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Surviving the Mob: A Street Soldier's Life Inside the Gambino Crime Family
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Surviving the Mob: A Street Soldier's Life Inside the Gambino Crime Family

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  308 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
What do you do when the law wants you behind bars and the New York crime families want you buried? That was the life or death dilemma confronting Andrew DiDonato, who began his criminal career at age 14 under the watchful eyes of the local mob. By the time he was 17, the infamous Gambino crime family made DiDonato an associate of the Nicholas Corozzo crew. For the next 14 ...more
ebook, 265 pages
Published December 24th 2010 by Huntington Press (first published December 23rd 2010)
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Alex Yalen
Jun 14, 2012 Alex Yalen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, nonfic
I'll split this review in half -- one part about the substance of the book, and the other part about the how the book works as a book.

The substance, the material being written about, is pretty damn gripping stuff. This formerly-known-as-Andrew guy led a life of conniving brutality and has had plenty of time to think about it. What's striking is the fact that he seems like a fairly normal person even as he's explaining the details of how he was thinking about killing this guy and how he was orche
Fran Ricciardi
Jul 10, 2012 Fran Ricciardi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surviving the Mob: A Street Soldier's Life Inside the Gambino Crime Family

I found the way Andrew tells his story to be like no other "lifestyle" book. There is no hero, nobody is a winner and I liked the year by year account. It made me able to see the transgression as it happened as opposed to grouping events and having to guess emotions and decisions. I have been a Mob Enthusiast for decades and read many true crime books. This book to me has a different feel than any other. I will admit it le
Feb 04, 2016 Sumukh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the few Mafia books where the writer actually admits that working for organized crime is not a good thing, instead of unnecessarily glamorizing it like other writers.
Quotes like
"Mafia is for losers.",
"I lied, cheated, scammed, and plotted every day of my adult life, because that's what OC is. It's a never ending lie that exploits every citizen with whom it comes in contact with."
"Loyalty is upwards in Mafia. Bosses ask loyalty of you but throw you under the bus the minute they have no
Mar 30, 2012 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Nice morality tale. The fact that it's true makes it tougher to take.

This follows the protagonist from his teen years, when his hero is his uncle in the mob, to the time he eventually realizes loyalty flows uphill and not down. The bosses demand obedience from the footsoldiers but sacrifice them in a heartbeat.

When DiDonato goes to jail, no one offers to pay his bail. No one cares about his family. He's on his own. That's when he begins to question the myth of the mob looking after its own.

The story was a good one, but the writing was only fair. Atypically, the mob and their exploits are not glorified, but shown for what they are, an organization of thugs. It is an inside story, written by someone who was in the life, but by the end realizes how much this lifestyle hurts people, and how little it produces for not only society, but its own members. While a compelling life story, despite the main character having developed, there was a lack of emotive force--too often the events unf ...more
Dena Landon
Research for next novel. One gets the impression that the author didn't quite know how to organize all the material, so he went for a chronological, each chapter was a year, approach. Unfortunately, this made it hard to keep track sometimes of all the different people who came in & out of Andrew's life. Insight into all the different types of credit card & check fraud, illegal gambling & racketeering was useful for my purposes, and interesting given my background in banking. The book ...more
Mar 21, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On one hand, this book is never going to be mistaken for literature. On the other hand, one might wonder: Where do career criminals come from? Are they the products of nature or nurture? What is a criminal apprenticeship like? The answers to those questions and more are answered here. In addition to having been an absolutely brazen upstart, Anthony DiDonato also is one lucky dude. And he knows it. Call this read harrowing ... and worthwhile.
May 14, 2012 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The interesting criminal career of a Gambino Mafia associate in New York, ending as an informant in the Witness Protection Program. The true story could have been written/organized in more compelling fashion, sticking to the first-person in this autobiographical account. The moral: the mob treats everyone badly, even their own.
Sam B
Jan 31, 2016 Sam B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty standard confession memoir from a former criminal. Entertaining, but not necessarily the most gripping. I always find it fascinating to peek inside the inner machinations of really anything, so if that's also your interest, go ahead and read this.
Oscar Rivera
May 19, 2013 Oscar Rivera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book!
Ashley Folzenlogen
Alex's review summed it up perfectly
Chris Grimm
Oct 31, 2012 Chris Grimm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down, couldn't believe it really happened. If you love mob stories, this is it.
Nov 11, 2012 Travis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting insight into the inner workings of the mob. Definitely shatters a lot of the Hollywood imagery I had as a kid.
Sebastian Cook
Nov 19, 2014 Sebastian Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an interesting story considering the mob is seen as very old and only from the 1940s. However, the mob is very modern ('80s on). One of the best books I've read in a long time
Ronald Fino
Sep 17, 2013 Ronald Fino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A much needed book about the Gambino crime family and what it was really like being a made member of the mafia. Andrew DiDonato, Denny Griffin and Dennis DiDonato

Ronald Fino
Tanya Faberson
Pretty decent book. An easy read.
Mar 18, 2013 Sandu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the best mafia books after 'for the sins of my father'
Tom Bateman
Tom Bateman rated it liked it
Feb 13, 2012
Lt.dang rated it liked it
May 17, 2012
Charlie Egan
Charlie Egan rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2014
David James
David James rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2014
Erick Stermole
Erick Stermole rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2017
Navin Wadhwani
Navin Wadhwani rated it liked it
Aug 06, 2013
Patrick Gaebelein
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Holly Cox
Holly Cox rated it did not like it
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Robert Alfred rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2016
Marisa Nickelson
Marisa Nickelson rated it liked it
Feb 18, 2013
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I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1994, after a 20-year career in investigations and law enforcement in New York State. I began writing my first novel, The Morgue, in 1996. In 2000, I started work on a Las Vegas-based trilogy of mystery/thrillers. Killer In Pair-A-Dice was followed by One—Armed Bandit. The third book, Vegas Vixen, was published in November 2008.

In 2001 I turned my attention to non
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