What makes Tony Soprano so humanly amiable? Why we would rather leave the cannoli and take the gun? Do we really want Scarface ’s Tony Montana to succeed? Is Michael Corleone a hero or a villain? Roberto Dainotto traces both the development of the mafia, from its rural beginnings in Western Sicily and its growth into what has been aptly described as a ‘global multinational of crime’, alongside its parallel evolution on the big screen, in print, music and popular culture. The book probes the tension between the real mafia – its brutal, often violent reality – and how we imagine it to be: a mythical potpourri of codes of honour, family values, and chivalric masochism.