‘Use of Weapons’ by Iain M. Banks

The third sci-fi novel that I’ve read by Iain M. Banks, and the second one that is a part of the ‘Culture’ set.

And my opinions on them stay the same.

Whilst I’m by no means a sci-fi expert, I find Banks’ books entertaining, amusing, thought-provoking, imaginative, and vivid. Simply put, I can’t fault it.

Even for those who don’t think Science Fiction is their ‘bag’, I would thoroughly recommend trying one of these novels out, although from what I’ve read so far I would probably use Consider Phlebas as a starting point.

The story line here is engrossing, and brings up some important analytical points, but it does at times come across as a little confusing!

Go on, do it for me. 😉

‘Donnie Brasco’ by Joseph D. Pistone

After all the hassle with misprints that I suffered to this book earlier in the year, I was glad to finally get a chance to read it fully at long last.

It didn’t disappoint.

I first bought the book having watched the film version multiple times and truly loving it, and have to admit the book is fantastic, if a little different from the film. Clearly for the purposes of ‘Hollywood’ it was decided to make Lefty the main mob-link for Donnie throughout the operation, whereas in the book and fact Sonny Black was the pivotal link in the end, with Lefty only serving any real purpose as introducing Donnie to the crowd.

For those unaware of either the book or the film, it is based on a true story in which an FBI agent, Joseph D Pistone, infiltrated the mafia undercover over several years in the 1970’s , resulting in a number of succesful convictions for the Government over the Mob.
To this day he still has a $500 000 bounty on his head (apparently) and lives under various assumed identities.

His book brings up a number of issues and solutions he found whilst on the operation, which at the time was a completely novel situation for the FBI, having never had any agents under ‘deep cover’ before.

It’s entertaining, interesting, thought-provoking, and question-raising and provides a great insight into many key areas of the mob at that time.

Read it.