the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Holiday Reading – Underbelly: The Gangland War


By John Silvester and Andrew Rule

I am a huge fan of the Underbelly TV series and my wife and I have watched all four shows shown here in NZ, and we did attempt to watch the Kiwi-made one based on Mr Asia, but nope, rubbish when compared to the flashy and professional hits out of Aussie.

My favourite one was based on the Gangland Wars in Melbourne, the show focussing mostly on the Morans and Carl Williams, and this is the book on which the show was based. It was originally taken off the air in Aussie, (and subsequently delayed here) due to pending court action in Melbourne so didn’t actually show until some months later in both countries.

This book is a great read, once you get used to the style it is written in – it tends to cover the same ground a lot as it goes into each chapter – and considering the show was viewed here well over 18mths ago it is easy to relate incidents and characters based on what was seen. Each chapter sort of focuses on a main ‘player’ in the Gangland Wars; Jason, Mark, and Lewis Moran, their nemesis Carl Williams, and those caught up in the cross-fire such as Mick Gatto, Andrew Veniamen, Nik Radev and others.

Short, brutal, and to the point, this book is a quick companion to any budding Mafioso without a brain in his head, and while the photo galleries are a little odd (side by side shots of the gangsters and their on-screen actors?? Really? I wanted to see crime shots and such) it is too hard to put down.

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