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Adsk Sheardown "dsheardown2"

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Made Men: The True Rise-And-Fall Story of a New Jersey Mob Family (Berkley True Crime)
Made Men: The True Rise-And-Fall Story of a New Jersey Mob Family (Berkley True Crime)
by Greg B. Smith
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.56

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, better if you're a fan of the Sopranos, 23 Jan 2005
On it's own it's just non fictional account of the New Jersey Mafia and most of it is based around one of the latest mob informers of that region, associate Ralphie Gaurino. This alone makes it a decent read for the avid Mafia enthusiast. Though it is not too exciting. What did higher my rating of the book were the relevant Sopranos name-dropping and similarities to the real New Jersey wiseguys. It's quite interesting realising that actual plot lines and characters from the Sopranos were stolen from current Mafia members from NJ. Not many shows would be audacious enough to that.
Overall, it's a good book worth reading, like I said, for the avid Mafia fan and made better if you're a fan of the Sopranos. Don't expect anything too exciting or a 'can't put down book'.


The Valachi Papers
The Valachi Papers
by Peter Maas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 23 Jan 2005
This review is from: The Valachi Papers (Paperback)
Usually whilst reading accounts of Wiseguys straight from their own mouths can be perturbing, you want to believe what they say is true, but their whole life revolves around scheming, lying, cheating and the whole 'respect' thing etc. So you usually take what's said with a pinch of salt, conversations and events may not have gone like the Wiesguy wants you to believe. The Valachi Papers is different. For Joe Valachi has an amazing recall and sharpness of memory as both Maas and law enforcement officials will attest to. Everything is confirmed and it leaves you with piece of mind and even a little trust for Valachi.
It's an excellent book into the 'rats' life, from his earliest burglary days, through the Castellamarese War, Vito Genovese's ascension to power and finally the brutal act in prison in which he bludgeoned an innocent man whom he mistook for another inmate, a Mafia hitman was actually out to kill him because they wrongly believed he was an informer.
In the confinement of prison where their was no escape, he had two options, die by the hands of the Mafia and be forever wrongly branded as a rat in death, or actually become a rat and live. The rest is history.


Energy
Energy
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £15.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What everyone has said before me is true, 20 Jan 2005
This review is from: Energy (Audio CD)
I could sit here and list stand out tracks. I'm not going to bother because there's no need writing ALL the tracks down when Amazon have them already listed.
And for those that may make a decision based on only hearing a few songs:
Get this album, getitgetitgetit.


Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD]
Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Al Pacino
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.04

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film but it mainly only holds its appeal to..., 4 July 2004
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
...Mafia fanatics. If you like your Wiseguy films you'll more than likely enjoy this. It's a great film. Also if you like this film - then get the book, it's far better and you get to learn the real story of Pistone's undercover life.
The film is fairly inaccurate to the book, but that doesn't take away any of the enjoyment just like Goodfellas is an excellent but fairly inaccurate film. The inaccuracies are minor though, like some personality traits are molded into one character when in fact it was someone else that had "done" or "said" that.
With a superb cast and fantastic performances from Pacino, Depp et al. the average Wiseguy and mob fan will love this.


Mob Star: Story of John Gotti
Mob Star: Story of John Gotti
by Jerry Capeci
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Outdated, 4 July 2004
This is probably the best Gotti book available which isn't saying much when the main rival is by the same authors. It's a fairly decent book with plenty of information on Gotti and his crew but a lot of it is questionable.
The main problem with the book is that it's outdated. First printed in 1988 before the Gotti saga had ended or at least semi ended when the once named Telfon Don for his ability to avoid conviction finally was put away. This "updated" version is only updated with a few extra chapters at the end and they very much feel like they've been rushed and just slapped. Probably because John Gotti had recently died at the time and the authors wanted to cash in on it.
This book could have been a lot better if instead of sticking a few extra chapters at the end, the whole book was reworked. Because upto chapter 28 it is still based on information from 1988. You read it and you think they could have atleast updated it with all the information provided now.
But that's Gene Mustain and Jerry Capeci, I wouldn't expect anything more from them.


