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The Godfather—the epic tale of crime and betrayal that became a global phenomenon. Almost fifty years ago, a classic was born. A searing portrayal of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduced readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and their powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor. The seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and The Godfather—the epic tale of crime and betrayal that became a global phenomenon. Almost fifty years ago, a classic was born. A searing portrayal of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduced readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and their powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor. The seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and the allegiance to family—these are the themes that have resonated with millions of readers around the world and made The Godfather the definitive novel of the violent subculture that, steeped in intrigue and controversy, remains indelibly etched in our collective consciousness. ~penguin.com


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The Godfather—the epic tale of crime and betrayal that became a global phenomenon. Almost fifty years ago, a classic was born. A searing portrayal of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduced readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and their powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor. The seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and The Godfather—the epic tale of crime and betrayal that became a global phenomenon. Almost fifty years ago, a classic was born. A searing portrayal of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduced readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and their powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor. The seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and the allegiance to family—these are the themes that have resonated with millions of readers around the world and made The Godfather the definitive novel of the violent subculture that, steeped in intrigue and controversy, remains indelibly etched in our collective consciousness. ~penguin.com

30 review for The Godfather

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    Mario Puzo wrote The Godfather, a book that was to become an instant classic, at a time when both his personal life and that of the United States were in transition. Puzo's first two novels had not sold well, and he was almost penniless. A young, up and coming author, Puzo sought to write his version of the great American novel that would also work well on the silver screen. Meanwhile, in a time of war, the nation was beginning to view the mafia rather than Cowboys as the great American hero. Ac Mario Puzo wrote The Godfather, a book that was to become an instant classic, at a time when both his personal life and that of the United States were in transition. Puzo's first two novels had not sold well, and he was almost penniless. A young, up and coming author, Puzo sought to write his version of the great American novel that would also work well on the silver screen. Meanwhile, in a time of war, the nation was beginning to view the mafia rather than Cowboys as the great American hero. According to afterward author Peter Bart, America's perception of the mafia as positive citizens is what allowed Puzo to thrust The Godfather into the forefront of American society. As someone who has never experienced the award winning film starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, Don Corleone and the world he created were new to me. Vito Corleone had immigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 1900s, and, after a few lucky breaks, quickly established himself as one of the leaders of the crime underworld. Using his olive oil import business as a cover to make himself look like a law abiding citizen, Don Corleone's empire grew through his connections with politicians, police, and other officials. Along with his consigliere and caporegimes, Corleone instilled respect and fear into those who dared go against the most powerful mafia family in the nation. Being a mafiosa has its costs, however. Corleone's wife through forty years of marriage was never able to be his equal partner. The mafia and everything that went with it was kept secret and separate from family life. Crimes split apart families, forged both likely and unlikely alliances, and one never knew who he could trust. Despite the awe with which people viewed the Don, even he did not feel safe outside of his self-made mall fortress on Long Island. As a result even his wife, daughter-in-law, and especially son-in-law were kept out of the business that was to remain for all times in the family. The one protagonist who questioned the function of the mafia yet never wavered in his support of his family was the Don's youngest son Michael. A war hero and Dartmouth educated, Michael Corleone desired that his future children and grand children would be lawyers, bankers, maybe even the president, rather than have to go into the family business. Rather than marrying a Sicilian girl, he chose as his life partner a New England Yankee named Kay Adams. The two experience unconditional love yet even Kay, an Ivy League educated woman of the baby boom generation, is not told everything that occurs within the business. Like his father before him, Michael Corleone differentiates his marriage from his place in the family business. As a Chicagoan, I always associated the mafia with Al Capone, the top Italian crime lord of the city. Viewed in a negative light, Capone alone was responsible for outsiders negative perception of Chicago for many years. Even Puzo and Don Corleone view Capone as an outlier, a crazy who is not invited to be part of the national network of Dons. In Don Corleone, Mario Puzo has created a persona who shifts people's views of the role of the mafia. While there might be killings in revenge on occasion, the Don assists his people in a time of need in the role of an inner city Italian Robin Hood. Some of the activities may be illegal, yet they are overlooked as even rival crime families view Don Vito Corleone with nothing but the utmost respect and reverence. Following The Godfather's debut on screen, Mario Puzo never again rose to a high level of prominence. He was known as an extension of the character he created and often asked to impart words of wisdom on the Don's behalf. After three sequels, including the second part which also garnered awards, Puzo's ground breaking work lead to generations of mafia and crime family movies, most recently the Sopranos. Yet, there would be no Tony Soprano if Mario Puzo had not created Vito Corleone and his world, changing people's views of the mafia. I rate this captivating, game changing novel 4.5 stars. Afterward: After viewing the movie for the first time, I am impressed how closely it stuck to the book down to the minutest detail. For a three hour movie, the scenes moved quickly leaving me captivated and on edge. I found the acting to be stellar, especially Don Corleone himself Marlon Brando. Even if Puzo's other novels did not receive as high ratings, I am looking forward to The Godfather Part II. Puzo and director Francis Ford Coppola indeed made a perfect team and left Americans with a true classic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane Wallace

    The Best! a treasure of a story,plot and movie to keep forever...good storytelling and amazing writing (paperback!)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Godfather (Mario Puzo's Mafia), Mario Puzo The Godfather is a crime novel written by American author Mario Puzo. Originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons. The novel details the story of a fictional Mafia family based in New York City (and Long Beach, New York), headed by Vito Corleone. The novel covers the years 1945 to 1955, and also provides the back story of Vito Corleone from early childhood to adulthood. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوازدهم ماه جولای سال 1992میلادی عنوان: پدر خوانده؛ نویس The Godfather (Mario Puzo's Mafia), Mario Puzo The Godfather is a crime novel written by American author Mario Puzo. Originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons. The novel details the story of a fictional Mafia family based in New York City (and Long Beach, New York), headed by Vito Corleone. The novel covers the years 1945 to 1955, and also provides the back story of Vito Corleone from early childhood to adulthood. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوازدهم ماه جولای سال 1992میلادی عنوان: پدر خوانده؛ نویسنده: ماریو پوزو؛ مترجم: آذرمیدخت بهزادی؛ تهران، نشر علم، 1370؛ در 732ص؛ شابک ندارد؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م عنوان: پدر خوانده - ویتوکورلیونه - دن ویتونه؛ نویسنده: ماریو پوزو - فرانسیس فورد کاپولا؛ مترجم: علیرضا شمیرانی؛ تهران، پارینه، 1376؛ عنوان: پدر خوانده؛ نویسنده: ماریو پوزو؛ مترجم: حجت الله سلیمانی؛ تهران، جاده ابریشم، 1377، در 40ص؛ شابک: 9646225322؛ عنوان: پدر خوانده؛ نویسنده: ماریو پوزو؛ مترجم: محمد پورفر؛ تهران، نشرگستر، 1388، در 465ص؛ شابک 9789645544896؛ عنوان: پدر خوانده؛ نوشته: ماریو پوزو؛ مترجم: جبیب الله شهبازی؛ تهران، نشر افق، 1388، در 748ص؛ شابک 9789643695729؛ چاپ دیگر 1395، در 600ص؛ عنوان: پدر خوانده؛ نویسنده: ماریو پوزو؛ مترجم: منیژه اذکایی؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1395، در 580ص؛ شابک 9789644486975؛ پدر «ویتو کورلئونه»، با شخصی در دهکده درگیر میشود، و آن شخص به مافیا شکایت میبرد؛ پدر حاضر به زانو زدن در مقابل کدخدای محلی مافیا نمیشود، و او را در حضور مردم به قتل میرساند؛ یک هفته بعد نیز، جسد خودش را پیدا میکنند؛ تفنگچیان مافیا به دنبال «ویتو»ی جوان، به پرس و جو میافتند، چرا که احتمال میدهند، که «ویتو» بعدها به خونخواهی پدر برخیزد؛ اقوام «ویتو»ی دوارده ساله نیز، او را مخفیانه به «آمریکا» میفرستند؛ ...؛ تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 14/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 21/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  4. 4 out of 5

    Luca Ambrosino

    English (The Godfather) / Italiano New York, 1945. The Italian-American boss Vito Corleone, during the celebrations for his daughter's wedding, agrees to meet some Italian emigrants that ask for his help. Thus begins Mario Puzo's masterpiece, whose movie adaptation made Marlon Brando's interpretation of Don Vito famous. With a simple and straightforward style, Puzo manages to masterfully describe a series of intricate and temporally shifted events, involving the reader and maintaining high levels English (The Godfather) / Italiano New York, 1945. The Italian-American boss Vito Corleone, during the celebrations for his daughter's wedding, agrees to meet some Italian emigrants that ask for his help. Thus begins Mario Puzo's masterpiece, whose movie adaptation made Marlon Brando's interpretation of Don Vito famous. With a simple and straightforward style, Puzo manages to masterfully describe a series of intricate and temporally shifted events, involving the reader and maintaining high levels of suspense. It comes out the best cross-section of the Italian-American subculture never done before, and probably never equaled.The wisdom of Don Vito Corleone is disarming, it arouses feelings of respect also in the readers, making the godfather one of the most charismatic characters ever.Vote: 9 New York, 1945. Il boss italo-americano Vito Corleone, durante i festeggiamenti per il matrimonio della figlia, acconsente a dare udienza ad alcuni emigrati italiani che invocano il suo aiuto. Inizia così il capolavoro di Mario Puzo, la cui trasposizione cinematografica ha reso celebre l'interpretazione di Marlon Brando nei panni di Don Vito. Con uno stile semplice ed asciutto, Puzo riesce a descrivere in maniera magistrale una serie di eventi intricati e temporalmente sfasati, coinvolgendo il lettore e mantenendo altissimi i livelli di suspense. Ne viene fuori il miglior spaccato della società italo-americana mai fatto prima, e probabilmente mai eguagliato in seguito.La saggezza di Don Vito Corleone è disarmante, suscita rispetto anche nei lettori, rendendo il padrino uno dei personaggi di finzione più carismatici di sempre.Voto: 9

