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Original Gangster: The Real Life Story of One of America's Most Notorious Drug Lords
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Original Gangster: The Real Life Story of One of America's Most Notorious Drug Lords

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A suspenseful memoir from the real life American gangster, Frank Lucas

In his own words, Frank Lucas recounts his life as the former heroin dealer and organized crime boss who ran Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. From being taken under the wing of old time gangster Bumpy Johnson, through one of the most successful drug smuggling operations, to being sentenced...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published June 1st 2010)
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Started this as a book-on-CD for a roadie, but finished the trip before I finished the story and I just can't bring myself to finish it in print: crappy writing and WAY too much self-justification and humble-bragging, which is fine, so long as it's not paired with regret and mock humiliation.
I found this book entertaining, and educational. (About some history of drug crime in NYC, 1970s) Also listened to it on audiobook, I believe it's read by the author. The voice really adds to the character of the story, which I appreciated. I think it was a good read
I loved 'American Gangster' starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe and after hearing a radio interview with Frank Lucas, I became interested in the "real story."

Well, the film played it close to the vest for the most part. Of course, this being Lucas's autobio, it doesn't talk much about Richie Roberts' side of the story, but I'm sure he'll write his own book someday too (he's still working a criminal defense attorney to this day).

This book fills in some of the missing pieces in Lucas' bac...more
Winter Rose
Eye Opener & Brilliant! Powerful Book!
It was a good book, kept my full attention throughout. I enjoyed that the story took us all the way from childhood to present, which really helps to shape more emotions than would have been triggered without all the background. When I literally want to slap him, like a mother with a child that needs to wake up and get their shit together, I feel like the book has done a good job bringing me in. I love a good gangster story, so I am probably going easy on the review of this book... but I dug it r...more
David Ward
Sep 17, 2014 David Ward added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: na
Original Gangster: The Real Life Story of One of America’s Most Notorious Drug Lords by Frank Lucas, Aliya S. King (St. Martin’s Press 2010). This guy, Frank Lucas, confirms in this book that his original pipeline for shipping heroin into the US from Southeast Asia was by stuffing the drug into the coffins of dead GIs coming back to the US from Viet Nam. That, my friends, is sick. My rating: 3/10, finished 2011.
If the identity of every pivotal character in your life's story needs to be hidden then maybe your story isn't ready to be told yet. No matter how badly you need the money.

I have to say, though, that I really enjoyed the first few chapters of the book in which Lucas describes the events in his childhood that led to him moving to Harlem and his early crimes.
This book was definitely a good read but some of the celebrity anecdotes were kind of unnecessary. In many ways his tale is typical of former kingpin drug dealer feeling remorse for his past actions.
It was a fast read. I think Frank's claims for the actual money he earned seem a bit inflated. He says he is sorry for all the pain he has caused, but I doubt very much his sincerity.
Paul Brandel
This book kept me entertained from start to finish.Frank Lucas was a bad mother,shut your mouth,drug
lord.If you want to read an exciting true crime story,read this book.

This book is addicting! A true story about the life of a gangster starting at the beginning of his life.Could not put down. A must read.
Aug 20, 2010 Shandra rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in reading about Gangsters
This was a fast read. There were some typos but other than that a very good bio.
Kofi Obibini
This was a great work. I'm glad I could learn about Frank Lucas.
i didnt finish it all the way
The movie is better...
Cassie Esswein
Cassie Esswein marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2014
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Oct 17, 2014
Mohammad Al jamal
Mohammad Al jamal marked it as to-read
Oct 16, 2014
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Sep 27, 2014
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Aug 28, 2014
Brian Morrison
Brian Morrison marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2014
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