Casino by Nicholas Pileggi


By Nicholas Pileggi

  • Release Date: 2016-10-18
  • Genre: True Crime
Score: 4.5
From 10 Ratings
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The true story behind the Martin Scorsese film: A “riveting . . . account of how organized crime looted the casinos they controlled” (Kirkus Reviews).

Focusing on Chicago bookie Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and his partner, Anthony Spilotro, and drawing on extensive, in-depth interviews, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of the Mafia classic Wiseguy—basis for the film Goodfellas—Nicholas Pileggi reveals how the pair worked together to oversee Las Vegas casino operations for the mob. He unearths how Teamster pension funds were used to take control of the Stardust and Tropicana and how Spilotro simultaneously ran a crew of jewel thieves nicknamed the “Hole in the Wall Gang.”
For years, these gangsters kept a stranglehold on Sin City’s brightly lit nightspots, skimming millions in cash for their bosses. But the elaborate scheme began to crumble when Rosenthal’s disproportionate ambitions drove him to make mistakes. Spilotro made an error of his own, falling for his partner’s wife, a troubled showgirl named Geri. It would all lead to betrayal, a wide-ranging FBI investigation, multiple convictions, and the end of the Mafia’s longstanding grip on the multibillion-dollar gaming oasis in the midst of the Nevada desert.
Casino is a journey into 1970s Las Vegas and a riveting nonfiction account of the world portrayed in the Martin Scorsese film of the same name, starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone. A story of adultery, murder, infighting, and revenge, this “fascinating true-crime Mob history” is a high-stakes page-turner (Booklist).

“Pileggi has lifted the rock of organized crime.” —Detroit Free Press
“Charts the rise and fall of a pair of Vegas hoods.” —Publishers Weekly
“Extraordinary . . . Pileggi unravels another fascinating true-crime Mob history. . . . Like Henry Hill in Wiseguys, Lefty Rosenthal tells Pileggi the story of his career in no-holds-barred fashion, exposing the rampant, multileveled corruption in extensive detail. . . . With nonfiction page-turners like the kind Pileggi writes, who needs crime fiction?” —Booklist
“You have to step back a little from Nicholas Pileggi’s text to appreciate fully what he has accomplished. . . . Viewed in the proper perspective, Mr. Pileggi’s story is a morality tale about two men who tried to begin their lives anew by moving to Las Vegas, that ‘city with no memory,’ as Mr. Pileggi calls it, ‘the nation’s only morality car wash.’” —The New York Times
“Nicholas Pileggi has managed to chronicle an awful lot of gangsters, hit men, gamblers, capos and assorted crooks, most of whom are in and out of jails, correctional facilities and top-security prisons. He did it in his 1986 book, Wiseguy, which became Martin Scorsese’s movie GoodFellas. He has done it again with . . . Casino.” —New York Daily News

Nicholas Pileggi (b. 1933) began his career as a crime reporter for the Associated Press and New York magazine. He found fame when his familiarity with the members and workings of the Mafia led to his two bestselling nonfiction volumes about organized crime, Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family and Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas, both of which were adapted into award-winning films directed by Martin Scorsese. Pileggi is also involved in film and television. He served as an executive producer for the Ridley Scott film American Gangster and cowrote the pilot for the CBS TV show Vegas. In 1990, he won a BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on Goodfellas.