Alfonso 'Little Al' D'Arco, the former acting boss of the Luchese crime family, was the highest-ranking mobster to ever turn government witness when he flipped in 1991.
His decision to flip prompted many others to make the same choice, including John Gotti's top aide, Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, and his testimony sent more than fifty mobsters to prison. In Mob Boss, award-winning news reporters Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins team up for this unparalleled account of D'Arco's life and the New York mob scene that he embraced for four decades.
Until the day he switched sides, D'Arco lived and breathed the old-school gangster lessons he learned growing up in Brooklyn and fine-tuned on the mean streets of Little Italy. But when he learned he was marked to be whacked, D'Arco quit the mob. His defection decimated his crime family and opened a window on mob secrets going back a hundred years.
After speaking with D'Arco, the authors reveal unprecedented insights, exposing shocking secrets, and troublesome truths about a city where a famous pizza parlor doubled as a Mafia center for multi-million-dollar heroin deals, where hit men carried out murders dressed as women, and where kidnapping a celebrity newsman's son was deemed appropriate revenge for the father's satirical novel.
Capeci and Robbins spent hundreds of hours in conversation with D'Arco, and exhausted many hours more fleshing out his stories in this riveting narrative that takes listeners behind the famous witness testimony for a comprehensive look at the Mafia in New York City.
©2013 Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins (P)2013 Tantor
Accurate, honest, in depth.
Al D'arco's memory is like an encyclopedia of the mob!
Yes- as stellar as the rest
This book made me gasp at some points.
Highly recommended- I've listened to almost every mafia book on audible.com and this one definitely ranks up with the best.
Al D'Arco was not the flashy attention-getting cruel psychopath a la Joe Pesci characters in Scorsese films. He was a more meat-and-potatoes sort of guy in many ways, such as his relations with his wife and kids. He ran several normal businesses (profitably) alongside his criminal businesses. He rose in the Lucchese crime family like a mid-20th-century corporate employee-to-exec type, gradually and unspectacularly. But he did trade in heroin, he threatened and hurt people, and he did operate illegal toxic waste dumps, some of which reportedly handled materials from NYC construction so noxious they would melt the tires of trucks, by dumping them into our waterways and so on. By the time I read that, I realized this guy's outer patina of "relatively humble normal guy" covered just another kind of lousy criminal, straight up. Oh, and his son became a wannabee gangster and junkie, so again, the whole family man thing is a pretty thin tissue of fantasies. This book is a matter-of-fact look in some detail at something quite common: an overlay of legitimate and criminal businesses, a time and a place and a guy who evolved in the middle of it. I see them all the time, so this is not confined to the place and period described.
I looked forward to finding time to listen to this after I started it. It was like listening to Goodfellas. In fact a lot of those characters are in this book.
I am what you might call a literary philanderer...
This was an interesting read. I'm not sure I ever wanted to know that much information about the life of a ‘Wiseguy,’ but I got exactly what I wanted out of this book.
In typical biographical form, the story of Al D'Arco progresses in a chronological, flat, and factual connect the dots game. The delivery, the language, the flow all gave this story a strong feeling of authenticity. At no point throughout the book did I feel I was being sold a load of crap that was difficult to believe. That being said, given the book's introduction by the authors, they inform the reader their intention to write whatever they think is true. They gave Al a chance to provide his story, but that he would have no opportunity to review, edit, or refute anything contained in the narrative before final print. I find this interesting and I reserve the right to being somewhat skeptical.
A great story,would recommend ,
From start to finish the story flows
Makes you feel like you are on the
Scene.well read and very informative.
Too many details, confusing, and horrible narrator.
Down and Under
He brought absolutely nothing to the story! So boring to listen to. He ruined the book for me.
This is a long detailed story of mob life. It starts out promising, but falls flat after that. With a different narrator it may have been a whole different experience.
A story. Some details. Any characters with an IQ above 75.
Anything but a boring mobster book.
"I wish there had been more."
Not only can I unreservedly recommend it, if it wouldn't get me arrested I would even be grabbing strangers in the street and telling them about it. Well written and engaging from the first paragraph, it was let down only very slightly by the reader, who demonstrated a rather narrow range of accents and voices. Mostly that did not matter since all the characters were from the same background but when D'Arco had a (fortunately brief) meeting with a black gangster it did grate somewhat to hear him speaking the same twangy Brooklyn as the Mafiosos. Despite that, Prichard was a good choice for the storyteller. His somewhat flat intonation was a worthy match for a writing style which deflected any revulsion the listener might have about the violence of the criminal life so as to allow concentration on the matter-of-fact, bureaucratic way that crime was organised by D'Arco and his circle.
For the writing itself, "Mob Boss" is a biography of one man pursuing a Mafia career with the same stolid determination and contextual honesty as an accountant. It was a fascinating and well-constructed insight into a parallel universe, flowing from one incident to the next with the sort of apparent ease that comes only from a lot of very hard work.
In the introduction we are told that the book is based on hundreds of hours of interview tapes and written statements and I am sure that Capeci and Robbins both suffered many headaches carving that sprawling mountain of information into a coherent narrative. It was a massive piece of work and yet I should think that when they had finished it, they must have been--as I was--sorry to get to the end.
100 percent-yes, Several reasons but mainly because its superb
Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires
The narration of the story was exhalant and well paced. He speaks like you would expect a mobster to speak which makes the book more enjoyable.
"Mob Boss- Life of 'Little' Al D'Arco"
As this was my 1st audiobook I was a bit skeptical but the narrator kept you intrigued to keep listening (even though it was way past bedtime) & he made you feel a party to the story.
If your a fan of organised crime/Mafia then you will enjoy this true account of 'Little' Al D'Arco, tracing his life from his early days growing up on New York's mean streets, where the men of respect/mafioso of the 5 Families of Cosa Nostra flourished, to his days in the U.S. Army & then his beginnings as a lowly, loyal street soldier for the Luchesse Crime family to acting boss during its bloodiest years when it's 2 leading Bosses, Anthony 'Gaspipe' Casso & Vic Amuso murdered anyone on a whim to the day he walked into the offices of the FBI to become the families ultimate destroyer.
Brilliantly narrated! Great story telling, amazing insight into the life of the Mafia and their lifestyle
"Best mob book for a long time!"
This audio book is the best I have heard so far! (And I own a lot) The writing is so in depth, it goes into details about the ins and outs of crimes and sometime legitimate business, it explains the thoughts and feelings of the mobster and intertwines with other mob books. I can't express how great this audio book is! The narrating is especially great! The narrator captures the mood perfectly and I was tempted to buy another book that he was narrating,...... But it wasn't about the mob! If you are interested in the Mafia then this book is a absolute must!!
"A likeable killer"
not really but allows you to close your eyes and drift away on a long commute
He speaks like a mobster
Shocking that this quite mild mannered mobster is capable of killing at the drop of a hat.
Shows that there is no honour in this profession. Just paranoia, cold blooded killing and a dog eat dog mentality.
Brilliant just brilliant, so intriguing could not stop listening the best mafia audiobook by a long way
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