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Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family [Hardcover]

Nicholas Pileggi
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 1986
Nicholas Pileggi’s vivid, unvarnished, journalistic chronicle of the life of Henry Hill—the working-class Brooklyn kid who knew from age twelve that “to be a wiseguy was to own the world,” who grew up to live the highs and lows of the gangster’s life—has been hailed as “the best book ever written on organized crime” (Cosmopolitan).

This is the true-crime bestseller that was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s film masterpiece GoodFellas, which brought to life the violence, the excess, the families, the wives and girlfriends, the drugs, the payoffs, the paybacks, the jail time, and the Feds . . . with Henry Hill’s crackling narration drawn straight out of Wiseguy and overseeing all the unforgettable action.

Read it and experience the secret life inside the mob—from one who’s lived it.

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; First Editiion First Printing edition (Jan 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671447343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671447342
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The New York Times Book Review Wiseguy goes nonstop...absolutely engrossing. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
HENRY HILL WAS INTRODUCED to life in the mob almost by accident. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good fellas, Good book 30 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Blistering true life account of life within a mafia family. The film was superb, the book is even better. At time you actually feel like you are part of the family yourself. Marvellous!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It gave us Goodfellas so it can't be that bad!!! 29 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Goodfellas is a great film, a classic. For a book to produce such an amazing film, the book's got to be something special in the first place. If you don't believe those people who claim that the book is better than the film read this and you'll soon join their line of thought. Pileggi is on a par with supreme author Mario Puzo - exemplified by his ability to mercutiously create each situation for the reader. It's such an easy read you'll be glued to it until you finish the final page. A true great, up there with the likes of other Mafioso classics such as The Godfather.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic 24 Oct 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Reading this book i was expecting it to be good however i was blown away fantastic book that expands on the film with some hilarious (and some harrowing) tales. A five star gem
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best gangster biography available 9 Aug 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Pileggi materfully interdisperses the quotes from the book's main protagonist, Henry Hill, and his wife, with thoughtful and dispassionate analysis. While this book largely reflects mob life during the 1970s in New York, it's bredth and pragmatism have elevated it to timeless classic. There's little here to fault. The central narrative of Hill's life is expertly interwoven with a variety of scams, gangsters and mafia politics, and the result is a serious, unglamorised portrayal of a life rarely separated from crude stereotypes and generalisations of the popular media. Wiseguy is the best of the genre by a significant distance, and it's only real competition is the book 'Casino' also by Pileggi. If organised crime is something that interests you, this book is a must. If it's not, you should read it anyway for the skilled workmanship of suburb author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars johnny@zanetti.demon.co.uk 11 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Great book, explains the life of Henry Hill, excellent companion to Martin Scorsese's 'Goodfellas' - a must have!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good... 20 May 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
OK... you have seen the film, but once you read the book...
the film goes from good to GREAT...
So much more is in the book, but, that does not detract from
the movie... read the book, and watch the movie...
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites 12 May 2014
By Justina
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must, it's so incredibly well written and witty it's unbelievable. My boyfriend read it as well and it is now his favourite book. Not sure if 5 stars is enough for that one
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3.0 out of 5 stars wise guy 1 May 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
cracking good gangster tale bought to life y a real life mob member and give an incite to the minds of local street kids gleaming easy living and glamour of the underbelly of new York's criminal fraternity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I'm a big fan of the film goodfellas and have owned the book to the film for many years, this version is no holds barred, Nicholas pillegi tells you in Henry's own words exactly... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Ticked all the boxes!
From start to finish a compelling, well constructed biographical account. The author does not impose and the main player is allowed to take centre stage and tell it like it was!
Published 7 months ago by grampian1
5.0 out of 5 stars Glued
What a book this was the author writes from his heart no wounded they made a movie out of it
Published 8 months ago by Gus
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff
The book which inspired the film Goodfellas, makes me wish i was a wise guy in the Mafia, instead of a bum, which, let's face it, Charlie, is what i am....
Published 8 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Wiseguy
Great book. Well worth a read, On par with the Godfather but a true story about Henry Hill of the Goodfellas film
Published 9 months ago by B. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, even better book!
I've read zillions of books (give or take...), mostly ganster, mafia and true time related books and can honestly say that this is easily in my top 3! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sean
4.0 out of 5 stars New Book called Wise Guy
Bought as a gift. In excellent condition new and given as a gift. No complaints. I understand the book is very good.
Published 15 months ago by kame
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!
If you enjoyed the film then the novel is a must! Gives a great picture of life in the Mafia
Published 19 months ago by Chris Barratt
4.0 out of 5 stars Wiseguy
pretty good - couldn't believe how much of the movie Goodfellas was true after reading this!! Definitely worth a read
Published 19 months ago by Jimbo
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
Goodfellas has always been one of my favourite films and the book is everything I hoped it would be. Read more
Published on 12 July 2012 by AndyIpswich
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