Review: Mafia: The History of the Mob – Nigel Cawthorne

Mafia-The-History-of-the-Mob-Paperback-L9781848588370

PLOT: This book is about extraordinary men who lived through extraordinary times. The History of the Mob tells the stories of their lives, their families, their code, their crimes, and their cold-blooded murders—from Don Vito Cascio Ferro, the New York mobster who lured Joe Petrosino to his death in Palermo, to John Gotti, “the Teflon don” and Bernardo “the Tractor” Provenzano, who hid out in a farmhouse for forty-three years. – via Goodreads

GRADE 6So my other half bought me two super cool books on the mob recently (see how well he knows me?) because, of course, it would be endlessly entertaining for me to read something like that and I have a massive interest in it. Of the two, I figured I would start with Mafia, and it isn’t a bad pick. Mafia is really a brief overview of the mob, never actually getting into too much detail anywhere, and it is a simple and fast read. It reminded me of a really long high school history essay. Not too much of anything, but enough to give you a brief overview. If you like stories of the mob or want a quick spiderweb drawn up of the Sicilian mafia as well as the American counterpart, this is a great place to start. You won’t get inundated by details, which will definitely not be what you want when you start reading about the Mafia. However, as someone who enjoys it, I would probably have preferred something with more meat on it (and this is where I think the second book is going to win out). I wanted to know more and more than the titillating tidbits that this one gives you. It’s like you desperately wait for a payoff that never happens. While Mafia is interesting and a great introduction, this isn’t going to be for everyone, and the presentation might get old, fast, for most people. Again, think history essay. On a side note, I was ridiculously entertained by how many different Giuseppes there were. Ask Natasha, while she was studying, I would call out “Giuseppe” every time I encountered a new one. It was insane. Cawthorne was quite thoroughly informed of his subject matter, and was able to relay it in a simple and engaging fashion, but again, don’t expect to find what you want quickly, this does come across more as a high school project than anything else.Yep, don’t have much more to say on this one, check it out if you are interested in a brief overview on the mob or want to read some crazy stories, but if you are better versed on the mob than a beginner, you can definitely find a better read.

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