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When the Mob Ran Vegas: Stories of Money,…
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When the Mob Ran Vegas: Stories of Money, Mayhem and Murder (2005 original; edició 2005)

de Steve Fischer

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1166189,281 (3.18)8
What is it about Las Vegas that captivates us? Is it how the skim worked at the Stardust and how millions of dollars walked out the door uncounted? Or what really happened when Frank Sinatra threw a chair at the casino boss of the Sands? Did you ever hear the story about how some very bad Vegas guys rigged the gin rummy games at the Friars Club and took a bunch of famous people to the cleaners? Howard Hughes had some weird notions about the Silver Slipper and put his money where his paranoia was. It's all Vegas, and it is fascinating history.Vegas in the '50s and '60s was indeed another world. Those were the days when small-time gamblers like me, in town with my wife for a weekend of shows and great food, could ride down the elevator at one of the Strip hotels with Lucille Ball, have an A table at the Versailles Room at the Riviera to see Rowan and Martin, with Edie Adams opening, and laugh until it hurt when Buddy Hackett played the old Congo Room at the Sahara.Behind the scenes, the Mob ran Vegas in those days. And stories abound. Through years of study and interviews and just talking to people from all strata of Las Vegas comes this book, a glimpse into the money, mayhem, and murders of early Vegas.… (més)
Membre:divotdigger4
Títol:When the Mob Ran Vegas: Stories of Money, Mayhem and Murder
Autors:Steve Fischer
Informació:Berkline Press (2005), Edition: 1, Paperback, 240 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:***
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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When the Mob Ran Vegas: Stories of Money, Mayhem and Murder de Steve Fischer (2005)

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Last May, the wife and I finally took our first vacation to Las Vegas. I'm no gambler, but it's one of those places that I'd always been interested in seeing.

While there, I saw this book and thought it might be interesting. I was wrong.

Oh sure, there's some interesting stories in there, though few are substantiated. In fact, at one point, the author gives a couple of different rumours of how a particular incident went down (declaring one his "favourite" ...so that's the one that must be true, right?).

Had the author taken less of a "there was this one time when..." approach to the stories and, instead, laid them out in some sort of chronological narrative (seriously, the stories hop around a lot, and you quickly find out they're all inter-related), it might have been readable. You read stories of the Riviera, for example, only to get a few stories down the line to when the Riv was being built, so earlier in the timeline.

And because the author made this bewildering decision, it also means you have to wade through the same facts a few times.

The trust level for me also fell quite a bit when I hit a chapter that, in the span of a couple of pages, spelled one name as "Broncato", "Brancanto", and "Brancato".

If you can't spell a name consistently, how meticulous are you with any of the facts?

The author also has a bad habit of mentioning a Mob incident, then mentioning a similar one in movies like The Godfather, or Casino, treating them as facts.

By the end of the book, it's obvious the author is either running on fumes, or just wants to point out how well-known he is in Vegas, because the last ten percent of the book is personal stories of him and his wife visiting Vegas and riding elevators with Lucille Ball and talking to Sammy Davis Jr. Who cares?

And finally, a completely personal opinion, but I find it a remarkable show of...hubris? conceit? self-importance? to have a series of headshots of Mob members on the cover of your book, and your own author picture is the second one in the line of seven. Really?

Not worth the money or time. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Author Steve Fisher was a collector of Las Vegas Organized Crime objects which he then began selling on eBay. He found that people were most interested in the stories he had to tell about the objects.

This book is the product of his enthusiasm on the subject. It is a somewhat episodic story of the Mob and the early days of Vegas including Bugsy Siegel’s vision of the Las Vegas strip and the Flamingo Hotel.

For someone like me with no knowledge of the era, it was interesting. I enjoyed the many historic black and white photos.

I did not always feel it was easy to follow the story’s timeline. I do believe that a better editor could have made a more cohesive, compelling story. ( )
  streamsong | Jun 7, 2020 |
I am a sucker. If there is a book about the mob, I can't help myself. I am not a mafia groupie – I just find the whole genre fascinating. I walked past this book quite a few times at the bookstore. Finally, there were only two copies left on the budget shelf and I threw caution and cash to the wind and bought it.

