First, I never for a second believed this was actually a mob figure's testimonial. I figured as soon as I discovered it that it was an early work by some novelist I'd be able to track down. Nothing I can find online, however, indicates the real author was ever revealed. If it was someone who was already working or the first novel by someone who later "made it" under their own name, surely this would come to light eventually. It's been nearly seventy years after all. But it seems that's not the case.
My second theory, then, was that this was the work of some first-time novelist who found a hook the publisher liked, and reading the work, that seems to be the case.
Let me blunt: this is not a good novel. It's really not a novel at all. It reads like a kid's letter home from summer camp. There's a lot of "This happened. And then this and also this" kind of stuff. Each chapter is more or less a separate vignette told as the author thought of it, about something in the main character's life. There is progress from childhood to adulthood and the mobster's career, so it's definitely a story, but it really doesn't fit the definition of a novel in any way except word-count.
Clearly this wasn't written by a writer. It did, of course, occur to me that maybe whoever wrote this did so to mimic the style of what they thought someone with a sixth-grade education would write, but ehhh... I'm not sure.
Again, maybe a real "mobster" with a lack of education would write this, but the details don't ring true to me, either. For example: pretty much all anyone eats in the novel is pizza, spaghetti and ravioli. There's a single mention of coffee-cake and one of steak, but repeatedly, people are eating or being offered pizza and spaghetti in a terrible Italian stereotype. Like that R. Kelly "hip-hopera" where the mob boss spends his days sitting in the middle of an empty warehouse at a tiny table eating spaghetti. That's what I thought of.
The dialogue also doesn't sound right. Everyone sounds like Fat Tony d'Amico from The Simpsons - that halting, oddly-worded speech pattern he has is prevalent throughout the novel for a range of characters. They sound like people from a bad movie the author watched a half a dozen times before writing this.
Okay, so it sounds like I hate this thing. I don't. But I didn't like it, either. It's an oddity that I wanted to check out for myself, but that's it. It wasn't particularly entertaining, but my curiosity has been satisfied.
If you see a copy cheap, by all means, check it out for yourself - just don't say I didn't warn you.