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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

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What listeners say about The Sinatra Club

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • ML
  • 03-01-18

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The really mob uncovered.

Very good. Also very enlightening. A really must read for mob fans. I loved it start to finish.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

LCN bits are great, but lots of BS ego stroking

The parts of this book that focus on LCN are really interesting and candid, but there is so much unnecessary color related to Sal Polisi's (probably fictional sexcapades) that they actively call the rest of his stories into question even though the rest of his stories may very well be true. Solid core though and for once a great narrator that neither mispronounces names nor does an over the top charicature of a Brooklyn accent.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Doesn’t disappoint

Great book. One of the best about that time. So much information. A must read!!

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All Around Great Listen (One of the best in genre)

This book grabs you from start to finish. Get a lot of great stories and scenes from a new perspective, especially around Gotti and and the Gambino family. Also gives you more insight into the day-to-day life and how vice-driven the life really is underneath it all. If you are a mafia buff or looking for a good read on La Cosa Nostra, this one is for you.

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Great Mob Book

Well written with several stories that paint a perfect picture of what life in the mafia was like in the 60’s and 70’s.