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    “‘[T]ell me the truth, Tom, how many men do you figure the Don killed or had killed?’[Michael asked] Tom Hagen turned away. ‘I'll tell you one thing you didn't learn from him: talking the way you're talking now. There are things that have to be done and you do them and you never talk about them. You don't try to justify them. They can't be justified. You just do them. Then you forget it.’ Michael Corleone frowned. He said quietly, ‘As the Consigliere, you agree that it's dangerous to the Don and o “‘[T]ell me the truth, Tom, how many men do you figure the Don killed or had killed?’[Michael asked] Tom Hagen turned away. ‘I'll tell you one thing you didn't learn from him: talking the way you're talking now. There are things that have to be done and you do them and you never talk about them. You don't try to justify them. They can't be justified. You just do them. Then you forget it.’ Michael Corleone frowned. He said quietly, ‘As the Consigliere, you agree that it's dangerous to the Don and our Family to let Sollozzo live?’ ‘Yes,’ Hagen said. ‘OK,’ Michael said. ‘Then I have to kill him...’” - Mario Puzo, The Godfather I’m sure you’ve had the timeless book-versus-movie argument before. Everyone has. You’re standing at the water cooler at work, and a coworker comes up to you and says “Boy, The English Patient is an excellent movie!” And maybe you say something back like “Michael Ondaatje’s Booker-Prize winning novel is far superior.” At that point, your coworker calls you a “pretentious snob” and you respond with “sewer-dwelling ignorance peddler.” There is some cursing. Maybe someone throws water on the other. That’s the argument. It is great fun, and an eminently worthwhile way to spend the moments God gives us. The Godfather is a great example of this type of debate. Which is better? Mario Puzo’s bestselling novel, or Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award-winning film? The answer is both. Or neither. They are the same. Not just the same extremely high quality, but almost literally the same. If I were an alien visiting earth, I would believe it if someone told me that Puzo’s The Godfather was actually a novelization of Coppola’s movie. (I assume, if I were an alien visiting Earth, the topic of movie novelizations would eventually arise). That is not the case, of course. Puzo’s novel was published in 1969. Coppola’s film came out in 1972, and spawned two sequels, one of which is worth mentioning. At this point, The Godfather legacy is so pervasive that I feel like my job is done. Even if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, you probably know all the plot points, character beats, and one liners. There’s nothing more to say. However, since I get paid by the word, I’ll keep going. The Godfather tells the story of the Corleone family. They are typical American strivers who immigrated from Italy, started a business selling olive oil, and are part of the Mafia. The patriarch of the family – the Godfather – is Vito Andolini Corleone, a distant and reticent man of near-omnipotent powers. He is surrounded by three sons: hotheaded Santino (Sonny); weak and obedient Frederico (Fredo); and young World War II hero Michael, who when the novel opens has never been part of “the family business.” The family’s consigliere, or advisor, is the Irish-American orphan Tom Hagan. The novel – like the film – opens with the wedding of Don Corleone’s daughter Connie. This is an excellent device for introducing on the main characters, their roles within the hierarchy, and the Don’s far-reaching power. (I could spend all day comparing the book to the film. I promise I won’t. But I’d feel remiss if I failed to mention how much time is spent on a character named Lucy Mancini. This is one of the big differences between book and movie. In the film, we see her for a second – she is the bridesmaid with whom Sonny has sexual congress. In the novel, she is treated like a major character, even though her plot arc has nothing to do with the central narrative. And do you want to know what her plot arc is? I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that it is a pelvic floor problem. Sonny, you see, was the only man with enough manhood – so to speak – to satisfy Lucy. Puzo, for reasons lost to history, decides to devote an entire section of the novel to Lucy’s pelvic floor surgery. I’m not making this up. I’m not clever enough to make this up). The precipitating event of The Godfather is the attempted assassination of Don Corleone by an up-and-comer named Virgil “the Turk” Sollozzo, who was mad at the Don because the Don didn't join him in the heroin business. Don Corleone’s wounding puts Sonny in charge and draws Michael into the family business. I don’t need to continue with a plot summary. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what happens next. If you just came out of a long hibernation, I don’t want to spoil anything. It is worth noting, despite the comparisons I can’t help making to the movie, that this is a standalone piece of quality fiction. The characters are unforgettable, from the central figure of Don Corleone himself, who is given a lengthy flashback section (familiar to fans of The Godfather, Part II), to secondary characters such as Luca Brasi (a sort of Sicilian Keyser Soze, whose very name terrifies people) and Johnny Fontane (a Frank Sinatra stand-in, given his shot at stardom by the Don). The plotting is excellent. The story is propulsive. This is the kind of book that needs to be taken on a long plane trip, because it really passes the time. (I had to stop reading it at bedtime, because it burned away my ZzzQuil haze). The writing, especially the dialogue – which has become part of American pop culture – is excellent. And worth sharing. For instance, the Godfather has some Godfatherly advice on the value of friends: “Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than government. It is almost the equal of family. Never forget that. If you had built up a wall of friendships you wouldn’t have to ask me to help.” There is also some excellent guidance on the importance of a personal touch: “You shouldn’t let that broken jaw influence you,” Hagen said. “McCluskey is a stupid man, and it was business, not personal.” For the second time he saw Michael Corleone’s face freeze into a mask that resembled uncannily the Don’s. “Tom, don’t let anybody kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal…That’s what makes him great…He takes everything personal. Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes. Right? And you know something? Accidents don’t happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult. So I came late, OK, but I’m coming all the way…” Coppola’s films resonate because they play on the hoary old tropes of the American Dream. The Corleone family is the archetypical immigrant clan that comes to the United States and makes good. The sly subversion, of course, is that they make good by controlling the unions and bookmaking. In the film, it’s easy to get behind the Corleone family as the “good guys” while the other Mafia families are the “bad guys.” You cheer for Al Pacino because he’s Al Pacino (“Hoo-ah!”). At the same time, the film’s moral compass – Diane Keaton’s Kay Adams – is given the role of wet blanket, nagging and prying and generally taking time away from the kinetic scenes of gangland mayhem. There are elements of that theme in Puzo’s novel, but I found the main thread here to be much darker, more brooding, and far less certain that all these people we’ve followed are worthy of the attention. Puzo opens The Godfather with a quote from Balzac: “Behind every great fortune there is a crime." Then he sets out to give you Exhibit A. He certainly baits you into siding with his protagonists early in the novel. By the end, however, he makes clear that the Corleones are not heroes, but criminals, and that there is a price they’ll have to pay for everything that they’ve done.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    “Tell my father I wish to be his son." -Michael Corleone This is the line that won me over! [email protected]/04/2019: GR ate my review!!! I can't fucking believe it!!! *sobs* *re-write review is in order.......hopefully.* Here is a few reasons why I put The Godfather in such a high place: (1) The characters are entirely seductive, likable and engaging despite most of them being Mafia. It has been a long time since I last saw seductive characters like this from We Have Always Lived in the Castle. (2) “Tell my father I wish to be his son." -Michael Corleone This is the line that won me over! [email protected]/04/2019: GR ate my review!!! I can't fucking believe it!!! *sobs* *re-write review is in order.......hopefully.* Here is a few reasons why I put The Godfather in such a high place: (1) The characters are entirely seductive, likable and engaging despite most of them being Mafia. It has been a long time since I last saw seductive characters like this from We Have Always Lived in the Castle. (2) The storyline is intensive, believable and it can keep you at the edge of your seat for almost a whole book. They were those rarities, men who had refused to accept the rule of organized society, men who refused the dominion of other men. There was no force, no mortal man who could bend them to their will unless they wished it. They were men who guarded their free will with wiles and murder. (3) It's one hell of a great family saga, and you can actually see the 1950s post-war Italian community in the USA of that time. (4) Okay........I'm not amused by how female characters got shoved into tiny boxes of being obedient wives, mothers and daughters, whilst men make all the decisions but for the awesomeness of the story, I can forgive this flaw. (5) Talking about men making all the decisions, the entire story is masculine in an amazing way which actually shows the male main characters' worldview, it also shows us a group of men surviving, reacting and actually finding susses and revenge in the harsh world they live in. [email protected]/12/2020: It is the first time I read The Godfather in English and I'm once again impressed by the good writing and the sense of satire! Great job Mr. Puzo. Although I just admit the subplot about Johnny and Lucy and all these Hollywood monkey business is pretty much a drag. Haaahaaha.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaion

