On the Run is written by the children of Henry Hill (the infamous mobster and wiseguy depicted by Ray Liotta in the 1990 film, “Goodfellas”). Gregg and Gina Hill take turns describing their life on the run when their family was placed in the witness protection program by the FBI. Their father was an informant; his testimony led to 50 convictions of mafia-related crimes.
The children recount what it was like to grow up in a mobster’s house—the parties, the violence, the drugs—and what it was like to be uprooted once the family entered the witness protection program. Life was not easy for them as they had to reinvent themselves each time they moved to a new location in the US.
This story gives us some insight into what the gritty world of the mafia is like; the embarassment these children had to endure in front of other family members, their neighbors and friends. Gregg and Gina tell us that for Henry Hill the mafia was an addiction. It shaped his life, and those around him whether they wanted it to or not. He could not separate himself from the world he was testifying against. As Al Pacino said in Godfather III, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
After reading this book, you’ll have to rent “Goodfellas.” You may want to take a drive down 86th Street under the el train in Brooklyn too. Don’t forget to pick up some Cannoli and Spumoni on the way home! (P.S. I was born in Brooklyn, and I am of 100% Italian ancestry so I am allowed to say this.)