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on 16 August 2009
A very well reserched and absorbing book - it is the first book I have read that really captures the terrifying brutality and fear of the Mafia as related specifically to the region of Corleone (the area famously depicted by Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather films) - strips the glamour away completely and provides a riveting, shocking read. You really don't want to mess around with these guys. Fascinating insight into corruption in Italy - but frighteningly gets one thinking about corruption and underhand play closer to home. Certainly I feel less naive having read this book and far more appreciative of the horrors and sewer/low-life existence of those involved in organised crime.The real heroes for me being those brave enough to attempt to bring the Godfathers to justice. An underated classic and worthy addition to books on the Mafia.
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on 5 October 2009
You'll never view Tony Soprano in the same light again. Follain strips away Hollywoods nostalgia and "respect" granted to La Cosa Nostra.
The Corleonesi "family" of the Sicilian mafia were little more than vicious thugs; what set them apart was their sheer callousness. The chapter
detailing the kidnap, murder and disposal of Giuseppe Di Matteo, an 11-year old boy, serves to highlight how utterly hideous these mafioso were.
This is a detailed account of the most notorious mafia family in the world, and paints a vivid picture of Corleone and its "shame".
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on 17 November 2008
A real page turner. John Follain brings the mafia to life with his wealth of knowledge, which is written in an effective manner. The detail in the description of mafia life shows Follain's dedication to the topic. If you enjoy reading about the mafia this is a must buy.
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on 7 March 2014
Ever since I watched 'The Godfather' I was fascinated by the Mafia, I was hooked. However I was never a 'book' person, and never thought I had the patience to read, I preferred to watch a film. After my interest in the Mafia grew over the years, I become frustrated with myself because I saw so many books on the Mafia when searching for my next movie and found them intriguing, but as I said, I didn't think I was a 'book' person! So after holiday to Sicily, a visit to Corleone, and being 28 years old I decided to read my first book since school... This book is brilliant, it's spot on with detail but not so much that it loses you, the author narrates so well he keeps you in the moment.
Some interesting facts that even I didn't know and I would say I was a fanatic.
As my first read I can say I couldn't of picked a better start as this is a top Sicilian Mafia book.
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on 19 March 2013
This has a definite 5star rating it was a great book. Follain really did an excellent job in carrying forward the godfather story where Puzo left out filled in th blanks. A truly captivating read couldn't put it down
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on 31 August 2011
If this book is correct - and being three-quarters of the way through the book 'Excellent Cadavers' which is an independent book to this - I believe it predominantly is, then the Corleonese Mafia must be the most ruthless and cold of the Mafia 'families'. You have to admire their sheer determination and stealth to become the dominant family in Sicily, but you certainly wont like their methods! It's a book that has you shaking your head in disbelief at some of the stories, and reminds you it's not good for your health to be in the Mafia, but is gripping all the same.
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on 3 February 2012
This review is very simple. If you enjoy real life crime stories you will definitely enjoy this. Well written and never dull, the author seems to me to have an excellent insight into the motives of the subjects of this book.
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on 29 December 2012
Excellent read. Strips away the romance portrayed in Hollywood films and gives you the reality that was/is the Mafia. An in depth account of the Mafia from it's humble beginnings to it's most powerful and biographies on the individuals that shaped it. Great detail that grips you from the outset.
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on 6 April 2012
Superb depth, page turning right till the end, the author captures Sicily superbly with his descriptive narrating, I was hooked from page one, amazing how big this small clan ended up being, BUY THIS BOOK
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on 28 October 2010
Not a great reader, but bought this book going on holidays, and simply couldn't believe how lucky i was in buying it.Couldn't leave it down once I'd started. Absolutely riveting stuff from beginning to the end, not one dull or boring page was there in the whole book. I cannot believe that any band of brigands would put their own people and country through such torture, murder and mayhem.Its all spelt out here in black and white. Shocking too that the Mother country (Italy) would allow it all to happen. For anyone looking the real deal in a good book this has to be up with the best. Brilliant and entertaining book.
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