    Indeed, dear reader, I did not hate The Godfather. I h-aa-ted it. How much did I hate it? Well I could start with a long dissemination of Mario Puzo's simplistic and repetitive prose. Puzo seems to think the reader needs a reminder of plot points that occured ten pages ago, and that unnecessarily drawing out an obvious reveal by splitting it up into three points of view counts as suspense. Or I could give you a thorough cataloguing of how very poser-y The Godfather, with its bombastic ideas of mas Indeed, dear reader, I did not hate The Godfather. I h-aa-ted it. How much did I hate it? Well I could start with a long dissemination of Mario Puzo's simplistic and repetitive prose. Puzo seems to think the reader needs a reminder of plot points that occured ten pages ago, and that unnecessarily drawing out an obvious reveal by splitting it up into three points of view counts as suspense. Or I could give you a thorough cataloguing of how very poser-y The Godfather, with its bombastic ideas of masculinity and supposed gritty crime plotlines. And yet for moral convenience, the only people we see the Corleone Family harm are fellow mobsters they are at "war" with (and somehow the Corleones are never the instigators) or else, terrible human beings who are child molesters (I'm not kidding). I have an essay on my hard drive about how the worship of this book and the character of Vito Corleone is misguided, as he better represents the utter failure of the American Dream and its corruption of true values... that is if one takes Puzo's vision seriously at all, which one really shouldn't, as it is just another weak attempt at the myth of the Single Man, as well as obviously only prodding history for hopefully salacious material, rather than having an insight into the times. And I could talk on forever about the greatest myth of Puzo's "history" is his adherance to the Madonna-Whore view of his female characters, only slightly amended more specifically in Puzo's case to the Long-Suffering-Wife (Whose-Willingfully-Ignorant-Devotion-To-Her-Husband-Is-Only-Matched-By-Her-Spiritual-Devotion-To-Praying-For-His-Soul) and the Body, of which there are two subtypes, the Vagina (Woman-Who-Only-Exists-As-A-Sexual-Object) and the Victim (Woman-Who-Exists-As-A-Punching-Bag-Usually-For-Plot-Device-Purposes). But really that would involve spending more time about thinking about this truly wretched book, and really just this*: There's a whole character in this book-- a secondary character who gets several chapters devoted to PoV-- who is defined by her gaping vagina. Yes, literally. Her whole character is about her large vagina. We get a whole decades-spanning arc about her large vagina, because really, what else could possibly be more riveting about any woman? What other possible characteristics could any woman have that would be more important than that? Do I really need to say more? *It was this or an haiku about watching the pages burn, but I don't believe in book burning and I could never top Bradbury anyway, so this is what you get instead.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kerstin

    I'm one of the people who watched the whole movie trilogy and then after that found out that The Godfather exists as a novel. Naturally, I had to purchase it. It is a matter of taste, I suppose, but next to the movies - so elegant and grandiose - it feels a bit like reading pulp fiction. Maybe it's that the book is lacking the presence of charismatic Hollywood giants Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, whose legendary performances rival those of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind. It's h I'm one of the people who watched the whole movie trilogy and then after that found out that The Godfather exists as a novel. Naturally, I had to purchase it. It is a matter of taste, I suppose, but next to the movies - so elegant and grandiose - it feels a bit like reading pulp fiction. Maybe it's that the book is lacking the presence of charismatic Hollywood giants Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, whose legendary performances rival those of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind. It's hard to tell. I did feel like the story tended to lose focus once in a while in the middle of the excessive subplots concerning the graphicly described sex lives of Johnny Fontane and Lucy Mancini. But I understand that, at the time, the subjects of pornography and death (especially together) were very controversial and obviously helped a lot with the sales, as the author Mario Puzo himself admitted. Anyway... the great thing about the book is that the Corleones are all in there of course; the whole main gang. And they get you hooked on everything they do. Classic storytelling at its best. The Godfather is basically an age-old tale about power passing between generations, more precisely from father to (reluctant) son. We have the "kingdom" of Don Vito Corleone and his "three princes". There's the rash and impulsive Santino (Sonny), the dim-witted but soft-hearted Fredo and the handsome and idealistic Michael. Vito also has a neurotic daughter called Connie and an adopted son named Tom Hagen. Who's German-Irish, btw, and works as a lawyer in the "family business". Don Vito is a very powerful and respected "wise old man". He is known for his hospitality and seemigly benign, "reasonable" nature. He grants people "favors" and he is such a master of his game that even brutal monsters like Luca Brasi have sworn loyalty to him. In short - he "makes you an offer you can't refuse". Because, in case you do, be prepared to find a dead horse's head in your bed. The magic of The Godfather story lies in the fact that it is told entirely from "the inside". Which enables us to care about and relate to characters who, in real life, would be considered despicable as people. It's like an exclusive peek into the closed world of a genuine Italian Mafia family. And we look into this world from a viewpoint similar to the one of Kay Adams - the only outsider in there. Vito Corleone makes his living mostly through gambling and prostitution and, staying true to his old-school methods, says "no" to drugs. Which is why the other Dons in the New York area decide that he is slipping and it is time to eliminate him. The night Vito is shot, it is his youngest son Michael who shows up in the hospital. Michael is an interesting isolated character. He announces proudly that he doesn't want to have anything to do with the family business and backs this up with his actions. Everything he does is different from his family - he goes to college, joins an army to fight for America and plans to marry a girl who doesn't carry a drop of Italian blood in her, Kay. He starts out as a hero that night, saving his father's life by moving his bed to another room and standing guard on the hospital stairs, displaying qualities (bravery, calculative and cool head under pressure, etc.) that make him an apparent "heir to the throne". When the Corleones work out their revenge strategies, Michael suggests that he should be the one to kill their enemies Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo and the corrupt police captain McCluskey (who has assaulted him with a heavy punch in the face). Against all odds, he ends up executing the two men in an Italian restaurant, during one of the most thrilling and suspenseful scenes ever created. Having done away with the immediate threat to his family, he is then in danger and needs to go into exile. With Michael's trip to Sicily, the narrative perspective shifts and the story becomes his. He travels through the land of his forefathers and discovers the terrifying and bloody history of this beautiful place - the birthplace of the Mafia. He seeks to "connect with his roots" by marrying a beautiful local girl called Apollonia. But blow after blow is delivered to him in there; first with the news of his brother Sonny's murder at home and then with the tragic death of his innocent wife and unborn child through the explosives planted in his car. Everywhere Michael goes, death follows him. Once he returns to America, he is no longer the man he used to be. Michael's transformation from a young war-hero to a ruthless Mafia boss is both fascinating and devastating. And in the end we feel a deep sense of loss, because we've witnessed a man with so much potential for good and a bright, promising future simply sell his soul and go to hell. Was it the result of his decisions or just unfortunate circumstances doesn't even seem to bear real relevance in here - the story plays it out as an inevitability, as if it was always his fate. Michael is not the only one left to pay for his father's mistakes in a rather biblical manner, either... all of Vito's children do, in their own ways (poor, poor Fredo). The late Mario Puzo has said that The Godfather is first and foremost about family than anything else. But how much a person would do for their family or how much it would cost them to betray their family are not the only issues it brings up. Layers upon layers upon layers of meaning emerges as the story unfolds. Questions that never find answers (unless you're the actor Tom Hanks who's convinced that all of life's questions can be answered by The Godfather). It somehow manages to authentically reflect the everyday operations of a criminal empire, be a character-driven psychological drama, a tale of immigrant experience (the backstory of Vito's arrival to America) and a study of Italian-American lifestyle all at the same time. While being structured as a modern myth. No wonder it's so popular.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Baba

