Sonny: The Last of the Old Time Mafia Bosses, John “Sonny” Franzese

Highbridge Audio. Mar. 2022. 8:22 hrs. ISBN 9781696607322. $19.99. CRIME
Award-winning Newsday investigative reporter Peddie interviewed the notorious Columbo crime family member John “Sonny” Franzese just before he died at age 103 in 2020. The only authorized biography of him is superbly performed by Tanya Eby (The Brink: Stories). Known for being tight-lipped about his organized crime work, Franzese bares all. Starting in his teens as a wise guy, he rose to the level of underboss. He offers details of his marriages and infidelities, involvement with business holdings, racketeering, murders, and court trials; and time in and out of prison, when he was released at age 100 as the oldest federal inmate in the United States and the only centenarian in federal custody. Eby narrates with a clipped, rapid-fire delivery in this gritty production, much of it conversing as Sonny. Her smoky voice has just the right amount of Long Island in the accent as she becomes Sonny with his boastful pride of successes, regret for being an absent parent, sadness at his daughters’ deaths, disdain for informants like Guy Fatato, and disappointment that his son John Jr. testified against him.
VERDICT Fans of The Godfather and Wiseguy will feel right at home with this one.
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