• The Lufthansa Heist

  • Behind the Six-million Dollar Cash Haul That Shook the World
  • By: Henry Hill, Daniel Simone
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (508 ratings)

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The Lufthansa Heist

By: Henry Hill,Daniel Simone
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
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Publisher's Summary

On December 11th, 1978, a daring armed robbery rocked Kennedy Airport, resulting in the largest unrecovered cash haul in world history, totaling six million dollars. The perpetrators were never apprehended and thirteen people connected to the crime were murdered in homicides that, like the crime itself, remain unsolved to this day. The burglary has fascinated the public for years, dominating headlines around the globe due to the story's unending ravel of mysteries that baffled the authorities. One of the organizers of the sensational burglary, Henry Hill, who passed away in 2012, in collaboration with Daniel Simone, has penned an unprecedented "tell-all" about the robbery with never-before-unveiled details, particulars only known to an insider. In 2013, this infamous criminal act again flared up in the national news when five reputed gangsters were charged in connection to the robbery. This latest twist lends the project an extraordinary sense of timing, and the legal proceedings of the newly arrested suspects will unfold over the next year, continuing to keep the Lufthansa topic in the news.

©2015 Daniel Simone (P)2015 Tantor

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What listeners say about The Lufthansa Heist

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Overall
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Non-fiction... seriously?

I think like a lot of people I bought this book because I was introduced to this story via Goodfellas and since Audible amazingly has yet to release Wiseguys (unabridged) I thought perhaps this would be the next best thing. Think again.

First and foremost, this is not non-fiction. It has non-fiction elements to it and you'll know the people involved, but for some reason the author decided to make up events, like US Marshals getting shot near the end of the book (didn't happen) and Henry Hill personally leading the charge to look for his family with the FBI (didn't happen), basically the end of the book is pure fiction. Why it's included I have no idea since it's easy to verify it's completely made up. While much of the book I was saying this is non-sense, this didn't happen - there was a twinge of doubt, but then you get to this ending part and it's 100% certain it didn't happen. Additionally the conversations in the book are all made-up, and made-up by someone who watched a lot of bad movies and read a lot of bad books, it's awful and embarrassing how bad the dialogue is at times (actual quote, "her bosoms were like 2 full shopping bags" - huh?). The author of this book is not a talented dialogue writer.

With that said I still gave it 3 stars. Amazingly enough I made it to the end of the book - when the book isn't making up cheesy dialogue and making up events that never happened it flows well enough. The real story of Lufthansa is an interesting one and if you scrape away all the idiocy that the author coats the story in, you can find a lot of new stuff you didn't know - well assuming any of it is true. I wasn't ever really bored listening to this, mainly because there was just enough truth to keep me going, and I wanted to see what these cheeseball author would make a character say next - and not in a good way, in a how douchey will this next line be way.

I'll give the book 2 stars - I made it to the end but I felt ripped off since the book is clearly not what it claimed to be. I bought this because it was supposed to be non-fiction - it's mostly not.

The reader did a good enough of a job. I'd give him 3.5 stars, but that's not an option so I'll round up.

Basically should you buy this?.... it's up to you. This isn't an awful book, it's just full of lies, events that didn't happen and dialogue written by a 6th grader. Still it is in theory mostly based on actual events, but it's so loosely based on actual events it should be called fiction.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

If you enjoyed the film "Goodfellas".....

...then you might enjoy "The Lufthansa Heist."

This book, which appears to have been a collaboration between Henry Hill (deftly portrayed by actor Ray Liotta, in the film), and author Daniel Simone, purports to tell the real story behind the remarkable robbery of $6M in unmarked bills and jewelry from the Lufthansa Cargo terminal at NY's Kennedy Airport, in 1978.

Those familiar with the film, which was an admittedly fictionalized account told from Hill's persepective, will find the recounting to be reasonably close to the story told in the film. The book features long quoted passages from Hill himself (presumably, the product of extensive interviews with the man), interspersed with narrative to flesh out the story.

Narrator Joe Barrett, whose work I have greatly admired in other books, does the best he can, with a book which contains so many quotations and/or reconstructions of dialogue by a large number of characters. Sadly, he isn't fully successful, but I can't fault him; this is the sort of book which is certainly difficult to adapt to audible narrative form, and Barrett's attempt to provide distinctive voices to the characters possibly transcends his skill level. The book might have been better if it was narrated by an acting troupe, instead of depending on a single narrator to affect multiple voices and accents.

The real problem with the book (which I fully acknowledge, I enjoyed listening to), is that it is likely inaccurate. After reading the book, I consulted the Wikipedia articles on Hill, Jimmy Burke, the Lufthansa heist itself, and noted a number of striking contradictions to the facts, as noted in Wiki and other sources. The most egregious contradiction was Simone's portrayal of Hill, after becoming a federal witness. Simone fails to mention that Hill, instead of having reformed and walked a 'straight and narrow path' afterwards, did still continue his criminal enterprises. In fact, Simone finishes the book by leaving the impression that Hill had become some sort of motivational speaker for good citizenship, something we know not to be true.