    The godfather of mafia fiction... the seminal gangster read! The stories of the first family of American mafia fiction, the Corleones. A tale of honour, tradition, blood, sweat, brutality and bullets. Family. Power. Tradition. The Godfather. Should be on everyone's must-read list, period! Puzo's saga of the life and times of Don Corleone and his Family… simply the most popular Mafia tale ever written! Broken into chapters focusing on different 'family' members and told out of time, with the main The godfather of mafia fiction... the seminal gangster read! The stories of the first family of American mafia fiction, the Corleones. A tale of honour, tradition, blood, sweat, brutality and bullets. Family. Power. Tradition. The Godfather. Should be on everyone's must-read list, period! Puzo's saga of the life and times of Don Corleone and his Family… simply the most popular Mafia tale ever written! Broken into chapters focusing on different 'family' members and told out of time, with the main story set in the present interspersed with back stories. An absorbing read, though in my case, my very high expectations were never going to be truly met. 7 out of 12. But take note, this was first published in 1969!!!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    "Come in." "Ah, Don Corleone, I'm sorry to trouble you -" "Sit down." "Thank you, Don Corleone -" "Where is your mother from?" "I'm sorry?" "Your mother, she is from Italia. Which town?" The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons) "Come in." "Ah, Don Corleone, I'm sorry to trouble you -" "Sit down." "Thank you, Don Corleone -" "Where is your mother from?" "I'm sorry?" "Your mother, she is from Italia. Which town?" The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    Mario Puzo creates his awesome world & then plays with his own elements (those of detective noir and mob drama) like a world-class chess champion. Less than a fourth into the narrative, POW! the Don has been shot. And, hold on a sec, who is the protagonist here? I thought Michael. Or the Consigliari Hagen. Or Hollywood heart-throb Johnny Fontaine? The full display of individual destinies is what makes this better than its cinematic equivalent. Here we see flesh-and-blood people living at a Hadea Mario Puzo creates his awesome world & then plays with his own elements (those of detective noir and mob drama) like a world-class chess champion. Less than a fourth into the narrative, POW! the Don has been shot. And, hold on a sec, who is the protagonist here? I thought Michael. Or the Consigliari Hagen. Or Hollywood heart-throb Johnny Fontaine? The full display of individual destinies is what makes this better than its cinematic equivalent. Here we see flesh-and-blood people living at a Hadean level-- system of business ethics and family morality included. Anyway, the novel's true nature is "the nature of the universe, the interlinking of good & evil, natural of itself." (392) Masterful!-- As close as there is to a SOAP OPERA for MEN. The need for reinvention, as well as the necessity to keep things in line with tradition are explored fully. Interesting to note are: the general absence of Fredo, the omnipresence of Johnny Fontaine... the Hollywood sex parties in detail (and how's this for risqué [& appropriate to the season]: Best Actor & Best Actress in public sex), plus invaluable insights (like the entire Book V, largely absent from the beloved film) as bizarre as sexual readjustment surgeries and as natural as mob allegiances in Vegas. This is pure entertainment-- decadence for the reader at full throttle!!!! This is a classic train of portraits of a kingdom in steep decline, of its vindication and revolution, rife with those beloved Shakespearean precepts like corruption, revenge & fate.

  12. 5 out of 5

    M Hossain

    I watched the movie first. I keep listening to its theme music all the time. I liked the characters so much. It has amazing character building with powerful portrayal of the mafia world. Ever since is watching the movie I wanted to read the book too. A friend gifted me the book. And my finally got to read this one. The book was more beautiful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Here’s a record breaking novel, but for the wrong reasons. 1. I gave it up so fast that I did not have time to list it as “currently reading”. First time that’s happened. 2. I did not even make page 30! I mean, I even gave Darconville’s Cat 50 pages! 3. But instead of just binning it, I need to warn people about this book, so that means I will have written Three Reviews in One Day! A record for me. Well, I love the (first two) movies like everyone does. So what could go so wrong so fast? Example the Here’s a record breaking novel, but for the wrong reasons. 1. I gave it up so fast that I did not have time to list it as “currently reading”. First time that’s happened. 2. I did not even make page 30! I mean, I even gave Darconville’s Cat 50 pages! 3. But instead of just binning it, I need to warn people about this book, so that means I will have written Three Reviews in One Day! A record for me. Well, I love the (first two) movies like everyone does. So what could go so wrong so fast? Example the first : Nazorine glanced at her shrewdly. She was a “hot number” this daughter of his. He had seen her brush her swelling buttocks against Enzo’s front when the baker’s helped squeezed her behind to fill the counter baskets with hot loaves from the oven. The young rascal’s hot loaf would be in her oven, Nazorine thought lewdly, if proper steps were not taken. I think “the baker’s helped” should read “the baker’s help” but nothing can help that dreadful sentence. Any which way you read it, it’s gross. And then the Benny Hill prurience of the hot loaf. And anyway, swelling buttocks? Echhh. Example the second (he’s describing Sonny now): He was built as powerfully as a bull and it was common knowledge that he was so generously endowed by nature that his martyred wife feared the marriage bed as unbelievers once feared the rack. It was whispered that when as a youth he had visited houses of ill fame, even the most hardened and fearless putain, after an awed inspection of his massive organ, demanded double price. Ewwwww. I think we are supposed to chuckle “lewdly” at “as unbelievers once feared the rack”. If so, I think my sense of humour is sleeping with the fishes. No more of that, no more organs the size of an umbrella, no more hot loaves. Well, I know what Mario Puzo would say to this if he was still around.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading

    So, this is where all the mafia obsessions come from (?!?!?) Omg, look at me reading yet another classic! The boy I used to have a crush on loved this book (or the movie). Now, obviously my reason for reading this in 2021 was more spontaneous and had nothing to do with him, but the experience did bring back some embarrassing memories. That said, The Godfather was such a man’s book, and I liked it a lot—which was a pity because I’d have LOVED it if the portrayal of women wasn’t so whacked. I suppos So, this is where all the mafia obsessions come from (?!?!?) Omg, look at me reading yet another classic! The boy I used to have a crush on loved this book (or the movie). Now, obviously my reason for reading this in 2021 was more spontaneous and had nothing to do with him, but the experience did bring back some embarrassing memories. That said, The Godfather was such a man’s book, and I liked it a lot—which was a pity because I’d have LOVED it if the portrayal of women wasn’t so whacked. I suppose there are worse fate than being a mafia wife. In fact, I must admit that the position is kind of tempting. Still, all they did in this book was cook, push out babies out of their wombs, go to Sunday Mass, and stay out of their husband’s business—which, okay, this was sweet cause part of the reason was for their own safety. Regardless, I wish they’d had more agency. It just made me feel excluded from all the greatness is all. Didn’t they say that behind every man’s success was a woman? Some parts of the book were more attention grabbing than others. Some were rather tedious because the author had a habit of bringing up brief summaries of what happened in previous sections to the latter ones. There was a part that weirded me out (that of the “other woman” storyline where she had some vaginal issue and had to undergo a surgery) mostly because it was a female problem, and as far as I know Mario Puzo was a male. Not that it means he couldn’t write about it, but still. (view spoiler)[My favorite—other than the murder and the Don dishing out wisdom and his (I must say) pretty cool and admirable ideals about friendship and families—was Michael’s exile in Sicily. I think it was romantic. At least, up until the woman he married on the island got car bombed (it was supposed to be him). Then like everything else, it turned into a tragedy. The repercussion of that was quite bone chilling since it (along with Sonny’s death) marked the turning point for Michael’s character. (hide spoiler)] This book was very quotable. I listened on audio, and it was marvelous. You might need some time to find your groove. Having no idea how some names were spelled (unless you’re Italian) and how the mob wolrd worked, the beginning was a bit confusing. It should not be a hindrance if you read and listen simultaneously at least for the first few chapters. Anyhow, I watched the movie, and I think it was 99% same as the book, which is to say that I really liked it too. (Read as an Audiobook)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This book is good. This book is really REALLY good. This book is better than I expected. Amazing! I have to go watch the movie RIGHT NOW! From the mean streets of New York City . . . to the casinos of Las Vegas . . . to the villas of Sicily . . . the Corleones have got things under control . . . and those who cross them will pay the price. This book has a lot of intrigue, action, suspense, double-crossing - general bad-ass-ery. I will make you an offer you can't refuse - READ THIS BOOK! This book is good. This book is really REALLY good. This book is better than I expected. Amazing! I have to go watch the movie RIGHT NOW! From the mean streets of New York City . . . to the casinos of Las Vegas . . . to the villas of Sicily . . . the Corleones have got things under control . . . and those who cross them will pay the price. This book has a lot of intrigue, action, suspense, double-crossing - general bad-ass-ery. I will make you an offer you can't refuse - READ THIS BOOK!

  16. 5 out of 5

    MischaS_

    You gotta stop them at the beginning. Like they shoulda stopped Hitler at Munich, they should never let him get away with that, they were just asking for big trouble when they let him get away with that. You know that you are a Czech person when this is your favourite quote/sentence(s) from the whole book. I expected many things from this book because let's face it this book is a phenomenon! But, I didn't know what I will get because I never saw the movies and never read anything about the book. You gotta stop them at the beginning. Like they shoulda stopped Hitler at Munich, they should never let him get away with that, they were just asking for big trouble when they let him get away with that. You know that you are a Czech person when this is your favourite quote/sentence(s) from the whole book. I expected many things from this book because let's face it this book is a phenomenon! But, I didn't know what I will get because I never saw the movies and never read anything about the book. Also, this book has impressive power; it took me so long to read it because every time I opened in public someone started to talk to me about it. A policeman at the Prague castle that was searching my bag and watched as I went through the metal detector, at least three workers at the Prague airport, an English gentleman that sat next to on the flight to Istanbul, numerous people in metro... So, I started. I was flooded with so many characters that I had no idea where my head was. I loved some; I hated some, I wanted to know about many. I thought that some of them deserved their fate or even worse than they were getting. I could not stand Johnny Fontana, he got everything, and he appreciated nothing. I was surprised to actually like Jules Segal; he was surprisingly refreshing. I looked at some reviews and was actually surprised at how many people complain about the women and their role in the story. And I want to ask, what did they expect? A strong heroine that would put battle with the men? Italians, mafia, taking place after World War Two, being published at the time... That is not a set up for a strong heroine. No, it is a recipe for a housewife, mother, wife or daughter. Anything else and you can bet that the character won't be portrait positively or as a strong character. I don't think this should be judged by today's standards. (view spoiler)[Yeah, Lucy's operation scene was pretty creepy. Even I have to say that. (hide spoiler)] I won't go into detail much because there is so much a could talk about. This is a masterpiece! But I need to say that I don't like Kay. I don't think she and Michael could function together. She is too progressive for a role of a wife that asks nothing, sees nothing and does as she is told. I actually liked Apollonia. Yes, she liked the little powers that Michael gave her, as teaching her how to drive. I actually think that they were more suited for each other. This brings me to the question, did Kay ever learn about Apollonia? And, in the beginning, I believe Michael liked Kay's progressiveness, but I wonder how he saw it after the time with Apollonia. And, there is only one man named Clemenza for me. And that is Clemenza Caserta from Hell's Kitchen! I saw him playing Clemenza, and I could not unsee that.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hasham Rasool

    It was a very good book. Alhamdulillah. I can't wait to get 'The Family Corleone' and 'The Sicilian' books. My favourite characters are Vito Corleone/Godfather and Michael Corleone. 'The Godfather and The Godfather part 2' movies were awesome. 'The Godfather part 3' was pointless! The only part I actually enjoy watched 'The Godfather part 3' was 15 minutes before at the end of the film. It was a very good book. Alhamdulillah. I can't wait to get 'The Family Corleone' and 'The Sicilian' books. My favourite characters are Vito Corleone/Godfather and Michael Corleone. 'The Godfather and The Godfather part 2' movies were awesome. 'The Godfather part 3' was pointless! The only part I actually enjoy watched 'The Godfather part 3' was 15 minutes before at the end of the film.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~

    Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars I think this is just what I was in the mood for!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Saadia B. || CritiConscience

    The Godfather had been on my list for a long time. Having watched the movie I was really looking forward to it. The mafias living in America had their own rules and regulations, which set them apart from one another. They belonged to Italian families who immigrated to America and made it on their own by spreading various businesses and controlling certain areas around the country to sustain their empires. Don Corleone being one of them was among the powerful, who was attacked by Sollozo and the T The Godfather had been on my list for a long time. Having watched the movie I was really looking forward to it. The mafias living in America had their own rules and regulations, which set them apart from one another. They belonged to Italian families who immigrated to America and made it on their own by spreading various businesses and controlling certain areas around the country to sustain their empires. Don Corleone being one of them was among the powerful, who was attacked by Sollozo and the Tattaglia family, losing his power and eventually his eldest son, Sonny. Micheal, Don’s youngest son took over the family business and made it big by killing all his father’s enemies, making him the most powerful in all families. He also moved from New York to Las Vegas and went into casino business, alongside others. Don always favoured his family over others and taught the same to his children. He never asked for returns immediately but rather waited for the right time to utilise them. Though it was a very different book from all that I have read, I found the pace of the narrative slow and dragging. Some of the characters in my opinion were not required either, their presence or absence didn’t make much of a difference. Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn

  20. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    New Brilliant Future Career Idea: mafia wife. Think about it - all you have to do is cook, have some babies, and go to Mass once a day. Sure, I might have a hard time learning to never ask questions about anything, but I could always get a hobby to occupy my time with. At the very least, being a mafia wife would give me tons of free time to finish The List. It's win-win, really. New Brilliant Future Career Idea: mafia wife. Think about it - all you have to do is cook, have some babies, and go to Mass once a day. Sure, I might have a hard time learning to never ask questions about anything, but I could always get a hobby to occupy my time with. At the very least, being a mafia wife would give me tons of free time to finish The List. It's win-win, really.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shariful Sadaf

    An amazing, fast paced read. I liked Puzo's insight into the structure of The Family and the role of the Godfather. It was fascinating to consider the contradictions in the character and the actions of Don Corleone and to read the Family's justification of their actions - often perceived as 'necessary' and 'just'. I'm sure most of you have heard of the Godfather because of the movies, they're a piece of art but so is this book. This book! This is, undoubtedly one of my favourite reads of all time! An amazing, fast paced read. I liked Puzo's insight into the structure of The Family and the role of the Godfather. It was fascinating to consider the contradictions in the character and the actions of Don Corleone and to read the Family's justification of their actions - often perceived as 'necessary' and 'just'. I'm sure most of you have heard of the Godfather because of the movies, they're a piece of art but so is this book. This book! This is, undoubtedly one of my favourite reads of all time! I am shook. It was so good. I highly recommend it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    myra

    This book had me shook. Absolutely amazing. I’m sure most of you have heard of the Godfather because of the movies, they’re a piece of art but so is this book. I highly recommend it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Israel

    The epic masterpiece of mafia fiction. Puzo is good and entertaining elsewhere, here is great and masterful. It is to mobster books what Godfather parts 1 & 2 are to mobster movies...a standard that can never be equalled. What really intrigues me about Puzo's presentation of the Corleone family, and something that does not translate as explicitly to the screen, is the incredible sense of moral and religious conviction that what they do is right and good. At times I found myself believing that th The epic masterpiece of mafia fiction. Puzo is good and entertaining elsewhere, here is great and masterful. It is to mobster books what Godfather parts 1 & 2 are to mobster movies...a standard that can never be equalled. What really intrigues me about Puzo's presentation of the Corleone family, and something that does not translate as explicitly to the screen, is the incredible sense of moral and religious conviction that what they do is right and good. At times I found myself believing that the Corleone's were right to be who they were, or at the very least, that such a way of life in de-centralized Sicily, if not in 20th century America, was appropriate. Puzo does everything in this book; action, drama, romance, epic, humanity, pulp, and he does it all effortlessly. One minute you're reading about a fictional mafioso and the next minute you realize you've stumbled on one of the great literary accomplishments of the century. I love books that make it hard to know how to feel about the characters. No single literary character is as conflicting for me as Michael Corleone. And so, few books intrigue me more. It is a book to be cherished.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    A Masterpiece! I've read this book 3x and each time I love it more and more. The Godfather is what all crime novels should aspire to. That's all I got! I'm not qualified to write a review for this book. Read it and then watch the movies(the first 2 not part 3). A Masterpiece! I've read this book 3x and each time I love it more and more. The Godfather is what all crime novels should aspire to. That's all I got! I'm not qualified to write a review for this book. Read it and then watch the movies(the first 2 not part 3).

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karl Marberger

    This book was very good. Complex and gripping characters with personable motivations light the pages up with the help of exquisite dialogue and delightfully descriptive narrative. A true classic and a great pleasure to read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jr Bacdayan

    "..for Justice, we must go to Don Corleone." In a world where laws are broken, where the government is only a puppet, where murder is routine and safety a rare thing, Don Corleone holds all the strings. He is the avenging angel, the thief in the night, the protector of the poor, the warrior of the wops, the ultimate puppeteer. He is the loving father, the faithful husband. He is the Godfather. Don Vito, Sonny, Fredo, Michael, Tom, Clemenza, Tessio, Luca Brasi, the entire family, they're like the "..for Justice, we must go to Don Corleone." In a world where laws are broken, where the government is only a puppet, where murder is routine and safety a rare thing, Don Corleone holds all the strings. He is the avenging angel, the thief in the night, the protector of the poor, the warrior of the wops, the ultimate puppeteer. He is the loving father, the faithful husband. He is the Godfather. Don Vito, Sonny, Fredo, Michael, Tom, Clemenza, Tessio, Luca Brasi, the entire family, they're like the Cosbys. Only they're much more serious, they're Italian, and they're mafia. Okay, maybe they're not like the Cosbys. But they do have one thing in common. They're both iconic families. The Corleones, The Cosbys, everybody knows who they are. The family name speaks for itself. It's pretty common knowledge that one of the vital points in writing a successful novel is creating unforgettable characters. And the Corleone Family, they're real hard to forget. (Well, Fredo, not so much.) I do think that this is the book's strongest point. The story is another strength too, full of intrigue and excitement. These two redeem the book from the sometimes cliche lines and a little sloppy writing. The writing's not so bad, but it's not so good either. But com'on, one can overlook that when the plot is this good and the characters this unforgettable. I'm not gonna make this long. I actually had this idea just to place the word "Omerta" as my review. But, I'm not Sicilian anyway. So who am I kidding? Here's the deal. This is one glorious piece of literature. The writing's a little sloppy, maybe. But the book is glorious nonetheless. I may or may not have cried out of happiness because of all the gloriousness. It's a real .90 caliber pezzonovante, not a Moustache Pete though it was written way back in '69. Real pezzonovante, .90 caliber. To end this review, I have to reflect on the feeling I had all throughout reading this book. I felt the endless craving for spaghetti. So here's what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna go home. I'm gonna talk to my mom. I'm gonna make her an offer she can't refuse. No, I'm not gonna put a gun on her face just to ask her to cook spaghetti for me. Maybe I'll bring a gift, or give her a kiss, or take her to a massage place. I'll think of something.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melindam

