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The Untouchables

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  505 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
The Untouchables is the gripping true story of the team of men who broke the back of the vicious Chicago crime mob and its stranglehold on the nation, told by the man who orchestrated the effort. Enormously successful as a long-running TV series, The Untouchables should leap onto the bestseller lists when released as a major motion picture in June, starring Robert DeNiro a ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Buccaneer Books (first published 1957)
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Dec 12, 2007 Rose rated it it was amazing
I was more entertained than educated by "The Untouchables", which is hardly surprising when you consider that Ness was a publicity monger who recognized the value of a good story and enhanced the truth whenever it fell flat. There are phone threats, drive-by shootings, and murders galore, despite the fact that the son of one Untouchable, Barney Cloonan, told Ness biographer Paul Heimel that they were rarely shot at.

Although Ness and the Untouchables did not take down the Capone mob as claimed i
Aug 20, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I may be the only person in the Western Hemisphere to not have seen the movie, 'The Untouchables'. Even I'm surprised that I haven't seen more than a minute or two here and there. This type of story is right up my alley… why? Well, because it's a true story, real history

- it takes place (I'm sure you know) during the Depression and Prohibition in gangster riddled and control Chicago.

It was a great story. These men were exceptionally hard working and dedicated. What they accomplished was truly an
Jun 04, 2012 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jacob Wirth

This book is about Eliot Ness when he was just getting started into the Prohibition Bureau. It started out with him and his friend talking what to do about how to stop all the bootlegging and they came up with ideas. Eliot Ness came up with a great idea and his friend went to the chief and later on. “ I’m sorry, I can’t do that because the leader of this squad is going to have free hand-and not even I am going to tell you whom you should choose.”(Eliot Ness, 22) This quote show the f
Aug 10, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
I had always wanted to know what it was really like during those times to see how the war was fought by those agents asigned to taking down Copone and his henchmen. What is also interesting to learn about those times was how much money those special agents were paid by the government compared to how much money Copone and his men were making, the difference is huge. Great cop and robber book of its time and I can see why each Eliot and his team of men went on to do bigger and better things in the ...more
Jan 08, 2010 John rated it it was amazing
Very interesting, first hand account of the bootlegging business in Chicago in the 20s and 30s. Easy read, read it in one day. Interesting to see how Capone, etc. were making so much cash they could offer bribes of $100,000 or more a year, a highly respectable salary even today.
James B.
Dec 04, 2013 James B. rated it really liked it
Eliot Ness tells the story of how Justice finally caught up with Al Capone. Much better than the movie, Ness tells how he and his men really were untouchable by Capone or his gang. Though not acknowledged by Ness, it seemed clear that, for whatever reason, God's providential care was on this man.
I gave this book 5 stars even though it had a lot of language. It was an incredible read; I would have thought it was a fiction action-thriller if I didn't know better. Absolutely amazing that this is all true.
Mark Noonan
Jan 08, 2017 Mark Noonan rated it it was amazing
I need to own this.
Jeni Hill
Jul 19, 2012 Jeni Hill rated it it was amazing
I guess I've always been a bit of a sucker for crime shows, and especially those that have the true stories behind them. I remember quite well trying to make sure I got to see every episode of "The Untouchables" way back when it was on the air.

In my yard sale book finds this past weekend was this book, "The Untouchables" by Eliot Ness/Oscar Fraley and I just had to have it. Got it for a song -no dance even required, ya know.

Well today, I had started reading another yard sale selection book by J
Mar 23, 2016 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read up about the infamous Eliot Ness and his team of Federal Prohibition Agents known as 'The Untouchables' - so called because they were beyond the reach of the corruption and bribery spread throughout 1920s Chicago by Al Capone and his mobsters.

I chose this book because it was written by the man himself. Unfortunately it wasn't quite what I hoped for. It was poorly written and, most of the time, pretty boring. It was mostly used to try and promote the upcoming movie. It is adverti
Mar 03, 2014 Chamberlon rated it it was ok
I have a thing for history especially the 1920's. My love of the era was at it's peak by the time I checked this book out from my local library a few years back. It's a good thing that a little time has passed because my review might have been a little cloudy if I were to give it then. Having said that, the book is an average read. There are no personal insights or introspection from the author. All we get is a police procedural that wears thin pretty quickly. The book was most certainly motivat ...more
Jul 13, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Synopsis: "The Untouchables is the gripping true story of the team of men who broke the back of the vicious Chicago crime mob and its stranglehold on the nation, told by the man who orchestrated the effort."

