I can speak for myself when I say I love reading and watching organized crime. Something about the aggressive business approach of the Mafia intrigues me. It’s the fact that they’re able to orchestrate their workings in such an orderly fashion, despite being on the wrong side of the law. With the amount of effort it takes them to become established criminals, they could be legit business men, and on the contrary, a lot of them actually transition into legitimate business practices.
If you’re into organized crime stories like The Godfather by Mario Puzo as much as I am, then here are a few books straight from my wishlist to check out.
The Fall of South Bridge
The Fall of South Bridge is about an organized crime family in Upstate New York. They’re based on the ‘ndrangheta (mafia in Calabria, Italy). The book seems to be a great mix of family drama and old fashioned organized crime. There are themes of crooked cops, and young adolescence mixed in there too. The Fall of South Bridge is penned by Jimmy Badavino and is well recommended to anyone who loved The Godfather.
Hot Springs is set in 1946, the Golden age of organized crime. It takes place in Hot Springs Arkansas, the reigning capital of corruption. When a district attorney vows to bring down the mob, Earl Swagger is recruited to run the show. As casino raids erupt into nerve-shattering combat amid screaming prostitutes and fleeing johns, the body count mounts—along with the suspense.
Hot Springs is written by Stephen Hunter, a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic.
Wiseguy was a New York Times Bestseller from author Nicholas Pileggi, and it’s actually the source material that the hit movie Godfellas was based on. Of course it’s not exactly like Goodfellas, but you get to see where the movie drew its inspiration from. As every reader knows, the book is always better; which is exactly why I want to finally get around to reading this classic. I enjoyed the movie so much without ever reading the book that I now owe it to myself to read the book and get a whole new appreciation for the story.
I’m actually reading Gangsterland now as it’s our current featured book. But it still deserves to be on this list because its the most modern Mafia novel I can find. Great Mafia based novels aren’t being written as much these days, so it’s nice to see newer authors like Tod Goldberg penning an authentic feeling organized crime thriller. Gangsterland is the story of Sal Cupertine, a Mafia hitman that made the mistake of killing some federal agents. Now he’s living a new life undercover, as he’s on the run from both the law and others who want his head. I’ve yet to finish the book, but I was hooked from the very first chapter. This comes highly recommended to those who want to read something more modern.
Know any others?
This is where I ask you guys to recommend some more organized crime novels similar to The Godfather that you’re aware of. Feel free to talk about them down below in the comments, and let us know if you’ve read any of the books mentioned so far.