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

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  8,951 ratings  ·  751 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 ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 24th 2005 by Steerforth (first published June 1st 2004)
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.
Popular Answered Questions
Suzanne Yes. Martin Scorsese is making this film with Pacino, DiNiro, and Pesce, whoch is going to be be his first film to premiere at the New York Film…moreYes. Martin Scorsese is making this film with Pacino, DiNiro, and Pesce, whoch is going to be be his first film to premiere at the New York Film Festival this year. Someone told me about this book a few months ago, because of a lecture he went to, and now it's popping up all over the place.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,951 ratings  ·  751 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank the Irishman Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa
Boyd
Jan 19, 2009 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
...more
Cbj
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after I heard that Martin Scorsese was making a $150 million film based on it. The book has a really cool name that humorously alludes to killing a man. I Heard You Paint Houses is about Frank Sheeran, the Irish gangster, who carried out more than twenty executions on the orders of his boss, the Italian mobster Russell Bufalino.

The book is written like a murder mystery. It begins with Sheeran trying to make peace between Jimmy Hoffa (former leader of the Teamsters – an American
...more
J.K. Grice
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Holy Moly... this was one hell of a book. Wow. Still hard to wrap my head around everything, but if you really want some fascinating true crime history, not to mention the facts surrounding the Jimmy Hoffa case and the Kennedy assassination, this book is for you. Every adult in this country would benefit from reading I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES. Of course, with the Netflix film THE IRISHMAN, the entire world is now more aware of not only the story, but has also come to know more about Frank "The ...more
Tara Rock
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an awesome book. An historical account which was obviously meticulously researched and written in the format of a true crime novel. The information imparted was astonishing and staggering. I would highly recommend.
Susan
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot imagine why the title of this book was changed, for the recent film version, to the, rather dull, “The Irishman,” when it, surely, has one of the best titles ever. “I heard you paint houses?” is a question that Frank Sheeran was asked a lot, alluding to his willingness to get rid of people. In this book, Frank Sheeran paints a LOT of houses, including his admittance to the killing of Jimmy Hoffa. So many people did he, and his mob associates, kill, that he jokes that, were a local river ...more
Nigeyb
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Predictably enough it was Martin Scorcese's film adaptation which prompted me to read The Irishman: Originally published as I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. I always prefer to read source material before watching adaptations.

This is a true crime classic. It's almost a factual version of American Tabloid, indeed the two books would work really well together. Not only do we learn what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, we also get definitive closure on the JFK assassination too.

It helps that
...more
Jim
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, biography, jfk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book, so interesting and informative!! Gripped me from start to finish!!! I have a deep seated curiosity of everything related to the Mafia!!! Can't wait to see the Netflix movie towards the end of this month (21st November I think! Robert De Niro plays Frank Sheeran (The Irishman) Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Kietel are also in the movie!!! Amazing actors for an amazing true story!! The movie is three and a half hours long and will probably fly by!!!
Joseph DiFrancesco
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Being born in South Philly this book held a lot of personal nostalgia for me. I’ve eaten at Villa de Roma more times than I could count. Though I’ve never been in the habit of dipping my bread into glasses of red wine, I recall my grandmother doing it.

It’s a fascinating account of the underworld and its ways. Sheeran’s biopic was handled nicely. His childhood, war experiences and growing up in neighborhoods familiar to me, held me riveted.

If his claims are indeed true this book holds its place
...more
Amanda
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I just find mob stories so fascinating - maybe because it seems straight out of a movie, not real life. Speaking of - can’t wait for the movie!
Mike
Jan 12, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: crime

(The following contains some spoilers for The Irishman and Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood. Please proceed with caution.)

I enjoyed The Irishman, but at this point I'm probably not going to read this book, especially because Frank Sheeran's confession to Charles Brandt seems not to be true.

But I also think The Irishman makes an interesting contrast with the latest Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, the latter of which helped me to understand why I haven't liked anything Tarantino's
...more
Dan
Jul 23, 2012 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
...more
Geoff Smith
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
The story of Frank Sheeran's life up to and beyond the disappearance of Hoffa. I'm not American and the Hoffa thing was new to me. Maybe it was this that made me feel that this book is just too damned long. If a book can be interesting and boring at the same time, then this is it.
Jackie
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A well written and interesting story about mob life and the death of Jimmy Hoffa. I listened to this on audiobook and the narration was impeccable. I do wish there had been audible clues to the changes between the storytellers though, since it was all narrated by one person.
Realini
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Irishman, based on the book by Charles Brandt
10 out of 10

this is a note on the film, not the book on which it is based....

Given the glorious reception received by this magnum opus, the only thing that may be left to establish would be what will be the place of the motion picture among the other quintessential classics, would it be in the same top twenty best ever, with Goodfellas and The Godfather, or right behind…Variety has perhaps a very accurate, awed take on the latest Scorsese
...more
Arun Divakar
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This past week, I happened to see a clip from CBS Sunday morning in which the guests were Martin Scorsese, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro who were promoting their movie ‘The Irishman’. Coming to theatres and Netflix in November 2019, it is now open knowledge that this movie is based on the book that I had just finished reading. When I sat down to watch the clip after having read the book, there were two points where curiosity got the better of me :

1.While being a true crime/investigative non
...more
Adam O'Grady
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Preface: I'm not a true crime fan and hadn't even heard the name "Jimmy Hoffa" before purchasing this book, I read it to step outside my usual comfort zone.