Perhaps other books on the subject are more objective, and more accurate, but I haven't read them. This book is still a good 'listen', but I can only give it three stars, due to the flaws I've noted.

10 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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sucked

Federal Marshalls shot protecting Hill? Never heard that. Probably a lie, so then, how many other lies in this book. Also, red wine referred to as " Red Wop". Why?.....never ever heard that term. Shoddy work overall. The author should be ashamed.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Overall good read, not sure about the factuality

What did you like best about The Lufthansa Heist? What did you like least?

If you like the movie Goodfella's you should like this book. I wish all of the book would have been believable. I would say the book was about 1/3 factual, 1/3 speculation, and 1/3 fictional.

What aspect of Joe Barrett’s performance would you have changed?

He did a good job, I liked ability to simulate different ethnic accents.

Was The Lufthansa Heist worth the listening time?

Sure

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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A book as bad as...insert stupid analogy...

What disappointed you about The Lufthansa Heist?

This book was bad. Just awful. Seriously awful. I can't believe this book has a current rating above a 4! I generally assume that if a book is rated at a 4 or above, it is a good book. WRONG! This book is packed full of ridiculous analogies, disgusting dialogue, and obnoxiously unbelievable events. There is just no possible way that this book is truly non-fiction. It is so corny! It's as corny as (insert your own absurd analogy). At one point, I wanted to start a list of the ridiculous analogies used in the story. The story couldn't go 15 minutes without one being used. One had to do with a gorilla in a desert, another had to do with cocaine being as pure as a virgin's p***y. Just crude and obnoxious! I really don't know how I made it through this book. It's definitely in the top 5 of the worst books I've listened to. Please save your credit and steer clear of this book like a ship steering clear of an iceberg.

Has The Lufthansa Heist turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. This book is clearly not a work of non-fiction. I will continue to love non-fiction books especially non-fiction books that are TRUE.

Would you be willing to try another one of Joe Barrett’s performances?

Never in a million years! His performance of the different characters' voices was as grating as...(here's another one)...nails going down a chalkboard. As you might have realized by now, I really hated this book!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Lufthansa Heist?

Well, there must have been a true story in there somewhere. I figure that that the truth made up about 35% of the story so I guess I would edit out the other 65% of the garbage and self-aggrandizing that littered the actual core of the story.

Any additional comments?

This book is as cheesy as a block of cheddar. It's just hands-down awful!

3 people found this helpful

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

Surprisingly Depressing

It wasn’t a bad book, it was well written and the narration was very good… I just didn’t anticipate that reading about the mafia life and their never-ending schemes and crimes would be such a downer! UGH. No fun.

There were also just too many people involved for me to keep track. I never knew who was who and felt confused and behind the eight-ball the entire way through.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

book Makes me want to know more sides of the story

It would be so cool to hear Jimmy the Gent's life story by him. These guys are mostly all sociopaths makes for a great read though. They could barely read self admittedly but pulled off a 6 million dollar heist. Then the stupidity kicked in murdering everyone involved. If these bad guys could just keep their mouths shut they would have gotten away with all of this so sad to bad. I want to hear a story about a guy getting away with it. How about the new largest heist by that MMA fighter who ended up getting caught because of speeding in his ferrari. lol crooks get caught because they are stupid. That is what the police say huh.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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"What's dat word mean?"

If you could sum up The Lufthansa Heist in three words, what would they be?

Goodfellas, the addendum

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The most compelling part of this narrative was exposing a bit more of the day to day grind and hassle that these guys lived through. Anyone seems cool with Scorcese's angles, old cars, and the Stones playing in the background, but these guys didn't really embody what the movie showed. Rather, they just were hustling to make ends met while not getting killed. What really impressed me is how dumb most of these guys and gals were....whenever an outsider speaks to a mafioso or their family, they will always ask the question "whats dat word mean?" highlighting their extremely small vocabularies. I didn't get a count, but I'm sure I heard this phrase about a half dozen times. But hey, this is a generation that called pasta sauce "gravy" and red wine, "red wop." No glamour here, despite how easy it is to imagine the leisure suits. Really fun book if you liked Goodfellas.

What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

Solid

Any additional comments?

A great addition to the library if you want a fun, interesting book that goes into a bit more detail than Goodfellas could, but without the high gloss coating that a movie can make of real situations.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Book! Great Performance?

Wonderful insight into one of the most interesting crimes ever committed. This book is better than Wise Guys (Goodfellas). The reader is amazing. One of the best mob books I've ever read or listened to and I've read a lot of mob books. The reader is awesome. Well done,

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Listen

Loved this book. Both the narrator and story were great. I highly recommend this book.