Wiseguy | Study Guide

Nicholas Pileggi

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Course Hero. "Wiseguy Study Guide." Course Hero. 23 June 2017. Web. 20 Jan. 2019. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wiseguy/>.

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Course Hero. "Wiseguy Study Guide." June 23, 2017. Accessed January 20, 2019. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wiseguy/.


Course Hero, "Wiseguy Study Guide," June 23, 2017, accessed January 20, 2019, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wiseguy/.

Wiseguy | Chapter 12 | Summary



Hill takes a trip to Florida with Jimmy Burke and Casey Rosado. When they go to a bar to collect a gambling debt, a fight breaks out, and there are 25 people watching. A month later, back in Brooklyn, Hill sees a group of cars blocking the street and learns the FBI is arresting union officials, including Jimmy Burke. Hill watches the news and is shocked to find what happened in Florida is now a breaking news story and they are considered an organized-crime interstate gambling ring. Right before the trial Hill learns the guy they had roughed up is the brother of someone who worked for the FBI. Hill is able to beat the state's case, but the Feds hand down an extortion indictment, and the only guy who can testify for them drops dead of a heart attack right before the trial. Hill is sentenced to 10 years in prison, but believes his sentence comes about unfairly because of the fact the person he got into the barroom brawl with is the brother of someone who works for the FBI.


Hill's relationship with the idea of luck has little to do with his understanding of the potential consequences for his actions. For him, the act of getting away with something is as rewarding as the thing itself, and so it is an affront to his sense of self-worth to be arrested and threatened for something as inconsequential as a barroom brawl. Pileggi notes "it was as if he had suddenly hit the Superfecta of bad luck," with luck—not his actions—being the determining factor. The flurry of activity and attention around Hill's case also highlights the growing interest and attention toward organized crime, something that hadn't taken up much news time previously. The wiseguys begin to realize they may not be invincible any longer and the FBI is a harder group to establish a corrupt relationship with than the police.

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