I have a confession to make. I have a strange attraction for anything related to the Mafia. I love all three Godfather movies. And as good as the movies are, the actual book by Mario Puzo is even better. I own Casino and have watched that and Goodfellas more times than I care to count.
I'm not really sure what the pull is. I guess it's because it's this kind of dark, shadowy, other-wordly thing. For a girl who grew up in clean, white, new suburbs, the world of mobsters, crime and corruption seems as far away as the worlds of the Brontes or just about any science-fiction writer. There's a certain unreality to it.
I started reading a new book the other day called Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops who Murdered for the Mafia. It's a great story about the fine line between the world of cops and the world of mobsters. I guess I was a little surprised to learn that in some parts of New York City, it's not uncommon for the members of one family to belong to both groups. Or at least that was true during the events in this book: in the 1980s and 1990s when the mob was imploding because of new RICO statutes that allowed for easier prosecution and the growing prominence of rats -- mobsters who testified against other mobsters.
Reading something like this also allows me to read more than one book simultaneously. Stefanie had a great poster recently about reading more than one book at a time. Because the three books I'm reading right now are so markedly different, I'm having no problem in keeping each one straight in my head!