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The good rat a true story

by Breslin, Jimmy.

Format: Book on CD 2008
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Homewood Audiovisual Collection (CD) HV6452.N72 B74 2008cx
Location  CLP - Homewood
Collection  Audiovisual Collection
Call Number  (CD) HV6452.N72 B74 2008cx

Jimmy Breslin can sniff out a story like he can sniff out a rat. Here, he tells a lifetime of anecdotes in his inimitable New York voice, giving us a view through the keyhole of the people and places that define the Mafia-characters like Sammy the Bull, the original snitch, and Gaspipe Casso, named for his weapon of choice; and hangouts like Pep McGuire's, the legendary watering hole where reporters and gangsters (all hailing from the same working class neighborhoods) rubbed elbows and traded stories. But best of all, Breslin captures the moments in which the Mafia was made and broken-Breslin was there the night John Gotti celebrated his acquittal, having bribed his way to innocence. In The Good Rat , Breslin brings together the most recent, most memorable, and the long forgotten stories to create a sharp-eyed portrait of the mob as it lived and breathed; as it sounded and survived.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Star crime reporter Breslin delivers the obituary for the U.S. Mafia. It's an obit made possible by the RICO Act. As Breslin notes, this legislation, passed in 1970 and gaining strength ever since, was named after Rico, the tough-as-nails racketeer played by Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar. RICO revolutionized gangsterdom by upping jail terms from the traditional 5 years to 50 years or more. Once it became clear that testifying against other gangsters could erase jail terms, gangsters started ratting on each other big time. This no-holds-barred memoir (of the Mafia and of Breslin's own life) centers on one rat, Burton Kaplan, longtime New York mobster, money launderer, kidnapper, and murderer, who testified against Mob-connected NYPD detectives Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito. More important for Breslin, Kaplan's testimony shone the light on Mafia dealings, language, customs, and humor. Breslin shuttles between court testimony in the Eppolito/Caracappa case (direct transcripts are never boring when Breslin excerpts them); his commentary on judge, jury, defendants, and witnesses; and further observations from his own front-row seat (at Pep McGuire's Bar, where gangsters approached him and reviled him through the years) on the waxing and waning of the American Mafia. Breslin is a delighted tour guide through the underworld (the greatest felony, as he argues, is committed by legit people who are boring). Nobody does it better.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Breslin, renowned journalist and author of The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, revisits a familiar wise-guy milieu in this collection of stories and anecdotes about the mob. His writing, like the Mafia itself, breezily transitions from humorous to horrifying as he regales the reader with loosely connected tales of mistaken identity, crooked cops, snitches and murder. Unlike the Sopranos and the many other touchstones of the American love affair with organized crime, for Breslin, there's good and there's evil, with little in between. As always, however, nicknames are half the fun, as Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, Tony Cafe and Gaspipe Casso take the stage in the Mafia hotspots of the five boroughs, including Greenpoint, in Brooklyn, and Ozone Park, in Queens, as Breslin delights with stories from the Mafia's heyday. Breslin's storytelling is set to the sweet background music of one of the mob's biggest canaries, Burton Kaplan, as he sings to a grand jury. The author's vernacular precision contrasts sharply with the plodding sterility of Kaplan's grand jury testimony, and as we find out, good guys can often tell ugly stories more authentically than the bad guys. The effect is tragicomic as Kaplan's testimony sounds the death knell for his associates. These stories unveil the strict code of conduct, often broken, of a dying breed. According to Kaplan, however, while illegal gambling and extortion may be waning industries, the myth of the American Mafia will never die. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Mafia -- New York (State) -- New York -- History.
Organized crime -- New York (State) -- New York -- History.
Publisher North Kingstown, R.I. :BBC Audiobooks America,2008
Edition Unabridged.
Contributors Davidson, Richard M., 1940-
Mover, Richard.
Schwab, Kaipo.
BBC Audiobooks America.
Participants/Performers Narrated by Richard M. Davidson, Richard Mover and Kaipo Schwab.
Language English
Notes Unabridged.
Compact disc.
Description 6 audio discs (7 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
ISBN 9780792753261
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