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Publisher's Summary

The Mob was the biggest, richest business in America...until it was destroyed from within by drugs, greed, and the decline of its traditional crime family values. And by guys like Sal Polisi.

As a member of New York's feared Colombo Family, Polisi ran the Sinatra Club, an illegal after-hours gambling den that was a magic kingdom of crime and a hangout for up-and-coming mobsters like John Gotti and the three wiseguys immortalized in Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas - Henry Hill, Jimmy Burke, and Tommy DeSimone. But the nonstop thrills of Polisi's criminal glory days abruptly ended when he was busted for drug trafficking.

Already sickened by the bloodbath that engulfed the Mob as it teetered toward extinction, he flipped and became one of a breed he had loathed all his life - a rat. In this shocking, pulse-pounding, and, at times, darkly hilarious first-person chronicle, he paints a never-before-seen picture of a larger-than-life secret underworld that, thanks to guys like him, no longer exists.

©2012 Sal Polisi (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The gangster with a heart of gold...

First, having just finished the book, I must say the closing couple of chapters were a real disappointment because I didn't believe a thing he said - and the last chapter, in Mexico, sounds like pure fiction, way over the top fiction, which hurts the credibility of the rest of the book since the rest of it sounds mostly plausible and realistic. But it doesn't hurt the book too much, until those last couple of chapters I really enjoyed the book, it's one of the more entertaining mob books I've read in a long while, however Sal Polisi goes a bit overboard at times framing himself as having a heart of gold as he commits crime after crime after crime that destroyed people's lives. The sex parts of the book are OK, they don't drift into the ridiculous too far. The biggest issue in mob books when they talk about sex is that it often is just bragging and completely unnecessary to the story, in this one he does straddles the line but those parts actually help move the story along, so it wasn't an issue for me.

If you like mob books this one is a worthy addition and is an entertaining read, just do yourself a favor and stop listening when he takes the stand near the end of the book.

The reader did a good job. Also I've been listening to everything at 1.25x speed as I find my mind drifting less often when listening yet it's not too fast to easily follow along, so I like to add that at 1.25x speed the reader is completely understandable, no jerkiness to the audio.

I'd say 4.1/5 stars, which is good for mob books as many are very poorly written or written in a way that comes off as having no credibility. This one however is mostly credible and is very well written.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

This is by far one of the best told stories of the 70’s NY mob. I’ve listened to dozens of books thru the years, I enjoyed the narration. Well worth the purchase.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great mob book

a real good look into the mob, it's rules and the characters. how a life of crime turns out and the corruption.also redemption

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

He loved the mob life

Sal was self-deprecating in most respects in this memoir. That made him seem credible, since almost nobody admits to his brand of foibles. The narrator was 100% perfect for this book.

The way Sal tells his story, the money came easily to him the whole time. And he enjoyed his life of crime - a lot. His take on the mob is unique. Even his descriptions of John Gotti were original. Despite all the mob biographies I've listened to, I learned a lot. I didn't find anything about this book repetitive of other books in the genre.

Sal Polisi said things about major events such as the JFK assassination that made me reconsider long held beliefs. He's authoritative and on point when he expounds on salient matters. And he separate facts from beliefs, telling why he believes as he does. Pretty convincing!

For those who liked other mafia memoirs, I bet this will be a winner. It's better in my opinion than most, and binge worthy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good storytelling

a foray into the criminal mind and the conflicts of loyalty and treason. Where the culture demands continuous treasons against your fellow man while at the same time demanding unquestioned loyalty to the boss. The mafia was a cult.

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great listen !

loved it from start to finish ! the narration was excellent ! ubatz ! You crazy mother fucker !

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

absolute classic for anybody interested in crime

Sal Polisi is a legend, thoroughly enjoyed it from start to end. what a life, what a way to end it all. respect.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

love this book ! great story told from the inside

My first audio book and it did not disappoint. I love stories of the NY mafia and this was beautifully told !

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun in a Self Serving way

An interesting take from someone who actually liked John Gotti. Most mob tell-alls from the era never have many flattering things to say about the dapper don, so it was a nice point of view.

By far though, my favorite part was Sal Polisi's description of his sexual prowess. Apparently it was so potent that the dominatrix lesbian prostitute he banged melted, turned straight, and forgot to charge him.

Overall, most of the events Polosi talks about line up with the other books I've read. So, grain of salt on the love life. Enjoy the rest.

Very entertaining.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • B Rose
  • Hillsborough NC
  • 11-25-17

Much better books than this one.

If you’ve never listened to a book on the Mafia this would be ok. I’ve listened to several. All much better than this and there’s nothing new here.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful