James Gandolfini

  • by Dan Bischoff
  • Narrated by John Ventimiglia
  • 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano is the first biography of the actor, who died in June 2013 at age 51, widely recognized as one of the best - and most defining - actors of his generation. The audiobook, as performed by Gandolfini's Sopranos co-star John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco), is informed by fresh interviews with Sopranos actors, HBO executives, the star’s acting teachers and coaches, his childhood friends, buddies from his days as a nightclub bouncer, and Hollywood figures including the directors of his posthumously released films.
Bischoff decodes Gandolfini’s portrayal of mobsters and bad guys from his breakout role in True Romance with Patricia Arquette to the television series role that made his career, including his portrayals of real people like Leon Panetta in Zero Dark Thirty. Gandolfini’s personal life - from his marriages and family interactions to his deep friendships with his fellow cast members - enriches and enlivens this book, and deepens our understanding of the star.
James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano is a fascinating look at Gandolfini’s complicated relationship to his roots, to the role that made him wealthy beyond his imagination, and to American notions of masculinity, power and fame. Even as he scaled the heights of his profession, creating a TV character as vivid as Carroll O’Connor’s Archie Bunker and as volcanic as Marlon Brando’s Stanley Kowalski, Gandolfini remained a reluctant celebrity dedicated more to his craft than to his career.
James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano delivers a textured, multilayered portrait of the on- and off-screen life of a complex, talented man who rose from an Italian immigrant family in northern New Jersey to join the ranks of America’s most iconic actors.


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Most Helpful

The Moving Story of a Man Who Touched Our Lives

James Gandolfini, gave a soul to suburban New Jersey dad and mob killer, Tony Soprano. When he died suddenly of a heart attack last year, it felt like a family member had died. But Gandolfini was not Tony Soprano, he was so much deeper, kinder and more complex.

Dan Bischoff’s biography maps out the life of a man that touched all our lives. From his Italian American background, growing up in New Jersey, experiences as a working man, to becoming an actor and philanthropist.

This book gave me insight into the blossoming of an artist, and of a man ready to give back through his work and films for the charity Wounded Warrior Project (never touted in any publicity for self celebration).

John Ventimiglia, who played Artie Bucco on “The Sopranos” really put his heart into narrating this. His performance is that of an insider, fluid and heartfelt.

Written at a tight journalistic clip, this is a great listen.
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- Susie


I'm late to the party when it comes to the Sopranos. I remember when it came out, but I had no interest in it because from the outside all I saw was the harsh side. Twenty years later, here I am binge watching all six seasons and becoming obsessed with the show, albeit because of the character of Tony. So of course now I am devouring all things related to James Gandolfini and I had high hopes for this book.

At best, it was a timeline of his life and career. It's obvious that he was a very private person, because the book doesn't reveal anything that hasn't already been published in every paper and magazine known to man.

The especially disappointing part was how the content REPEATED more than several times while stories or paragraphs word for word, like I wasn't listening the first time. There was no content. No revelations. No inside information. Just a re-telling of the same stuff we already know. Over and over.

I love James Gandolfini. But this was a waste of an Audible credit.
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- bonnie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-08-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios