Bill Bonanno could be just another 66-year-old retiree, gone to Tucson, Arizona, to live out his remaining years in a hospitable climate. But he's not. "I come from a long line of Mafiosi," he informs us, taking pains to establish the difference between Mafiosi, a term "rooted in the character and the values of the men and women who were the everyday makers of Sicilian history," and the fictional Mafia. (Bonanno knows from crime fiction: there are those who say that he's the real-life model for Michael Corleone, and he does not deny it.) Bound by Honor is as much a family saga as it is a true crime story, and Bonanno's insightful self-reflection guarantees a distinctive degree of honesty and depth.
A young mafioso being groomed for leadership spends his nights at the Stork Club in New York City, rubbing elbows with the likes of Tony Bennett, Marilyn Monroe, and Mickey Mantle....Two proud men, one named Bonanno, the other named Kennedy, dream of their sons taking over their dynasties-each taking a different, but equally powerful pat....A sudden spray of bullets rips through the salon in Manhattan's Park Sheraton Hotel; moments later, a major figure on the organized crime scene-slumped over in midshave-lies dead in his barber chair....These are stories not from Mafia movies, but from real life....a way of life which may be gone, but is long from forgotten. Bill Bonanno is the authentic article-born into a powerful mob Family and married into another, he has seen it all. Widely reputed to be the model for Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Bonanno tells the astounding story which only he can tell in Bound By Honor: of the Five Families and their stormy infighting for control over organized crime; of his father's close friendship with Joe Kennedy and the truth about JFK's assassination; and of a world born of respect and loyalty....and etched in violence and blood.
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