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Publisher's Summary

Mafia Prince is the first-person account of one of the most violent eras in Mafia history - "Little" Nicky Scarfo’s reign as boss of the Philly family in the 1980s - written by Scarfo’s underboss and nephew, "Crazy" Phil Leonetti.

The youngest-ever underboss at the age of 31, Leonetti was at the crux of the violent downfall of the traditional American Mafia in the 1980s when he infiltrated Atlantic City after gambling was legalized, and later turned state’s evidence against his own. His testimony directly led to the convictions of dozens of high-ranking made men including John Gotti, Vincent Gigante, and his own uncle, Nicky Scarfo - sparking the beginning of the end of La Cosa Nostra.

Just as The Godfather and Boardwalk Empire defined the early 20th century Mafia, and Wiseguy and Casino depicted the next great era through the ’70s, Mafia Prince concludes this epic genre revealing the Mafia’s violent final heyday of the 1980s straight from the horse’s mouth.

©2012 Phillip Leonetti, Scott Burnstein and Christopher Graziano (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Mafia Prince

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

Guilty pleasure.

What did you love best about Mafia Prince?

An honest read. The best kind. Not one dull minute.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The narrator was the best!

Which scene was your favorite?

When Philip decided to become a whistle blower and think of himself and his family. Sometimes it is very difficult to make the intelligent choice. Everybody loves a winner.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.

Any additional comments?

I really couldn't put this book down. It is very well written and well read. I felt like someone was sitting across the table from me talking just to me. I love honesty in a story, and this book takes the academy award for that.

19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Normalizing Murder, Torture, Theft and Evil

Would you consider the audio edition of Mafia Prince to be better than the print version?

I've not read the print version, but assume the audio version goes further to endear the criminals to the reader, which, in my humble opinion is unfortunate.

If you’ve listened to books by the authors before, how does this one compare?

I haven't read any other books by this author

Have you listened to any of L. J. Ganser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't heard any other books by this reader

If you could give Mafia Prince a new subtitle, what would it be?

"The Way it Was"

Any additional comments?

I had mixed feelings about the book. It's generally well written, the story, however, seems to work hard to exonerate the Mafia Prince from his crimes. The FBI might have given him his freedom but in my opinion he should have had many more years in prison to reflect on the lives he damaged, either through violence, theft, intimidation, torture and cold blooded murder. There were a lot of references on being a "Man's Man" and "Family & Honor"; these are not the qualities that I saw in this biography, I saw greed, evil, and the monster of psychotic mental illness in these characters and it saddens me that they weren't just characters, but actual human beings that confused their personal choices with "tradition" and "honor". As an Italian, I resent and am disgusted at any suggestions that this is "This Thing".
of Ours". Millions of Italians came to North America with nothing, suffered through poverty, while living law abiding, honorable lives, raising families with real notions of respect, pride, honor and decent family traditions. Once I remove my disgust with the personal choices made by the people in this book, I can concede that the story itself is well told.

7 people found this helpful

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Goodfellas sucks compared to this

This makes goodfellas or any other crime novel seem terrible. Great story, great narrator and outstanding performance.

5 people found this helpful

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I felt like I was watching a movie

LJ Ganser did a great job of performing this book. He made you feel like you were there in the room with Philip Leonetti and his uncle Little Nicky. I would definitely recommend this.

3 people found this helpful

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Not bad, not exceptional

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Nothing wrong with it, but it's not a book I will remember. It's an OK mafia story, well told, but it wasn't, in any aspect, outstanding.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Honest and predictable

Narrator did an excellent job with his spot on accent. Book itself is nothing shocking or revealing for anyone who has read about the mafia in the past. However, on a deeper note, it is fascinating to learn about internal working of organized crime. The depiction of treachery and deceit between phil and his no good uncle is what makes this a worth while listen. Also enjoyed the mafia lingo and the related terms. Especially the "sign of the gun", which I now use during safety briefs to warn my troops to either behave "or else it's this....".
God bless Phil for changing his ways, wish him all the luck.

11 people found this helpful

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An interesting book.

A good read. Very believable. Did a term paper on the mob once, and enjoyed this.

2 people found this helpful

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Best True Crime book ever written

Where does Mafia Prince rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is by far the best true crime book I've ever listened to on Audible. L.J. Garser does a fantastic job of narrating the scenes and personalities involved. He read the entire book using perfect verbal emphasis and voice inflections on the action involved. The book is well written without the diversionary repetitions so common in many crime books. My interest never flagged and I couldn't wait (I listen to an hour's worth of audible on my daily walks) for the next chapter. It's a gripping story of Mafia history and personal honor (from a reformed criminal's viewpoint). I highly recommend this audible book to anyone interested in true crime

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

How well it explained the inter-workings of the colorful cast of Mafia members in Atlantic City and Philly during the Mafia's heyday in the 1980's.

What does L. J. Ganser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It's amazing how much Ganser's reading adds to the impact of the story. He presents the action and characters in an extremely conversational manner which keeps the listener's attention throughout the narration.

