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War Against the Mafia (The Executioner, #1)
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War Against the Mafia (The Executioner #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  562 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The mafia destroyed his family after driving them to the depths of degradation and depair. Now Mack Bolan has returned from the jungles of 'Nam, burning with one insatiable desire: revenge!

The Special Forces' top assassin has declared war on the cancerous leeches that are draining America's lifeblood. The underworld may have the numbers - but they're no match for his brut

1st U.S. Edition, 170 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1969)
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The Infidel Soldiers by Jams N. RosesWaste Not, Want Not by James MullaneyWar Against the Mafia by Don PendletonGunner's Run by Rick  BarryThe Titanic Secret by Jack Steel
Men's Adventure
2nd out of 29 books — 12 voters
A World of Possibility by Christopher  ShieldsA World of Romance by Christopher  ShieldsBentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past by Paul CudeGood Like This by Peter ArpesellaA World of Terror by Christopher  Shields
405th out of 438 books — 306 voters

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Community Reviews

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Dale Pearl
I had to dust this book off and reread it. I have been reading so many larger and epic scale novels this month that my brain needed a break.

True story. When I was a young teen my brothers and I broke into a neighbors house and stole away his porno magazines. Along side the pornos we just so happened to accidentally grab a bag full of paperbacks. I don't think anyone else was interested in the books with all the naked ladies in the magazines to stare at. I did my fair share of staring as well but
It's so hard to rate books like this but I tend to be conservative in my ratings unless a book blows me away completely. I liked it and it was a rather decent pulpy adventure/action story. Mack Bolan, at least in this first volume, comes across as a more righteous Parker with a similar vendetta against the Mob. On the plus side, I found the action sequences gripping and well-written and the character of Mack Bolan agreeable. The major flaw in this novel was that I often found myself unable to su ...more
I remember reading a smattering of Executioner novels as a youngster, and--reminiscing about how much I enjoyed them--I recently bought a bunch of old Pendleton titles. Of the first several novels in the series, War Against the Mafia still stands out as my clear favorite. The action is hard-hitting, and the story moves quickly while still taking the time to establish the characters and settings.

Another thing that struck me while reading this is how morally murky The Executioner's beginnings are.
Mack Bolan is the genre king of these mercenary seeks vengeance against . Mack's issue is with the Mafia. Since these books were written in the late 60's it all revolves around manly men shooting, stabbing, exploding etc the bad guys. There are some 60's references and attitudes that date the books and some outmoded terminology but it works. Mack is very good at what he does and what he does is execute people, usually from a distance. Not that he's ineffective up close mind you. He sees the worl ...more
Em 1968 os E.U.A. enfrentavam o maior desafio à sua autoridade mundial: a guerra no Vietnam. Ainda sem saberem o caminho que a guerra tomaria, o inconsciente coletivo americano se baseava na dualidade bem/mal, sendo este conceito aplicado cotidianamente pelo cidadão comum.
Não seria diferente, nem poderia, a concepção psicológica adotada para o personagem Mack Bolan, ex-combatente dos vietnamitas que se vê obrigado, por sua moral de soldado, a enfrentar o mal em sua terra natal antes de tentar e
Sharpshooter sniper, Mack Bolan returns from Vietnam when three members of his family are murdered – by his father. In debt to a loan shark Mafioso who also forced Mack’s sister into prostitution to pay off the debt, Mack’s dad lost it, defying the Mafia’s enforcers by killing himself, his wife, his daughter, and severely wounding his youngest son.

Once Mack realizes that, he also believes that the Mafia is strangling America and for all the good she stands for – and declares war.

Though not parti
The Executioner, War Against the Mafia by Don Pendleton is the first book of a lengthy series of "serial"novels from my younger years. I am excited to see these books possibly coming to the digital age for a new round of readers to get engrossed in. I voraciously read these books when I was younger but could never find this one in paperback, so I had never read it. If this is your first in this series of books, never fear, they get better, with less down time. I received this book from the publi ...more
The first book that I read that I could not put down. This was my hook into the world of reading.

Date read - a long, long time ago.
Brian Sammons
Before The Punisher there was Mac Bolan. I won’t say these books are great literature, but I loved them as a teen.
Mike (the Paladin)
Ok, we all have skeletons in our closets...maybe these are some of mine. Actually the ones of these written by Pendelton himself aren't bad adventure stories, if they happen to be the type you like. I didn't read nearly all the Pendelton books, but did recently pick up one of the later ones written by Harliquin who bought the rights to the series...I couldn't finish it and took it straight to my favorite used book store (which takes trades) to foist off on someone else.

Before I went in the army
Of course this is over the top pulp fiction, but it's a fun ride and just what a guy wants in his books sometimes--to quote Q from the Bond movie "Never say Never Again" "gratutious violence and sex." Or paraphrase him.

