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One of the Family Hardcover – 6 Nov 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Century; First Edition edition (6 Nov. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844131823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844131822
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John George Pearson is a novelist and an author of biographies, notably of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, and of the Kray twins.

Pearson was educated at King's College School, Wimbledon, and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he won a double first in history. He then worked for The Economist, BBC Television and The Sunday Times. He was Ian Fleming's assistant at the Sunday Times and went on to write the first biography of Fleming, The Life of Ian Fleming', published in 1966.

Pearson was commissioned by Donald Campbell to chronicle his successful attempt on the Land Speed Record in 1964 in Bluebird CN7, resulting in the book Bluebird and the Dead Lake.

Pearson has also written "true crime" biographies, such as The Profession of Violence (The most read book in Great Britain's Prisons), an account of the rise and fall of the Kray twins, who had hired him to write their biography in 1967. Over the next several years the brothers, who by now were in jail, wrote frequently to Pearson. He wrote two further books about the Krays: The Cult of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays and Notorious: The Immortal Legend of the Kray Twins. In 2010 Pearson put up for auction more than 160 previously unseen letters and photographs from the Kray twins.

Another of Pearson's books, The Gamblers, is an account of the group of gamblers who made up what was known as the Clermont Set, including John Aspinall, James Goldsmith and Lord Lucan. Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to the book in 2006. Pearson's story of The Gamblers has now been made into a TV series called 'Lucan' starring Michael Gambon and Christopher Eccleston, to be aired on ITV1 in two parts on 11th and 18th December 2013.
Pearson's book Facades was the first full-scale biography of the Sitwell siblings Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell. It was published in 1978.

Pearson has also written five novels. Storm Jameson praised his first novel, Gone to Timbuctoo, as "an unusually good first novel, an exciting story, and a splendid setting in French West Africa. The writing is sharp and witty." Malcolm Muggeridge said, "This is an exceptionally brilliant first novel - exciting, wryly funny and perceptive."

For his next three novels Pearson did tie-in fictional biographies. Pearson also became the third official author of the James Bond series, writing in 1973 James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007, a first-person biography of the fictional agent James Bond. However, Pearson declined an offer to write further Bond novels. Pearson then did fictional tie-in works about Upstairs, Downstairs (The Bellamys of Eaton Place) and Biggles.

John Pearson's new website has recently been launched: http://www.johnpearsonwriter.co.uk

Product Description

Review

"Straight out of The Godfather ... this insight into the hidden world of the mafia is well worth reading" (The Oldie)

"Brilliantly thrilling" (Heat) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The true story of the first and only Englishman to be accepted by leading crime families in America, and who became a key player of the New York mafia. A thrilling true crime book from crime king and official biographer of James Bond author, Ian Fleming. The true story of how mafia families, like the Corleones in The Godfather, operate on the streets of New York. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By r pine on 11 Jan. 2004
Format: Hardcover
To be honest I bought this book blind mainly on account of the sleeve and how Pearson had described the character. But once I started to read it there was no way that I could put this down. What an extraordinary tale unfolded. A brilliant read from start to finish. No doubt some film producer will pick this story up; my only hope is that they don't let fantasy take over. I highly recommend this to anyone.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kevan on 14 Dec. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a compelling read from start to finish.
Never before have I read a book which hasn't tempted me to skip through sections when it has become a little tedious. At no stage did I want to "skip"....quite the opposite I was fully enthralled with every sentence of every chapter.
This is an superbly written book about an English gentleman who has never had the need to boast about his achievements to gain power or fame. His respect has come about by his respect for others.
What more can I say. This has got to be a best seller !!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Reader on 26 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
No doubt fans of this book will vote down this review purely for the fact that its not a positive review. But here goes anyway.

I found this to be a very average in all respects, the title and cover promise something much more than is delivered. Yes, Wilf has had a pretty interesting and varied life, but the start is no more than the diary of bouncer living on the Isle of Wight and my interest was only really sparked towards the end of the book when he gets involved with some New York mafia figures.

Maybe John Pearson hasn't done Wilf justice or maybe the minute detail of Wilf's daily life (like anyone else's) just isn't that interesting to read. The long quotes throughout the book don't help this, like this dialogue between Wilf and old time friend and hard man Dave Farley:

'Dave Farley had an uncanny knack of knowing what Wilf was thinking.'

DF 'I know you're worried'
W 'Well since you mention it, I am. Can you iron children's clothes?'
DF 'Iron Clothes, I am the best'
W 'And he was, and what's more he could sew.'

'Within a few days, he'd settled in with us and was perfectly at home. I would cook and Dave would do the sewing and the ironing. We would share the housework, which I also hated.'

Need I say more?

For a really good read check out 'The Last Will and Testamanet of Lucky Luciano'. It'll blow your mind.
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By juvenus on 26 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent written review of a local boy hitting the big(bad) time,very colourful part of the 60/70s scene.Reccomended reading for social historians.
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By Bill.Mac on 15 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
This book provides an interesting biography of the infamous Wilf Pine, covering his life within the UK and his visits to the USA. It also includes an intriguing insight into the Mafia connection and the darker aspects of the pop music industry.
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By robert schiller on 27 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The guy had a interesting life both from a music side and a villainous side. A very good read and well written.
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