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Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Book of Ra Deluxe. I also remember reading about the framer who found the bodies in his field years later and they turned out to be that of Tony Spilotro, and that of his brother many, many years after he went missing from Vegas.
Overall it was a good story about old Vegas. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at www.
One of the best books about the mob in Las Vegas. It so happens that the complex web surrounding Frank Rosenthal in Las Vegas was one of the most difficult organized crime-related operations in Vegas.
Pileggi clearly describes the power struggles between the various players in great detail. Feb 18, Rubberboots rated it it was ok.
A true account of the mob and its Vegas connections. Watch the movie. Skip the book. Sep 20, Jake rated it liked it Shelves: true-crime.
I was excited to read it because: 1. I watched the movie years ago and remember almost nothing about it. I recently watched Hustlers and people kept comparing it to Casino.
So I went into this one with a lot of excitement. Just fine. It would make for an excellent longform article. But there was a lot of redundancy.
Yet this left large stretches that were boring or annoying. One ran gambling, the other did robberies and they kind of interacted.
Individually, their stories were interesting but really nothing special. It was kind of sad more than anything. But the real story is the triangle between those three and I just found that depressing.
This book had the opposite effect of making me not want to revisit the movie. Though I am curious about how Sharon Stone adapted Geri she was nominated for an Oscar.
So maybe some day. View 1 comment. I've seen the movie a hundred times, and it turns out that it's pretty faithful to the book. This book features extensive interviews with some of the major players in the story.
Pileggi's skill is to draw these all together not to mention getting everyone to be so candid alongside the supporting research to crosscheck details and provide extra absurdity like Left Rosenthal taking the 5th 37 times in one stint on the witness stand, including on whether or not he's lefthanded.
I think the takeaw I've seen the movie a hundred times, and it turns out that it's pretty faithful to the book. I think the takeaway is that while the "good guys" are collecting details for their indictments, the "bad guys" can pretty much do what they want, and that might take years.
But once they've accumulated enough information, the whole thing rolls downhill pretty quickly after that. It's an interesting story of financing and skimming and empire-building.
Feb 13, Deyth Banger rated it it was amazing Shelves: read The fun is over Notes: February 13, — No, you got only my ass And that's what they want Now one glitch gonna blow everything They have been caught So gruesome and so nasty Great Voice Actors Most of this book is gleaned from personal interviews with questionable characters, but how else would anyone get a handle on how the Mafia ran Las Vegas for 40 years?
Nicholas Pileggi does yeoman's work tracking down the main cops and culprits to paint a vivid picture of the casino industry when it was little short of a mob-front.
The book centers on the friendship of "Lefty" Frank Rosenthal, a world-renowned sports-handicapper and gambler when that was still a real federal crime, and Tony "the Most of this book is gleaned from personal interviews with questionable characters, but how else would anyone get a handle on how the Mafia ran Las Vegas for 40 years?
The book centers on the friendship of "Lefty" Frank Rosenthal, a world-renowned sports-handicapper and gambler when that was still a real federal crime, and Tony "the Ant" Spilotro, a small-time thug with an outsized ego.
They both grew up on the streets of West Side Chicago and learned to make their own gray or black-market incomes before moving on to bigger things.
When a former real-estate broker named Allen Glick bought the Stardust casino in using Teamster Central States Pension funds of which the Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Chicago mobs all had a piece , the mafia let him know that they were going to be effective owners, and Lefty would be their procounsel and effective manager.
Tony meanwhile moved out to Vegas as the head of a crew who would bust into safes and run small-time fleecing operations, but his notoriety eventually hurt both Lefty's and the mob's prospects.
Yet before an unrelated Kansas-City murder case, the insane note-keeping habits of Kansas mobman Carl Deluna, and bug opened up the whole operation, the mafia in Las Vegas was "skimming" billions a year from casinos and running much of the town.
Of course, this book was later turned into a classic Martin Scorsese movie of the same name, which is very faithful to it, but the book does give one a better window into the mechanics and funding of the mob, and how it grew to almost unimaginable wealth and power.
It's a great story. Nicholas Pileggi uses first-hand accounts to cobble together a chronicle of the rise and fall of mob influence in Las Vegas, centered around an expert gambler named Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who oversaw the casino skimming operations, and his childhood friend Tony Spilotro, who acted as an enforcer for the mob.
The Scorcesi film CASINO was based on this book. Being that Casino is one of my favorite Scorsesi films, I was interested in reading about the real life figures the characters were based on Nicholas Pileggi uses first-hand accounts to cobble together a chronicle of the rise and fall of mob influence in Las Vegas, centered around an expert gambler named Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who oversaw the casino skimming operations, and his childhood friend Tony Spilotro, who acted as an enforcer for the mob.
