"Big Jack Falcone," as he was known inside La Cosa Nostra, learned all the inside dirt about the Gambino organized crime syndicate and its illegal activities---from extortion and loan-sharking to assault and murder. The result was a string of busts and a quarter-million-dollar contract put out on his life.
Making Jack Falcone tells the incredible true story of Garcia's audacious attempt to become only the second agent (after "Donnie Brasco") to become a made man in the Mafia. Readers will join Garcia as he attends "Mob School," an intensive course of study designed to teach him everything he needs to know about the Mafia, its operations, and its attitudes. An unprecedented glimpse into the inner workings of the FBI, the book also pulls no punches as Garcia reveals how sometimes the agency ran smoothly and criminals were collared according to plan, while other times tempers flared over the progess of cases.
A fascinating inside look at the struggle between law enforcement and organized crime, Making Jack Falcone sheds new light on two organizational cultures that continue to exert an unparalleled grip on the American popular imagination.
©2008 Jack Garcia; (P)2008 Tantor
If you like the underworld and many of us do, then this book is for you. Having worked for the federal government and negotiated it's many bureaucratic levels I can side with Joaquin "Jack" Garcia,and his frustrations with the F.B.I. but thank God there are agents like him on the job. We are being attacked from so many sides in this country it is good to know we can all sleep at night knowing their work helps keep us all safe and out of harms way. This book is a must read or hear in this case. Thank you Joaquin "Jack" Garcia, Michael Levin for writing it. I loved it. Frank Slater
This book sounds like it could be fiction easily. Awsome story. It left me feeling a little frustrated with the politics and paper pushers at the FBI though. You have to give alot of credit to agents like Joaquin Garcia. It takes incredible talent and guts to do what he did. It would've been nice to have seen him get to finish the case and retire feeling satisfied with the results of all his hard work.
I am huge fan of mafia books and this one did not disappoint. The story was gripping and the narration was excellent. I highly recommend this book and rank it right up there with Havana Nocturne.
Jack Falcone is a 450 lbs undercover FBI agent. But amazingly compitent. He spends a large part of the book exposing short comings of the FBI. He's more of a blue collar guy like most americans. But the meat of the book is inside information into the post Gotti administration, day to day info into the Gambino family. He also busts North Koreans smuggling "Super Notes" Fake U.S. Dollars printed by the North Korean government. It's a juicy book.
"Hey Jackie boy, you're really something."
I saw Joaquin Garcia interviewed on "60 Minutes" and knew I just had to read his book to see if he really was as ballzy as he appeared in the interview. He definitely was.
This is an exciting and most interesting memoir by a guy who really knows the la cosa nostra up close. I can't imagine how a person could have the guts and gall to do what he did, and for such a long time. But, I'm not sure that his anger at his FBI higher-ups is well-founded though, since he probably would have continued until some one ratted on him and he was done in by the mob.
I'm sure he also misses the free meals, drinks, partying and close calls that accompanied the great undercover work that he did. It's obvious that he really loved his job and knew that he did it better than anyone else could possibly have done.
This was a great read and the narrator was unbelievably authentic. I still feel that it was Jack Falcone himself telling the story.
I'd like to see Garcia in the movies. I think he'd have a great presence on the screen.
Pros: Compelling listen, never slow, and made immeasurably better by the voice narration that truly seems to fit the character that was Jack Falcone.
Cons: Much of the book bounces around to other cases that Jack was involved with. Although these side investigations were probably necessary to give a full understanding of the life the undercover agent led, they seems to comprise a good portion of the book. In other words, I was hoping he would delve into his life more with the mob and the crimes they committed. I was expecting more of a gruesome read, but it was fairly tame and never discussed any murders or other horrific events that would have painted the reputation the mafia has.
Regardless, this book entertained me and was worth the listen.
The story is fascinating and the book is definitely worth listening to. The 80% of the book about his undercover adventures are awesome. I stayed up late listening to them. The 20% of the book (mostly at the end) where he complains about bureaucrats in the FBI is interminable and you'll just have to fast forward. The author clearly has some major issues with narcissism and, even hearing only his side of story, it's clear he's in denial about the degree to which his work was motivated by the rush of being in with the mob. But, I suspect to be good at what he does, you need to be off-your-rocker to some degree and I know I certainly couldn't have done it. So, it makes for a good story.
The real complaint I have is with the narrator. I really don't get offended easily. but the stereotypical hyper-cliche voices he does for people of various ethnicities is shocking. Don't get me wrong. I like when narrators are expressive and play up different voices for different characters a little bit. I also didn't even midn very much when the character's voice was relevant to the story (e.g., the author talks about how he would intentiaonally use broken english with a hispanic accent for some roles. When the narrator was reading the lines for Garcia playing that character, it is appropriate for him to use broken English with a hispanic accent. But, dear lord!, there's one guy with an asian name in the story. No idea if he was born in Seoul or Nebraska and it doesnt matte to the storyr. But, the narrator voices him like he's in a 70s kung fu movie. Also, there are a few lines from the director of a Jewish nursing home in Westchester. We don't know his name or if he's even Jewish, but the narraotr voices him like Jackie Mason playing an exaggerated Tevya from Fiddler on the Roof. It's really tasteless.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story or just likes mob or gangster related books. The only drawback to the book is that the narrator isn't that good. The one part he does do well is when he speaks as an Old school gangster, he does it to perfection.
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