It's a big enough book all right, from the gangland's fun city, and the style of the stories ranges from breezy journalism to excellent crime reportage to Clarence Darrow's documentary history of the Loeb-Leopold Case. There's the terrible account of Joe E. Louis, beaten and knifed almost to death after refusing to let the mob handle his career, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, the career of Al Capone, the death of martyr reporter Jake Lingle. ""The Last Days of Dillinger"" along with such individual horror stories as the case of ""Nightmare Castle"" run by a mad doctor who butchered his guests and sold their skeletons to medical schools, or the Luetger case when a sausage maker grew weary of his wife. It concludes with a succinct editorial on ""How the Mob Controls Chicago"" by Bill Davidson which shows how the Syndicate still has the city ""wrapped up tight."" No ""folk tales"" to be proud of, it still is the kind of bloody history that makes for compelling reading.