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The Godfather by Mario Puzo
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The Godfather (original 1969; edition 2005)

by Mario Puzo

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,375119477 (4.16)204
Member:quillmenow
Title:The Godfather
Authors:Mario Puzo
Info:NAL Trade (2005), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:trade, fiction, mafia

Work details

The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1969)

  1. 10
    The Sicilian by Mario Puzo (longway)
  2. 10
    Gem of the prairie : an informal history of the Chicago underworld by Herbert Asbury (ashleylauren)
  3. 00
    Leopard in the Sun by Laura Restrepo (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Colombian literature that could be described as "The Godfather" re-written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  4. 00
    Stiletto by Harold Robbins (ashleylauren)
  5. 01
    The Pack by C. W. Schultz (GeekyRandy)
    GeekyRandy: No real relevance. Both are about gangsters and comes from a neutral POV. "The Pack" is also obviously influenced by "The Godfather". I love both books, perhaps you will too.
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» See also 204 mentions

English (106)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (118)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)

"Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than the government. It is almost the equal of family."

The Godfather turned out being much better than I anticipated. Originally being in a long list of books I would "eventually get to," I only picked it up because it was on the floor near me when I was also on the floor organizing the book closet. Needing a break (and being lazy as usual), I decided to randomly start reading the first page. What drew me in wasn't the story nor even the opening - it was the writing style. I found out quickly that I LOVE Puzo's writing style. There's something about the way he crafts his words, blends them together, always to the point, never going into poetic territory but somehow always hanging over the brink of it.

The story told is a well known because of the movies. Generally I don't mention the movie form much in book reviews, but with The Godfather it's inevitable and the review wouldn't be the same without it. The story stays with the same and the adaption to the movie is spot on. They changed little, even keeping most of the dialogue and order identical for the scenes including. The exception is the flashbacks of Vito Corleone's early life, and there were of course some smaller scenes which weren't included in the movie for time and pacing sake.

Switching point of view among many can be problematic for readers (especially me, too frequent head hopping is always a pet peeve), but with this case the hopping only happens when it makes sense and is done subtly and effectively. The tale is a traditional one with extra punch - the son who doesn't want to become the father, the importance of family, and the struggles of power. I found the theories of the Italian mindset and mafia goals added into the story fascinating, a cultural difference in society that I never personally encountered (and doubtfully ever will.)

When a story has a villain, villains are usually more effective and enjoyable when they are three dimensional (they have good traits as well) Much of the book explains the godfathers mindset, reasoning, philosophies, and strict sense of his version of honor. It's not done in a preachy way; in fact, interestingly no other viewpoint is ever seen, experienced, or given from opposing characters.

The slow ascension into power by Michael Corleone is powerful. Even if the book has some slow scenes and isn't gripping in an action sense, it doesn't need to be as it's clearly a drama filled tale. Michael is realistic as the son who wishes to set apart with his own future, pulled in eventually by honor learned after tainting himself. Vito is equally fascinating with his past, his present, his philosophies. I really hold no bad thoughts toward any of the characters and when their viewpoints are used.

It's easy seeing why this one became such a seller and was made successfully into a popular movie. Even if the cultural presence isn't a reality we all personally experience, it's easily understood and to a point agreed with. The struggle among father and son and setting a person's own path is an age old story always enjoyed as it DOES affect people even today and always will. ( )
  Paperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the movie was better than the book. It tightened up the plot and eliminated (to my mind) the unnecessary sub-plots. Like the story of Lucy’s move to Las Vegas. And her doctor boyfriend. And the part about her vaginal surgery that made me want to throw the book across the room (but I couldn’t because I was reading it on Kindle) ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Excellent book! As I was reading the book I was imagining the scenes in the movie as the book was describing them. ( )
1 vote deemhall478 | Apr 4, 2016 |
Excellent book! As I was reading the book I was imagining the scenes in the movie as the book was describing them. ( )
  deemhall478 | Apr 4, 2016 |
Outstanding by any measure. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Puzo, Marioprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bart, PeterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, Robert J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wijk, Johan vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Behind every great fortune there is a crime. - Balzac
Dedication
For Anthony Cleri
First words
Amerigo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court No. 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451205766, Paperback)

The story of Don Vito Corleone, the head of a New York Mafia family, inspired some of the most successful movies ever. It is in Mario Puzo's The Godfather that Corleone first appears. As Corleone's desperate struggle to control the Mafia underworld unfolds, so does the story of his family. The novel is full of exquisitely detailed characters who, despite leading unconventional lifestyles within a notorious crime family, experience the triumphs and failures of the human condition. Filled with the requisite valor, love, and rancor of a great epic, The Godfather is the definitive gangster novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:05 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A searing novel of the Mafia underworld, The godfather introduced 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. With its themes of the seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and family allegiance, it resonated with millions of readers across the world-and became the definitive novel of the virile, violent subculture that remains steeped in intrigue, in controversy, and in our collective consciousness.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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