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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  2,269 ratings  ·  69 reviews
From the author of the best-selling Mafia exposé, Wiseguy, comes this inside story of the billion-dollar gambling industry and the secretive, dangerous men who run it. At the heart of this true tale of love, revenge, and murder Mafia-style are some of the most memorable characters in mob lore: Lefty, the brains of the mob's Vegas casinos; Tony Spilotro, the mob's muscle; ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 348 pages
Published December 31st 1996 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 1995)
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The Godfather by Mario PuzoThe Sicilian by Mario PuzoDonnie Brasco by Joseph D. PistoneWiseguy by Nicholas PileggiFive Families by Selwyn Raab
Best Mafia Books
6th out of 136 books — 197 voters
In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Best True Crime
73rd out of 519 books — 842 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 20, 2007 Jason added it
The true story behind the movie "Casino", this book of the same title goes into far more detail about the rise and fall of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal. As you read it, you notice that the movie changed certain details - more than likely to translate better to film. The reality is far more brutal and fascinating than the movie however. Anyone who has any interest in the inner workings of casinos or old Las Vegas should read this!
Nemo Erehwon
Fast reading and entertaining book on organized crime in the Las Vegas casino system.

Would be excellent, except that it suffers from AES; A-hole Encouragement Syndrome. This is where the author overlooks certain warning signs about his main subject. Since the subject is either a murderer, a con-man, a thugs, and/or a thief, it is quite possible the subject is also a liar out to impress the author, interested prosecutorial figures, and other suckers who read the book. AES is a common ailment of b
One of the best books about the mob in Las Vegas. It so happens that the complex web surrounding Frank Rosenthal in Las Vegas was one of the most difficult organized crime-related operations in Vegas. Pileggi clearly describes the power struggles between the various players in great detail.
Saman Kashi
Dec 30, 2008 Saman Kashi added it
Shelves: novel

در صورت تمایل، جهت مشخصات فیلمی که بر اساس این کتاب ساخته شده است؛ میتوانید از لینک زیر استفاده بفرمایید
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Another case of the book being better than the movie. Sometimes movies just don't have the time to really explain the characters and their situations. For example, although it is said that Geri Rosenthal habitually used alcohol and drugs in the movie (although they didn't use her real name, of course), they never mentioned that she was also helping out some of her family members, like her 11-year old daughter, her sister, and her mother.

What I thought was amazing was how much money was moving th
Jane Davis
If you saw the movie based on this book it is a must read. The town was simpler then. No stop lights on L V Blvd, ah, the good old days how I miss them, and nothing much beyond Tropicana. This is the Las Vegas when the mob was there and the police were none too polite if you showed a shady side. To this day public employees are fingerprinted.

After seeing the movie my sister remarked, "The book wasn't that violent, was it?" Of course not. It takes this book to give you the real names, actions an
Jan 28, 2009 Lex rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that has ever visited Las Vegas
I read this after having seen the movie, and, after having visited Las Vegas. And, I'm really glad that I did in that order. The book touches upon much more than a movie possibly could, even from the great Martin Scorsese.

I read this while I was still quite interested in "true crime" stories. For some reason, earlier in my life, I found the whole gangster phenomenon captivating. Just that someone would take such risks for quick money, to me, was mind-blowing.

Back to the book itself. Two things t
Good beginning and a decent end, but everything fell apart in the middle. Disjointed and disorganized, the story rambles from one subplot to another with nary a connection to be found. Pileggi didn't even have the courtesy to organize the material chronologically so I found myself skipping through the years like Doc Brown. A sub-par follow-up to Wiseguy. The movie was much better
Teddy Chao
Re-read this based on a friend's recommendation. I loved Wiseguy so much, and the movie it later inspired, Goodfellas. They were such a deep part of my high school memories, really being fascinated with the psychopathic, super-violent men involved in organized crime, and the subsequent narrative of how it all comes together. Goodfellas, to me, was one of the few movies that was much better than the original book, just in terms of the cultural richness of the film and the technical prowess of Sco ...more
Andy Cooper
This is an overrated book. But don't worry, all is not lost. It just needs to be re-purposed and moved into a different genre.

