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Publisher's Summary

In this blistering street-level account, "Mafia survivor" Frank DiMatteo teams up with true-crime master Michael Benson to take down one of the most notorious figures in the American La Cosa Nostra. This is the real inside story of Carmine "The Snake" Persico, from his crime-filled childhood on the streets of Brooklyn to the long-term jail sentences that didn't stop him from controlling his criminal empire, with the help of his brother - the equally kill-crazy Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico.

This is the story of his deadly teen years as leader of the fearsome Garfield Boys; his recruitment into the Profaci - later the Colombo - crime family; his bloody betrayal of the Gallo brothers; his role in the hair-raising ambush and slaying of Albert Anastasia - the Lord High Executioner of Murder, Inc. - as he sat in a barbershop chair getting a shave; the terror he struck into the hearts of the New York Mafia's other families, and even his own crews; and the many courtroom trials where Persico walked after witnesses came down with sudden cases of "amnesia."

Today, Persico schmoozes with Ponzi king Bernard Madoff behind bars. There, at age 84, his legend - packed as it is with coldblooded brutality - continues to inspire goodfellas everywhere.

©2018 Frank DiMatteo and Michael Benson (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Carmine the Snake

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent in depth book.

I am a huge fan of this genre. I have read tub fulls of books about the mob but I have read very little about the Persico family. Just peripheral characters in other books. This went deep into new territory for me and while there were overlapping details from other books, most of it was new to me which made it even better to listen to. Johnny Heller does a great job narrating. I highly recommend this book.

5 people found this helpful

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True Mafia ShotCaller

I have read many True Crime books about the Mafia, and without a doubt this book hit all the points. As a teen, I hung out in Red Hook, and South Brooklyn. I heard the stories of the neighborhood legends. Junior Persico was without a doubt the "True Shotcaller". Bigger than "Gotti", more ruthless than the " The Chin". Junior and his Family was a True Mafia Dynasty.

3 people found this helpful

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Very informative

This isn't as much about Mr. Persico as it seems to be about the folks around him in most of the tales told here. This book gives a vivid picture of the things that shaped the career of one of the most influential guys to be a part of Family history though and, as such, I would recommend this title to anyone who enjoys the rich history of the American mafia.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

I loved this book, Carmine's son Allie boy lived up the road from me in our Federal Prison before he died.

1 person found this helpful

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If you ever wanted to know about Carmine Persico..

It's been said that everyone has one great book in them, clearly that person underestimated Mr. DiMatteo.

I had my doubts about this book, after all the author's father was loyal to Larry Gallo and its hard to imagine anyone from President Street being fair on the subject. It would be like Donald Trump Jr. writing about Joe Biden, or so you might think.

The author addresses this conflict of interest right away and proceeds to write a very good book. If you've read any of his other books you won't be surprised by his research, it is thorough, and a great story is woven around the historical dates.

What a life and what a character, well done.

1 person found this helpful

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old time mafia , in and around n.y and n.j.

old time la Costa nosta the hit mam ,the sons of capos, the backstabbing , and it was all about the almighty buck

1 person found this helpful

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Great 👍

loved it. well told, well performed. great story, thanks for sharing. four words remaining

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The Unusual Life of the Persico Family

This was an interesting account of the Persico family and their life in the mob. The drama and carnage is astounding. The relationships, friendships, vendettas, court cases and more can be overwhelming, I had to listen to several sections a few times to keep everyone straight. Real life is stranger than fiction. An interesting book and a great audiobook, perfectly narrated by Johnny Heller.

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The Snake Was a Rat?

By coincidence, as I finish this book the NY Daily News is reporting that Carmine was a "Top Echelon Informant." Quite a twist, if true.

Anyway, the reader is excellent, with just the right Brooklyn mob guy tone. And when the book digs fairly deep into a specific set of facts, like the extended section on Carmine acting as his own lawyer, it's really interesting. But when it quickly rattles off multiple shootings by multiple shooters, it can feel a bit repetitive. Very good for the most part, though.

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Interesting story but blandly written...

...which is disappointing as few biographies are more ...uh...arresting (forgive me!) than the rise and fall of a Mafia Don. Nonetheless, the book contains many gems… As a lifelong criminal defense attorney, I loved his opening statement at the trial that eventually put him away, the sidebar vignettes (Pauly Walnuts, James Caan, Frank Sinatra etc) regarding America’s fascination with the mob and certainly the Government’s unscrupulous determination to “get their man” no matter how they might have to suborn due process. That said, I’m still glad the book was free in my premium membership… And didn’t cost me anything “points.”

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  • Kevin
  • 04-06-20

Definately worth a listen

A lot of great material I'd never heard before.

Highly recommended for those bored of the same regurgated stories of New York Cosa Nostra.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Harlemspartans1
  • 12-28-19

The snake bites baxk

Good as there is no much information on snake 🐍definitely worth it a must for Mob readers and not really any mention of sonny or Michael frannszse

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matt Bee
  • 09-17-20

A Good Book

I enjoyed this, but I felt that it could have done with some more in depth information on some of the subjects, it fwely like it skipped over a few things, otherwise well worth a listen...

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr Jamie Whitehouse
  • 10-10-18

Easy listen

Enjoyable listen although a bit more detail would have been welcome in parts. Some chapters felt rushed.