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By Nicholas Pileggi

Nicholas Pileggi’s bright, unvarnished, journalistic chronicle of the lifetime of Henry Hill—the working-class Brooklyn child who knew from age twelve that “to be a wiseguy was once to possess the world,” who grew as much as reside the highs and lows of the gangster’s life—has been hailed as “the most sensible booklet ever written on prepared crime” (Cosmopolitan).
This is the true-crime bestseller that was once the foundation for Martin Scorsese’s movie masterpiece GoodFellas, which delivered to lifestyles the violence, the surplus, the households, the better halves and girlfriends, the medication, the payoffs, the paybacks, the reformatory time, and the Feds . . . with Henry Hill’s crackling narration drawn instantly out of Wiseguy and overseeing the entire unforgettable motion.
Read it and adventure the key existence contained in the mob—from one who’s lived it.

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It meant perks in a working-class neighborhood that had no privileges. To be a wiseguy was to own the world. " Suddenly, Henry found, he could go anywhere. He no longer had to wait in line at the local Italian bakery for fresh bread on Sunday mornings. The owner would just come from around the counter and tuck the warmest loaves under his arm and wave him home. People no longer parked in the Hill driveway, although his father never had a car. One day neighborhood youngsters even carried his mother's groceries home.

Johnny taught me how to soften up the counterfeit bills with cold coffee and cigarette ashes the night before and leave them out to dry. He taught me to pretend I was in a hurry when I went up to the cashier. He also told me never to carry more than one bill on me at a time. That way, if you get caught, you can pretend that somebody passed it off on you. He was right. It worked. I was caught a couple of times, but I could always cry my way out. I was just a kid. I'd start to yell and cry and say I had to tell my mother what happened.

I remember feeling that maybe he was right. "About this time a guy from the South opened a cabstand around the corner, on Glenmore Avenue. He called it the Rebel Cab Company. The guy was a real hick. He was from Alabama or Tennessee. He had been in the army, and just because he'd married a local girl, he thought all he had to do was open his place and compete with Tuddy. He lowered his prices. He worked around the clock. He set up special discounts to take people from the last subway and bus stops on Liberty Avenue to the far reaches of Howard Beach and the Rockaways.

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