Books about the mafia and gangsters arouse continuing interest among readers. The plot of this genre is necessarily associated with dangers, pursuits, and brutal showdowns of criminal groups. As a rule, books about gangsters include the life story of heroes who have turned from ordinary people into criminals - cruel killers, robbers. Love, friendship, betrayal, adventures, dangerous adventures, which do not always and not for all heroes end safely, are far from the entire list of events that saturate the plot of the works of this genre. A list of books about the mafia and gangsters that are most popular among readers can be found below.
1. The Godfather Mario Puzo
It is considered to be the best book about gangsters. This is the so-called classic of the genre. The plot focuses on the family of Don Corleone, a representative of the legendary Italian mafia, who built an entire mafia clan in America. Next to Vito Corleone are his sons: the eldest is Sunny, the middle is Fredo and the younger is Michael. The strength of Don Corleone is that he never refuses those who ask him for help. However, in return these people should promise their friendship, becoming debtors. It is no coincidence that his name is Godfather. He is very smart, domineering, able to value friendship and family relationships. However, the author focuses on the fact that this person is a criminal who simply has his own code of honor and morality. Intrigue, the world of corruption, Italian passions, difficult family relationships, bloody revenge, crimes - all this keeps the reader interested throughout the book.
2. The Corleone Family by Mario Puzo, Ed Falco
In the continuation of the enumeration of books about gangsters, it is necessary to mention this work. It contains all the same heroes of The Godfather. However, the story set forth in this work preceded the events of the aforementioned novel.
1933, New York during the Great Depression. The struggle of criminal clans for survival, the upcoming abolition of prohibition, redistribution of power, concern for his family in these military conditions - all this makes Don Corleone constantly work, wisely building up strategy and tactics. His children are still schoolchildren, and the elder Sonny begins his career in a car repair shop. However, he dreams of getting into a "family business", becoming a gangster.
All the events that will be discussed here are described very excitingly. The reader, having become acquainted with these works, involuntarily becomes a fan of this intriguing saga.
3. Once Upon a Time in Harry Gray
This book about gangsters, according to readers, is a masterpiece. The crime drama, written by a former member of a criminal gang serving a sentence in prison, is based on real events that occurred in America during the Great Depression. This is the life story of guys who were born and raised in impoverished neighborhoods. Unemployed, having no prospects in life, they gain their place under the sun with the help of friendship, arms and breaking the law, rising from the very bottom to the heights of the gangster hierarchical ladder.
4. “Bonnie and Clyde” by Bert Hirschfeld
The list of books about American gangsters during the Great Depression is continued by this legendary story of young lovers based on real events. Young beauty Bonnie and dude Clyde are desperately trying to get rich. They very smartly rob banks. The robber raids of this gangster couple are colored by romance, they identify with the legendary Robin Hood. However, this impression disappears when bloodshed and killings begin. They became America's most dangerous thugs. Dangerous adventures, love, crime, cruelty - these are the main events that keep the reader in constant tension.
5. "Gangs of Chicago" by Herbert Osbury
This story describes the events of criminal Chicago during Prohibition. The book is full of colorful details about the life of the mafia. Here the reader can learn a lot of interesting things about bootleggers, the Great Depression, brothels, corruption, bandits, as well as about Chicago mafia tycoons.
6. "Cardinal" Darren Shen
This is another gangster book with an exciting plot. It is designed for an adult readership. It has a lot of cruelty, violence. Crime drama from the author takes on the features of fantasy. The plot is quite intriguing, able to entertain the reader.
7. "Frankie Cars Winter Race" by Don Winslow
In the center of the plot of this book is the story of sixty-year-old Frank Machiano. He leads a measured life in San Diego. Dear man, reliable business partner, caring and loving father, he suddenly falls into a death trap. All the fault was his mafia past, in which he was the ruthless hitman Frankie Mashina. Having broken with him, Frank hoped in vain that he had left the mafia forever.
The intriguing events described by the author in this book retain the interest of the reader to the very end.
8. The “Gone World” by Dennis Lihan
This book is the final part of the trilogy, which also includes the novels “The Day Will Come” and “The Night is My Home”. The plot of this trilogy is based on the story of several American families. Joe Coglin is the protagonist of this book. His father is Boston police captain Thomas Coglin, and his older brother is patrol Danny Coglin. In life, Joe went from a rebel who ignores the law to an assistant leader of a mafia syndicate. More than a dozen years have passed, he leads a quiet peaceful life, independently raises his son. However, the criminal past does not leave him.
9. “Billy Bathgate” by Edgar Lawrence Doctorow
The plot is based on the fascinating story of fifteen-year-old orphan Billy Bathgate. His idol was the Dutch Schulz, the famous gangster. The bandit group, which he leads, keeps the entire local population at bay. This gang is particularly cruel. One day, Billy manages to gain Schultz's trust. The gangster group becomes a family for him. Billy is considered the godfather of the mafia. Opportunities for criminal success open up before him, because the young man is a capable student, and Schultz sees him as his successor. However, Billy gradually realizes that he cannot be cruel, kill people. His love for the girl completely changes Billy's worldview.