The author is a long time frequenter of Las Vegas. He started going back in the early heydays of the 1960's and collected volumes of memorabilia. He started putting the mementos on E bay and buyers were more interested in the stories than the items.

Reading this book feels like going to someone's house to play cards and have a few drinks while one person at the table regales the rest with stories about the past. I like that feel. It reminds me of my grandparents and their brothers and sisters telling the kids about what it was like back in the day.

Each chapter is short. It only took me two nights to read the whole thing and I could have finished it in one except I had an early start the next day. There are lots of recurring characters – some are straight out mafia; some are “colorful, local identities”; some are big name stars (The Rat Pack etc) and some are shady businessmen who saw a chance to make a lot of money in a big sandbox.

There is nothing too deep or dark in any of the stories. It is just a fun look at how the strip developed from nothing but the potential Bugsy Siegel saw to what it is now – a mecca for gambling, girls and a place where what happens there, stays there.

I enjoyed the author's notes about he and his wife. They were regulars at the Sands and when that declined they moved on to the Riviera and the Flamingo. If you loved the movie “Casino”, you will recognize a lot of the people who became characters in that movie. Likewise Godfathers I and II. It is the Las Vegas we all wish was still there – if only for a weekend. ( )
  ozzieslim | Jun 16, 2016 |
When the Mob Ran Vegas: Stories of Money, Mayhem and Murder by Steven Fischer

★★

The author of this book started writing its stories after he posted some of his early Las Vegas memorabilia on eBay. He quickly found out that people were more interested in the background information of the item than the item itself. Thus, a book was born on random history from the early years of Las Vegas, back when the mob was in charge.

I found this to be a difficult read. Besides the print being far too small (proving I need to get my eyes checked) there just seemed to be little cohesion to the stories within it. Often times a story would start, a dozen different names would be dropped that one had never heard of, and the story would end somewhere completely different leaving me thinking “Wait…what just happened? What does this have to do with anything”? It literally hurt my head to read this. Also, the author often puts in his opinions where facts are unknown. On one annoying case he stated “This is how I think it happened…” and at the end of said snippet said “and that’s the truth of what happened.” So which one was it? After that I read most of this book with a grain of salt. A better editor would have done some good as well.

There were some interesting facts but as stated, I was unsure what was really true and what wasn’t. I think there was a lot of potential in this book but it missed the mark for me. Better research and writing could have saved this.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is a book full of anecdotal stories about when the Mafia controlled Las Vegas. Author Steve Fischer tells his stories in a Micky Spillane style which makes the book read very quickly and keeps the reader's interest.

There is nothing of earth shattering importance here, but the book highlights some interesting characters and an age that is long gone. ( )
  etxgardener | Apr 6, 2013 |
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To my parents,
Bernie and Dorothy Fischer;
who passed their love of Vegas on to me
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Introduction: What is it about Las Vegas that captivates us historians?
From March 13 to March 30, 1951, the living room at our house was the place to be.
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What is it about Las Vegas that captivates us? Is it how the skim worked at the Stardust and how millions of dollars walked out the door uncounted? Or what really happened when Frank Sinatra threw a chair at the casino boss of the Sands? Did you ever hear the story about how some very bad Vegas guys rigged the gin rummy games at the Friars Club and took a bunch of famous people to the cleaners? Howard Hughes had some weird notions about the Silver Slipper and put his money where his paranoia was. It's all Vegas, and it is fascinating history.Vegas in the '50s and '60s was indeed another world. Those were the days when small-time gamblers like me, in town with my wife for a weekend of shows and great food, could ride down the elevator at one of the Strip hotels with Lucille Ball, have an A table at the Versailles Room at the Riviera to see Rowan and Martin, with Edie Adams opening, and laugh until it hurt when Buddy Hackett played the old Congo Room at the Sahara.Behind the scenes, the Mob ran Vegas in those days. And stories abound. Through years of study and interviews and just talking to people from all strata of Las Vegas comes this book, a glimpse into the money, mayhem, and murders of early Vegas.

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