Download Alphaville: 1988, Crime, Punishment, and the Battle for New York City’s Lower East Side Audiobook

Alphaville: 1988, Crime, Punishment, and the Battle for New York City’s Lower East Side Audiobook, by Michael Codella Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Bruce Bennett, Michael Codella Narrator: Keith Szarabajka Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2010 ISBN: 9781481588386
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (120 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A raw, gritty memoir—part true-life cop thriller, part unputdownable history of a storied time and place—that will grip you by the throat until the explosive end

In 1988, Alphabet City burned with heroin, radicalism, and antipolice sentiment. Working as a plainclothes narcotics cop in the most high-voltage neighborhood in Manhattan, Detective Sergeant Mike Codella earned the nickname “Rambo” from the local dealers, as well as a $50,000 bounty on his head. The son of a cop who grew up in a mob neighborhood in Brooklyn, Codella understood the unwritten laws of the shadowy businesses that ruled the streets. He knew that the further east you got from the relative safety of Fifth Avenue, Washington Square Park, and NYU, the deeper you entered the sea of human misery, greed, addiction, violence, and all the things that come with an illegal retail drug trade run wild. With his partner, Gio, Codella made it his personal mission to put away Davey Blue Eyes—a stone-cold murderer and the head of Alphabet City’s heroin supply chain. Despite the hell they endured—all the beatings and gunshots, the footchases, and close calls—Codella and Gio always saw Alphabet City the same way: worth saving.

Alphaville, Codella’s riveting, no-holds-barred memoir, resurrects the vicious streets that Davey Blue Eyes owned and tells the story of how Codella bagged the so-called Forty Thieves that surrounded Davey, slowly working his way to the head of the snake one scale at a time. With the blistering narrative spirit of The French Connection, the insights of a seasoned insider, and a relentless voice that reads like the city’s own, Alphaville is at once the story of a dedicated New York cop and of New York City itself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A balls-out cop tale from the bad old days of New York City. Watch your back in Alphaville.”

    Tom Folsom, New York Times bestselling author of The Mad Ones

  • Alphaville is a quick, nitty-gritty, page-turning read that will leave you breathless.  Through the eyes of former undercover cop Mike Codella we are given a bird’s-eye view into one of the most dangerous neighborhoods anywhere in the world—Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Though the book is a true account, its characters are so colorful and vivid it reads more like a well-paced novel. I highly, highly recommend this read.”

    Philip Carlo, New York Times bestselling author of Ice Man

  • “Nerve-shreddingly real. Addictive, brilliant, and compelling. A staggeringly well-written true-life drama, which had me breathless from the first page to the last. Stunning!”

    R. J. Ellory, author of A Quiet Belief in Angels

  • Alphaville is the real deal.”

    T. J. English, New York Times bestselling author of Havana Nocturne and The Westies

  • “Keith Szarabajka’s performance is admirable: he balances the straight first-person narrative with rich vocal characterization while easily shifting into the more straightforward historical aspects of the book such as the history of heroin or city planning. He takes some effective liberties with the dialogue, ratcheting up the intensity and sometimes even the strength of an accent, which provides added authenticity and drama”

    Publishers Weekly audio review

  • “Written in a hyper-noir style reminiscent of Richard Price and George Pelecanos, this memoir features all the stuff of an excellent police procedural complete with drug gang rivalries, beatings, killings, and endless dealer collars and convictions. Raw, bloody, and very real, Codella’s book is a historical snapshot of what was one of Gotham’s most dangerous neighborhoods and the men who brought order to its frightening mayhem.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Keith Szarabajka provides Codella’s story with streetwise New York accents and Puerto Rican-accented English. In delivering the story’s noir style, he excels at depicting the gang members, drug dealers, and other low-lifes the author specialized in putting out of business. Without Szarabajka’s narration, one imagines that the trip into the danger and occasional comedy of such a terrible place would be far less entertaining. Codella doesn’t paints himself as an angel—nor does he talk like one—but he seems like he wears a badge you’d want in your neighborhood.”


  • “Codella secures justice of a sort in this taut true-crime tale…Genuinely exciting.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jillian | 12/4/2013

    " Hello New York City, 1980s!!! Totally digging this, the crime, the grime, the place I shoulda been.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allan | 10/16/2013

    " Interesting cop's eye view of crime in NYC. Lacks momentum at times due to continuous digressions from the main theme. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rafe | 9/13/2013

    " Some good details of Eighties/Early Nineties grime and crime in East Village/LES/Alphabet City. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarra | 5/13/2013

    " Repetitive, yet still interesting, mostly because I grew up in NYC during the period that the author is writing about. Not in one of the projects but I was certainly aware of them, and I hung out a little bit in the Lower East Side and Tompkins Square Park before it got cleaned up and gentrified. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 12/8/2012

    " This book is a winner. A great look at the 80's Lower East Side heroin trade through the eyes of one of the cops that was on the scene. Well-written and honest. I could read ten of these. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 11/1/2012

    " Great book. Fast paced, hard core true crime saga. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 9/13/2012

    " The story of one cop's battle against heroin dealers on the lower east side in the late 1980s. Brutally honest and action packed and throughly enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 8/11/2012

    " This is another book I listened to on my iPod. It was a great listen - narrated with a true-life Brooklyn accent - and an inside look into policing the Lower East Side's Alphabet City in the 1980s. Great characters, well-described. I enjoyed this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bazbal666 | 4/9/2012

    " Cops and robbers, NYC and the 80's. Nuf said "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sami | 3/6/2012

    " A New York City cops "no holds barred" look back at the fight against heroin in the worst parts of New York. The best 'true crime' book I have read so far. I couldn't put it down and left wanting for more "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Milah | 2/1/2012

    " Great book. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 10/27/2011

    " Solid street-level biography of Canarsie kid turned NYPD Housing cop turned drug cop on the lower east side. Good details, excellent atmosphere, plenty of rule-bending fun for all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 8/27/2011

    " A great portrait of Alphabet City and the heroin trade there in the 1980s. Lots of good background and historical info presented in an engaging style. "

About the Author

Michael Codella was a New York City cop for twenty years. He worked and supervised in the DEA, Secret Service Task Force, Special Frauds Squad, Missing Persons Squad, Operation 8, and several other outstanding and prestigious units throughout the city. He retired from the NYPD in 2003 as a detective sergeant. He now divides his time between television and film work, being a professional fight trainer, and running his Renzo Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy with his family.

About the Narrator

Keith Szarabajka has appeared in many films, including The Dark Knight, Missing, and A Perfect World, and on such television shows as The Equalizer, Angel, Cold Case, Golden Years, and Profit. Szarabajka has also appeared in several episodes of Selected Shorts for National Public Radio. He won the 2001 Audie Award for Unabridged Fiction for his reading of Tom Robbins’s Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates and has won several Earphones Awards.