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Handsome Johnny

The Life and Death of Johnny Rosselli: Gentleman Gangster, Hollywood Producer, CIA Assassin
Narrated by: B. J. Harrison
Length: 18 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

Regular price: $31.18

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Publisher's Summary

“No one knew more about the mob, Hollywood and Las Vegas than Johnny Rosselli, and Lee Server got it all in Handsome Johnny.” (Nicholas Pileggi, best-selling author of Goodfellas)

A rich biography of the legendary figure at the center of the century’s darkest secrets: an untold story of Golden Age Hollywood, modern Las Vegas, JFK-era scandal, and international intrigue from Lee Server, the New York Times best-selling author of Ava Gardner: Love Is Nothing....

A singular figure in the annals of the American underworld, Johnny Rosselli’s career flourished for an extraordinary 50 years, from the bloody years of bootlegging in the Roaring Twenties - the last protege of Al Capone - to the modern era of organized crime as a dominant corporate power. The Mob’s “Man in Hollywood”, Johnny Rosselli introduced big-time crime to the movie industry, corrupting unions and robbing moguls in the biggest extortion plot in history. 

A man of great allure and glamour, Rosselli befriended many of the biggest names in the movie capital - including studio boss Harry Cohn, helping him to fund Columbia Pictures - and seduced some of its greatest female stars, including Jean Harlow and Marilyn Monroe. In a remarkable turn of events, Johnny himself would become a Hollywood filmmaker - producing two of the best film noirs of the 1940s.  

Following years in federal prison, Rosselli began a new venture, overseeing the birth and heyday of Las Vegas. Working for new Chicago boss Sam Giancana, he became the gambling mecca’s behind-the-scenes boss, running the town from his suites and poolside tables at the Tropicana and Desert Inn, enjoying the Rat Pack nightlife with pals Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. In the 1960s, in the most unexpected chapter in an extraordinary life, Rosselli became the central figure in a bizarre plot involving the Kennedy White House, the CIA, and an attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro. 

Based upon years of research, written with compelling style and vivid detail, Handsome Johnny is the great telling of an amazing tale.

©2018 Lee Server (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, not so great narration.

The story itself is excellent, very detailed, obviously well researched. The narrators impressions almost ruin it however. He makes almost every character sound like a mix of Mickey Mouse and Mike Tyson. I really have no idea what he was aiming for. It's pretty distracting. The audio quality is very good however. If you're interested in the subject matter it is worth a credit or reading a print version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Story

Another example for the youth of how crime does not pay. It also shows your grandfather probably had a better sex life than you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-28-19

Fascinating stuff !

A good insight into the American Mobs far reaching tentacles, into the world of politics..

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  • Mr L Spence
  • 01-30-19

History of the USA

beautifully read despite a few mistakes with ‘foreign’ words and the worst Spanish accent ever - the reader never flagged, never sounded bored, never lost my interest in what was a long, complex narrative.
The story was fascinating, from the roaring 20’s and Prohibition to the birth of the movie business in Hollywood and organised crime’s move into Las Vegas, the assassination of JFK, Frank Sinatra, the Cuban invasion, the FBI and the CIA all examined in a fresh way from an entirely different point of view. The portrait of a fascinating life in the American century. You will not be disappointed.