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The Last Godfathers: The Rise and Fall of the Mafia's Most Powerful Family [Kindle Edition]

John Follain
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £5.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

THE LAST GODFATHERS charts the spectacular rise and fall of the richest and most powerful crime family in history: the Sicilian mafia’s Corleonese clan.

From humble post-war origins in the dismal town of Corleone, the clan manipulated Cosa Nostra’s code of honour to deceive and bludgeon its way to the summit of the secret brotherhood, launching an unprecedented purge of its rivals and a terrorist campaign which decimated anti-mafia judges, police and politicians.

Investigative journalist John Follain focuses on the three godfathers who headed the clan from the 1950s onwards – their lives and crimes, their loves and hates, and the state’s sporadic efforts to hunt them. Luciano ‘The Professor’ Leggio, Salvatore ‘The Beast’ Riina and Bernardo ‘The Tractor’ Provenzano, who was on the run for a record 43 years, forged a vicious clan bent on the subversion of democracy.

Cutting through the romantic aura of Hollywood films, THE LAST GODFATHERS portrays the true face of the crime family which inspired Mario Puzo to write The Godfather. Based on thousands of pages of judicial documents, wiretap transcripts, the testimony of mafiosi defectors and interviews with investigators, this is the definitive word on the world’s most notorious criminal organisation.

Product Description


'more detail and more gruesome colour than in any previous account. Follain musters this material with great skill into a compelling narrative. At the heart of the book there are two epic epic of modern police work and Follain brings it vividly to life.' (Independent)

'There's something disturbingly gripping about the relentless blood-spilling, feuds and betrayals; men taking life as breezily as if they were lifting a piece off a chessboard.' (Tobias Jones Mail on Sunday)

'A scintillating mixture of history, true crime and whodunnit, told both with restrained moral anger and the fascinating insights of the leading expert in his field. This well-researched, hard-hitting book is a fitting epitaph for the courageous Judge Falcone...Compulsively readable' (Andrew Roberts)

'A terrific read...John Follain portrays the escalating savagery of Cosa Nostra's most notorious bosses with compelling rigour and verve.' (John Dickie, author of Cosa Nostra)

Book Description

The bloody and gripping story of the Sicilian mafia, from the author of the highly acclaimed MUSSOLINI'S ISLAND

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1894 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder (8 Jun. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002V0922E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #139,830 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very well reserched and absorbing book - it is the first book I have read that really captures the terrifying brutality and fear of the Mafia as related specifically to the region of Corleone (the area famously depicted by Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather films) - strips the glamour away completely and provides a riveting, shocking read. You really don't want to mess around with these guys. Fascinating insight into corruption in Italy - but frighteningly gets one thinking about corruption and underhand play closer to home. Certainly I feel less naive having read this book and far more appreciative of the horrors and sewer/low-life existence of those involved in organised crime.The real heroes for me being those brave enough to attempt to bring the Godfathers to justice. An underated classic and worthy addition to books on the Mafia.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense and insightful! A great read! 5 Oct. 2009
You'll never view Tony Soprano in the same light again. Follain strips away Hollywoods nostalgia and "respect" granted to La Cosa Nostra.
The Corleonesi "family" of the Sicilian mafia were little more than vicious thugs; what set them apart was their sheer callousness. The chapter
detailing the kidnap, murder and disposal of Giuseppe Di Matteo, an 11-year old boy, serves to highlight how utterly hideous these mafioso were.
This is a detailed account of the most notorious mafia family in the world, and paints a vivid picture of Corleone and its "shame".
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 17 Nov. 2008
A real page turner. John Follain brings the mafia to life with his wealth of knowledge, which is written in an effective manner. The detail in the description of mafia life shows Follain's dedication to the topic. If you enjoy reading about the mafia this is a must buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top Sicilian Mafia read! 7 Mar. 2014
By Dtizda1
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ever since I watched 'The Godfather' I was fascinated by the Mafia, I was hooked. However I was never a 'book' person, and never thought I had the patience to read, I preferred to watch a film. After my interest in the Mafia grew over the years, I become frustrated with myself because I saw so many books on the Mafia when searching for my next movie and found them intriguing, but as I said, I didn't think I was a 'book' person! So after holiday to Sicily, a visit to Corleone, and being 28 years old I decided to read my first book since school... This book is brilliant, it's spot on with detail but not so much that it loses you, the author narrates so well he keeps you in the moment.
Some interesting facts that even I didn't know and I would say I was a fanatic.
As my first read I can say I couldn't of picked a better start as this is a top Sicilian Mafia book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 28 Oct. 2010
By Jimmy
Not a great reader, but bought this book going on holidays, and simply couldn't believe how lucky i was in buying it.Couldn't leave it down once I'd started. Absolutely riveting stuff from beginning to the end, not one dull or boring page was there in the whole book. I cannot believe that any band of brigands would put their own people and country through such torture, murder and mayhem.Its all spelt out here in black and white. Shocking too that the Mother country (Italy) would allow it all to happen. For anyone looking the real deal in a good book this has to be up with the best. Brilliant and entertaining book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cold-Blooded 31 Aug. 2011
By KevBhav
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If this book is correct - and being three-quarters of the way through the book 'Excellent Cadavers' which is an independent book to this - I believe it predominantly is, then the Corleonese Mafia must be the most ruthless and cold of the Mafia 'families'. You have to admire their sheer determination and stealth to become the dominant family in Sicily, but you certainly wont like their methods! It's a book that has you shaking your head in disbelief at some of the stories, and reminds you it's not good for your health to be in the Mafia, but is gripping all the same.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brings the Mafia to life...... 29 Dec. 2012
Excellent read. Strips away the romance portrayed in Hollywood films and gives you the reality that was/is the Mafia. An in depth account of the Mafia from it's humble beginnings to it's most powerful and biographies on the individuals that shaped it. Great detail that grips you from the outset.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crime Classic 3 Feb. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This review is very simple. If you enjoy real life crime stories you will definitely enjoy this. Well written and never dull, the author seems to me to have an excellent insight into the motives of the subjects of this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by kenco41
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this book
A very interesting history of the Corleonesi Mafia family of Sicily. The kindle version is well put together and most enjoyable. I would recommend this book
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Nj Mcallister
5.0 out of 5 stars great great A+++++++++++++++++++++++++
fantastic, really happy with this because its great, brilliant, magical, fabulously wonderful, superb, im totally ecstaticly over the moon YESSSSSSSSSS
Published 16 months ago by ronan fox
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
This is a great book,I have long followed the Mafia stories being in the Casino Business my self.
This is the best I have read.Well recommended
Published 18 months ago by shipwreck
5.0 out of 5 stars great buy
a great buy, very prompt delivery , item as advertised,i would also recommend this to all my friends , a great book to read as well
Published 19 months ago by capone
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Truly gripping tale of the Sicilian mafia.Great insight into the inner workings of the bosses and soldiers.
Very good read
Published 22 months ago by David O'Riordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
This has a definite 5star rating it was a great book. Follain really did an excellent job in carrying forward the godfather story where Puzo left out filled in th blanks. Read more
Published on 19 Mar. 2013 by Diane
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turning
Superb depth, page turning right till the end, the author captures Sicily superbly with his descriptive narrating, I was hooked from page one, amazing how big this small clan ended... Read more
Published on 6 April 2012 by Brown
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