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Download The Good Rat: A True Story Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Good Rat: A True Story Audiobook, by Jimmy Breslin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (301 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jimmy Breslin Narrator: Richard M. Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2008 ISBN: 9781482977462
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Jimmy Breslin can sniff out a story like he can sniff out a rat. Here, he tells a lifetime of anecdotes in his inimitable New York voice, giving us a view through the keyhole of the people and places that define the Mafia—characters like Sammy the Bull, the original snitch, and Gaspipe Casso, named for his weapon of choice; and hangouts like Pep McGuire’s, the legendary watering hole where reporters and gangsters (all hailing from the same working class neighborhoods) rubbed elbows and traded stories. But best of all, Breslin captures the moments in which the Mafia was made and broken—Breslin was there the night John Gotti celebrated his acquittal, having bribed his way to innocence. In The Good Rat, Breslin brings together the most recent, most memorable, and the long forgotten stories to create a sharp-eyed portrait of the mob as it lived and breathed; as it sounded and survived.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bad cops, good crook, great story.”

    USA Today

  • “Breslin chronicles the cops’ sordid tales with a mixture of awe, repugnance, and perfect diabolical detail. He remains a master of transforming crookery into opera.”

    New York Times

  • “A great look at the ugly and anything-but-glamorous truth of organized crime. This is Breslin at his Runyonesque best.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “Each character is so well developed and believable that listeners will suspect they’re listening to actual recordings rather than outstanding performances.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Richard Davidson has just the gravelly tough-guy voice to bring Breslin’s Mafia story to life…Flamboyant language and colorful characters.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Juan | 2/20/2014

    " Its about mobsters, need i say more...Jimmy Breslin knows how to tell a story or maybe its his new york style of telling a story that i enjoyed so much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 1/30/2014

    " Listened to this one and boy was it good! If you like Mob stories this one has it all! It would make a fantastic movie. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 1/28/2014

    " Somewhat disjointed with a few interesting nuggets disbursed among the self-aggrandizement. I don't think Jimmy Breslin met a compliment that he didn't apply to himself. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maya | 1/26/2014

    " To be fair, I didn't finish it, but that was because the writing style just didn't work for me. I kept getting confused and irritated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy Nelson | 1/24/2014

    " A must read for any true crime fan. A great read for anyone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carolyn Hughey | 1/13/2014

    " I started reading this book and was flabbergasted Jimmy had written something that was so disjointed. Whether what he was saying was true or not, it just didn't flow and was confusing the way he bounced from one subject to the next without finishing his thoughts. I returned the book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frank Taranto | 1/10/2014

    " An interesting book about the Mafia in NY based around the trial of two cops who killed for them. The central character in the book is Burt Kaplan, who turned informer to get out of jail and to not be the fall guy when other mobsters turned states evidence. It is also about the history of the Mafia in NY as well as about Jimmy Breslin himself. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jay | 1/8/2014

    " The rambling story of Burton Kaplan, a career mafia associate in New York, who ultimately became a witness for the government. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 12/9/2013

    " Interesting read. Really gets into the way the mob works. Rogue cops. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matthew Dixon | 11/30/2013

    " I was familiar with the topic given that i had read a book recently concerning the same subject. Breslin's book is full of his usual bluster but it didn't really add much to the subject. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 11/17/2013

    " My first Breslin book. A punchy, true-life story about two NYPD cops who worked as contract killers for the Mob, and the old-school career criminal who takes the stand against them (the titular "Good Rat".) Lots of guys named "Joey-the-this" and "Frankie-the-that" if you're into that sort of thing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jason Pair | 11/1/2013

    " the book should have been good- written by one of the best mafia historians ever about a lifetime insider who turns on 2 dirty cops before they turn on him - but boring and disjointed - yawn! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 10/10/2013

    " By the author of "The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight" - Breslin book reveals what a bunch of low-life losers the mafia was made up of...I recommend listening to the book on CD because the voicing was done by a couple of actors that had the East Coast, gangster-speak down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex Raines | 8/14/2013

