Joseph D. Pistone: Donnie Brasco (book review)

Before i get into thjs review, let me just say that i have never seen the movie. But now that i finished the book i will watch the movie sometime soon to see how close the movie is to the book.

Joe Pistone was an FBI agent who went undercover to infiltrate the mob in New York. He would stay undercover for 6 years from the mid 70s to early 80s. As you can expect this book is full of insights into the mafia and how they worked back in those days. Joe Pistone along with his co writer provide a very easy to read book which will keep you hooked from beginning to end, you will not want to put this book down!

Mr. Pistone will provide you with such incredible details that it makes you feel you are right there with him through it all. Pistone starrts at the bottom and he works his way up the ladder in the mob. Making phony deals with other undercover agents passing as his connections in other states.

Technology back in the 70s was not what it is today, so a few of the times when “Donnie Brasco” wore a wire many of the conversations would be ruined because of faulty equipment, or just simply because the “wise guys” would do things to avoid being caught on tape admitting or discussing their business. Also if Joe Pistone got caught, it would almost certainly mean death for him.

Throughtout the book, there are a few times were the whole operation couldve been destroyed, and it all came down to the actual police department “stepping in” their business.

This is such a deep book, that it should be a must read for everybody who is into this genre, or works as an undercover officer, or simply in the law enforcement field.

At the end of the book there are a couple of pages with all the guys involved in this operation. A lot of them died, and a lot of them got many years in prison. Now go find a copy of this book, and i guarantee you, you will enjoy it as much as i did!

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Publisher: New American Library
Release Date: January 29, 1988
# of Pages: 373

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Alex James: Bit of a Blur (book review)

Alex James is the bass player of the brit pop band Blur. Alex writing is not your typical autobiography style, it is more like a collection of stories from the road. However that doesnt take away from being an interesting book.

I first bought this book because i heard about all of his drug use and how he was the drunkest band member, but Alex doesnt really talk a lot about that. It was a bit dissapointing because even in the sleeve of the book it says all of that, but really you barely read about drugs, mostly just drunken nights.

A. James does go into a lot of details of how they recorded their albums and how some of their biggest hits came to be in about 15 minutes (i know is stereotypical, every band’s biggest hits are written in 20 minutes or less). Strange enough he wrote very little about Song 2, which was odd considering thats perhaps their biggest hit. Along his journey Alex will take from his hometown, to New York, to Australia, to Iceland. The best part of this book is getting to read how the band formed and how they struggled in the beggining.

There are also 3 different section of pictures, so that was cool because youd read a little bit and before you got bored with reading, bam! a section of pictures.

Overall it was a cool book if you’d like to know a bit more about Blur, but dont expect a book to keep you on the edge.

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Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Release Date: April 1, 2008
# of Pages: 288

Kenneth Walton: Fake, Forgery, Lies and eBay (book review)

I picked this book up mainly because it had the title ebay attached to it, and being an ebay buyer of course i had to read it.

First of all it is not as exciting as the title suggests. Kenneth Walton was a lawyer who along with his accomplice sold art on ebay. The paintings they were selling, they were adding signatures to them to basically make them worth more than what they really were. Eventually Kenneth all by himself forged his biggest auction on ebay and thats what brought him all of the trouble that followed.

Kenneth sounds like a very smart person and i got the feeling from reading this book that he just wanted a shot at making some money to pay off his school debt but got mixed up with the wrong people. Mr. Walton however does take full responsability for his actions and eventually turns his life around for the better.

While this is not some book about some great mystery of forging paintings and some kind of inside scoop about the business, it was an excellent and very short read. I highly recommend it if youre into this kind of topics.

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Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment
Release Date: April 25, 2006
# of Pages: 304

Vince Neil: Tattoos and Tequila (book review)

It is no secret that I am a big fan of Motley Crue. I have all of their official released books as you can see from some of my previews reviews. However this book was a little dissappointing. Aside from a few new things and getting to hear from Vince’s wives, most of the book ive read about it before.

