The Godfather

The Godfather

Book - 1978
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A searing novel of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduces readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and the powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor that was passed on from father to son.
Publisher: New York : Signet, 1978, c1969.
ISBN: 9780451167712
0451167716
9780399103421
0399103422
Call Number: PUZO
Characteristics: 489 p. ; 18 cm
Subjects: Mafia -- Fiction.
Criminals -- United States -- Fiction.
Organized crime -- Fiction.
Italian Americans -- Fiction.
Corleone family (Fictitious characters) -- Fiction.
New York (N.Y.)

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d
dennismmiller
Jan 29, 2019

The Godfather tells the colorful story of mob boss Vito Corleone and his children - volatile eldest son Santino, gentle middle child Fredo, unfortunate daughter Connie, and rebellious youngest son Michael, who turns out to be the most ruthless of all. With the films being the cultural touchstones they are, the basic tale will be well known to most, although there are some differences between page and screen. The book includes details of Vito's rise to power that were used as the basis of his story in The Godfather Part II, but does not include any of Michael's parallel story from that film. The book fleshes out a number of supporting characters to varying degrees, notably Joey Fontane and Lucy Mancini, and although their subplots have little to do with the main narrative, they do explore the way the Corleone empire of influence operates. On the other hand, with the book ending where it does, Fredo is almost a complete nonentity.

Mario Puzo had a long and successful career as a pulp writer, and it shows here, in his crude effectiveness or effective crudity. All of the lyricism of the films is absent from the novel, replaced with a fixation on sex and genitalia, especially male genitalia. There is also a great deal of artless repetition - the narrator tells us exactly what Woltz paid for his prize racehorse, for example, only a few pages before Woltz tells us himself. If this artlessness has an unexpected positive side, it is that it strips the central themes naked. The confrontation between the values of the Family and the values of America is presented with a minimum of subtlety. Bonasera wanted to leave behind the obligations of the traditional patron-client relationships for the rootless freedom of his adopted homeland. The movie producer Woltz uncomprehendingly ponders the values of men who would destroy a six hundred thousand dollar thoroughbred just to send a message. Michael only grows to understand his father by being involuntarily immersed in Sicilian culture. The novel is, if anything, less confident that bourgeois morality will prove superior to the feudal ethic, a lack of confidence highlighted by Kay's arc.

e
elizali
Dec 05, 2018

misogynistic and didactic. Could not finish.

s
SFBookAddict
Oct 12, 2018

Love this book. One of the best books I've ever read. Mario Puzo is a great writer and story teller. I read this book after seeing the movie. It inspired me to read his "The Sicilian" which I also highly recommend.

s
stewstealth
Jun 26, 2017

Interesting to read after seeing the movie(s). The movie and book are very close for the scenes portrayed in the film, however the book contains more information on various characters that are shown briefly in the film. A good paced narrative with good characterization. Worth reading if you are interested or enjoyed the movies.

g
gusmcrae
Feb 24, 2017

I'm glad I read it, but I don't think I'll ever feel compelled to read anything else by Mario Puzo. The writing is rather sparse, leading to rather one-dimensional characters. I wanted a bit more depth--although the book at nearly 600 pages was long enough! I also did not care for the Johnny Fontane chapters--they didn't really add anything to the story for me, though I can see how they connected parts of the story together. I also really wanted more stories from the perspective of the women of the Corleone empire. They were the most fascinating parts of the book, but they were few and far between.

With that said, I did find some chapters to be intriguing, leaving me wanting more. It's just unfortunate that the whole book didn't pull me in like that.

b
BurgensisClaudi
Dec 27, 2016

The movie is considered one of the best films of all time, and deservedly so. The book? As you can see, I liked it. It's a page turner, to be sure, but it never really rises above the rank of a well-written biographical potboiler. There isn't a lot of nuance here. This is one of those rare cases where the film outshines its source material.

a
AB1992
Mar 23, 2016

This is one of my favorite books that was made into my favorite movie. Although some subplots are hard to care about. The subplot about a washed up singer shows what is probably the most bitter portrayal of the dark side of Hollywood. The author justifies the unlawful actions of his characters by simply writing about why they do what they do. It is the best character writing I have read in a very long time.

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Naomi94
Dec 12, 2015

This was a great book. Mario Puzo told a great story, and it was a very engaging read.

m
macklelack
Sep 10, 2015

Absolutely fantastic book. I watched the movies before reading the book (because I didn't know of the book until after), and this is one of the first times I don't regret that. The movies were wonderful depiction of the book. I found myself, while reading the book, amazed at how great the movie and the book go together. Definitely my favourite book!!!!

geezr_rdr Sep 16, 2013

One of the best works of literature, bar none. Superb writing and a cultural icon.

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AB1992
Mar 23, 2016

Sexual Content: The sex scenes are more detailed than the violent ones.

i
icerider
Jun 07, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

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d
DavidB
May 19, 2009

Don Corleone nodded. "Revenge is a dish that tates best when it is cold," he said.

d
DavidB
May 19, 2009

Sonny had been listening judiciously. "I want someboby very good, very safe, to plant that gun," he told Clemenza. "I don't want my brother coming out of that toilet with just his dick in his hand."

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wooknight May 05, 2011

The fictional story of the rise of a new york mafia family and the succession . The book is extremely entertaining and the violence is extremely graphic

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