The story is Mack Bolan (a U.S. Army sharpshooter) comes home from Vietnam to bury his family--his father killed his wife and daughter, wounded his son, then killed himself because he was in debt to a Mafia loan shark. Bolan declares war on the mafia, and sets out to take down the
Savijith Pavithran
A pleasant read for those times when you wish things are uncomplicated.
Mack Bolan A.K.A the Executioner is Judge Supreme of the crime lords beyond the reach of the law. Passing judgements through the barrel of his Berretta 93R, The Executioner's war starts here. No romantic ideals chain him and the result is a no-nonsense thriller.
Three stars because it's over-the-top fun, one extra star because it was much better written that I expected it to be. At least in this first book, Don Pendleton shows a real self-awareness and sly sense of humor, but also a fair amount of intelligence in Bolan's introspection. Sure, this is about a man's man who takes on the Mafia, but it never falls prey to its own ridiculousness, at least not unknowingly.
Jerry Geleff
Read all of the Executioner books in high school, stayed with it a few years after, then lost interest. I'll still occasionally pick one up to see what Bolan is up to. A nice, mindless read.
Livius Nedin
Yeah, it's a little cheesy in parts and there totally unnecessary romance element, but this book launched a series that's still alive 45 years later.
This was one hell of a fun book. It is 1969. Mack is a sniper from Vietnam sent home to bury his family. Getting home, his younger brother, sole-survivor, claims the Mafia had everything to do with their dad going nuts and killing the family.

This isn't America today, it is 1969.

Mack sets up a group of loan sharks and wastes 'em in the street with a high powered rifle at high noon. That summarizes chapter one.

What stops it from 5-stars is the end craters in on itself a little -- or a lot. The el
Chris Gager
I manually added this book because I couldn't remember the title. I called mine "Revenge Against the Mob" which was pretty close! Then I caught a break: someone in my town had a bunch of the "Executioner" paperbacks and brought them to the town dump's recycle trailer. I looked at one while I was organizing the shelves and the old(literally) brain kicked in. I only read this one and probably in the Navy in 1967 at the suggestion of a friend. There have been dozens of follow-up books. Violent reve ...more
Kym Andrew Robinson
The book which spawned an epic Empire of spin off's and helped to establish the popularity of the lone wolf vengeance genre.

I really enjoyed this revenge story and in many ways it has inspired me in much of my fiction writing. One of the better revenge action stories in my estimations.

85 %
It's funny what gems come out when you jog your memory. I started reading this series in high school. I don't think I got past a few of these volumes before I realized the redundancy of the material. If the cover looked cool enough, I picked it up. I think this guy pre-dated Marvel Comics The Punisher - a much more clever way of handling the same subject matter.
Patrick Baird
It's junk, probably pretty typical of the genre, filled with violence, sex and a ridiculous body count. Mack Bolan is a cardboard cutout of a human being, with the thinnest motivations for his crusade of retribution. I will admit it was a quick and entertaining read, but it was the literary equivalent of eating ballpark nachos - minus the zing of jalapenos.
Over the top pulp fiction. I've actually read about 30 of these books when I was in the Navy and I think they were literally in order, i.e., 1-about 30, but I don't remember exactly. They're basically mindless reading. Super heroic human blows away mafia in every episode in a hail of 4 bazillion bullets. A one man A-Team.
Love all this 70's 80's stuff takes me back to my teens when this stuff was everywhere. The Chameleon featuring Philip Magellan, The Revenger by the same guy that wrote The Edge westerns, The early Destroyer novels which were the best. And loads more that i can't remember the name of. (old age).
The one that started it all... I loved this book at 14 and I loved it again now. I have 102 more classic versions of the paperbacks to get through and some more on Kindle, all while trying to cram in the other series' I've been suckered into. Oh Boy!
Bill Jackman
I read this first in 69. I liked the initial set of Executioner books, I stopped reading the series after Pendleton sold the rights to the series. In my opinion, the average quality dropped, although I know people who felt the stories got better.
I got hooked on this series when I was in the Navy i think i got all the way to 100 or so but stoped reading them. But now I started back up again.It is a very good series you can't put it down lots of action keeps your atenion.
Doug Haynes
Not really much to say about this book beyond the fact that it properly defines it's genre. I have always been a long time fan of the good old fashioned pulp adventure and this one is a fairly well written example.
Jeff Maxey
These are the first books that I read when I was a kid. I loved these books. It got me into reading. Never mind that Mack Bolan killed all these guys and never got a scratch.
George Colasacco
Best action series I have ever read, been reading series ever since they came out. Would'nt miss a single issue. Only regret is that I had not saved them
Craig Rettig
Nothing overly complex, just your basic action story.

Basically, the Mack Bolan novels are the male equivalent of a Harlequin romance.
Victor Merling
I read about the first 7 or 8 of these and remember having fun. It becomes a bit predictable after a while, but remains entertaining.
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Don Pendleton was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, December 12, 1927 and died October 23, 1995 in Arizona.

He wrote mystery, action/adventure, science-fiction, crime fiction, suspense, short stories, nonfiction, and was a Comic scriptwriter, poet, screenwriter, essayist, and metaphysical scholar. He published more than one hundred twenty-five books in his long career and his books have been published
More about Don Pendleton...

Other Books in the Series

The Executioner (1 - 10 of 40 books)
  • Death Squad (The Executioner, #2)
  • Battle Mask (The Executioner, #3)
  • Miami Massacre (The Executioner, #4)
  • Continental Contract (The Executioner, #5)
  • Assault on Soho (The Executioner, #6)
  • Nightmare in New York (The Executioner, #7)
  • Chicago Wipe-Out (The Executioner, #8)
  • Vegas Vendetta (The Executioner, #9)
  • Caribbean Kill (The Executioner, #10)
  • California Hit (The Executioner, #11)
Death Squad (The Executioner, #2) Battle Mask (The Executioner, #3) Miami Massacre (The Executioner, #4) Continental Contract (The Executioner, #5) Nightmare in New York (The Executioner, #7)

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