I had mixed reactions to this, there were some parts I absolutely loved and a number of chapters and idiosyncrasies in the writing style that bugged me to no end.

Pros:
- Frank Sheeran's account of growing up in the Great Depression painted a very stark and strange picture so removed from modern life.
- His service in WWII conveyed the horrors
...more
Gram
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is the book which inspired "The Irishman" - the latest film directed by Martin Scorsese. The Irishman is Frank Sheeran, a close friend of the union boss, Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared disappeared on July 30, 1975. During five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he carried out more than 2 dozen murders for the Mafia, and for his friend Hoffa.
This book documents Sheeran's life, including his lengthy spell in combat during World War II. Despite being a
...more
Brian Joynt
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read, and a crucial document that ties up loose ends for some of the more sinister events in American history, including the rise and the overall scale of power of organized crime elements as they were mid-century, the Hoffa disappearance, the JFK assassination, and various other intricate pieces that have attracted controversy and conspiracy theories over the decades. The Irishman, Frank Sheeran, narrates his story to Charles Brandt for most of the tome, detailing his harrowing ...more
Book Concierge
3.5***

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
...more
Donna
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, crime, politics
An authentic account from a dying man of his life in the mob, spoken in his own "street vocabulary". He makes no attempt to gloss over what he has done or to make excuses for it.

As a Catholic (by his definition), he forms a relationship with the author who also has a Catholic background. Despite his life of crime and remorseless killing on command even of his best friends, as he nears death, he wants peace in his life. Both have an understanding of confession and forgiveness of sin, and on this
...more
Jim
Jan 27, 2014 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
...more
Andrea
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was really well done and it drops some major bombshells. Recommended.
Stephen Groenewegen
Oct 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A highly readable true crime account of the disappearance of labour union leader Jimmy Hoffa in 1975. The book doubles as a biography of Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran, a hitman for the mob, who also confesses to Hoffa's murder. The book is around 75% quotes from interviews conducted with Sheeran by former investigator turned author Charles Brandt. The book is the basis of the film The Irishman (2019, directed by Martin Scorsese).

The set-up and Sheeran's backstory are fascinating, as are the
...more
Kevin Krekling
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
greatest crime story I’ve ever read. masterfully gives a glimpse inside the mob and solves the Hoffa/jfk murders
Erin Cataldi
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I'm a sucker for mobster stories - especially ones that turn out to be true! When I saw a preview for the Netflix movie - The Irishman - I was hooked. I immediately went online to find out more about it and I discovered it was a book. So naturally I had to read the book. It did not disappoint! I learned more about Jimmy Hoffa, organized crime, the Teamsters, and Bobby Kennedy then I had in any other book. It was dark, fascinating, twisted and impossible to put down! Charles Brandt listened to ...more
Paul Ataua
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
My knowledge of this part of American history has always been rather sketchy, and I wanted to know more about Hoffa, the Teamsters, the Mafia connections, and the Kennedy’s. This book, certainly filled in a lot of the spaces even if it wandered a little too much in areas that weren’t all that central. If I am to be honest, it seemed to go on and on, and I was relieved that it finally ended. I also felt I never got a close enough feel of Hoffa himself. It was, however, good, and a start to ...more
Pasfendis
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I could not put this book down. If the author and his source are to be believed, and the facts as presented certainly seem credible and even compelling, then this book solves not only the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance, but the JFK assassination too. Written in a narrative style that keeps the pages turning. Very interesting book. I am looking forward to watching the movie adaptation (The Irishman).
Jude Zoeller
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the more morbidly interesting non-fiction books I've encountered. This man was not unlike the Forrest Gump of the National Crime Syndicate, even as an Irishman, an outsider without Italian blood. The split narrative layout using Frank Sheeran's own words with Brandt filling in the gaps with necessary information/clarification is effective. Compelling stuff. It's hard not to believe the claims made within, especially after reading the epilogue and afterword, etc.
Amy
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really could care less about the Mafia, politics and conspiracy theories.
Or so I thought.
I could not put this book down.
It’s the Sopranos, The Godfather and Donnie Brasco. But true. Well...it’s presented as true and I have to admit, it’s pretty convincing with all the interviews and research.
But it’s the Mafia. So who can you trust?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Irishman Full...: The Irishman Full movie Online Hd 1 2 Dec 05, 2019 09:44PM  
Play Book Tag: I Heard You Paint Houses - Charles Brandt - 3*** 3 17 Jan 29, 2016 07:21PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Red Russia
  • A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America
  • Night of the Rat
  • The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock
  • The Names of the Dead
  • The Last Sister (Columbia River, #1)
  • Lost Hills (Eve Ronin #1)
  • The Wrong End of the Table: A Mostly Comic Memoir of a Muslim Arab American Woman Just Trying to Fit in
  • The Quiet Don: The Untold Story of Mafia Kingpin Russell Bufalino
  • Assuming Names: A Con Artist's Masquerade
  • Love Lies: A True Story of Marriage and Murder in the Suburbs
  • American Dirt
  • Depraved Heart (Scarpetta, #23)
  • In the Heart of the Fire (Nameless #1)
  • Thin Air (Jessica Shaw #1)
  • The Pale-Faced Lie
  • Blood and Money
  • Unspeakable Things
See similar books…
“If you could refresh my recollection on that matter I might be able to recall what you want me to recall, but at this particular time I do not recall the particulars of that particular matter.” 5 likes
“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.” 4 likes
More quotes…