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The Rise and Fall of a "Casino" Mobster

The Tony Spilotro Story Through A Hitman's Eyes
Narrated by: Clay Lomakayu
Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Bios & Memoirs, Criminals
4.5 out of 5 stars (220 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The true story behind the hit film Casino from an "enforcer" who lived it.

Tony Spilotro was the Mob's man in Las Vegas. A feared enforcer, the bosses knew Tony would do whatever it took to protect their interests. The "Little Guy" built a criminal empire that was the envy of mobsters across the country, and his childhood pal, Frank Cullotta, helped him do it. But Tony's quest for power and lack of self-control with women cost the Mob its control of Vegas; and Tony paid for it with his life.

"I was a little nervous before my first meeting with former mobster Frank Cullotta. It turned out we had a pleasant conversation that ended with an agreement for me to write his book. As I drove home, I realized I had made a deal with a career thief and killer on a handshake. What was I thinking?" (Dennis N. Griffin, author of Surviving the Mob)

©2017 Frank Cullota, Dennis N. Griffin (P)2017 WildBlue Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

A terrific listen. Author and narrator were Great

Loved the book and hated for it to end. The author's insight and the narration was first class Don't miss out on this audio.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Complete waste of money.

This book is just a series of stories that are told in no order. the editing is a joke too, as a chapter is repeated. avoid this book!!

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

MUST CHECK OUT

Unfortunately I don’t have the patience to sit down and read a book And this is one I have wanted to check out for a long time. Frank Cullotta I’ve seen on some interviews and heard via a few podcast so I had a feeling the book would be very good. Definitely did not disappoint I could listen to it again very easily.

1 person found this helpful

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

Informative and Well-Delivered

The Rise and Fall of a Casino Mobster: The Tony Spilotro Story Through a Hitman's Eyes by Frank Culotta and Dennis N. Griffin, narrated by Clay Lomakayu caught my attention one morning after having watched the movie Casino the night before. I love the movie, so I figured I couldn't go wrong in reading up on those who inspired it. Being that the only prior knowledge I had when starting this audiobook was the movie, I found myself a little lost in places, due to the many people surrounding the real-life events. However, the author does make references and connections to the movie throughout, so this helped clear up some of my confusion. Had I given myself a longer break in between watching the movie and listening to the book, I may have enjoyed the book more because the names and events from the movie were still too fresh in my mind. This is, most likely, why I found myself consfused in parts of the book. As ridiculous as this may sound, I think I was secretly wishing the book to be more of a replica of the movie, rather than a book about the real people and actual events that inspired it. Either way, it was informative and well-delivered.

The narration kept me engaged and was consistent from start to finish. However, I noticed that the chapter before part two plays through two times (within that same chapter block). This did not take away from my overall enjoyment because I was able to skip ahead by advancing to the next chapter (the first chapter of part two), but I still felt it worth mentioning.

The Rise and Fall of a Casino Mobster: The Tony Spilotro Story by Frank Culotta and Dennis N. Griffin, narrated by Clay Lomakayu grabs an overall rating of 4/5 stars. The book helped me get a better picture how everyone was connected and allowed me to understand the relationships on a deeper level, starting when they were kids. It was a really good book, and reading it made me want to learn more. I would have liked if a pdf download came with this audiobook showing pictures, names, and a "family tree" outline showing the ranking and status of each of the key players because I would have liked to place faces with names. I recommend this audiobook to those who enjoy nonfiction books about mobsters and the time period in which they reigned.

Thank you for reading my review. I hope it was helpful. :-)

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just the facts. No insight...

I feel like I just watched an episode of Dateline. Nothing in-depth here. It was just okay. There are better podcasts and books on this stuff. It wasn't bad, It just wasn't good.

Narrator was ok.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A different world and how some criminals fall

Chicago and around 10 of its suburbs were settings to some events described, the whole metropolitan area there "mobbed up" and in its own style. Getting picked to relocate to Las Vegas offered a new start and good weather.

Looking at interviews of Frank Cullotta, I think Clay Lomakayu got the accent and cadence right. Cullotta talks in a simple and common sense way. He's no-drama guy, got a workmanlike attitude.

I wanted to know something about Tony Spilotro, a real tough guy and there aren't even that many photos of him. Until this book I imagined him like Joe Pesci. But Pesci is fast-talking and Spilotro doesn't come across like that.

Cullotta tells a number of things about Spilotro that ring true and make him finally familiar. Cullotta was one of the very few who really knew the guy. The book tells the conflicts Spilotro was dealing with and it was obvious he knew he'd probably be murdered.

Spilotro had no way out, but Cullotta did. They federal witness protection program, despite the privations, has a solid reputation. Otherwise people like Cullotta would have no way out of being killed. Spilotro apparently couldn't get help and knew he was probably doomed.

A no-drama but heavy conflict between Cullotta and Spilotro was the straw that broke the back of the greater operation. The FBI drove it so hard that something would break. So Cullotta was forced into being a stupid criminal not because he didn't see it coming, but because Spilotro couldn't back off.





1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great listen

Frank tells all. Doesn’t glorify his life in crime. Just tells it as it is. It’s a great listen. The amount of crime they got up to is incredible. I have all of Frank’s books. This one is great because it gives you insight on how they ran Vegas.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Misleading title

This book is about Frank Cullotta and contains very little material about Tony Spilotro. Which would be fine except they go out of their way in the beginning of the book to say that it's not about Cullotta.

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Outstanding

Great stories and narrated by the perfect performer for the topics. Great details based on actual accounts.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Was expecting better

It was an interesting book.
Was expecting it to be more chronologically aligned but seemed to be more random in delivering the different events.
For narration, I really wanted to give 2.5 stars but gave it 3.

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  • Harlemspartans1
  • 12-28-19

Not bad

Not what I thought but I have only listened once I like the mob books where its action Roy demeo material but don't get the iceman its on youtube so is underboss and tommy karate pitera