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Lord High Executioner

The Legendary Mafia Boss Albert Anastasia
Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Umberto "Albert" Anastasia was born in Italy at the turn of the century. Five decades later, he would be gunned down in a barber shop in New York City. What happened in the years in between - and why every crime family had reason to want him dead - is one of the most brutal and fascinating stories in the history of American organized crime. 

This in-depth account of the man who became one of the most powerful and homicidal crime bosses of the 20th century from Mafia insider Frank Dimatteo is the first full-length book to chronicle Anastasia's bloody rise from immigrant to founder of the notorious killer's club Murder, Inc.

They called him "The One Man Army." "Mad Hatter." "Lord High Executioner." But Albert Anastasia was a man who defied description. He was Albert the gentleman thief: a polished stick-up artist who would apologize to his victims - and kiss their ladies' hands - as he robbed them at gunpoint. He was Albert the killer: whose merciless assassination of Mafia godfather Vincent Mangano is recounted here in chilling firsthand detail. He was Albert the record breaker: the first man in the history of American justice to be charged with four separate murders - and walk free after each one. 

But in the end, he was last obstacle in rival Mafia hoodlum Vito Genovese's dream of becoming the boss of bosses - and paid the ultimate price.

©2020 Frank Dimatteo and Michael Benson (P)2020 Tantor
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  • Adeliese
  • 27-05-20

Not for me

I’ve read about the Mafia for over 20 years and looked forward to hearing this book. I couldn’t be more disapponted.

The style is hyperbolic, exaggerated, like being forced to listen to a drunk at a bar talking tough and big for nearly nine hours. If that’s your idea of a good time, you’re in luck.

If Mr Anastasia was the sadist the authors claim he is, he’d have been delighted that listening to his life story is torture.

Continually using trite clichéd expressions such as “black as night” are part of the verbose, excessive scene setting.

Character description is one-dimensional, without insight, and filled with contemptuous insult and attack.

Albert Anastasia’s life was dramatic enough. It doesn’t need to be overdramatized with a lot of nonsense. I would have liked to learn something new about him, particularly about his upbringing and marriage.

Apart from style, adding dramatic elements is a key problem for me here. The first words of this book are a caveat admitting there are multiple composite characters, reimaginated or reframed quotes and conversations, etc.

In other words, it’s just short of a novel, with lots of innuendo, gossip, and unsourced reporting presented as fact. The thin remainder of solid information is biographical detail well known for decades. The rest is about the other characters and the operations of Murder Inc.

Narrator‘s voice and delivery are pleasant, especially considering the vulgarity of the material he has to present, but he does mispronounce many names, Italian and Jewish American alike.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christina Fox
  • 03-06-20

Great book

it was a great book, if you love anything about the American mafia it's a must read