perspective on life, has given her a different rhythm to things, a certain sense of power, even in captivity, where no one could touch her, for she was jailed and protected by their boss. The only truly bad outcome in this is that she fell in love with her god, she fell in love with Vlad.

Talk about Stockholm Syndrome, right? The book has a good idea, even for a romance novel it’s a pretty fair one, for I am sure there’s many who’d enjoy a creature like Vlad, the mafia boss, the gangster, the mister danger in the modern world of darkness. Yet the story, the way it was told, the fleshing out of the small ideas, making them seem artificially bigger felt a bit weak. So for the time being I can only offer this book a 3 out of 5, and we’ll see on whether I can pick up the second one.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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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