The Good Rat by Jimmy Breslin

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Synopsis

In his inimitable New York voice, Pulitzer Prize winner Jimmy Breslin gives us a look through the keyhole at the people and places that define the Mafia—characters like John Gotti, Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso (named for his weapon of choice), and Jimmy "the Clam" Eppolito—interwoven with the remarkable true-crime saga of the good rat himself, Burt Kaplan of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the star witness in the recent trial of two NYPD detectives indicted for carrying out eight gangland executions. Through these unforgettable real-life and long-forgotten Mafia stories, Jimmy Breslin captures the moments in which the mob was made and broken.

 

About Jimmy Breslin

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Jimmy Breslin was born in Jamaica, Queens. He was awarded the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. His bestselling and critically acclaimed books include The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight; Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?; The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo GutiÉrrez; several anthologies; and the memoir, I Want to Thank My Brain for Remembering Me. He lives on Broadway, the Big Street, in New York City.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Good Rat

Kirkus Reviews

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Buck up, Sopranos buffs: Tony and the gang may be gone, but Breslin's steely look at mob life in the glory--and gory--days will take some of the sting away.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Good Rat

The New York Times

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“They were detectives on the New York Police Department who brought me information about wiretaps, phone taps, informants, ongoing investigations, and imminent arrests and murders. They did murders and kidnapping for us.”

Mar 02 2008 | Read Full Review of The Good Rat

The New York Times

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Jimmy Breslin looks at two New York police officers who worked as Mafia hit men.

Mar 02 2008 | Read Full Review of The Good Rat

Publishers Weekly

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Breslin, renowned journalist and author of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight , revisits a familiar wise-guy milieu in this collection of stories and ane

Nov 12 2007 | Read Full Review of The Good Rat

Book Reporter

One night, Burke summons Breslin to an ominous midnight.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Good Rat

AV Club

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A veteran newsman explores the mafia via one of its turncoats.

Feb 20 2008 | Read Full Review of The Good Rat

Scotsman.com

The Good Rat, a book that combines personal anecdotes about the Mafia with the story of two really corrupt New York cops, reminds us that by the time he quit, Breslin had lost his gangsters.

Nov 13 2008 | Read Full Review of The Good Rat

Bookmarks Magazine

While Breslin focuses on the trial of the "Mafia Cops," a story also recounted in Guy Lawson and William Oldham’s The Brotherhoods (2006), Breslin, to critics’ delight, uses the case to delve deep inside the Mafia’s demise and the bloody, backstabbing stories within it.

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Good Rat

Reader Rating for The Good Rat
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