    " This book is beyond well-written. It is also very engaging. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 7/7/2013

    " this book wasn't bad, except that I kept getting confused with all the names of people mentioned in the book and how the stories intertwined. are they good? are they bad? mafia? police? both? you get the point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 6/25/2013

    " Interesting stories about mobsters. Jumps around a bit and is somewhat hard to follow. Enjoyed it anyway. Makes me want to do some internet research on some of the figures portrayed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen Flatley | 1/6/2013

    " As the daughter of the FBI Agent who "turned" famed Mob Rat, Joe Valachi, I grew up loving both Jimmy Breslin and stories about the mob. This is a great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 12/3/2012

    " Pretty interesting. Horrible to realize this stuff actually happens but very entertaining to read about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 thomas | 12/3/2012

    " Breslin at the top of his form. He writes in a unique voice which is very urban and maybe not for all readers. The story about a mob turncoat reads like fiction because it is that unbelievable. Very interesting and well=told. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alison | 10/23/2012

    " I think this book is more geared towards mafia buffs which I am not. There was a cool description of my neighborhood when it was very mobbed up but besides that it was a lot of names and details that I found pretty tedious. "

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

    " pretty good and very entertaining "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 2/3/2012

    " Lots of interesting info on the Mafia, but I found the telling a bit convoluted. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Annmbray | 2/3/2012

    " First tNime I read Jimmy Breslin. Thought he would have done more of the writing. A lot was actual Q&As and testimony. Still, it is clear that he has an intimate knowledge of and a deep love for NYC. This book basically discusses how the Mafia went out with a whimper, rather than a bang! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 12/26/2011

    " Started off well, bogged down in detail as it developed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith | 9/5/2011

    " Great Jimmy Breslin. Gruff, plain language. NYC tabloid style writing at its best. Could've been a serial in the Daily News. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 3/6/2011

    " Pretty interesting. Horrible to realize this stuff actually happens but very entertaining to read about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 2/10/2011

    " Lots of interesting info on the Mafia, but I found the telling a bit convoluted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen | 11/20/2010

    " As the daughter of the FBI Agent who "turned" famed Mob Rat, Joe Valachi, I grew up loving both Jimmy Breslin and stories about the mob. This is a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy | 5/12/2010

    " A must read for any true crime fan. A great read for anyone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 3/26/2010

    " Started off well, bogged down in detail as it developed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/18/2010

    " I actually really enjoyed this. Not only was it interesting to read about actual honest to God true mob stories but Jimmy Breslin is the perfect person to tell them.

    His writing style is probably what caused Scorsese to do so well with films like Goodfellas and Casino. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alison | 10/19/2009

    " I think this book is more geared towards mafia buffs which I am not. There was a cool description of my neighborhood when it was very mobbed up but besides that it was a lot of names and details that I found pretty tedious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 10/3/2009

    " The book was going to be about the two NYC detectives who were convicted of doing mafia hits but turned more towards the mafia member who testified aganst them. The book is full of other incidental mafia stories that have nothing to do with the detectives. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maya | 8/27/2009

    " To be fair, I didn't finish it, but that was because the writing style just didn't work for me. I kept getting confused and irritated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 7/28/2009

    " pretty good and very entertaining "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 6/15/2009

    " By the author of "The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight" - Breslin book reveals what a bunch of low-life losers the mafia was made up of...I recommend listening to the book on CD because the voicing was done by a couple of actors that had the East Coast, gangster-speak down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 5/20/2009

    " Great read about the mafia rats "

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About the Author
Author Jimmy Breslin

Jimmy Breslin was born in Jamaica, Queens. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary in 1986. His critically acclaimed books include The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?, The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo Guiterrez, several anthologies, and a memoir. He lives on Broadway, the Big Street, in New York City.

About the Narrator

Richard M. Davidson is an actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator. Trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, he is well versed in theater and has had a long-standing career in acting, including a lead role in the show Diamonds, which aired on the CBS network, and a part in ESPN’s The Hustle.