2 people found this helpful

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An OK story for mafia buffs; not much new

I wanted to hear in detail about Atlantic City rackets and Little Nicky Scarfo. There was plenty on Scarfo, a ringside seat, but there is not that much to say: a mafia martinet, a guy whose strategy was to enforce a street tax by scaring everybody by killing pretty easily, with a strong streak of paranoid caution that led to more killings. It was all pretty logical, if one can step into the context of that dog-eat-dog atmosphere. But Scarfo was not too bright in some ways (as he is alive, I hope he doesn't read this!), for example, having a guy killed (at the beach house) right in front of the guy's closest associate who was an untested commodity, who wound up being a critical witness against Scarfo and the whole group. And that killing was fairly gratuitous, not really necessary. I saw elsewhere in a film, in a courtroom, he couldn't spell "Falcone," an associate (and victim's) name, I mean, these are not Rhodes scholars. I thought maybe there would be some detail about the higher reaches of corruption in New Jersey, but Scarfo was mostly a fairly street level guy, with some union and NY-centric crime family involvements. I was amazed how much his nephew "Crazy Phil" Leonetti was liked and coddled by his government handlers. I have seen this several times. It's one thing that law enforcement needs to coddle these people to take down the crime organizations. It's another thing, maybe human nature, for their handlers to get a little too nice and understanding toward them, which I have seen in several books. I find it repugnant.

4 people found this helpful

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Incredibly well read

The reader makes you convinced he is the author. There is such a sense of reality. The book is great. It brings the reader
into a strange and forbidding world of murder and the psychopaths who commit those murders. Yet the author has a point of view as an honorable person within an insane context and as the victim of this way of life since birth.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-11-20

Great Read

Fantastic listen.
The Mafia Prince is a tale of Phillip Leonetti’s life through the Philadelphia Mafia.
Narration is strong and accompanies the story perfectly.
If you like a warts an all story from one of the mafias highest FBI informers this is for you

4 people found this helpful

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  • Barry Rogers
  • 07-04-14

Now that was good.

Would you consider the audio edition of Mafia Prince to be better than the print version?

N/A

What did you like best about this story?

The story is fantastic. I listened and felt like I was having a chat with the author. It is told very well and feels like it was an honest description to the story's. Every person you expected to be in the book are there and more.

What about L. J. Ganser’s performance did you like?

L. J. Ganser's performance was great. He helped make the book more enjoyable. The sroys is gripping at times and L.J. must have enjoyed the book because there was no drop in performance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I drive to and from work listening to audiobooks. I found the time was flying while I listened to book. I was looking forward to the drive. (From work yes :) )

Any additional comments?

There is little I didnt enjoy about this book. I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much. So many books on the Mafia and most are a let down. I was disappointing when the book finished just because it was so enjoyable I wanted more.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Glew
  • 08-27-20

One of the very best Audible Mafia books I’ve ever read

I’ve a vast collection of Mafia books 100+ (both Italian & American mobs) but this Audible version is actually more enjoyable due to the fantastic narrative L.J.Ganser delivers.
He really makes the story & it’s vast amount of characters come to life & you would think that you were actually listening to Phillip Leonetti recounting his life story.
If you love Mafia books then look no further as this one is for my money the best Audible Mafia book currently available.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Davey_Boy
  • 06-20-21

Amazing book

This is an amazing book. Excellent story with great narration. I listened to it in two days. Absolutely recommended for the Mafia aficionado. Just as good as Murder Machine, in content.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Reviewer 86
  • 03-25-21

Seeking Justification

This book was somewhat interesting but, as tends to be the case with books like this, it tries to justify all the author's criminal behavior while criticizing others for their criminal behavior.

It also revels in the author's numerous murders committed and beatings dished out while pretending to be appalled by the mafia.

He also likes to pretend that the reason he turned into a rat was because the mafia was losing its values as opposed to just not wanting to do the time his numerous crimes have earned.

Essentially, it comes across as another hustle, like loansharking or protection money

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sonya
  • 02-18-21

Organised crime explained

This book is as raw is it can get. You have everything: psychology (or psychopathy) or mobsters, high life lived in fear, treachery, suspicion, lies, mud. It is a poignant account of men who often couldn't chose the life they led. You even feel a bit sorry for them, just like one does watching the Sopranos. But as bodies pile up, and as you go deeper into the story, you see the "business" for what it really is: a hell on earth. Excellent performance by L. J. Ganser. 5 stars.

1 person found this helpful

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  • PaulC6230
  • 09-23-17

Great Audiobook

I really enjoyed listening to this Audiobook, the narrator done a great job telling the story. There was a few too many characters but that's understandable due to the story being about the Cosa Nostra. I'll definitely listen to this more than a 2nd time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DEAN
  • 09-10-21

JUST, WOW

absolutely brilliant book once I started I couldn't stop until it was finished it

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Big Phil
  • 06-13-21

And he made the sign of the gun!

This thing of ours and he made the sign of the gun we’re that repetitive that I was poking fun. It’s not a bad story on the whole but keeping up with names is a struggle, it’s ok.

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  • neil stafford
  • 06-11-21

Fantastic listen

Listened to this on Audible and thoroughly enjoyed it. A great insight into, this thing of ours.’ If Mafia stuff is your thing I think this is a must listen/read. Just the right amount of content thought the beginning, middle and end of his book with some fascinating stories and characters throughout.
10/10, highly recommend

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-11-21

really enjoyable look into mafia life

Loved it very entertaining look into the real version of what you see in the movies.

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  • anita_c
  • 02-22-18

What an insight this book gives!

While the style fell into occassional repetetiveness, Perhaps this was purposeful to give it a journalistic story quality.

Most importantly this story resonated is an authentic description by a person who fell into a complicated and painful lifestyle, too young to understand what trap he had stepped into.

When someone is a made man, the very thing that made him so potentially traps him for life.

It is an insight into the complexity that is the mafia, that attracts people to an idea of honour, which is then subverted by individuals, leaders whose weak egos lead them to drown in their lust for power or just simply slide into sociopathy.

Its a pity this tight knit society ...army, can’t turn its skills to being a force for creating safe communities, rediscovering the ideal of honour on which it was founded long ago, when it served as protector of simple people, just freed from feudal control.