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Mass Market Paperback Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family Book

ISBN: 0671633929

ISBN13: 9780671633929

Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

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Book Overview

Nicholas Pileggi's vivid, unvarnished, journalistic chronicle of the life of Henry Hill--the working-class Brooklyn kid who knew from age twelve that "to be a wiseguy was to own the world," who grew... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

"Like I'm A Clown...I'm Here To Amuse you?"

Turning dense, non fiction material such as Nick Pileggi's 1985 best seller "Wiseguy," into a cohesive screenplay is no easy task, but Pileggi and the brilliant Martin Scorsese pulled it off beautifully in 1990 with the script for "Goodfellas""Goodfellas" remains America's penultimate crime film; the "Godfather" is Hollywood's version of what wiseguys are like; "Goodfellas" depicts them as how they really are.This Faber paperback edition of the screenplay, with a foreward by David Thompson ("Scorsese on Scorses") reproduces all of the dialouge verbatim (including the scenes that were improvised on the set such as the famous "what's so funnny about me" sequence between Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta).The book serves as both as written testamint to what great movie making is all about and as a primer for budding screenwriters.As a bonus, there is a listing of all the music Scorcese used on the soundtrack (no small part of what made the movie a classic),including those selections that were unfortunately deleted from the commercial issue on Atlantic records).As Joe Pesci's character might say--"this is one great -------book!"

Readable and Gripping

Pileggi's gripping narrative gives an inside view of life in the New York crime syndicate. Ex-mobster Henry Hill describes his 25-year career as a hijacker, arsonist, and thief. Hill and his associates operated via a combination of bribes, intimidation, crooked cops, and greedy businessmen eager for stolen merchandise (swag). Lest readers be misinformed, Hill's associates (if not Hill) murdered not just renegade mobsters, but ordinary citizens who got in the way. This book both glamorizes and attacks the swaggering, fast-money Mafia lifestyle. Hill entered FBI witness protection in 1980 after his bust for narcotics distribution left him a marked man for having violated syndicate rules against drug trafficking. Director Martin Scorsese turned this book into the superb 1990 movie "Goodfellows." Pileggi followed with "Casino," another fine narrative (and Scorsese movie) that investigates Midwest mob influence in Las Vegas. "Wiseguy" is a very absorbing and informative read.

A classic screenplay to a classic film.

Though Nicholas Pileggi's source book, Wise Guy, gave this screenplay both its voice-over and its final conclusion, the screenplay to GoodFellas is an essential addition to any screenplay library. If not for the fact that Pileggi and Martin Scorsese have pulled off the mammoth task of interpreting the detailed-packed, wide-scoped vision of the book into cinema-speak, then for the writing itself. GoodFellas is a screenplay that can be read as entertainment -- fast-paced, crisp, clear, and exciting. The published version of this script is mostly in master-scene form, giving only the most evocative details, beautifully paced. This is one of the crowning entries in Faber and Faber's superb screenplay series, ranking right up there along Paul Schrader's Taxi Driver and Odets/Lehmann's for Sweet Smell of Success. To any upstart screenwriter or serious student of film, this series is invaluable.

The greatest non fiction crime book ever written

After watching Goodfellas, my favorite movie of all time, I felt compelled to read the book it was based on. The book did an incredible job of revealing the roller coaster life of a mobster in captivating detail. The strech of the mafia's power was absolutely fascinating. I found myself always cheering for the bad guys and their carefree lifestyles. In the end, however, we find that crime does not pay. It was a shame to watch Henry Hill rat out every friend that he ever had. This is a tremendous book for anyone who enjoys reading about the mob, or crime in general.

Wiseguy Mentions in Our Blog

Wiseguy in If You Like...What to Read Based On Your Favorite 2000s Show
If You Like...What to Read Based On Your Favorite 2000s Show
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