I am putting in a recommendation to officially change the title to The Encyclopedia of Mafia Run Casinos. If you are looking for a well told story, then go somewhere else. Preferably back into Mario Puzo novels. On the other hand if you want to read a hastily put together story built by stacking facts and miscellaneous information on top of one another, then look no furth
Gavin Masterson
Good, but not great and definitely not as great as the movie which you can tell Scorsese and Pileggi changed a lot around in the screenplay version in order to make it movie entertaining, but would still recommend it to anyone that would like to read the book version and for those fascinated with the mob world like I am
Mark Leaming
An overall good read on the Chicago influence over early Vegas and the downfall, but it is dry and stretched a little too far in places. Some interesting thoughts and perspectives on Vegas and the casino business are presented in the book.
Tom Gase
I read this book because I saw the book for a buck at a book fair and I knew it would be a good book to read while I was in Vegas. It was a good book to read in Vegas, but not sure that if I read it in another place I would have liked it as much. Probably closer to two stars than three. Just kind of got boring in some parts because it wasn't adding anything I hadn't seen in the movie already. I would say the movie was adapted very well from the book, but the movie kind of drags in some places. T ...more
Ryan Clarke
Strong writing with good quotes from good sources. Pileggi always is a good read.
Awesomely fun to read this & compare/contrast it with the movie.
G Scott
a very well done piece of true crime writing.
The real story that inspired the movie of the same name (although I believe they were both released around the same time), "Casino" gives the lowdown on the Chicago Outfit's last great hurrah in Las Vegas. Nicholas Pileggi gets input from just about every key player involved, except for Tony Spilatro and Geri Rosenthal (both deceased by the time the book was written). The movie, which I thought was pretty great, fictionalized and simplified thing. The real story is utterly fascinating. Highly re ...more
Armin Hennig
Wer den gleichnamigen, ziemlich bildstarken Film kennt, wird überrascht sein, im Guten wie im schlechten. Der „Roman“ besteht aus Zeugenaussagen und Protokollen, ist wie eine Sammlung von Dokumenten angelegt. Gleichbedeutend mit ständigen Perspektivwechseln, das erschwert die Identifikation mit den Protagonisten zu der Scorseses Film nur allzu sehr verführt. Dafür werden die Zusammenhänge des Geschäfts nachvollziehbarer. Trotzdem keine allzu sinnfällige Lektüre.
My brain hurts.

This book took me almost a month to read, and I'm honestly not sure why the hell I finished it. I mean, the movie is FANTASTIC. The book would have to be great, too, right?

I could've done without the 200 pages of FBI bullshit. Or the casino skimming jargon that didn't make any goddamn sense. This book has no personality. It's so damn DRY.

I'm not looking forward to reading Goodfellas now.
A chronicle of the rise and fall of the Mafia control of Las Vegas casinos....their use of Allen Glick as a front-man, Lefty Rosenthal as the genius of managing casino operations and Tony Spilotro who essentially ran the city for the Chicago mob bosses before his ultimate murder as the entire operation began to crumble. Very interesting reading about a Las Vegas which is now gone forever.
This book tells a great true story about how the Chicago Mob ran Las Vegas from the first Casino until the feds came in and tried to clean up the town in the mid-1980's with Operation Strawman. The movie was also very well done but like most movies they change the names of all the real people it's based on but in the book they use all the real names and go into furthur detail then the movie.
Germanio Puglio
I read this book and it is so good. They made a movie out of it, but the movie portrayed the girl as a whore, well she wasn't. Her husband didn't come home to her at night, instead preferring his showgirls, and he beat her up. When she loaned money to an ex boyfriend, he was beat up by the mafia thugs. I felt sorry for this girl in this marriage to Sam Rothstein. He is a jerk.
Nancy Fornataro
Fantastic book!! Absolutely reads like fiction, and to think it's all true, wow. Absolutely loved it!!
I didn't think the book was bad. This could be once instance where I liked the movie better than the book. It's nice to know how things actually turned out though, and the people's real names. It was a good story because it's true, but some parts were just hard to read, not because they didn't make sense but because the police reports and stuff were just boring to read.
Bud Cobb
Another gangster novel by Nicholas Pileggi. This was also adapted to the big screen by Martin Scorcese. Compared to Wiseguy, Casino was a bit too detailed and technical for someone who wants to read about gangsters. Plenty of great moments, hence the three star rating. But, a person could watch the film "Casino" and receive the same important information from the book.
Love it..Nicholas Pileggi, please write another book! All that is out there are Wiseguys (5 Star) and Casino..Both made into excellent movies, but the books are really outstanding. Provides such and "insider" look at the Vegas mob, and players involved, with names like "The Ant" and "Lefty". Well-researched and well-written. Highly recommended to Vegas and Mob-related fans.
Martin Marrufo
Very interesting, but it seemed a tad disjointed in its storytelling. Its simple language (albeit a little colorful) makes this an accessible read. One thing I love about Pileggi's books is that they are told from the first-person perspective from multiple perspectives for a majority of the book, immersing the reader in the world to which they are exposed.
Danielle Jacobs
This was a great book; there were alot of names that I still cant place and it took me a while to read because at times it was a little dry a couple times or overly complicated when it explained connections but dang I still was fantastic ESPECIALLY the last five chapters. I already bought it on amazon just so i can reread it later; movie was great too.
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Nicholas Pileggi is best known for writing the book Wiseguy, which he adapted into the movie Goodfellas, and for writing the book and screenplay Casino. The movie versions of both were co-written and directed by Martin Scorsese. Pileggi also wrote the screenplay for the 1996 film City Hall. He began his career as a journalist and had a profound interest in the Mafia. This is where he developed his ...more
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