• RatSnakes

  • Cheating Death by Living a Lie; Inside the Explosive World of ATF's Undercover Agents and How We Changed the Game
  • By: Vincent A. Cefalu
  • Narrated by: Tom Taylorson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (233 ratings)

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RatSnakes

By: Vincent A. Cefalu
Narrated by: Tom Taylorson
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Publisher's Summary

Get ready to infiltrate the dangerous, secret world of criminals and cover identities by way of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), where the world’s greatest undercover agents are known as RatSnakes.

RatSnakes are rarely, if ever, visible to the public that they move among and risk their lives to protect. In fact, thanks to their cover personas, they are often assumed to be members of the clandestine criminal world that they investigate. Real-life undercover work is a far cry from the sexy, candy-colored world seen in Hollywood movies. Only those who are strong and clever enough will get inside and survive.

Vincent A. Cefalu would know. He spent 30 years as an ATF undercover operative, in assignments ranging from the Symbionese Liberation Army to Asian organized crime. He has infiltrated notorious outlaw motorcycle gangs as well as splinter groups of the Ku Klux Klan. In RatSnakes, he provides a transparent look at the organization and the operatives with whom he risked his life.

Part field guide, part heart-pounding thrill ride, RatSnakes takes listeners on a tour of what it’s like to confront death on a daily basis. En route, Cefalu gives us a look at the on-the-job techniques of kicking in doors, orchestrating “street theater” to ensnare criminals, and making high-stakes gun buys. His irreverent, explicit stories from the inside are a mix of danger and unexpected hilarity that will have listeners laughing one minute and then biting their nails when things break bad.

Immersive and brutal, RatSnakes offers an in-depth and eye-opening look into the lives of an elite group of men and women who volunteer to do things most couldn’t and wouldn’t stomach. Civilians with common sense and good judgment run from danger, while RatSnakes sprint toward it - smiling.

©2019 Vincent A. Cefalu (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about RatSnakes

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Boring!

A book consisting mostly of nickel & dime drug busts sprinkled with a few more well know ATF stories. The author and a lot of his cohorts strikes me as a wanna be special forces guy's with Juvenal antics.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Above the law

This book is a narration of police officers who Thanks they are above the law and clearly break it picking up hookers driving drunk and who knows what else

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great insight to some of the biggest shit shows

Vince offers great insight to some of the biggest shit show operations ever. More proof that the ATF should be abolished.

3 people found this helpful

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Really gross.

The implication is that in order to not be threatened by extremely violent criminals, people have to become like this. The author outright states that if he hadn’t become a violent and thuggish law enforcement member, he would have been one of the criminals.
Either way, they’re all the same. And media and culture teach Americans that this is the lifestyle to aspire to, that this is somehow higher or more valid that pacifism.

If making people like this is the only thing preventing America from being overrun by violent crime, then just abandon it. America isn’t worth saving, just get out and abandon it.

Also, the author makes a big stink about supporting female agents and saying women can be just as tough as men, but at the same time, he demeans other men with both misogynistic (“I get more ***** than him”) and homophobic (“****sucker”) epithets. So he really is just a backwards idiot.

Basically just, tough people are gross.

1 person found this helpful

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Good plot lines, but told with such bravado and sly arrogance, it’s hard to listen to.

As I said in the title, the subject matter is good, even great on the level of interning and captivating. The hard part is hearing the narration from ‘the tough guy.’ Arrogance, bravado, fake humility… whatever you want to call it, it got to be like nails in on a chalkboard. Unfortunately unenjoyable b/c undercover ATF memoirs have definite potential. Just not this one.

1 person found this helpful

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This Guy Loves Himself

Didn't care for this. Vincent Cefalu sure seems to envy everything he's ever done in his life. I thought the story was just full of standard machismo and frankly, quite boring. The dude clearly thinks he's the greatest agent of all time.

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Great storyline and exposing of how corrupt the federal government really is!

I have read/listened to a lot of UC books about ATF, CIA, FBI etc. This was a good book overall and the comedy aspect of storytelling some dangerous UC cases made it even more interesting. I appreciated the author’s candid information about the bureaucracy enthralled in the federal agencies and chain of command politics which exposes what we already know about coverups and political positioning of appointing and promoting like minded hierarchy’s in these agencies for political gain. Telling

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Fun

Great book.well told. Intense. I listened while painting my house. Was sad when it ended.

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Unbearable

Sick and tired of hearing “s….” and “f….” every 30 seconds. Could not stand it

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Down with ATFE

This book is prime example why the ATF should be shut down. The upper management are a clown show. Waco. Ruby ridge and many other reasons why they should be shit down and upper management go to prison. These guys are worse than criminals they go after. Today this clown show is going after patriots. The commie Biden put in place should be example of upper management.

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  • Peter H.
  • 06-03-22

Bragging rights

One long yawning tiresome self congratulatory boast after another.I quickly gave up really very disappointed.

1 person found this helpful