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

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  12 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 the age of 14 under the watchful eyes of the local mob. By the time he was 17, the infamous Gambino family made DiDonato an associate of the Nicholas Corozzo crew. For the next 14...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published (first published December 23rd 2010)
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Alex Yalen
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...more
Fran Ricciardi
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...more
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.

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
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.
The story was a good one, but the writing was only fair. While a compelling life story, the author failed to imbue it with any depth or sense of revelation or development despite the main character having developed. The facts were given, but there was no emotive force to propel them. The story felt flat. It was an interesting read, but could have been better.
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.
Ronald Fino
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
Very interesting insight into the inner workings of the mob. Definitely shatters a lot of the Hollywood imagery I had as a kid.
Chris Grimm
Couldn't put it down, couldn't believe it really happened. If you love mob stories, this is it.
one of the best mafia books after 'for the sins of my father'
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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...more
More about Dennis Griffin...
Battle for Las Vegas: The Law vs the Mob (True Crime) Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, & Government Witness (True Crime) Rogue Town Vegas Vixen Killer in Pair-A-Dice

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