Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

The Godfather (original 1969; edition 2005)

by Mario Puzo

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,620128446 (4.16)212
Title:The Godfather
Authors:Mario Puzo
Info:NAL Trade (2005), Paperback
Collections:Your library
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.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 212 mentions

English (116)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  All (1)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All (128)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
I seen and absolutely love this movie. When I saw this on the 1001 book list, I was super stoked to finally read it. Needless to say, I was sort of disappointed. Yes, the majority of it was in the movie however there were chapters in the book that I didn't understand why they had to be in there.

For the rest of the review, visit my blog at: http://angelofmine1974.livejournal.com/121683.html ( )
  booklover3258 | Feb 14, 2017 |
I can't believe it took me this long to read this book! I've seen the movie easily dozens of times, but not read this. AND, it was published the year I was born! What was I waiting for?

"He claimed that there was no greater natural advantage in life than having an enemy overestimate your faults, unless it was to have a friend underestimate your virtues."

Anyway, the genius of the movie is self-evident within these covers! A great deal of the movie is literally plucked from these pages - dialogue too! Book I is awesome, and Book III is the story of Vito Andolini - they storyline in Godfather II with Robert DeNiro as the young Don to be. I really liked the extra information about Genco Abbondando, the weird (my words) appearance of a "Coppola" character in Book I, and the extra background stories of Luca Brasi and Albert Neri. All of the stories about the Corleone family just rocked!

That brings me to my negatives. Book II was almost like filler, but for no reason. Johnny Fontane in Hollywood. Big whoop!?! Seriously, skip it and it absolutely won't matter to the Corleone storyline. And the lengthy bits about Lucy and her doctor? Why on earth are they in this book? So we can learn about reconstructive vaginal surgery? Wha, wha, what? Again, none of it mattered AT ALL to the main story! Puzo must have had some kind of page number minimum he felt he must reach, so vaginal surgery it is! Cut out Fontane, Lucy, and the doctor, and this would be one of the best books ever written!

I'm super glad I read this, and when I do re read it, I'll skip the parts that I mentioned and it will be epic! ( )
1 vote Stahl-Ricco | Feb 12, 2017 |
1969 book for my birthday challenge.

The Godfather was such an engrossing, and at times earthy, saga of the Corleone mafia family. Some characters were truly appalling, but eventually, "revenge is a dish best served cold". A mostly satisfying read!

I feel there is no need to add much more to this review -- I think I'm one of the few who had not read the book nor seen the movie -- and now I've got to watch the movie soon to see which version is better! ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Jan 28, 2017 |
I'm one of the few people I know that has not watched Francis Ford Coppola's film classic The Godfather. When a co-worker promised that "The movie was good, but the book was better," I decided to test the thesis.

And, indeed, I wonder if I'll ever need to even try the movie after reading The Godfather. As written by Mario Puzo, The Godfather is something that pulls you in, grasps you, and demands you pay attention. Pay attention as the Godfather builds his empire, plots against his rivals, and establishes plausible deniability, all set on a foundation of Sicilian honor, omerta, and business. Pay attention to a world where the highest value is loyalty and where blood is thicker than love, a chauvinistic world where men rule over their women and where women refrain from asking too many questions.

It's almost medieval. And yet, there are statements here, commentary by author Mario Puzo about the environment in which the Sicilian mafia like that of the Corleone family rose. But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself.

The Godfather opens right in the middle of things. We are at the wedding of Don Corleone's daughter Connie to Carlo Rizzo. The whole family has gathered at "the mall" to celebrate. Here are the Don's sons: Sonny, who is mean, dangerous, and carnal; Fredo, the middle child destined for mediocrity; and Michael, the one most like his father, but straight-laced and, almost scandalously, a war hero in love with a non-Italian girl from New Hampshire. Also present is the rest of the cast of The Godfather: the caporegimes Clemenza and Tessio, the assassin/bodyguard Luca Brasi, and the consigliere, or advisor, to the Don, Tom Hagen, himself an oddity as the only non-Sicilian of the lot. Each is given a story in his or her own time, a backstory that makes the fabric of the tale colorful, sturdy and vibrant.

It is a highpoint for the Family. Favors are sought from the Don, and the Don is beneficent and gracious as he dispenses his largesse. And yet, peril threatens. The Family's power and wealth come from its control of the vices of gambling, prostitution, and alcohol in various boroughs of New York and a new vice is arriving that will force the Corleone's to consider the future: illicit drugs. When the Don decides he does not want to leverage the Family's control of politicians, police, and judges to participate in the drug trade, a bloody war between the Sicilian mafia families begins that guides the narrative for the rest of the book. The war, and the Corleone's reach, will extend from New York to Hollywood and will track the rise of Las Vegas from the desert to become the gambling and entertainment destination that it is today. Here we will see scenes and read lines famous even to those who have not seen the movie: "go to the mattresses," "make an offer he cannot refuse," and find a when a horse head is a threat that cannot be ignored, among others.

