Kuklinski was Sammy "The Bull" Gravano's partner in the killing of Paul Castellano at Spark's Steakhouse. John Gotti hired him to kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, he would make victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with cold-hearted intensity, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over 200 men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique.
Kuklinski's story, once known, captivated the public and became the subject of three HBO documentaries about which the New York Times raved, "Few viewers are ever likely to forget this thoroughly chilling portrait. As for possible movie competition, it would work on the level of The Silence of the Lambs."
©2006 Philip Carlo; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.
"Good as an omnibus resource on Kuklinski, this is a fine entry in the burgeoning field of works tracing the decline of the traditional organized crime families and their once impenetrable structures." (Booklist)
This book is hilarious. Supposedly a true account of Richard Kuklinski's life, none of the subject matter is verified and simply taken as truth by the author. Furthermore, as others have stated, the editing is atrocious--the book is repetitous and full of cliches and trite phrases. The author tries to sensationalize everything to the point of non-belief.
The repetition of this book is unbelievable. You will the same ideas over and over and over and over and over and over again.
If I had the patience I would listen to the book again and count the number of cliches in this book. It's got to be in the hundreds.
I don't think this guy was connected to the mob--just a wannabe. Not too many specific details in this book, just vague generalizations. I don't doubt this guy is nuts and killed a few people but I think most of this is fantasy.
As far as the story goes, it's fairly interesting if you tolerate the repitition and the triteness.
I suggest you read some reviews on Amazon before you decide to invest a credit into this book.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
A tad far-fetched. Not sure how we're supposed to believe this is true... there's no proof offered for any of it and it sounds just like a sociopath's fantasy... so that's probably what it is...
I'm sure Richard was a bad guy, but don't go trying to tell me he murdered 50 street people in the mid-fifties and nobody noticed? yeah, uh-huh... sure... he definitely fantasized about all that... but actually doing it? Nah, that's probably more on the fiction side...
This is supposed to be a biography, so even if you accept all the "facts" without any evidence you'll still be wondering why on earth the author felt it important to mention what Richard ate for Christmas dinner (no, seriously, he listed all the food items served at dinner, several times... like it's significant? I don't think it's realistic in an biography to itemize what anyone ate 30 years before.)
Sigh... all that being said, it's quite an interesting, albeit unbelievable, look at what a serial killer might be like. Treat it like fiction and it's quite entertaining, treat it like truth and you'll have to be very good at suspending disbelief.
I'd have given it 4 stars (as a fictional story) if it had been better edited - I really didn't need to be reminded every chapter that Richard had a bad temper, or that he knew how to use poisons, etc... tell me stuff once or twice throughout the book, fine... but after the 8th time, it is a bit much.
As a little insight into mob goings-on, it is kind of interesting... is it true? No idea.
The author took what could be an interesting story and tortured it to death. The book is 19 hours long and much of the material is repeated throughout. The dialog between characters is amateurish and sounds as if Kuklinski wrote it himself. Many of the deeds he claims happened are hard to believe. Sorry for the spoiler, but ripping a car door off it's hinges with his bare hands is just one example. Most of it sounds like the school yard bully or high school football hero reliving his glory days, exaggerating his feats and bolstering his own ego. The narrator tries to get the voices and inflections down, but I thought he only added to the amateurish sound of the book. He'd be better off reading the evening news then narrating a novel. I made it halfway through the second part and started looking for another book to download.
What made listening to The Ice Man most enjoyable was (and I'm almost ashamed to admit this) knowing what circumstances motivated his twisted logic. If this was a drinking game, you'd be wasted by chapter 5!
The most compelling aspect of the narrative, in my opinion, was the "nature vs.nurture" of the story. Could he have been different if his upbringing was more structured or was it all genetic? Or both.
He brings to the story a sense of first hand accounts and history of the subject in the story. To hear the words puts the whole thing on a personal level, for me anyway. I was particularly happy because I recognized many of the places and infamous names that I grew up reading about in the newspapers and local TV news.
The only extreme reaction I had from this book was terror. It terrified me on how callous that person was and with every homicidal action, there was a reason or an excuse for it. Forget about remorse! There's people walking around the planet like this! They fit in society so well that one never knows who it is.
I believe this is the best purchase I've ever made for an audio book. I couldn't wait to get back to it and listen (usually while doing something else that didn't require much thought). As a former police officer, the description of odors from decomposing or burning bodies, bought back nauseating scents that I'd rather forget. The frustration of the "cat and mouse game" of investigation and working with other agencies. The mind of a killer trying to live "normally" with his family after being raised as sub-human and poor. Tragic how this one person managed to destroy many lives.
I will be listening to this book again in the future.
Well written and read with perfect voice & expression. True story made it even more incredible. Enjoyed it start to finish.
Love escaping reality by indulging in a great book.
Who would've thought I could hang in there for 64 chapters of a book that normally wouldn't have grabbed my attention. The ability for this man to be so professional at something so violent is impressive and stunning.
Narration was excellent.
His ability to lead a double life.
It's making me watch the HBO special on it and I just might watch the movie made based on The Iceman.
Trust no one.
As an author myself, dyslexic, and ADD, I need something that grabs me. Non-fiction on things of interest to me, educates, & titillates.
narrator captures the essence of the iceman and brings the story to life.
will register in the future
This is not a lite read. It's like watching a horror movie where you don't really want to know what happens next but you can't help but peek through your shielding fingers
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