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Casinò. Una storia d'amore e di…
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Casinò. Una storia d'amore e di vendetta (edition 1995)

by Nicholas Pileggi

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392448,518 (3.79)3
Love, greed and betrayal in the Las Vegas mob.From Nicholas Pileggi, author of the bestselling Wiseguy -- the #1 bestseller that later became the hit movie Goodfellas -- comes this brilliantly told tale of love, marriage, adultery, murder and revenge Mafia-style, the true story of how the mob finally lost its stranglehold over the multi-billion-dollar casino gambling industry of Las Vegas. No one knew more about casinos than Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, the gambling mastermind who, with his best friend and partner Anthony Spilotro, virtually ran Las Vegas for the mob. For years it was the perfect arrangement -- Lefty provided the smarts and obsessive attention to detail, while Tony made sure the bosses stayed happy with their weekly suitcases filled with millions of dollars in skimmed cash. It was so sweet it should have lasted forever, but Lefty's obsession with running the town -- and Tony's obsession with Lefty's beautiful showgirl wife Geri -- eventually led to the betrayals and investigations that exploded into one of the greatest debacles in the mob's history. A real-life story of love and betrayal set in America's favorite playground, Casino is a Mafia tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions, as well as the inside account of just how the mob lost control of the neon money-making machine it created.… (more)
Member:elkjaer
Title:Casinò. Una storia d'amore e di vendetta
Authors:Nicholas Pileggi
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Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi

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I knew the minute Sharon Stone threw those chips in the air in the movie Casino that I was going to love this movie. That love affair has never ended and then the book popped up on Bookbub and I was thoroughly excited! So much so that I bought the book, watched the movie, read the book and then watched the movie again.

One main difference is that the book actually uses all the real names of the individuals. This allows the reader to set off exploring more about the real people online and pull up pictures to match names and faces. Of course, you can always use Pesci, DeNiro and Stone as the faces and still be ok.
This is essentially the story of Las Vegas post Bugsy Siegel and pre-current day corporate Vegas.

Although money to build and fund the casino’s initially came through corrupt union bosses and organized crime, it has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. But in the glory days, it was organized crime, primarily out of Los Angeles and Chicago, who owned Vegas.

Lefty Rosenthal was a handicapper, bookmaker and odds man, trusted by the mob to go out to Vegas and run the Stardust and Hacienda Hotels. The first part of the book introduces Lefty and his background as well as his best friend, Tony Spilotro, a well-known Chicago mobster.

After Lefty moves out to Vegas, he meets Geri McGee (aka Ginger) a well-known casino hustler and escort who works the punters as they come in to Vegas. Lefty fell for her hard and Geri, understanding the potential of a wealthy “sponsor”, let him. This despite her undying love for her ex-boyfriend, baby daddy Lenny.

Tony Spilotro was sent to Vegas to keep an eye on Lefty and to secure their interests in the casino. But Tony, cut free from his leash and keepers in Chicago, became a one crew crime spree. Bringing in his own people, he did burglaries, murders, jewelry heists, armed robbery, loan sharking etc. The town was his for the taking and he took it all – including Geri.

The movie closely followed the book so it will not disappoint film fans. In fact, it will enhance the viewing experience and make you want to watch it all again – twice! ( )
  ozzie65 | Sep 24, 2017 |
I was thrilled that my daughter’s boyfriend bought Casino by Nicholas Pileggi for me as a birthday present. This has long been a TBR that I hoped to own one day, and I immediately began reading it, despite the fact that I had five other books going. Pileggi, who collaborated with Martin Scorcese to turn his non-fiction book Wiseguy about mobster Henry Hill into the critically acclaimed film masterpiece Goodfellas, reprises this effort with Casino. Pileggi wrote the screenplay for both films – each directed by Scorcese and casting Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Frank Vincent as various underworld characters – which are among my all-time favorite movies. I read Wiseguy sometime back and I always wanted to read Casino.
Like Wiseguy, the book version of Casino is very different from the film. A narrative of actual events heavily dependent upon interviews and transcripts, the dramatic element so essential to the film is largely absent here, most prominently because of the way the story is told. For movie fans, it comes as somewhat of a disappointed that while the majority of the people and events depicted in the film are real, many did not occur in the order or the manner related on the screen. However, for those readers interested in the mob and its inner-workings, the factual components of the book are quite fascinating. Still, there remains a kind of dissonance in that the author of the book and the screenplay are the same individual, and the screenplay is, after all, so much more exciting – at least as Scorcese translates it to celluloid.
I’m not sure that anyone who never saw Casino would be interested in its eponymous book, although I was taken enough by the content to read it in its entirety in just a few days. At the end of the day, it makes a fine complement to the film, which I look forward to screening again very soon so I can compare truth and fiction while it remains fresh in my head. ( )
  Garp83 | Apr 7, 2013 |
I found this on a bench at the convention center at the Gartner Conference hotel. It just goes to show you what passes for entertainment with me. Non-fiction. ( )
  probably | Jan 24, 2008 |
WOW. This book is fantastic from start to finish. The movie of this book is an all time classic and stuck pretty close to the book. But the book is better (as usual). Nicholas Pileggi does this type of book very well, and this is an instant classic. ( )
  tetchechury | Apr 3, 2007 |
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"Why is my car on fire?" - Introduction
"My pals thought I was the messiah." - Chapter 1
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Las Vegas was a city with no memory. It was the place you went for a second chance. It was the American city where people went after the divorce, after the bankruptcy, even after a short stint in the county jail. It was the final destination for those willing to drive halfway across America in search of the nation’s only morality car wash.
A million dollars in $100 bills weighs 20½ pounds; a million in $20s, 102 pounds; and a million in $5 bills, 408 pounds... A million dollars in quarter slot machine winnings weighs twenty-one tons.
the legal action allowed federal agents access to his tax records. They wasted no time before bringing charges that Spilotro had filed a false mortgage loan application for his house when he said he had been employed by a cement company. The IRS agents showed that he had claimed that his sole income that year, $9,000, had been derived from gambling wins only. There was no income reported from a cement company.
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Love, greed and betrayal in the Las Vegas mob.From Nicholas Pileggi, author of the bestselling Wiseguy -- the #1 bestseller that later became the hit movie Goodfellas -- comes this brilliantly told tale of love, marriage, adultery, murder and revenge Mafia-style, the true story of how the mob finally lost its stranglehold over the multi-billion-dollar casino gambling industry of Las Vegas. No one knew more about casinos than Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, the gambling mastermind who, with his best friend and partner Anthony Spilotro, virtually ran Las Vegas for the mob. For years it was the perfect arrangement -- Lefty provided the smarts and obsessive attention to detail, while Tony made sure the bosses stayed happy with their weekly suitcases filled with millions of dollars in skimmed cash. It was so sweet it should have lasted forever, but Lefty's obsession with running the town -- and Tony's obsession with Lefty's beautiful showgirl wife Geri -- eventually led to the betrayals and investigations that exploded into one of the greatest debacles in the mob's history. A real-life story of love and betrayal set in America's favorite playground, Casino is a Mafia tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions, as well as the inside account of just how the mob lost control of the neon money-making machine it created.

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