Nicholas Pileggi’s vivid, unvarnished, journalistic chronicle of the life of Henry Hill—the working-class Brooklyn kid who knew from age twelve that “to be a wiseguy was to own the world,” who grew up to live the highs and lows of the mafia gangster’s life—has been hailed as “the best book ever written on organized crime” (Cosmopolitan).

This is the true-crime bestseller that was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s film masterpiece GoodFellas, which brought to life the violence, the excess, the families, the wives and girlfriends, the drugs, the payoffs, the paybacks, the jail time, and the Feds…with Henry Hill’s crackling narration drawn straight out of Wiseguy and overseeing all the unforgettable action.

Read it and experience the secret life inside the mob—from one who’s lived it.

Wiseguy - Nicholas Pileggi Summary

Wiseguy is an American crime drama series that aired on CBS from September 16, 1987, to December 8, 1990, for a total of 75 episodes over four seasons. The series was produced by Stephen J. Cannell and was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, to avoid the higher studio costs associated with filming in Los Angeles. Wiseguy originally starred Ken Wahl as Vinnie Terranova, a Brooklyn native and deep cover operative for the FBI under the supervision of senior agent Frank McPike, played by Jonathan Banks. The primary cast was rounded out by Jim Byrnes, who played an information operative known as Lifeguard (real name Daniel Burroughs) who assisted Vinnie in the field. This cast remained together for three full seasons, after which Wahl left the series. The writers conceived a new lead character Michael Santana, and brought on Steven Bauer to fill the role...

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Wiseguy - Nicholas Pileggi Book Reviews (365)


Addictive!5 star

An intoxicating look into organized crime world. The amazingly vivid and riveting story of wiseguy Henry Hill and his metoric rise and fall in the Vario / Luchesse crime family and the book that the cult film Goodfella’s was based on. Set aside a few hours to read, this one is impossible to put down. 55


Great!5 star

Read it over the course of 4 days. Excellent book, better than the movie! 55

Frankie Fach

Wiseguys5 star

I really like this book, even more so then the movie. The history, the in's and outs of the lifestyle. The last man standing you do what you have to do ...!! Awesome read 55



It has a good flow to the story. It presents the true downside to a story of a wiseguy. 55

All Schafer Shole

Good book5 star

Loved the Goodfellas movie and had to read the book. The book is far better because you get the whole story and the little bits of information that would make the movie far to long to watch. Good read and good information on the rest of the story 55

That nukka

Outstanding5 star

What a phenomenal book! A must read book if you have seem the movie Goodfellas! 55

Zachary Burkons

Great read at a great price4 star

Hill in the end sold out, but he did what he had to do. 45


A classic5 star

One of my favorite books. Also, if you like this one, you should also read 'gangsters & goodfellas'. It's another Henry hill auto biography that fills in the gaps & talks about what happens after this book leaves off. Both good reads. RIP Henry Hill, 1943-2012 55


Page turner5 star

Great book. I could not put it down. 55


Awesome!!!5 star

Good book 55

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