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4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  2,900 Ratings  ·  87 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 PuzoGangster by Lorenzo CarcaterraDonnie Brasco by Joseph D. PistoneWiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi
Best Mafia Books
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleColumbine by Dave Cullen
Best True Crime
680 books — 1,024 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Dec 09, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 13, 2010 Jane Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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 13, 2010 Walt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: organized-crime
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
Dec 27, 2016 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"Καζίνο", εκδόσεις Bell.

Βαθμολογία: 9/10

Στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες έχουν γραφτεί και εκδοθεί εκατοντάδες βιβλία σχετικά με το κόσμο του εγκλήματος και με αληθινές ιστορίες παρανόμων και πάσης φύσεως εγκληματιών. Ένα από αυτά είναι και το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο, που έγραψε ο Νίκολας Πιλέτζι (συγγραφέας του Wiseguy, στο οποίο βασίζεται η πασίγνωστη ταινία Goodfellas). Δυστυχώς, στα ελληνικά έχουν μεταφραστεί πολύ λίγα τέτοια βιβλία, που προσωπικά με εξιτάρουν όσο δεν πάει. Μάλλον το συγκεκριμένο μεταφρά
Craig Williams
Nicholas Pileggi uses first-hand accounts to cobble together a chronicle of the rise and fall of mob influence in Las Vegas, centered around an expert gambler named Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who oversaw the casino skimming operations, and his childhood friend Tony Spilotro, who acted as an enforcer for the mob. The Scorcesi film CASINO was based on this book.

Being that Casino is one of my favorite Scorsesi films, I was interested in reading about the real life figures the characters were based on
Oct 27, 2016 Janet rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating look behind the scenes at the role of organized crime in Las Vegas during the 1960s- 1980s. It's told from the perspective of both organized crime and law enforcement. Although it is very informative, it is quite absorbing and hard to put down
This true story follows the main character, Lefty Rosenthal, from his beginnings as a precocious teenager, making money providing information to people betting on sports. His success at this wins him a reputation and the appreciation o
Dec 21, 2016 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
In this book, Pileggi relates the story of the last days of mob control of Las Vegas casinos, specifically the Stardust. If you have seen the movie Casino, you know the general story (but the names and many facts were changed).

Pileggi does not let his writing get in the way of a good story. The book is made up primarily of interviews and long stretches of story-telling by "Lefty" Rosenthal himself, various mob informants, and an assortment of federal and state law enforcement agents. Although th
Nov 12, 2016 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book! It's my kind of book, I'm especially interested and intrigued by the mob, I watch a lot of movies and tv shows on it, and now I've started reading and I thought what better book to get than this one to start it off. It's great it's a real inside to how there mind works, how they rised and how they fall, how Tony Spilotro changed towards Frank, the theories on who tried to blow him up? How Tony died and his brother, how they all got caught and was listened to and followed, how t ...more
Edwin Gonzalez
Dec 11, 2016 Edwin Gonzalez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As in the movie.

I watched the movie and I has to say that the story is almost exactly as in the book. They are a few differences, but the book provides some additional information about the characters.
Evan Kirby
Nov 19, 2016 Evan Kirby rated it liked it
Pileggi covers the topic a lot more in depth than he did the topic in 'Wiseguy,' but it's still very broad and brief in the grand scheme of things. It could've been fleshed out some more, but it still works well enough in this ways as a quick and easy read hitting all the bullet points.
Jan 03, 2017 Tommy rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Now I need to see the movie!
Johnny Moscato
Sep 17, 2016 Johnny Moscato rated it it was ok
After reading (and loving) Wiseguy, Casino was a huge disappointment. The movie was a million times better. I'm not even sure how the movie is based on this book. Even setting the movie aside the book is boring and overflowing with names. The only way to keep all the names straight would be to write them all down to reference as you read. The writing skips from one person's perspective to another's so quickly and often that it's confusing and you have to keep going back to figure out who's being ...more
Jul 22, 2010 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, hospital
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 28, 2009 Lex rated it really liked it  ·  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
Teddy Chao
Aug 20, 2009 Teddy Chao rated it liked it
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
Dec 27, 2012 Andy Cooper rated it it was ok
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
Neil Crossan
Jun 23, 2016 Neil Crossan rated it liked it
The mob is a terrible industry. It’s like a car dealership. Owned by one family with crazy turnover of non-college educated employees that are mostly dudes. And when the owner dies there’s huge fight and the owner's idiot kids run the business into the ground until another family steps in. Nobody wants to deal with them but you kind of have to every once in a while and all the children are just plain awful.

The book is a demolition derby of absolute jerks. And it’s fun to read about because as l
Tom Gase
Aug 19, 2013 Tom Gase rated it liked it
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
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.
Jun 16, 2010 Bunny rated it did not like it
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.
Jun 09, 2011 Al rated it liked it
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.
Nov 17, 2015 Peter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries-crime
I was excited to read this after enjoying Wiseguys, but I found that this book did not pack the same punch. Much like the movie Casino, I felt like this book tread ground already covered by Wiseguys but did it less effectively. The writing was very flowery and I don't recall this being an issue in Wiseguy.
Bud Cobb
Mar 15, 2012 Bud Cobb rated it it was ok
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.
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.
Apr 15, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 28, 2007 Andrew rated it really liked it
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.
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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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