Being that Casino is one of my favorite Scorsesi films, I was interested in reading about the real life figures the characters were based on. While the names in the film were changed Lefty became "Ace" and Tony became "Nicky" I was surprised by how closely the movie stuck to the actual events.
The film, though, benefited from the fictitious POV of Nicky, whereas the book wasn't so lucky as the real life Tony Spilotro much like his filmic counterpart - spoilers was murdered before he could ever have the opportunity to tell his side of the story.
Anything we know about Tony is gleaned from the people who best knew him. As it is this, the book is very interesting at parts, but also felt a bit slow.
This is one of those rare moments where I'd advise people to see the movie instead. Even if the film sensationalizes the true events to a degree, it's mostly faithful, and just much more entertaining.
Another case of the book being better than the movie. Sometimes movies just don't have the time to really explain the characters and their situations.
For example, although it is said that Geri Rosenthal habitually used alcohol and drugs in the movie although they didn't use her real name, of course , they never mentioned that she was also helping out some of her family members, like her year old daughter, her sister, and her mother.
What I thought was amazing was how much money was moving th Another case of the book being better than the movie.
What I thought was amazing was how much money was moving through Vegas, even back in the 60's and 70's.
No wonder the crime syndicates foamed at the mouth over that place. Another thing that the movie never addressed was how many other casinos in Vegas were being skimmed on a regular basis.
In addition to The Stardust, the "takes" at Tropicana and The Sands were getting skimmed during those times - in addition to a lot of other smaller places.
This was a very good book that I would recommend highly. However, if you have a problem with profanity, you may want to reconsider reading it. If you saw the movie based on this book it is a must read.
The town was simpler then. No stop lights on L V Blvd, ah, the good old days how I miss them, and nothing much beyond Tropicana. This is the Las Vegas when the mob was there and the police were none too polite if you showed a shady side.
To this day public employees are fingerprinted. After seeing the movie my sister remarked, "The book wasn't that violent, was it? It takes this book to give you the real names, actions an If you saw the movie based on this book it is a must read.
It takes this book to give you the real names, actions and outcomes in clinical and fascinating detail. You will notice where film and fact deviate.
Pileggi interviewed the few "surviving" participants and came up with a compelling book. Geri McGee, "Lefty" Rosenthal's wife was a dittzy bimbo who slept around, and he loved her to distraction.
Tony Spilatro and his brother did end-up face down in a cornfield. What we think of cliche sometimes comes out to be the real thing Sep 17, Johnny Moscato rated it it was ok.
After reading and loving Wiseguy, Casino was a huge disappointment. The movie was a million times better. I'm not even sure how the movie is based on this book.
Even setting the movie aside the book is boring and overflowing with names. The only way to keep all the names straight would be to write them all down to reference as you read.
The writing skips from one person's perspective to another's so quickly and often that it's confusing and you have to keep going back to figure out who's being After reading and loving Wiseguy, Casino was a huge disappointment.
The writing skips from one person's perspective to another's so quickly and often that it's confusing and you have to keep going back to figure out who's being quoted.
Content-wise, the book is boring. There's only two stories- bad guys beating their women and stealing from casinos- repeated over and over and over.
Every time you think the story is building to something interesting, it just turns out to be the same old junk.
Save yourself the time- watch the movie, pass on the book. In this book, Pileggi relates the story of the last days of mob control of Las Vegas casinos, specifically the Stardust.
If you have seen the movie Casino, you know the general story but the names and many facts were changed. Pileggi does not let his writing get in the way of a good story.
The book is made up primarily of interviews and long stretches of story-telling by "Lefty" Rosenthal himself, various mob informants, and an assortment of federal and state law enforcement agents.
Although th In this book, Pileggi relates the story of the last days of mob control of Las Vegas casinos, specifically the Stardust. Although the last chapter is somewhat in need of an update Las Vegas has reinvented itself numerous times since the end of the mob and the "high roller" culture , it was a nice coda.
What an insane book! It's crazy thinking how the Mafia was operating there. Made me think a lot about Vegas Anyone wanting to know some Mafia history about Vegas would find this book a must read.
This is one of those times when I'm not sure which is better-the book or the movie because they are both sensational. Nov 11, Martin Imaani rated it it was amazing.
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The mob would not approve. Jul 25, Clem rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction. Like most people, I probably would not have read this book had I not seen the wonderful Martin Scorsese movie of the same name.
I thought it was poorly written and am quite surprised how Scorsese managed to take something like this and turn it into such a beautiful piece of cinematic art.
That says a lot of a film director.