The Rise and Fall of John Gotti
The Rise and Fall of John Gotti
by Jerry Capeci
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average at best, 29 Jun 2004
First of all let me say I don't like these two authors. As writers they're not very good and are complete sell outs. Just a visit to Capeci's ganglandnews site shows you how much he shamelessly plugs his own books on pretty much every page. It's very amaturist and looks desperate. He even tries and sells various items like Gotti sketches on internet auction sites.
Other reviewers are correct in that this is only half of the story. Capeci and Mustain seem to ignore disputed facts and simply tell their side of the story without even considering other possibilities.
If you are going to get a Gotti book, at least consider Mob Star, Capeci and Mustains other work on the Dapper Don. It's better than this one but all the earlier comments still apply to that as well.


The Godfather Trilogy (5 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
The Godfather Trilogy (5 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Marlon Brando
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £29.93

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Michael Corleone says hello"., 29 Jun 2004
I bought this dvd set when it first released in October 2001. It was a bit more expensive back then, but still today I'd pay the original price for it. If you're a fan of the Godfather, this set is a must. Beautifully mastered visually (I saw the same films on TV a while back and the difference is unbelievable).
In the Godfather series, we are given a romanticised view of the underworld life that came to be known as the Mafia. In three epic films we follow Michael Corleone from innocent war hero, refusing to be part of his families Family to Mafia supremo Boss of Bosses. It's an excellent story that in some way we relate to the family aspect in some way.
Sadly, it could be better though. 90% of the deleted scenes on the bonus disc are excellent and I wish they were re-inserted back into the films. But that's a personal preference. There's a few flaws on the bonus disc information too that most people wouldn't notice apart from the serious Godfather fan.
Overall, it's given 4 1/2 stars really. The films themselves are the best ever produced.


Circlesongs
Circlesongs
Price: £7.55

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In a trance, 23 Jun 2004
This review is from: Circlesongs (Audio CD)
The old "Don't worry, be happy" first introduced Bobby McFerrin to a widespread audience. But since he's vocal style of music has been less chart freindly to say the least. He has an extroardinary talent to compose music entirely just through his vocal chords and Circlesongs is a fine example of it. I managed to catch Circlesong 6 on a Sky music station and immediately bought this album. It's highly relaxing and thought provoking but definately something that you need to hear an example of before buying it blind. If like me, you heard and enjoyed Circlesong 6 you probably will enjoy the whole album because much of it is the same.


Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia
Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia
by Joseph D. Pistone
Edition: Paperback

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best Mafia book out there., 23 Jun 2004
If you like your true crime or more specifically Mafia books you're more than likely to enjoy this. Amazingly, Joe Pistone under the alias of Donnie Brasco infiltrated the Bonanno Family in New York posing as a jewel thief for 6 years. Pistone is a hero for the work he has done, his case alone sent away many mobsters to prison and his testimony in later cases such as the Commission case helped in sending some of the top echelon members of the New York Mafia. Some even suffered a fate worse than prison. Sonny 'Black' Napolitano, a Capo, was whacked based on the relationship he had with Donnie because he treated him as a made guy.
From start to finish the book is gripping, much better than the film which is rather innaccurate. But hey, that's Hollywood. From the Colombo's to the Bonanno's to the Wiseguy bosses in Florida and Milwakuee, Pistone gives his account of his undercover life. Not to be missed.


Murder Machine: A True Story of Murder, Madness, and the Mafia (Onyx)
Murder Machine: A True Story of Murder, Madness, and the Mafia (Onyx)
by Jerry Capeci
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite boring, 23 Jun 2004
It's an average book at best. The lead character we follow is Dominick Montiglio, nephew to the Gambino Capo, Anthony Gaggi, loyal to the Castellano side of the Family. Montiglio tells his story, seeking pity and then ultimately his decision to rat and plays the victim. He's a very boring guy and most of the book is tiresome to get through.
There's plenty of good books on the Mafia I'd choose before reading this.


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