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Publisher's Summary

Nicholas Pileggi’s vivid, unvarnished, journalistic chronicle of the life of Henry Hill - the working-class Brooklyn kid who knew from age twelve that “to be a wiseguy was to own the world,” who grew up to live the highs and lows of the gangster’s life - has been hailed as “the best book ever written on organized crime” (Cosmopolitan).

This is the true-crime bestseller that was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s film masterpiece GoodFellas, which brought to life the violence, the excess, the families, the wives and girlfriends, the drugs, the payoffs, the paybacks, the jail time, and the Feds... with Henry Hill’s crackling narration drawn straight out of Wiseguy and overseeing all the unforgettable action.

Read it and experience the secret life inside the mob - from one who’s lived it.

Now with an introduction by Martin Scorcese.

©2011 Nicholas Pileggi (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The best book ever written on organized crime." ( Cosmopolitan)
Wiseguy goes nonstop...absolutely engrossing." ( The New York Times Book Review)

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Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Ronnie
  • Liverpool, NY, United States
  • 04-21-12

ABRIDGED!

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

I would not get this unless you are a die hard fan of the story (as I am).

What did you like best about this story?

This is a great story,because it's true.

Have you listened to any of Nicholas Pileggi’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Pileggi does a decent job as the reader,but I don't think he was the best choice.

Any additional comments?

Beware of the "actors" playing various characters. They do a horrendous job! Accents way off,inflection bad,just awful casting. I look forward to an unabridged version with a professional narrator (actor) and appropriate casting if needed. I prefer one reader doing all the characters myself.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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WHERE IS THE UNABRIDGED?!?!

3 hours...... Come on. Very short. Let's hear the whole thing next time. :(

No body likes getting short changed

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

The abridgment killed it

Whoever did this abridgment ruined this story. Tommy DeSimmone (Joe Pesci's character in Goodfellas) is hardly mentioned. Jimmy Burke is reduced to a shadow. Really this version is really really awful. Don't waste your money

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Too choppy

I think I might have liked this book in its unabridged form, however, as an abridged book it is too choppy. Having only the movie to compare it to-a lot of important elements were left out, such as the murder of Billy Bats, burying the body and eventually the murder of Tommy. All in all the book didn't feel so much abridged as gutted.

One good thing the book did was to whet my appetite for the full version.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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abridged books are terrible.

they cut out nearly all of the violence. if i were you i would not buy this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Philo
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 02-09-14

I prefer movie or unabridged version

This version adds almost nothing to the movie, and it lacks the imagery of the movie. I read the unabridged version long ago (before the movie came out) and enjoyed it. But this seems chopped down too much.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • john
  • GLEN ALLEN, VA, United States
  • 05-20-13

Movie better then abriged book

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

its already been done and it was "Goodfellas"

Any additional comments?

If I read the unabridged book first I'm sure I'd feel different but this abridged version of the book just isn't enough. Every once in awhile the movie is better then the book and this is one of those times . don't waste your time or credits.

All that being considered it still is a great true story and amply performed by the readers. I recall it was read by mail and female cast not just by Pileggi

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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This Abridged version leaves out too much

I didn't like this abridged version it left out a lot from Henrys life. much of the Lufthansa planning, Tommy DiSimone, Henry's time in the army and his conmections to the Gotti crew. The voice acting was too formal, and didn't spund authentically NY street. Don't buy this version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Closest depiction to life in the Mafia there is.

Amazing book. One of my favorite authors. Kudos to readers. Looking forward to more from Nicholas Pileggi.

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watch the movies

OK. not the greatest, not the worst, save some time. watch the movie. I now have to write a little more to get to 15 words.