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Summary

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

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Best mob book for a long time!

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!!

3 people found this helpful

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I wish there had been more.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

3 people found this helpful

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Definitely one to add to the Mafia collection

If like me you enjoy hearing about the real deal heavyweights of Mafia days gone by when the Italian American Mafia were at the peak of their power you will enjoy this book. Darco goes through the early days of the Lucchese’s whilst being around and taught by the old school legends such as Paul Vario and Tony Ducks amongst others. Then going onto the murderous take over by Vic and Gas who ruthlessly murdered anyone in their way striking fear into hearts of both made men and associates not just from their own family but guys in others. With Gas Pipe having murderous undercover hit man cops on his payroll no one was safe. Great book explained very well. The amounts of money these guys made and the levels of criminality reached are an eye opener to how powerful and serious these guys were.

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fantastic book

if you like mafia books you will love this honest account if a real life mobster

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Great Mob Book

I would highly recommend this book. The first half throws alot of names in that can be a bit overwhelming and probably unecessary but it is a great classic story of Mafia betrayal and the narrator projects really well.
Having listened to plenty of other Mafia books, I really enjoyed this one and despite its length, it seemed to be over very quickly and leaving me hungry for another similar book.

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Better thank I imagined!

Thoroughly researched, characters feel like they’re taking to you. The history, the circumstance, the families involved. An absolute gem x

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What I guess you'd expect

If you like books about, 'wise guys' and gangster life, then you'll love this. Recommended.

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Average

Long and full of random stories, not bad per se just not very interesting, lacking depth and hard to relate to main character. Narrator often switch between first and third person without adjusting voice which confuse me sometimes. I finished the book in hope to get more into it, it did not happen

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Must listen too

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very well written and if you are intrigued by the mob life then you will enjoy this mans story.

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Great informative listen

loved this. Great to hear how all the big mob bosses and characters came into contact with each other. Interesting to hear how many turned away from omerta to give evidence against the families.

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  • Lisa
  • 01-12-13

Well written, accurate information, great narrator

If you could sum up Mob Boss in three words, what would they be?

Accurate, honest, in depth.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mob Boss?

Al D'arco's memory is like an encyclopedia of the mob!

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

Yes- as stellar as the rest

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book made me gasp at some points.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended- I've listened to almost every mafia book on audible.com and this one definitely ranks up with the best.

9 people found this helpful

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  • JacobA
  • 12-07-19

So much detail

This book is power packed with details of crimes taken place by the mob. In some cases I felt I lost focus because it was a lot of the same thing. This guy killed this guy. That guy robbed that guy. This guy was arrested and so on and so on. I was waiting for more details about how things worked and how they got away with it. At the end of the book I started getting these details and the story started painting a clear picture for me. So I was not so hot on the book the first half but really enjoyed the second half.

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  • Philip
  • 01-03-17

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • chris torkelson
  • 05-03-21

Research

the narrator mispronounced the Italian surnames of the various mafioso over and over again some of them are well-known how to pronounce so it was a little off-putting but great story

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  • Robert
  • 14-03-15

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rory
  • 29-01-17

good read

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Honest Reviewer
  • 16-12-16

Hands down the best mafia book on audible

Would you listen to Mob Boss again? Why?

already listened to it twice, and yes

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mob Boss?

i like the parts when the narrator, pretending to be d'arco, gets mad at gaspipe

Which scene was your favorite?

when d'arco yells at gaspipe for being so cheap about giving money to jail-bound guy

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

that gene gotti wasn't a bad guy

Any additional comments?

the narrator is good

1 person found this helpful

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  • robert l.
  • 03-11-21

its just ok

The narrator isn't the best , some of the stories just ramble on making you feeli a lil confused . I suppose its worth a listen if your into mob stories . overall I think these types of stories need a good narrator- this guy sounds to mechanical. thank u .

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  • Alissa Stampley
  • 17-08-21

Great story but poor narration.

I enjoyed the detailed and graphic account of life in the Mafia given by Al. That being said, the narrator botched name and word pronunciation from the first page to the last. For example; he misread the word "toupee" pronouncing it "toop". That is grade school spelling in my opinion. I don't wish to make fun of those unable to read and write well however, I do expect a book narrator to be competent and able to read beyond a 3rd grade level.

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  • StellaStar
  • 10-08-21

Now my favorite mob figure

Great story about one goodfella that tried to maintain honor and the code of La Cosa Nostra. Fills in some great gaps for buffs and hearing stories, like the NJ landfill schemes, from his perspective was really fascinating. I didn't care for the narrator when it started, and seems like he was always mispronouncing D'Arco (De-Arco) as "Darco", but by the middle of the book he settles in and really seems to become the character. If you are looking for a new mafia audiobook, this one is a great choice.