Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia

Book - 1997
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Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Pub., c1997
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060182564
Characteristics: 500 p


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rb3221 Mar 11, 2016

Through the eyes of Sammy Gravano, we see the gritty and ugly culture of the Mafia, a world of greed, power, money and violence. Most of the book is in Gravanno's voice with occasional commentary from the author. As such, how much veracity is there in this story? We will probably never know. He slowly becomes part of the Gambino family where total unconditional loyalty was expected (or else death).
He became a total rackateer and gangster. But over time he grew tired of John Gotti's image of himself as "me, me, me" and not the Cosa Nostra 'family' as it was supposed to be. In the end this powerful family were unable to even follow their own rules. After the successful trial of Gotti and others, the judge had high praise for Gravanno's testimony, noting it was "the bravest thing I have ever seen." When it was all over Gravanno's opinion of Cosa Nostra was totally changed: it was not about honour and brotherhood, rather it was about greed and power.
This was certainly an entertaining book but filled with violence, murders, crime and lots of foul language (typically realistic, I'm sure). Overall a good read if you are interested in a first hand account of the mob and its workings (even if it is the prejudiced view of one of them).

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