    A very fitting book to read when all we can do about the corona virus is "going to the mattresses". I was really fascinated with this book when I read it in my late teens. Revisiting this was a really good experience, though the fascination wore out a bit with time, so I am removing 1 star. A very fitting book to read when all we can do about the corona virus is "going to the mattresses". I was really fascinated with this book when I read it in my late teens. Revisiting this was a really good experience, though the fascination wore out a bit with time, so I am removing 1 star.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    I absolutely loved this book! This book started my long running obsession with Mafia. The Godfather is one of the best pieces of literature ever written. Mario Puzo paints this elaborate picture of the Sicilian mafia through the eyes of Michael Corleone, a returning Marine Corps hero who at first wants nothing to do with the elaborate crime family that his father has built. Don Vito Corleone, an Italian immigrant who goes from poverty in Little Italy to create one of the Five Families of New York I absolutely loved this book! This book started my long running obsession with Mafia. The Godfather is one of the best pieces of literature ever written. Mario Puzo paints this elaborate picture of the Sicilian mafia through the eyes of Michael Corleone, a returning Marine Corps hero who at first wants nothing to do with the elaborate crime family that his father has built. Don Vito Corleone, an Italian immigrant who goes from poverty in Little Italy to create one of the Five Families of New York with the help of his friends Peter Clamenza and Salvatore Tessio. His inferiors include his sons, the short tempered Santino "Sonny", the clumsy Fredo, and of course Michael. Wounded war Vet Rocco Lampone, and the tough Luca Bracsi. The Godfather starts in a 1945 New York. A mob war is brewing between the Corleone's and a rival family. The dilema of getting into drug trade and betrayal are at the heart of this literature classic. The reason that the Godfather is so good is the depth of Mario Puzo's characters. They aren't just evil criminals. They are real people. Puzo romanticises the mafia life and that time period altogether. He also does something perfectly what other books have tried to do and miserably failed at. He parodies real life characters into his novel. Johny Fontane the saloon singer is his fictional Sinatra and it is perfectly done. This is easily ther best book you will ever read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I’d never read The Godfather until this summer. But my lovely bride gave me an early hardcover edition for my birthday, and the whole experience was...Proustian. Almost every passage brought back a memory from my childhood, when the book and movies were omnipresent. I loved it. It’s a classic, and deservedly so.

  30. 5 out of 5

    theburqaavenger➹

    “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold.” Having dominated both popular film culture and literature for the last 48 years, Mario Puzo's world renowned masterpiece The Godfather is the undisputed patriarch of an awe-inspiring legacy. It's translation onto screen was magnificent but there can be no shortage of superlatives to describe the book in which this idea was first born. The Godfather by Mario Puzo is one of the best pieces of literature ever written. Mario Puzo paint “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold.” Having dominated both popular film culture and literature for the last 48 years, Mario Puzo's world renowned masterpiece The Godfather is the undisputed patriarch of an awe-inspiring legacy. It's translation onto screen was magnificent but there can be no shortage of superlatives to describe the book in which this idea was first born. The Godfather by Mario Puzo is one of the best pieces of literature ever written. Mario Puzo paints this elaborate picture of the Sicilian mafia through the eyes of Michael Corleone, a returning Marine Corps hero who at first wants nothing to do with the elaborate crime family that his father has built. The reason that the Godfather by Mario Puzo is so good is the depth of the characters. They aren’t just evil criminals. They are real people. Mario Puzo romanticises the mafia life and that time period altogether. 1946. New York. Picture Don Corleone; a family man; a generous man; a reasonable man ... and ruthless Sicilian mobster, the hardened Lord of the Cosa Nostra. But the old man's days are numbered and the future of his empire, built on the sweat and the blood and the grit borne over his long and tumultuous lifetime, rests in the hands of his children. Santino, the angsty, quixotic hot-head; Fredo, the fickle, weak-willed sapling; Tom, his adopted son of German-Irish descent, who despite his irrevocable love for the Don, has not yet proven his cunning or worth. There's Connie, too, frivolous and crude, a daughter who has just been grafted into a doomed marriage. But, finally, there is Michael, the youngest Corleone who refuses to conform to family tradition. Controversy is an endemic part of him. He enlists to fight in in Second World War as a common "Yank" and then later gets engaged to an All-American Pastor's daughter. But when his father takes a turn for the worse and old tensions between the five great mafia families of New York intensify, Michael begins to give in to intrinsic Sicilian pride and with betrayal, embitterment, bloodshed and a narcotics operation fraught with the eminence of capital punishment, he falls. A good man's heart goes cold, pickled in the sour juices of revenge. Family values are taken to a new, frankly preposterous high. Unparalleled levels of gang violence and mindless murder are opened up in Puzo's almost musical and poignant narrative (the reader can practically taste the bitter citrus of Sicilian lemon on a dusty Italian evening). This book is powerful and simply brilliant. The characters, so hardened and caustic at first glance, are in truth foolish or at least under the influence of greed and blood-thirsty ambition. But they are also sad, none more so than the protagonist, Michael. What appears to be his heroism and desperation to escape forced Sicilian "norm" at the beginning of the novel change so subtly throughout the story that Michael's transition from good to bad is almost seamless. And then, when the gunfire and butchery has ceased, you yourself are left questioning to what limits you would go for your family's protection. But, of course, nothing is ever personal. It's just business.

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