Alfonso 'Little Al' D'Arco, the former acting boss of the Luchese crime family, was the highest-ranking mobster to ever turn government witness when he flipped in 1991.
His decision to flip prompted many others to make the same choice, including John Gotti's top aide, Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, and his testimony sent more than fifty mobsters to prison. In Mob Boss, award-winning news reporters Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins team up for this unparalleled account of D'Arco's life and the New York mob scene that he embraced for four decades.
Until the day he switched sides, D'Arco lived and breathed the old-school gangster lessons he learned growing up in Brooklyn and fine-tuned on the mean streets of Little Italy. But when he learned he was marked to be whacked, D'Arco quit the mob. His defection decimated his crime family and opened a window on mob secrets going back a hundred years.
After speaking with D'Arco, the authors reveal unprecedented insights, exposing shocking secrets, and troublesome truths about a city where a famous pizza parlor doubled as a Mafia center for multi-million-dollar heroin deals, where hit men carried out murders dressed as women, and where kidnapping a celebrity newsman's son was deemed appropriate revenge for the father's satirical novel.
Capeci and Robbins spent hundreds of hours in conversation with D'Arco, and exhausted many hours more fleshing out his stories in this riveting narrative that takes listeners behind the famous witness testimony for a comprehensive look at the Mafia in New York City.
©2013 Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins (P)2013 Tantor
Not only can I unreservedly recommend it, if it wouldn't get me arrested I would even be grabbing strangers in the street and telling them about it. Well written and engaging from the first paragraph, it was let down only very slightly by the reader, who demonstrated a rather narrow range of accents and voices. Mostly that did not matter since all the characters were from the same background but when D'Arco had a (fortunately brief) meeting with a black gangster it did grate somewhat to hear him speaking the same twangy Brooklyn as the Mafiosos. Despite that, Prichard was a good choice for the storyteller. His somewhat flat intonation was a worthy match for a writing style which deflected any revulsion the listener might have about the violence of the criminal life so as to allow concentration on the matter-of-fact, bureaucratic way that crime was organised by D'Arco and his circle.
For the writing itself, "Mob Boss" is a biography of one man pursuing a Mafia career with the same stolid determination and contextual honesty as an accountant. It was a fascinating and well-constructed insight into a parallel universe, flowing from one incident to the next with the sort of apparent ease that comes only from a lot of very hard work.
In the introduction we are told that the book is based on hundreds of hours of interview tapes and written statements and I am sure that Capeci and Robbins both suffered many headaches carving that sprawling mountain of information into a coherent narrative. It was a massive piece of work and yet I should think that when they had finished it, they must have been--as I was--sorry to get to the end.
First audio book ever listened to but it was very good couldn't stop listening to it great respect for al Darco he did what he had to do he would of never of ratted had it not been for psychos vic and Gas
100 percent-yes, Several reasons but mainly because its superb
Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires
The narration of the story was exhalant and well paced. He speaks like you would expect a mobster to speak which makes the book more enjoyable.
As this was my 1st audiobook I was a bit skeptical but the narrator kept you intrigued to keep listening (even though it was way past bedtime) & he made you feel a party to the story.
If your a fan of organised crime/Mafia then you will enjoy this true account of 'Little' Al D'Arco, tracing his life from his early days growing up on New York's mean streets, where the men of respect/mafioso of the 5 Families of Cosa Nostra flourished, to his days in the U.S. Army & then his beginnings as a lowly, loyal street soldier for the Luchesse Crime family to acting boss during its bloodiest years when it's 2 leading Bosses, Anthony 'Gaspipe' Casso & Vic Amuso murdered anyone on a whim to the day he walked into the offices of the FBI to become the families ultimate destroyer.
This audio book is the best I have heard so far! (And I own a lot) The writing is so in depth, it goes into details about the ins and outs of crimes and sometime legitimate business, it explains the thoughts and feelings of the mobster and intertwines with other mob books. I can't express how great this audio book is! The narrating is especially great! The narrator captures the mood perfectly and I was tempted to buy another book that he was narrating,...... But it wasn't about the mob! If you are interested in the Mafia then this book is a absolute must!!
not really but allows you to close your eyes and drift away on a long commute
He speaks like a mobster
Shocking that this quite mild mannered mobster is capable of killing at the drop of a hat.
Shows that there is no honour in this profession. Just paranoia, cold blooded killing and a dog eat dog mentality.
"Well written, accurate information, great narrator"
Accurate, honest, in depth.
Al D'arco's memory is like an encyclopedia of the mob!
Yes- as stellar as the rest
This book made me gasp at some points.
Highly recommended- I've listened to almost every mafia book on audible.com and this one definitely ranks up with the best.
"slow in the beginning"
stick with it the first few chapters are boring but it does get ready good the future along the story goes
"Could not finish"
Ugh this was very disappointing. De4tails, details, and more details. This book just goes on with details, but the story is no story. If you like facts this is for you. If you want a good story... Faget about it!
Great to listen to with Audible app. A telling tale of how, in my opinion...the old ways (rules & code of conduct) have been set aside & forgotten. Drugs, greed, and lack of respect have led to the demise of the life.
"Worst narrator ever"
I cannot pay attention to this book because of how awful the narration is. It is so monotonous and mind numbing. I cannot tell you if this is a good book or not because I can't get past the awful, awful narrator.
very detailed description of activities as seen by little Al.
there were so many names that it was difficult to keep track of them all
but the author reminds you most times of each characters relationships.
"Hands down the best mafia book on audible"
already listened to it twice, and yes
i like the parts when the narrator, pretending to be d'arco, gets mad at gaspipe
when d'arco yells at gaspipe for being so cheap about giving money to jail-bound guy
that gene gotti wasn't a bad guy
the narrator is good
I can't believe as Americans we have let these pieces of shit live. Kill them. I just watched another video on hero Green Berets giving their lives for freedom.
And yet we accept these pieces of shit to live.
Kill them all. Kill every fking one of them.
Italians nothing but criminals anyway.
No sympathy here.
So many heroes have died so that these pieces of shit can live it is incredible.
Wonderfully written and factually correct book. The performance and story is one of the best I have heard.
"Guy's life shows nuts and bolts of crime business"
Al D'Arco was not the flashy attention-getting cruel psychopath a la Joe Pesci characters in Scorsese films. He was a more meat-and-potatoes sort of guy in many ways, such as his relations with his wife and kids. He ran several normal businesses (profitably) alongside his criminal businesses. He rose in the Lucchese crime family like a mid-20th-century corporate employee-to-exec type, gradually and unspectacularly. But he did trade in heroin, he threatened and hurt people, and he did operate illegal toxic waste dumps, some of which reportedly handled materials from NYC construction so noxious they would melt the tires of trucks, by dumping them into our waterways and so on. By the time I read that, I realized this guy's outer patina of "relatively humble normal guy" covered just another kind of lousy criminal, straight up. Oh, and his son became a wannabee gangster and junkie, so again, the whole family man thing is a pretty thin tissue of fantasies. This book is a matter-of-fact look in some detail at something quite common: an overlay of legitimate and criminal businesses, a time and a place and a guy who evolved in the middle of it. I see them all the time, so this is not confined to the place and period described.
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