Book Reviews: Shadow of My Father, Gotti’s Rules

shadowShadow of My Father came from the heart. It felt real, like John Gotti Jr. was speaking direct to the reader instead of telling them a story. That being said, it was overwritten, but, this was overlooked as he rushed to put this e-book out before the release of Gotti’s Rules which is from an author with a major publisher, editor and public relations team behind him.

Not like it matters, though. Shadow of My Father was touching, especially towards the end when Mr. Gotti goes through his four trials, parole hearing, diesel therapy and all the ways the government tried and failed to break him. Some people will say he was a criminal and deserved it, but those who hear his side of the story will be rooting for him and when this memoir is released in paperback I hope Mr. Gotti adds to it, and maybe one day when the old gang is dead and gone he can come back and tell a fuller tale (without ratting anyone out) as this has the potential to be one of the all-time great autobiographies.

What really hit me was the story of how in his fourth trial, he had several prisoners testify on his behalf, all serving long sentences with nothing to gain and everything to lose by helping him. I won’t spoil the details but their stories shed true light on what it means to be loyal, and a man.

I believe his dad would be proud of him.

But then there is Gotti’s Rules.

Let me be clear–I have a respect for Mr. Anastasia and his book Blood And Honor about the Philly mob is a tour de force.

However, this falls far short.

In the opening pages it even says that “no member of the Gotti family” was contacted while writing this… which disqualifies it as journalism.

Looking back, the whole thing felt like `Gotti-bashing’ with one insult against that family after another, some kind of tabloid fodder that made me glad I got it from the library instead of paying money for a book based on the words of an informant who was discredited on the witness stand.

And, it’s clear that the title “Gotti’s Rules” is just a marketing ploy because if it was called “Alite’s Life” no one would care. Which makes me ask: how can Alite go around promoting a book about his life that has someone else’s name and picture on it?

He must be desperate. These last few weeks I have heard him in interviews contradicting himself in one lie after the next, calling Mr. Gotti “a rat” yet refusing to call himself the same, instead offering he only cut a deal because he heard that John Gotti Jr. and Ronald Trucchio were informing against him…

But, wouldn’t that mean that after Trucchio got a life sentence, and Gotti fought three straight trials, Alite would have no reason to testify against him in his fourth?

Alite’s story is filled with holes that this book is buried in. Treating readers like they’re stupid, he comes off like the Sarah Palin of the mob and the fact that Anastasia is not accompanying him on his current media tour makes me think he knows this also.

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