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 up to live the highs and lows of the mafia gangster’s life—has been hailed as “the best book ever written on organized crime” (Cosmopolitan).
This is the true-crime bestseller that was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s film masterpiece GoodFellas, which brought to life the violence, the excess, the families, the wives and girlfriends, the drugs, the payoffs, the paybacks, the jail time, and the Feds…with Henry Hill’s crackling narration drawn straight out of Wiseguy and overseeing all the unforgettable action. “Nonstop...absolutely engrossing” (The New York Times Book Review).
Read it and experience the secret life inside the mob—from one who’s lived it.
This is a riveting account of organized crime as a way of life. The "wiseguy'' (mob parlance for a street-level hoodlum) is Henry Hill, 30-year veteran of a Brooklyn strong-arm branch of the Luchese crime family, who turned against and helped convict his former associates five years ago and entered the Federal Witness Protection Program. Pileggi, a crime reporter for New York writing here with Hill's cooperation, does a superb job of re-creating the gangster's career, from his early days as an errand boy (at 12) to racketeer Paulie Vario in Brooklyn's BrownsvilleEast New York section, to his pivotal roles in a Boston College point-shaving scandal and the $6-million Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport in 1978. Hill's story becomes an extraordinary vantage on a demimonde that lives a high, violent, score-to-score life in which car theft, hijacking-to-order, credit-card scams, cigarette smuggling, and other hustles and schemes are as workaday as 9-to-5 at the office. Literary Guild featured alternate. Foreign rights: Sterling Lord. January 30