The Sinatra Club

My Life Inside the New York Mafia
Narrated by: Pete Simonelli
Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (236 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Mob was the biggest, richest business in America...until it was destroyed from within by drugs, greed, and the decline of its traditional crime family values. And by guys like Sal Polisi.

As a member of New York's feared Colombo Family, Polisi ran the Sinatra Club, an illegal after-hours gambling den that was a magic kingdom of crime and a hangout for up-and-coming mobsters like John Gotti and the three wiseguys immortalized in Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas - Henry Hill, Jimmy Burke, and Tommy DeSimone. But the nonstop thrills of Polisi's criminal glory days abruptly ended when he was busted for drug trafficking.

Already sickened by the bloodbath that engulfed the Mob as it teetered toward extinction, he flipped and became one of a breed he had loathed all his life - a rat. In this shocking, pulse-pounding, and, at times, darkly hilarious first-person chronicle, he paints a never-before-seen picture of a larger-than-life secret underworld that, thanks to guys like him, no longer exists.

©2012 Sal Polisi (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about The Sinatra Club

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

The gangster with a heart of gold...

First, having just finished the book, I must say the closing couple of chapters were a real disappointment because I didn't believe a thing he said - and the last chapter, in Mexico, sounds like pure fiction, way over the top fiction, which hurts the credibility of the rest of the book since the rest of it sounds mostly plausible and realistic. But it doesn't hurt the book too much, until those last couple of chapters I really enjoyed the book, it's one of the more entertaining mob books I've read in a long while, however Sal Polisi goes a bit overboard at times framing himself as having a heart of gold as he commits crime after crime after crime that destroyed people's lives. The sex parts of the book are OK, they don't drift into the ridiculous too far. The biggest issue in mob books when they talk about sex is that it often is just bragging and completely unnecessary to the story, in this one he does straddles the line but those parts actually help move the story along, so it wasn't an issue for me.

If you like mob books this one is a worthy addition and is an entertaining read, just do yourself a favor and stop listening when he takes the stand near the end of the book.

The reader did a good job. Also I've been listening to everything at 1.25x speed as I find my mind drifting less often when listening yet it's not too fast to easily follow along, so I like to add that at 1.25x speed the reader is completely understandable, no jerkiness to the audio.

I'd say 4.1/5 stars, which is good for mob books as many are very poorly written or written in a way that comes off as having no credibility. This one however is mostly credible and is very well written.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

This is by far one of the best told stories of the 70’s NY mob. I’ve listened to dozens of books thru the years, I enjoyed the narration. Well worth the purchase.

2 people found this helpful

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great mob book

a real good look into the mob, it's rules and the characters. how a life of crime turns out and the corruption.also redemption

1 person found this helpful

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He loved the mob life

Sal was self-deprecating in most respects in this memoir. That made him seem credible, since almost nobody admits to his brand of foibles. The narrator was 100% perfect for this book.

The way Sal tells his story, the money came easily to him the whole time. And he enjoyed his life of crime - a lot. His take on the mob is unique. Even his descriptions of John Gotti were original. Despite all the mob biographies I've listened to, I learned a lot. I didn't find anything about this book repetitive of other books in the genre.

Sal Polisi said things about major events such as the JFK assassination that made me reconsider long held beliefs. He's authoritative and on point when he expounds on salient matters. And he separate facts from beliefs, telling why he believes as he does. Pretty convincing!

For those who liked other mafia memoirs, I bet this will be a winner. It's better in my opinion than most, and binge worthy.

1 person found this helpful

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It was a Great

Narrator was great. story life was fantastic. I didn't want to stop listening. highly recommend

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Fun story performed great

Good story to listen to. The reading was done excellently. Humor throughout made it more enjoyable.

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Great story...Will keep your interest for sure!

Great story and narration. Kept my interest and looked forward to listening. Worthy of your time!!

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Fantastic

If you are a mob non-fiction head, this is a must read!!! I really enjoyed it. I was honestly emotionally invested.

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Goodfellas to Gotti

I finished Wise Guys, Henry Hills book and movie Goodfellas. What’s GREAT about this book is it picks up with great detail, connections to and other side of where Goodfellas ends and Gotti starts. It answers a lot of questions very detailed including the JFK murder. If you like mob related books then look no further. This one is a great and fun listen. I found no dull or uninteresting points and narrator brings the character to life.

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The Golden Days Were Never Golden

The story and material in this memoir are amazing - almost too much to be real at times - but it mostly rings too plausible to not be when taking all things into consideration. I'll echo the thoughts of another reviewer and say it didn't sound like there is much regret from the author, other than the way a few situations turned out. It has more of a "remember when?!" pleasurable feel too it as the author regales in tales of yesteryear. That, however, is one of the things I thoroughly enjoyed as I devoured the book. Sal isn't looking for redemption in the telling of his dark past. He's simply sharing his life with the listener and how he came to slowly realize it he no longer wanted what he'd at one time idolized. The stories you experience are rich with details and names, and you feel at times as though you're sitting across from him in his livingroom while he talks. I think a large part of this is tied into the vocal talents of the narrator. He doesn't have range, but having never heard Sal Polisi speak in my life, I couldn't have pegged a better voice to share his stories and life than that of the narrator. If I ever happen to meet Sal Polisi I'll probably end up being disappointed that he doesn't sound like Pete Simonelli, and ask him to shut up before he can ruin the magic the narrator gave to this performance.