Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “"I Heard You Paint Houses": Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa” as Want to Read:
"I Heard You Paint Houses": Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

"I Heard You Paint Houses": Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,665 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
The first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran were, "I heard you paint houses." To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and for his frie ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 24th 2005 by Steerforth (first published October 7th 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about "I Heard You Paint Houses", please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about "I Heard You Paint Houses"

Detroit by Charlie LeDuffMiddlesex by Jeffrey EugenidesDetroit Noir by E.J. OlsenDetroit City Is the Place to Be by Mark BinelliConey Detroit by Katherine Yung
78th out of 112 books — 28 voters
North and South by Elizabeth GaskellThe Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterShatter Me by Tahereh MafiThe Iron King by Julie KagawaWicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Books We'd Like to See Published in Greece
188th out of 281 books — 73 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 29, 2014 Boyd rated it it was amazing

I really and truly couldn't care less who killed Jimmy Hoffa, but if he's the catalyst for this book being written--well then, cry me a river. Charles Brandt is the nominal author here, but it's Frank Sheeran's book all the way, and is he ever a genius storyteller! Okay, he killed Hoffa, but let's put that into perspective by noting that Hoffa was just one notch on what was apparently one of the longest gunstocks in the history of man. In between killings--or, as he delicately put it, "taking ca
Book Concierge

Subtitle: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran & the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, & the Last Ride of Jimmy Hoffa

Well, that pretty much covers it. Brandt, a former prosecutor, managed to get Frank Sheeran to tell the true story of what happened. This virtual death-bed confession is sometimes fascinating, but I could not reconcile the violent behavior of this man (and that of his “friends”). He may have made a full confession and gotten absolution from a priest, but to me Sheera
Apr 05, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
This is not the type of book I usually read, but when I received an offer that I couldn't refuse I figured, what do I have to lose (except maybe an unscheduled trip to Australia)? Actually, the book was loaned to me by my current employer...but it sounds much more threatening when put into 'mafia' terms.
Frank Sheeran, the central character in the book, is a murderous creep, known liar and alcoholic, who was apparently controlled by the mafia. Why should I believe anything in this book? Needless
Jul 23, 2012 Dan rated it liked it
Frank Sheeran tells a good story.
Regardless of your interest in the mafia/teamsters/kennedy story, Sheeran colorfully articulates life in Philadelphia from the Depression through the 1970's. He describes in living detail the odd jobs, the restaurants, the hang-outs, the entertainment, and characters who populated his life story. Even as an old man he describes the affliction of arthritis better than any medical text.
Of course, it helps that Sheeran was a leading character himself in the fascinat
Mar 04, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
While "true crime" is not my genre, I read this on the recommendation of a friend and because I remember all of the publicity about Hoffa, the Teamsters, organized crime, etc. The story is told through two narrators -- Frank Sheeran killer of Hoffa (noted in quotes) and Charles Brandt, the author who intersperses background details.

The book sheds good insight into the character of Sheeran (from his perspective of course) which was aided by the insight of the author through hundreds of hours of i
Sean Owen
Mar 26, 2016 Sean Owen rated it really liked it
Frank Sheeran was a Teamster official who was investigated by the FBI for all sorts of illegal mafia connections and assassinations. He was long suspected as being amongst those involved in the murder of Jimmy Hoffa. In this end of life confession to Charles Brandt he claims that he pulled the trigger in the Jimmy Hoffa murder. The Jimmy Hoffa disappearance is only part of the picture here. What ultimately is more interesting is the picture Sheeran paints of the early days of the Teamsters and t ...more
Oct 10, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing
The real story about the infamous Jimmy Hoffa and his surprising demise. Although the author and the reputed gangster that did the deed don't address the question about where his remains are buried (it isn't in the end zone at the Meadowlands according to this account)the account rings true.

A fascinating story about Hoffa's rise to power as the head of the Teamster's Union, his increasing relationship with the mob who made good use of the Teamster's growing pension fund to build out casino's, Ho
Aug 12, 2010 John rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine Weaver
Sep 07, 2015 Catherine Weaver rated it it was amazing
I read this book several years ago. I'm writing about it now after a conversation with someone who just finished it.
The underworld, the Kennedy assassination, Jimmy Hoffa..... The author created a compelling and plausible story. What I really want to know is- how much of this is true???
I would not have chosen the book for the topics covered. I never cared what happened to Hoffa and am skeptical of Kennedy conspiracy theories. But while I was reading, I believed.
Rich Jonny's Son
Oct 31, 2009 Rich Jonny's Son rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ir-reading
The book, "I Heard You Paint Houses": Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa, is about Jimmy Hoffa's life and his mysterius death. Jimmy's main Internal conflict was being convicted of jury tampering and attempted bribery. His main external conflict was his death.

