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on 13 January 2009
Got this book as a gift a few months ago.
Finally got round to reading it, and what a read!

It's a must for true crime readers. Personally I doubt if I ever read about an individual so gruesome and cold-blooded.

After finishing the book, I watched the interviews Kuklinski gave from prison, he seemed to be an intelligent and articulate guy, though it made him even more scary!

I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about real life murders.
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This could have been a very fascinating book but is written like a fictional account of Kucklinski's life. This author takes stories given by "The Iceman" as fact but doesn't actually make any attempt to verify any actual truth behind anything. Did Kucklinski kill? Definitely. I don't believe he killed at such a young age, nor that he killed half he people he claims to. I don't believe for a second he killed Hoffa either. I don't think the author even bothered researching anything and simply took the word of a highly disturbed egoistical individual as truth when a lot of it is unbelievable and unlikely.

It makes an interesting read if you want fiction but it is not to be taken as complete truth. All the author did was take someone's word that his stuff happened but didn't do any fact checking. Kucklinski was a killer but he was also a massive blowhard with a massive ego to match his massive body. A little addendum to say whether the author checked facts and found anything out and was able to name or link victims might have at least made some of the stories believable.
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on 2 April 2008
A Book that is superbly written. Each page engrosses you more which has you not only trying to comprehend each stage of this man's life, but looking for where each 'story' ends up. You quickly find out that it always ends in murder, but the comprehension this man had for life was not only nil, but stalking out his victims were which was once a game for him, became a profession for him & one he was extremely proficient at. I would like to think that Richard Kuklinski is a one off & books like this will not be seen again. This book is absolutely gripping.
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VINE VOICEon 20 April 2008
Having read this a couple of times, and cross-referenced it with other Mafia books I have, I am pretty convinced that this tale isn't true.

Undoubtedly Kuklinski was a bad guy who killed people, but the big mafia hits he claimed to have been involved with - up to and including Jimmy Hoffa - do not, on examination, stand up.

The book is compelling. If you are into crime, it neatly straddles the serial killer genre with the organised crime genre. Those who like reading about Ted Bundy are happy; those who like reading about Carlo Gambino are happy, but there are too many holes in this thing and, after reflection, it annoys. Every traffic misdemeanour turns into mass murder. I want the author to actually do some research. If you've got four guys dead because they cut Richard up and wanted to take him apart, who were they? When did it happen?

There was one incident when Kuklinski, to make 'his Mafia bones,' shoots some dog-walker in the back of the head, but this is not followed up. Surely a pedestrian shot in the head in a residential street in New York could be cross-referenced.

Killers lie. Henry Lee Lucas showed that. Even if they come across as taciturn and, perversely, decent, they lie. Kuklinski seems to have lied. Every Mafia hit short of JFK, he was the button man. I think not.

Philip Carlo spends too much time looking at the causes of the ice man - terrible childhood, unfocussed rage - and not enough journalistic detachment to what the guy claimed.

Look, this is fascinating, a glimpse of Hell, but is it true? I don't think so.
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on 30 September 2011
Not being much of a book reader and struggling to find a genre that kept my interest... this has certainly convinced me true crime is my sort of thing. The book was amazing to read and couldn't put it down. Fascinating to learn the inner workings of a serial killer who undoubtedly was the result of his fathers actions. Have already followed up this book by watching the documentary's HBO recorded - they're on youtube if anyone wants to know.

Great book, read it twice and now following my new found passion for true crime and Mafia in particular.
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on 29 December 2007
A great book. You don't have to be interested in the 'mafia' to read this book you will get through it in no time at all. Great detail in the book which flows all the way through so you can visualise all the events that took place in the book, from the rubout of Carmine Galante to the way he fed some of his victims to the rats. The book does seem a bit fictional in places because of some of the audacious killing methods employed by Kuklinski but I have no doubt that the majority is real. An excellent read.
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on 16 August 2011
This story could have been a most exiting read but it becomes very rapidly a boring exercise to fill at least 500 pages. The author repeats himself shamelessly , never questions facts or shows he has corroborated them ( take the J. Hoffa murder account - there have been several claims as to how it was done and by who - why should we believe this version ? ).
The main character has enough contradictions to make the book interesting and try to take a voyage into the mind of such a person and what drives him to the extend of becoming the monster he is, but except for a few shallow attempts all is left there for somebody else to pick up and make something of it.
The writing in itself would not qualify as entertaining either, it is pretty basic in its word choice, in its syntax and worst of all in its capacity to move the reader ( the police files would probably make a more exiting read).
All in all a waste of a good story , if you have never heard about Mr. Kuklinski's purported crimes then this will give you an idea as to their extend ( confirmed or not ) but if you want to find a more rewarding read than this is not the book for you.
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VINE VOICEon 22 June 2009
This book follows the rise and fall of Richard Kulkinski nicknamed the "Ice Man", who claims to have killed over 200 people during 30 years of violence in which he claims to be intimately inolved in the killing of Jimmy Hoffa.

From the very outset, this book sets out to shock and is definitely a harrowing, yet somehow absorbing true life account of a psychopath who suffered immeasureably during his childhood at the hands of abusive parents, something which no doubt deepend his psychosis and shaped him into the monster he became.

Philip Carlo talks of Rich's callous attitude and detatchment toward emotion, how he has no feeling or concept of human suffering. The insight into the mind of a man who feels nothing and thinks nothing of killing someone who merely cuts him up or throws him the finger, who can descend into a mindless rage at whim, inflicting brutal beatings on his wife makes this a chilling, disturbing tale.

But as absorbing as this book is, there is somewhat a feel of deja vu when reading. Philip Carlo often hammers the point home regarding Rich's remorselessnes over and over again. The pleasure Richard got from torturing his victims, of devising new and grisly ways to make his "marks" suffer - the way he liked to be up close and personal and see the life fade from their eyes. Philip Carlo obviously wants us to truly understand how monsterous this man was - but the point is made too often, and becomes actually quite tiresome. Philip's accounts, gathered from over two hundred hours of interviewing and the way the killings come about give us this distinct impression in any case, so there really wasn't a need to reiterate the point as often as it was.

Barbara, for example feels trapped by her husband, feeling she had to stand up for herself, because it was the only power she had left - she could not leave him, she knew he would find her, kill her, kill them all, her children, her family. I really felt for Barbara throughout this book and completely sympathise with why she would have found it so hard to break free.

In essence, this is a well written, put together account of a man who certainly earned his name. Its definitely worth reading - but be warned, this book is extemely grisly and does not pull its punches. It is a harrowing, distrubing look into the twisted mind of a psychopath of monumental proportions.
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on 29 June 2015
I really didn't like this book at all, especially the way that the author seemed to glorify the subjects evil deeds, many of which are probably not true. I mean how can you trust the word of a self confessed career criminal who murders, sometimes for the sheer joy of it.
Furthermore I couldn't believe Philip Carlo' s final words of the book. Rest in peace Richard Leonard Kuklinski. No! Rot in hell Kuklinski, but let's hope that the innocent victims that he killed, just to test new ways of killing, or because he didn't like their driving, do rest in peace.
My advice is don't waste over £5 on this badly written rubbish. If you have a morbid fascination for this type of thing, you can watch the HBO tapes of him on YouTube for free.
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on 9 June 2014
This book is a work of fiction. In subsequent books, Philip Carlo even mentions that some of the 'facts' described by Kuklinski were made up. I think almost all of it is made up. No follow up, no investigation by the author to back up claims. Really, really poor.
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