The first thing that came to my mind after I had finished reading the book is 'Why hasn't this been turned into a movie? This book is epic on every scale. Scorsese should definitely direct it with Leonardo DiCaprio'
The story of how a young boy born inside a burning ship on its way to America from Italy makes it to the land of the free and the brave and how he becomes the most dangerous , respected , feared , loved and successful gangster in America.
This is the story of Angelo Vestieri,
The first few pages of the book, that is till the birth of Angelo, I thought that book was a drag. Not even the scene where the father had to murder his own son was jaw dropping for me but from the point where Angelo joined hands with Pudge thanks to Ida the goose and went under the guidance of Angus Mcqueen, the first gangster of the 20th century I was totally gripped. The book grabbed me by the throat till the last page.
This book has everything in it from the joy of being loved to the loss of loved ones to gang wars to loneliness that poverty brings to the friends and foes that money brings to the brutality of being on the other side of the law to everything about a gangster and I can honestly say that this book is superior to The Godfather. It is only after reading this book I understood that there are many books out there that are potentially better than many best sellers but have not come to our notice.
The writing style is also unique and the way in which the growth of the characters have been shown is splendid as it has a mix of the past and present. The combination of the story being told in first person and the third has been splendidly crafted. The dialogues are the greatest strength of the story. After you read this, you will know what it means to be a man and what it means to be THE MAN. The way in which circumstances forces one to make decisions have been minutely explored and explained by the author. This is no normal book. This is a masterpiece.
The way in which human emotions have been explained are so good that you could actually feel it and the way in which Angelo has been sculptured will definitely make you want to love him, respect him and follow him.
The story about one of the greatest gangster of the past century is truly captivating and if you chose to read this book, then make sure to do it at a stretch. You will be on one gruesome ride of your life.