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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capone
The life and times of Capone by John Kobler was a fascinating read. Once you've started reading this book you can't stop. Kobler has put a lot of time into this book, getting all the correct information and looking into police reports. Capone's story is being told as if you were with him. Kobler doesn't make it drag on with the amount of detail he puts in but summarises...
Published on 7 Nov 2011 by craig

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting gang life, boring chronicle of Capone's life
"The Life and Time of Al Capone", this is really a book with two souls.

I liked the first part of the book a lot. This is the part devoted to the time of Al Capone, starting in his childhood, detailing the life of immigrants like his father, the very small word they were allowed to live in, the reasons why young men saw the gangs as the only way to get a living...
Published on 30 Oct 2011 by JazzFeathers


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capone, 7 Nov 2011
This review is from: Capone: The Life and Times of Al Capone (Paperback)
The life and times of Capone by John Kobler was a fascinating read. Once you've started reading this book you can't stop. Kobler has put a lot of time into this book, getting all the correct information and looking into police reports. Capone's story is being told as if you were with him. Kobler doesn't make it drag on with the amount of detail he puts in but summarises it up very well and keeps the reader's attention throughout the story. The author also gives you short notes of what was happening in this period of America so you can understand more how people viewed Capone (Hero or Villian) and gives you an interesting sight into the stress political people were under to arrest and imprison Capone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting read, 4 April 2013
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This review is from: Capone: The Life and Times of Al Capone (Paperback)
Essential reading for anyone with an interest in Al Capone and the Chicago gangster era.This is an in depth view,albeit with American language and idioms, with areas of information which was previously unknown to me.The narrative necessary to set up the scene is not over burdening and the instances of gangland violence ( which is probably what many will be wanting to read) are well portrayed.
Overall, a good read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For me, the beginning of an obsession, 2 April 2012
This review is from: Capone: The Life and Times of Al Capone (Paperback)
This was the first book I ever read about Al Capone. I had looked him up on the web before, of course, but nothing that I read gave me a detailed insight into what made this criminal legend tick. John Kobler's book does just that. Fascinating and informative, it not only shows what made Capone the man he was, but also gives a colourful feel for the times in which he lived. If you want to get under the skin of Capone, this is the book for you. Killing For Capone
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting gang life, boring chronicle of Capone's life, 30 Oct 2011
By 
JazzFeathers (Verona - Italy) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Capone: The Life and Times of Al Capone (Paperback)
"The Life and Time of Al Capone", this is really a book with two souls.

I liked the first part of the book a lot. This is the part devoted to the time of Al Capone, starting in his childhood, detailing the life of immigrants like his father, the very small word they were allowed to live in, the reasons why young men saw the gangs as the only way to get a living and to do something with their life... if they lived long enough, that it.
The way gangs were organized is detailed quite in depth, the Italians gangs, but also the others. The way gangs fought each other, the reason why they did it. It's like a little world on its own, with its own rules and its own heroes, and its own enemies. This part, detailing the history of the Five Pointers, where Capone started his life as an outlaw, was the more interesting for me.

I also like the part that followed. Capone arrives in Chicago as a young man and here he finds a world which is both the same, but also different from the underworld he knew in New York. A big chunk of the book is spent detailing how Chicago was divided into zones, how different ethnic gangs controlled different parts of the city, the alliances and the enmities. The bosses and their temperaments. The gangs were nearly always linked to ethnic communities and it was interesting to see what links and what bonds stood between these men and the communities they came from. It was a very complex relationship and it was very interesting reading about it.

Then the second part of the book tells Capone's life in particular... and my interest dropped.

Honestly, reading only this book, one will wonder what made Capone one of the better known men in America. He's presented here as a very violent man, with few interests other than make money through bootlegging, brothels and other illegal activities. It is said that he was a skilful manager, but nothing is provided to enforce this idea. There's a long section detailing the way he killed off all his rivals, which is quite repetitive, with no insight into what he was after, his tactic, even his reasons.
A very long part is devoted to the trial that put him in jail and the following (quite uneventful) years in Alcatraz, I suspect because this is probably one of the better documented part of his life, if maybe the least interesting. It was - honestly - quite boring.

This is the only book I read about Capone and I still know very little about him, so I wonder whether there might be more interesting books about him out there. But I did enjoy the first part about the Twenties underworld quite a lot.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too long, 8 Feb 2012
By 
Dosti Ali (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Capone: The Life and Times of Al Capone (Paperback)
After watching the TV show `boardwalk empire' I was keen to understand the background to this underground figure. I ordered the book without really paying attention on how long it was. The first few chapters flow well but then seemed to drag on going into far too much detail. The book did give an understanding into how Capone rose to being the no1 gangster but in a rather long winded way. It felt like it was a prosecutors report with details of transactions which although factual were not required apart from the big numbers. I ended up skim reading the book to get to the bits I wanted to read.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a read, 18 Oct 2011
This review is from: Capone: The Life and Times of Al Capone (Paperback)
Amazing book. Originally saw it on the book case of one of my customers. Trouble was it had been read that many time it couldnt have stood another. So bought my own. What a great read really takes you back too the era and all the familiar names from that infamous time. well worth a read.
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Capone: The Life and Times of Al Capone
Capone: The Life and Times of Al Capone by John Kobler (Paperback - 18 Sep 2003)
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