It many ways, the story is sordid, as are its characters. And yet, Puzo gives reason to sympathize with the Don, with Michael, with Kay, and others. These characters are, before all else, humans and Puzo emphasizes the familial bonds that tie them. They are a group of individuals that will go to war for each other and that can trust each other with their lives. Even as Puzo manages to engage is characters in almost every vile and disgusting vice under the sun, he never loses track of the thread that keeps these individuals tied to each other and creates sympathy for characters that are as honest and true to what they claim to be as if they were modeled after real world individuals.

(Indeed, as I did a little reading about the history of the novel, I stumbled across claims that the character Johnney Fontane was allegedly modeled on Frank Sinatra, who himself was said to have close ties to the mafia. The story goes when Mario Puzo was introduced to Sinatra, the crooner refused to look at him or acknowledge him, standing only to yell at the author as he left. Whether true or not, it sure makes for interesting reading, and it's had to read certain sections of The Godfather and not see similarities in Johnney Fontane to Frank Sinatra.)

All this leads back to a question that arose as I arrived at about the halfway point in the book. By then I found my sense of disgust at the lack of moral compunction of many of the characters begin to overwhelm Puzo's gripping narrative. Here were characters that would betray or beat their wives on their wedding night, greedily fueded and kill to establish and strengthen "business" holdings--really just control of gambling "books," prostitution, and smuggling rackets--and did not bat an eyelash as pornography, pedophilia, adultery (and its unmarried companion fornication), abortion, public corruption, alcoholism, sex operations, assassinations, and more. With heroes like these, who needs antagonists? And, indeed, why keep reading? Where is the redeemable protagonist? I began to realize that at the center of The Godfather we find the morally upright Michael, the man who will not be part of the family business, but who will go his own way, become a war hero, and become, perhaps, something better and more honest.

Or will he? As the story unfolds and Puzo takes opportunities to spin side tales of woe and wickedness, the Corleone's saga becomes increasingly Michael's, and it is not a story of redemption, but of tragic fall, for a tragedy it is. In the end, The Godfather is a story of moral decline even as the Corleone's climb to new heights. The reality of the seduction of power, in both Puzo's and Lord Acton's estimation, is that it corrupts.

If Puzo tells us nothing else, it is that the price of loyalty is that one must sometimes give up other virtues for the security and strength that comes with imposing your visions and reality on the world. But this isn't all that Puzo has to say. In here also is an examination

But this isn't all. In The Godfather is also is an examination of the time and place that gave rise to the mafia, the influx of migrants in pre-Great Depression America, the corrupt and unpoliced police, and the powerful doing what they will while the weak did what they could. Into this chaotic milieu come individuals like Vito Corleone, fleeing decaying "Old World" Sicily, find opportunity and find themselves at odds with the law as they begin by defending the weak only to become the strong man they once opposed. In a time where the rule of law and increased transparency has made public and police corruption much more the exception than the rule, it is perhaps hard to imagine that there was ever a time when it was different; and yet, in the pages of Puzo's bestseller lies a world that is entirely credible and, perhaps, just as likely as it seems.

As literature goes, Puzo's style is heavily expository, but not in a way that fails to recognize when dialogue and action should replace description and exposition. Puzo is telling a story, and it feels like a story is being told. It is a story that is unforgettable, as much for its cautionary lessons as for the sordid world that The Godfather seems to insist existed--exists?--in some version of 1940s and 1950s America. It is a tale that could belong in the past of any great family that has clawed its way to power by criminal means, only to begin the next generation clean and in respectability. It is a very American story, if not the one that fits the modern mythology.
( )
  publiusdb | Jan 10, 2017 |
A book that inspired the remarkable films: A book that almost matches the films for its exhuberant, violent, thought-provoking, dark portrayal of a fictitious American crime 'Family'. ( )
  tommi180744 | Dec 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Puzo, Marioprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bart, PeterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bennett, HarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, Robert J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wijk, Johan vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Behind every great fortune there is a crime. - Balzac
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
Haiku summary

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

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
68 avail.
104 wanted
9 pay23 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.16)
0.5 2
1 14
1.5 5
2 66
2.5 20
3 307
3.5 89
4 750
4.5 108
5 876


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 112,449,917 books! | Top bar: Always visible