Gangsters and Goodfellas:The Mob, Witness Protection & Life on the Run by Henry Hill

Book CoverFinished 5-4-08, rating 2.5/5, non-fiction, pub. 2004

The bestselling book Wiseguys and the movie Goodfellas was based on the life of ex-mobster Henry Hill.  This book is about his life, how he got caught, the witness protection program, his addictions and where he is now. 

I don’t like mob movies.  I know I’ve seen Goodfellas, but I’ve washed away the memories.  I know with the success of the Sopranos people seem to know more about the mob than they used to, but I’ve never seen it.  So, I actually learned quite a bit about the mob and what goes on and I did find it interesting.  I was more interested in his witness protection experience.  He admits to jerking around the Marshals and being a pain to the men protecting him.  After reading WITSEC I found his attitude a little disheartening, but I guess that’s because I sympathize with the law.

Hill seems to have built a life by people rewarding him for all the bad things he’s done.  The government still pays him to consult or something which I find maddening as a tax payer.  Judgment aside the book was entertaining.  It reads like he is sitting in front of you telling his story, sometimes straightforward and sometimes in circles.  If you are at all interested in this stuff you will probably like this book, but even if you find it a little repulsive you will not be bored.  Hill seems like quite a character.