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3.9 out of 5 stars24
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 27 March 2011
I've been enjoying the Boardwalk Empire TV series that has been shown on Sky Atlantic and I picked up this book in order to find out a little more about the real-life events that inspired the hit show. I'm glad I did. This is a great little potted history of the sleeze, crime and corruption for which Atlantic City is famous. The TV show is pretty much inspired by a couple of chapters of this book but the TV people have taken quite a bit of artistic license with the characters including changing names and roles. The fluent writing style of this book keeps you turning the pages and I raced through this book which is anything but a dry history of organised crime. People looking for a novelisation of the hit show may be a little disappointed but as in many cases, the truth is actually more interesting than fiction.
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on 4 March 2011
Really interesting book, i watched the complete series on Sky and then searched for more information on the characters involved. Found this book to be a real insight into that era.
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on 27 May 2015
4.5 stars

Audio book

I started listening to this because I adored the TV series Boardwalk Empire, which was taken from this book - not the other way round, oh people who reviewed it saying it has a lot of boring history in it...!

It tells of the rise of Atlantic City from a tiny fishing village in nowheresville, South Jersey, into a resort for the entertainment of the working man. The idea was the brainchild of one Dr Joseph Pitney, whose original idea was to turn it into a health resort - but the first thing he had to do was negotiate with the railroad companies, so that visitors could actually reach this isolated outpost. By the end of the 19th century, the basis was in place for the Atlantic City empire of treasurer Nucky Johnson, on whom Steve Buscemi's Nucky Thompson is based.

The pre-Nucky section of the book is probably about a third of it, and I liked this part the best. If you're interested in Americal sociological history you will find this book as fascinating as I did, though if you're expecting lots of dramatic gangster type stuff in the Prohibition era you will be disappointed - people like Al Capone are scarcely mentioned, and Arnold Rothstein not at all, I don't think; much of the story in the televison series is fictional.

Narrated by actor Joe Mantegna, of 101 gangster films fame ~ the perfect choice.
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on 2 June 2011
I bought this for my mum on a recommendation from a colleague and she raved about this book! She loved the TV series but is also a great fan of social and political history which this book apparently has in spades.
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on 16 January 2014
This is a great companion book for the TV series. There are no spoilers so go ahead and read it. It's the factual account of Nuky Thompson and several others in the early 1900s as they played with politics and gangs in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It's a good read, but gets a but dry at times. There are photographs, too.
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on 26 December 2013
Anybody expecting this excellent regional history to be like the TV series will be disappointed. Probably only 2 pages out of the book were an inspiration for the series. Nevertheless it is detailed account of the rise, fall and rise of Atlantic City and well worth a read.
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on 4 September 2014
WOW.......Superior read start to finish.........When you've seen the t.v. series and are able to put a face to the characters, it makes for a great read.
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on 4 March 2013
My understanding of the series is it was based on fact and here is the fact. Extremely interesting. Enough to send me online to read more. To get an understanding of the times and places. Nucky was real. Though not as portrayed as the charactor in the series. Some names and dates have been changed to protect the innocen. Ha...the innocent were few and far between. It gives an excellent insight as to how the Mob were able to use corruption to further their "business".
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on 16 April 2015
More political than the average boardwalk fan would anticipate, but truly an in depth insight.
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on 1 February 2015
Having watched the series and enjoying it I was disappointed with the book. The series focuses mainly on Nucky Thompson who is based on the real-life Enoch Johnson. The book narrates from before, during and after Enoch Johnson and gets a bit too political for my liking.
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