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

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  1,785 Ratings  ·  183 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)
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Community Reviews

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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
Jul 01, 2016 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
Feb 18, 2009 Steve rated it it was amazing
Whoa!!! Great story
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
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
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.
Aug 12, 2010 John rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Mar 18, 2013 David rated it really liked it
“I Heard You Paint Houses” were the first words Teamster leader and union boss Jimmy Hoffa spoke to Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. This book is a retelling of some of the most tense economic moments in the 1960s, where mafias ran unions and criminals rose to the top. Charles Brandt managed to sit down with an aging Frank Sheeran and extract first-hand accounts of Jimmy Hoffa’s accounts with the mob and his ultimate death. Hoffa’s disappearance was for 35 years one of the most mysterious unsolved ...more
Feb 26, 2013 John rated it really liked it
i was looking on IMDB or Wikipedia or somewhere @ Martin Scorsese's bio, and saw that this was a book he was thinking of filming, and so that's what piqued my interest. i think Scorsese does best when he film's crime and mob related material. and then when i saw that this was a story about the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, knowing that Jack Nicholson starred in a movie about Hoffa, i was curious as to what angle Scorsese might take to film this.

the book is convincing. Frank Sheeran might not have been
Allan MacDonell
Apr 21, 2013 Allan MacDonell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In fiction, an admitted sociopath relaying the course of events is accepted and enjoyed as an “unreliable narrator.” In a true-life memoir, an autobiographical subject with a self-admitted history of lies and betrayals, especially one who purports to have played a hand in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and to have delivered the bullets that killed labor leader Jimmy Hoffa, can—if “I Heard You Paint Houses” is any indication—be experienced as an enthralling expert witness to an Am ...more
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
David Briggs
Aug 09, 2016 David Briggs rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Great book, there is no doubt in my mind who killed Hoffa.
Joe Fiore

It was like a long boring trial but worth the read if they are making this into a movie with Pacino, DeNiro, and Pesci.
Sep 18, 2016 Louis rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Charles Brandt’s I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran And Closing The Case on Jimmy Hoffa” is a biography of a Frank Sheeran. Through a combination of research and interviews with Sheeran, Brandt’s book tells the tale everything from Sheeran’s formative years and service in World War II to his alleged role in the demise of Jimmy Hoffa.

Frank Sheeran claims he was ordered to kill Jimmy Hoffa, and did so, on the orders of Russell Bufalino, who was convinced that Hoffa was publicl
patrick kennedy
Sep 14, 2016 patrick kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Best book I've read in years, from start to finish I couldn't put it down, I can't praise it enough
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