Patrick McCoy's Reviews > Wiseguy

Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi
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's review
Sep 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, biography-autobiography

I was inspired to read Nicholas Pileggi’s Wiseguy after watching the Goodfellas Special Edition DVD, which had some commentary from Pileggi with Scorsese. Incidentally, Pileggi has been pegged to write the screenplay for Tokyo Underworld, an entertaining book by Robert Whiting.
It was interesting to compare the book with the movie and see what they changed and what they left out. In the end, I think they stayed pretty true to the book. Some of the stuff left out was really interesting-connections to other mafia families, the Boston University point shaving scandal (which I remember reading about in my father’s Sports Illustrated), and the effect of a G. Gordon Liddy food strike that got Henry Hill into the minimum security facility. I wonder if the prisons had to undergo reviews after this book, which outlined all the corruption that takes place inside. Like the movie, it provided a fascinating look into the everyday lives of mafia gangsters trying to earn day to day. It seems that The Sopranos couldn't have existed without a book like this appearing first.

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