My Review: I have a secret soft spot for mob books, I read Donnie Brasco's book in high school and since have rather enjoyed them. The Untouchables was no different. It is written in such a way that it is more like reading a journal account than an actual story. I enjoyed the book even though
Jan 27, 2016 Alicia rated it really liked it
The Untouchables is further proof that books are better than movies (unless we're talking about Jaws). The movie was a favorite of mine; I even owned it. But it sure feels weak after reading the book. Loved reading about the raids and the need for ladders, the parade the Capone's organizations impounded vehicles, the driving around trying to lose tails and the telephone pole wire tap scene. The book even lists addresses of the warehouses storing the booze or the still locations, which appeals to ...more
Jan 28, 2010 Underhill rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
1. Elliot Ness tries to give us a tatse of how the wicked mob grew to control Chicago and how Elliot Ness organized a small group of agents beyond corruption -- The Untouchables.
2. The book is short. The chapters are short. The sentences are short. Everything is to the point.
3. The book fills the bill. It has to be a first of it's genre. If you liked the TV series, you'll love the book.
This book is very good and so is the movie. its about the prohibition era and how alchol was very illegal but the crime groups sold it. In the streets of chicago italian gangs were running everything by scaring businesses to work for them and pay them or else they would get killed and a single man named Al Capone ran this whole process. This book is all about how a man named eliot ness who was a cop and he put together a force to bust Capone and his people doing all this crime.
This had to be read of course, after being a fan of the film for so long I couldn't resist this book when i found it in a charity shop. Its been a while since I read it, so this review might not be so helpful, but I remember it being quite nicely written and still intriguing historically.
Monte Lamb
Jul 17, 2016 Monte Lamb rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
I really enjoyed the book but can't rate it higher as it is semi-fictional and misleads events in his personal life. That being said, the story of chasing Al Capone is a very good one and you can get a good idea of what led to his conviction.
Ben B
Feb 09, 2011 Ben B rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
Having seen the Kevin Costner movie, I wondered which parts of the story were true, and which were Hollywood. This book certainly answers that question, and there are many interesting stories that were not included in the movie.
Dec 05, 2009 Erin rated it liked it
Read very much like a crime report. Very dry. Had a few stories that I think were more inside jokes to Ness and his gang than the book.
May 09, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it
I read this after watching the movie. It was an interesting read although rather surprising that Ness wasn't snuffed out by the Mafia. I believe he would be today. It was an easy read!
Henry Le Nav
Jun 21, 2013 Henry Le Nav rated it it was amazing
Read this in 5th grade, after the TV show came out. The 5 star rating is from a fifth grader, don't know what I would rate it now.
Cathy Huang
Jan 07, 2014 Cathy Huang rated it it was ok
I'm giving this low stars because I read it for the biographical aspect and, well, it certainly wasn't that.
Sep 19, 2011 Read1000books rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: u-s-history
Hard to put down! The exciting TRUE story of how G-Man Ness took down top Chicago gangster Al Capone. Forget the movie and the tv show; this is the real deal.
Dec 27, 2012 Darrell rated it really liked it
This is the book. It tells the story of how Al Capone was brought down by the man who was responsible.
Jun 05, 2008 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
read this after seeing the movie with costner/connery... movie was quite good, but the book is always better. :)
Rob Caroti
Rob Caroti rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2013
Courtney Whitt
Courtney Whitt rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2015
Felix Winternitz
Felix Winternitz rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2015
Kevin rated it it was amazing
Dec 28, 2015
Evelina rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2014
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Eliot Ness was an American Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, and the leader of a legendary team of law enforcement agents nicknamed The Untouchables.

Collaborating with Oscar Fraley in his last years, he co-wrote the book The Untouchables, which was published a month after his death.

More about Eliot Ness...

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