Larger-than-life figures John Gotti and Paul Castellano figure prominently in Ron Felber's compelling Il Dottore, based on the true story of "mob doctor" Elliot Litner, a self-described "nerdy Jewish kid from the Bronx" who found the allure of the La Cosa Nostra lifestyle too difficult to resist.
Jim Knobeloch's authoritative, no-nonsense performance pulls no punches and captures the grittiness and volatility of the mafia's heyday in the 1970s and 80s in Felber's unflinching look at the consequences of getting involved with "made guys".
Il Dottore is the true story of a "nerdy Jewish kid" from the Bronx who, through a series of circumstances, became physician to top Mafia Dons including John Gotti, Carlos Gambino, and Joe Bonanno. At the same time, his reputation as a medical genius was spreading, and he was fast becoming one of the nation's leading cardiac surgeons. Ron Felber paints a vivid portrait of this doctor's unlikely life in the fast lane as he becomes a top confidante of New York's most notorious criminals. Eventually he is forced to make a choice between his loyalty to the mafia and his medical career.
©2004 Ron Felber; (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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This book was incredible. What a story! The life of a respected doctor and how he lives a reckless double life. One life with the most notorious mobsters in New York and the other with his Jewish wife and children. It's amazing this guy lived to write this book. What shocked me most, is how involved the mob is in every aspect of business, government, politics. They have their hand in everything. Very scary stuff. It was interesting to hear how instrumental Rudy Giuliani was in bringing down some of the most famous Mafia leaders.
I found the narrator to be quite good too. He has the inflection of the mob down pat, but needs to work on his Jewish accent. I actually had my jaw drop more than a few times throughout this book. It was a gripping and extraordinary listen.
I loved this book, it is a well written true story about a doctor who gets in bed with the mob and lives a crazy life...lives barely! The only problem I had was with the narrator. You hear his wheezing and sucking in air as he reads the story. It was a bit distracting for me.
It is a good story but the narrator rushes it like he is in a hurry to finish the book. You have to listen hard or miss something. If he read it slower it would be four stars.
This is one of the most intriguing books I have ever listened to. Would the good Doctor do as the Mafia Bosses wanted to save his own life, or commit the unspeakable act of murder. The pressure must have been unbelievable. I'm not sure what I would have done. In the end the Doctor does what was a SHOCK to me!!! A GREAT LISTEN...DO NOT PASS ON RON FELBER'S GREAT WORK OF NON-FICTION. If it was me, I would have saved myself. Maybe the Doctor did. Listen and find out. The ending was SHOCKING!
save your money on this one. the author puts out as facts incidents that are not backed up by any other journalists. he puts his own slant and bias on events.
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