Vince comes off as such an asshole and ego maniac, that most of what he talks about makes you think “what the fuck is he talking about?” He talks so bad about the other guys in Motley Crue that not even halfway through the book i almost put it down for good. It is no wonder why he says Motley Crue is a business and not a friendship. Neil openly says how “those guys are not my friends, they are not trustworthy”, well i wonder why. Also i felt he was very repetitive all throughtout the book, saying the same things over and over…

There is a reason why not many people who were or are involved in his life declined to contribute anything to the book. When you have an ego that big and you think youre better than everybody, or you blame everything on somebody else, and you do not take responsability for you own actions, well i think some people are gonna turn their back. That was another thing that i saw all through this book. Vince is always blaming in mistakes on somebody else, man up and take responsability.

The chapters about his daughter are the best thing about this book. You can really see how honest Vince is when he is talking about his daughter.

All in all is a decent read if you are a fan of Motley Crue, if you’re not or you havent read The Dirt or any of the other books by the guys from Motley, then you wont really understand this book or their history.

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Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: September 23, 2010
# of Pages: 320

Idea for Book Giveaway?

So I was thinking about doing a book giveaway from my personal collection of books. If you’ve followed my blog this far, you know what kind of books i review. I would like to do this to give back to you guys for following, liking, and sharing my reviews. I havent worked out all the details but i know for sure the book will be sent absolutely free (including shipping within the USA).

Here is the problem. I dont really know how to do a give away and i was hoping you guys could help me by suggesting how i should do it. I have a few ideas but i was wondering if any of you had a suggestion. Anyways leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Please share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and all the other media sites. The more you share, the more giveaways i will start doing.

Thanks

Robbert K. Wittman: Priceless (book review)

I put off reading this book for a couple of months… what a mistake that was! I couldn’t put it down and it only took me a couple of sittings to finish it. It is that interesting.

Robert K. Wittman was the founder of the FBI Art Crime Unit, one that focuses on retrieving the world’s stolen treasures from paintings, to sculptures to other rare items that are sold in the black market. Mr. Wittman takes you along going undercover across 3 continents to retrieve items like Rembrandts, Vemeer and an original copy of The Bills of Rights, along with others that are priceless.

Every chapter in the book is dedicated to a different sting operation. Mr. Wittman not only shares with us the details of each operation, but also gives us a history lesson of the items, which i found very interesting getting to know the history of the various paintings. Given that Mr. Wittman is a collector himself, he really knows what he is talking about and also look for when going undercover.

I guarantee you will not be able to put it down. His story is so amazing and you can picture everything in your head as you are reading along! Not too shabby for a guy whose career was almost before it even started due to “The Accident”

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Publisher: Crown
Release Date: June 1, 2009
# of Pages: 336

Dave Navarro: Don’t Try This at Home (book review)

I was a little skeptical before i started to read this book because a lot of the reviews out there said that this book didn’t make sense, or it was boring. Well those people apparently did not understand the title of this book. It is not a typical autobiography, actuallly it is not one at all. Is is exactly what the title says: A Year in the Life of Dave Navarro

The book is written in a weird way because it is mostly written from Neil Strauss perspective instead of Dave’s himself. Navarro does chime in and there are pages written by himself, but mostly the reader learns about Dave Navarro from Neil’s perpesctive.

You really get to know Navarro’s personality and what he was going through during that period. Everything is captured in a weird way by his photo booth that he has in his house, which is what this book centers around. You can see who comes in during that month through the photo strips and connect the stories to that specific person. The photos range from famous musicians, to strippers, to his maid, to just random people who happen to come by the house.

The last few chapters are about Navarro and Carmen Electra and how they met, got to know each other and eventually got married.

I wouldn’t say this is a must read, but it is for sure an interesting read if you like to know about Navarro’s drug use and rehab stint.

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Publisher: It Books
Release Date: October 5, 2004
# of Pages: 256