Joe Conforte tells much in new book
Joe Conforte, the former owner of the Mustang Ranch brothel a few miles east of Reno, has produced his autobiography as an ebook, his publisher has announced.
Titled “Breaks, Brains & Balls: the story of Nevada’s fabulous Mustang Ranch” the 464-page book details Conforte's adventurous life from his birth into the poverty of a Sicilian fishing village to a life of luxury in Rio De Janeiro.
"I have a very good memory, very good,” Conforte says, “and this is the way I remember it all, from watching my mother in her outdoor kitchen, squatting down to fan the fire beneath the big cooking pot with a raven's wing, to now, in my penthouse apartment with the most beautiful young girl in Brazil for my companion.”
Conforte, one of the most outrageous characters ever to emerge from the American West, presided over the infamous brothel for nearly 30 years. He served prison terms for extortion and tax violations, but he made it the biggest, brightest and most famous operation of its kind in the USA, if not the world. In 1971 he received the first legal brothel license ever issued in America.
Conforte left the US in 1991 ahead of indictments for money laundering and tax fraud, and he used his considerable fortune to avoid arrest in South America. In 1999, while he was in hiding from an Interpol warrant, the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled that he could not be extradited to the United States.
David Toll, Conforte’s publisher and co-author, says, “Joe’s life story might have been written by Horatio Alger on acid: the poor immigrant boy who undertakes a series of hair-raising adventures and finds his fortune in the Nevada desert.”
Parts of Conforte’s story have been told in newspapers, magazines, books and even a big budget, big star movie: "Love Ranch."
“Here Joe tells the story himself, all of it, and in his own bold way he tells it very well,” Toll says. “It’s a great story, and in particular a great Nevada story, straight from the man who lived it.”
Gold Hill Publishing Co’s ebook is available from Amazon, Apple, B&N and most other ebook sources, as well as from Conforte’s own website (www.joeconforte.com) where purchasers are offered a Thank-You email from Joe himself.
“Obviously he’s not able to come and sign books for people,” Toll said. “The feds would be waiting with handcuffs at the airport. So he’s making this gesture instead.”
A hardcover edition is scheduled for publication in May.