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The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia [Mass Market Paperback]

Sal Polisi
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Feb 2014

The Mob was the biggest, richest business in America - until it was destroyed from within by drugs, greed and the decline of traditional crime-family values. And by guys like Sal Polisi.

Born into one of the New York Mob's feared Five Families, Polisi ran an illegal after-hours gambling den, The Sinatra Club, that was a hangout for up-and-coming mobsters like John Gotti and the three wiseguys immortalised in Goodfellas: Henry Hill, Jimmy Burke and Tommy DeSimone. Yet for Polisi, the glory days spent robbing banks and pulling heists were fleeting. When he was busted, and already sickened by the bloodbath that had engulfed the Mob as it teetered towards extinction, he flipped and became one of a breed he had loathed all his life: a rat.

In this riveting first-person chronicle of his brazen crimes, wild sexual escapades and personal tragedies, Polisi tells his story of life inside the New York Mob. With shocking candour, he draws on a hard-won knowledge of Mob history to paint a revelatory picture of the inner workings of the Mafia and its larger-than-life characters.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (27 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451643160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451643169
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 10.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 880,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Fascinating . . . In addition to an exhilarating trip though Italian-American Mafia history, Polisi's text doubles as a heartfelt memoir, wherein he candidly expounds on the pain of neglecting his family and the devastating losses that eventually impelled him to leave "The Life" behind and testify against his former colleagues" (Publishers Weekly)

"Brassy . . . evocative . . . an audacious memoir unveiling the machinations of the mob" (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

An audacious memoir unveiling the machinations of the Mob --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sinatra club 23 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Authentic account of mob life interesting read from another perspective would of got 5 stars but he's a rat ok
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book on the New York mafia 2 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Got this book 2 weeks ago and read it in 3 days it is a decent book on the New York mafia and john gotti and other mafia who where about in the 1970s - present day
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 18 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book brings the characters alive!! even redemption at the end. I bought it for holiday but couldnt put it down
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
If you are a fan of books about the Mafia, as I am, you won't want to miss The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia by Sal Polisi (and Steve Dougherty).

Sal Polisi was born in Brooklyn -- the same place that gave birth to Murder, Inc., Al Capone and John Gotti, the future Mob godfather who became his friend. Polisi was raised on a family legacy that led him into "The Life" he loved as a member of the Colombos, one of the New York Mob's Five Families, and came of age when the Mafia was at the height of its vast wealth and power. Known by his Mob name Sally Ubatz (Crazy Sally), he ran an illegal after-hours gambling den, The Sinatra Club, that was a magic kingdom of crime and a hangout for up-and-coming mobsters like Gotti, Jimmy Burke, Henry Hill, Tommy DeSimone and Paulie Vario (the last four guys you'd know if you read the book, Wiseguys by Nicholas Pileggi, or saw the movie GoodFellas). For Polisi, the nonstop thrills of glory of days spent robbing banks, hijacking trucks, pulling daring heists -- and getting away with it all, thanks to cops and public servants corrupted by Mob money -- were fleeting. When he was arrested for drug trafficking, and (so he claims) sickened by the bloodbath that engulfed the Mob as it teetered toward becoming a "shell of its former self," he flipped and became one of the breed he had loathed all his life -- a rat.

Polisi's story, as told by Steve Dougherty, is written in a style and in a voice straight from the streets that will have the pages flying through your fingers. If you are like me, you'll find you won't be able to put this book down any more than Tommy DeSimone could put down his guns.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  76 reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'd be "ubatz" to miss this 29 July 2012
By D. Blank - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia" mostly takes place in New York during the era of "The Godfather" and "Goodfellas," but these are the real wise guys - not actors - although some were portrayed in Goodfellas including Jimmy Burke and Henry Hill.

This book reads like good fiction but it's more vivid than reality. It's fast paced and filled with dozens of colorful characters - many of them the most famous mob bosses of the last 80 years. It's also filled with sex, drugs, violence, crime and gambling. Much of the story revolves around the Sinatra Club, Sal Polisi's after-hours gambling and hooker joint in Queens where they bet on everything. Who knew John Gotti was a lousy poker player but an ace at chess and Scrabble? They played Monopoly too but substituted real currency for Monopoly -- except for the $500 bills.

In addition to Sally Ubatz (Polisi) you'll meet Burke, Hill, Johnny Boy Gotti, Bald Vinnie, Squeaky, Frankie Hole in the Head, Joe the Mailman, Tommy Two Guns, Quack Ruggiero and many of their associates.

"The Sinatra Club" is social anthropology revealing layer upon layer of first generation Italian-New York mob culture. It consistently entertains with the details that make any culture unique - the clothes, the cars, the dames, the partying, violence and greed. Their social lives were as outlaw as their jobs. You will not be bored.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sinatra Club 12 April 2013
By stephen mislove - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a very slow and methodical reader...normally, my mind easily drifts away after a page or two....No such problem existed with this book....a compelling, exciting read from cover to cover...couldn't put it down. Look forward to reading again but but can't remember which dead beat friend I loaned it to.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Sinatra Club 10 Jan 2013
By nancy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thought it was boring. Alot of unnecessary information inbetween. Did not hold my interest. I was disappointed. Would not reccomend.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast and entertaining read! 31 July 2012
By Joanne H - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"We were at a joint called the Fireplace in Ozone Park, Queens, when I first heard Johnny Boy's name. It was the summer of 1968, not long after Bobby Kennedy got whacked. I knew better than to ask my boss, Dominic, who I was with that night and who was a hit man himself, about Bobby, but I assumed it was a Mob job like his brother."

YES! I will be reading more of "The Sinatra Club." by Sal Pilosi with Steve Dougherty. With an opening sentence like that, how could I not?

The book goes on to be a thoroughly engrossing and entertaining read. Kudous Mr. Dougherty and Mr. Polisi for giving us a fresh, provocative and uncensored account of some really scary people and times. It seems the mob can frighten even itself.

At first this highly entertaining, hyper-paced memoir, of mid-level mobster `Crazy Sal" Polisi, feels as if you stumbled on the diary of a sociopath. Names, dates, times, and places--nothing is left to the imagination in this tale of high times and low-life's. The casual violence alone, in this warts, scars-and-all memoir, gives you the uneasy feeling that you've stumbled on something you have no business reading.

Historic events, from the significant (the Kennedy assassination and the Apollo moon landing) to the mundane (Disney World's inaugural opening) are noted alongside bank robberies, drug deals and murders and help place the reader in each grizzly moment. (The Beatles, no less, play an unwitting role in the mobsters' skullduggery.)

Evil does not survive in a vacuum and the frustrating part of The Sinatra Club is how often those entrusted with public safety, from the cop on the corner to judges and J. Edger Hoover himself, either turn a blind eye or profit from mob crimes.

No one is let off the hook in The Sinatra Club, mainly Polisi himself. He is un-flinchingly adamant that he lived `the Life' and (for a while, anyway) loved it; until the introduction of the disease that proved lethal for people in his line of work--a creeping conscience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair but disappointing 11 Jan 2013
By Gordon L. Snowbarger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting, but difficult to follow. Writing style may be the culprit. Although promoted as truth, and it may be, it is sometimes tough to accept because of lack of any documented reference to truth.
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