While readin this book i made a text-to-world connection. with how politicans are alway landing in hot water. Like Elliote Spitzer for example.

I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars. The book has action a
May 01, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! After completing this book, you'll be sure you know the real truth behind the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa- and even if you didn't care before, you will now! It's the memoir of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, told to the author over the course of a few years before Frank dies. Not only is it a confession of the Jimmy Hoffa murder, it also lays out in chilling detail just how much power and influence the mafia had (or has?) over the lives of every American, from labor issues to the economy and ...more
Mar 31, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I don't read very much true crime and I actually didn't know much about the historical background for this book going in, I really ended up enjoying it. You get the sense from the afterword that Sheeran didn't reveal nearly as much as he could have, but that what he did was enough. Definitely an interesting window into another world... Also, Brandt does a good job of bringing in conjecture and points from other Hoffa/mob narratives. Overall, would recommend to true crime and/or Goodfellas ...more
Debbie Evancic
Jan 29, 2016 Debbie Evancic rated it it was amazing
This is the true story of Frank (The Irishmen) Sheeran, a Hoffa friend and supporter within the Teamsters. Frank Sheeran first got involved when he was working on a meat truck in the Food Fair and he was stealing sides of beef and chickens and selling them to restaurants. On the side, he started doing things for Russ, out of respect, not money. You did a favor, you got a little favor back if you needed it.

Frank had been in combat. He had been in the 45th Infantry division during WWII. This is wh
Nov 05, 2014 Sushant rated it liked it
True Crime is not usually a genre that I'm inclined towards reading. But, when I found out that Martin Scorsese is planning to make a movie out of this novel, I decided to give it a shot. And boy, what an excellent narrative this one has!!

Before this I had never heard of Jimmy Hoffa or the Teamsters. But, reading about his rise and sudden disappearance of the face of the Earth, through the eyes of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, Hoffa's closest aide and friend, and supposedly his kisser(the mob wa
Jeff Tucker
Aug 09, 2010 Jeff Tucker rated it really liked it
There are so many revelations in this book that it’s hard to review it without giving something away. Growing up during the depression with an abusive father and then enduring a difficult WWII experience in the army Frank Sheeran evolved into a man capable of almost anything. It’s a fascinating story and it all sounds very plausible to me. It touches on many of the great historical mysteries and conspiracy theories of the last half century. It's a fascinating read.
Dec 16, 2014 Carlisle rated it liked it
Shelves: mob-books
I enjoyed this book in a way I didn't really expect to. I picked it up to hear the voice of Frank Sheeran but ended up being far more fascinated by the voice of Charles Brandt. Throughout the book, he allows Sheeran's story to come through as a first person narrative, interrupting occasionally to provide analysis and his own commentary. It was insightful and the extra information was really helpful for someone who hadn't heard of the Hoffa case much before - like me.
What I really found interest
Jun 04, 2012 Nathan rated it liked it
This was a tragic but endearing book. The story is about a 6'4" Irishman that went from being a small time crook to hit man to union boss to the man that killed Jimmy Hoffa (his dear friend).

Sheeran did many horrible things in his life (murder, theft, racketeering). I would suggest the worst thing he did was get Joe Biden elected senator of Delaware.
Mike Starkey
Aug 19, 2010 Mike Starkey rated it it was amazing
If you enjoyed Goodfellas, Casino or Donnie Brasco, this book is a must read. Brandt relays Frank Sheeran's story beautifully, from his rough upbringing all the way to his deathbed. Whether or not Sheeran really did kill Hoffa doesn't really matter because this is a masterfully told story.
Harvey Smith
Apr 13, 2015 Harvey Smith rated it really liked it
Very interesting book, about Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, a gangster hit man who learned to kill without thinking about it by serving many terms on the front lines killing in WWII.

This book seems to link the mob [whichever segment or family it was] to the killing of President Kennedy, and with the killing of Jimmy Hoffa.

As such, it's fairly convincing as to both things actually happening. Frank Sheeran supplied high powered rifles to the assassins of Kennedy, and he personally killed his friend
Robin Wray
Apr 11, 2012 Robin Wray rated it liked it
Well written, true crime story. Good juxtaposition of author's research with Frank Sheeran's direct quotes. Answers mystery of Jimmy Hoffa disappearance.
Ethnea Ferguson
Sep 15, 2015 Ethnea Ferguson rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYBODY!
Recommended to Ethnea by: Catherine Weaver
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vincent O'Mara
Jun 07, 2016 Vincent O'Mara rated it it was amazing
"I Heard You Paint Houses" is an entertaining record of apparently true events, made of up facts and stories from Frank "The Irishman" The story first begins to take off when Frank Sheeran tells of his brutal experiences he has contracted of the course of the war. Then, after the war, it tells of his everyday life, and how he begins to work for the mafia. The book uses a good mix of certain facts and first person accounts from the elder Frank Sheeran. The book goes on to talk of many jobs and, o ...more
Feb 18, 2009 Steve rated it it was amazing
Whoa!!! Great story
Mar 28, 2016 Eric rated it liked it
Shelves: mind
This wasn't the easiest book to get through because the writing was rather choppy. The stories themselves were pretty compelling (heck, it discusses mafia style behavior, the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and assassination plots of the President of the United States, so that stuff can't help but be compelling). Frank Sheeran was the right hand to Jimmy Hoffa and Russell Buffalino during their hey-day, with unlimited power and resources at his disposal, Sheeran got his hands dirty on many occasion ...more
Carol Wrenn
Nov 07, 2015 Carol Wrenn rated it really liked it
.....gone to Australia -down under.

"I heard you paint houses." The paint is the blood that supposedly gets on the wall or the floor when you shoot someone. I told Jimmy, "I do my own carpentry work, too." That refers to making coffins and means you get rid of the bodies yourself.

Perhaps it is true that all power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

....24 territories of organized crime.....ran their organizations (called families) with a military structure. They were "bosses," t
Sep 05, 2015 Aimee rated it liked it
Frank Sheeran is, almost by definition, an unreliable narrator, but he does manage to sound very convincing throughout his reminiscences. Sociopath though he surely was, he was also colorful and witty and even, in a strange way, likable.
As for whether what he says about the murder of Jimmy Hoffa is true, well, his claim to have killed the notorious Teamsters boss is just one of many; get in line, Frank. The scariest part of it all is not that he might have killed Hoffa, but that he makes it clea
Jan 06, 2015 Robert rated it liked it
Shelves: history
"I Heard You Paint Houses" came to my attention when I read that Martin Scorsese was in talks to make the movie with Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro starring. I've previously enjoyed some of the work that Scorsese's films were based on (Goodfellas being based on Wiseguys). "I Heard You Paint Houses" is the tale of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, one of the most dangerous men during the heyday of the mafia. So dangerous in fact, he was listed as one of the 26 top figures and only one of two non-Italian ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Walt rated it liked it
Shelves: organized-crime
This is a difficult to review. On the one hand it includes some fanciful stories; but it also has some stories that ring true. I think readers need to be cautious with accepting this book. The epilogue includes references to other authors who based their claims on Frank Sheeran's recollections with the casual dismissal that these are incorrect or lies seriously undermines the reliability of this book.

The biggest problem is that the focus of the book is not Sheeran; but rather Jimmy Hoffa. There
Ruth Ann
Sep 07, 2012 Ruth Ann rated it really liked it
So many rumors float around about events that it can be hard to decide what to believe. I think this book dispelled many rumors that I've heard over the years and not just about the killing of Jimmy Hoffa. "I heard you paint houses" is an euphemism about being a professional killer for the mob. Charles Brandt writes about events from Frank Sheeran's experiences with his father, the U.S. Army, and the Teamsters that form Sheeran's personality and lead to his subsequent life in crime. Especially c ...more
Joseph Bruno
“I Heard You Paint House's - Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa,” is the autobiography of mobster Frank “The Irishman” Sheehan, written by former homicide prosecutor and Chief Deputy Attorney General of the State of Delaware, Charles Brandt. The main point of the book is that Sheehan, more than 25 years after the disappearance of Teamsters union President Jimmy Hoffa, finally admitted to putting two bullets in Hoffa's head. The book is interspersed with Brant's writing, which are precise and quite ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: I Heard You Paint Houses - Charles Brandt - 3*** 3 10 Jan 29, 2016 07:21PM  
  • Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster
  • Mr. Capone
  • Blood and Honor: Inside the Scarfo Mob--The Mafia's Most Violent Family
  • The Butcher: Anatomy of a Mafia Psychopath
  • Murder Machine
  • Mafia Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the Gambino Crime Family
  • The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century
  • The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America
  • Capone: The Man and the Era
  • For the Sins of My Father: A Mafia Killer, His Son, and the Legacy of a Mob Life
  • The Gangs of Chicago: An Informal History of the Chicago Underworld
  • When Corruption Was King: How I Helped the Mob Rule Chicago, Then Brought the Outfit Down
  • Malavita
  • Murder, Inc.: The Story Of The Syndicate
  • Capone: The Life and World of Al Capone
  • To Kill the Irishman: The War That Crippled the Mafia
  • Mr. Untouchable
  • The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia

Share This Book

“I often said that when they put me in jail in 1981 it was not the FBI’s intent, but they saved my life. They only have seven days in a week, and by the time I went to jail I was drinking eight.” 0 likes
“Punching” 0 likes
More quotes…