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The Godfather by Mario Puzo

The Godfather (original 1969; edition 1983)

by Mario Puzo

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7,007107515 (4.15)203
Title:The Godfather
Authors:Mario Puzo
Info:Signet (1983), Edition: First Thus, Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:1001 books, classic, 1960s, american, america, new york, fiction, historical fiction, thriller, mystery, crime, murder, family, suspense, history, made into movie, paperback, unread

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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English (96)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
"The Godfather" tells the story of the inner workings of an Italian Mafia family. The main characters are the Corleone family and its patriarch, Don Vito. When the book was written, there was some concern that it would glorify the illegal activity described within. For me, it achieved this as it was hard to dislike the Corleone family. I would liken them to a modern day Robin Hood as Don Vito helped the needy and doled out justice in a seemingly fair manner. Everything they did had a reason, and even murder seemed justified.

The character development was excellent and Puzo gave an in depth back story for many. Don Vito's birth name was Vito Andolini. When his father was killed by the Sicilian mafia, his mother sent him to America to protect Vito from the inevitable attempt to end his life. In America, Vito changed his name to Corleone, which was the city in Sicily he was from. Vito was a soft spoken man and not prone to violence. However, during the great depression money was scarce and he turned to robbery with his neighbors Peter Clemenza and Salvatore Tessio. When the local extortionist, Don Fanucci, demanded a cut from the robbery, Vito made up his mind to kill him, thus beginning his criminal career and sealing his destiny.

Don Vito had three sons, the oldest named Santino but was called Sonny. Sonny Corleone was in line to take over the family business and was being tutored by his father. Sonny had a short and violent temper, which proved to be his fatal flaw. The middle son, Frederico, called Fredo, was an obedient son, never questioning his father or embarrassing him in public. Fredo, however, froze under pressure and could not be counted on to run the family business. The youngest son, Michael, was the black sheep of the family. Michael wanted no part of the family business and went out of his way to avoid it. Going against his father's wishes, he enlisted in the Army during World War II, in which he was wounded. Michael was the intellectual in the family and attended Dartmouth college. Destiny had plans for Michael and circumstances brought him back into the family business.

Despite all the violence and illegal activity, I found myself liking the Corleone family. When the mob war started, I found myself rooting for their success. In the end, revenge was exacted against those who betrayed the family and the Corleones doled out their unique brand of justice.

I found the book to be very interesting and hard to put down. The only negatives I found were that Puzo's back stories were sometimes a bit long and distracted my attention from the main story. Also, the writing was at times too abrupt and didn't appear to flow seamlessly. Other than that, I was caught up in the story and would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a Robin Hood type read and the ultimate brand of justice. ( )
  NPJacobsen | Sep 10, 2015 |
`The Godfather' must be the very first story I come across where the movie is better than the book.

I like the The Godfather movies and was looking forward reading this so called classic novel. However, I was stunned to find pages and pages of text lacking in several ways. It took me while to find out, but eventually I figured that what's completely missing is *atmosphere*. There's no suspense, no sub plots, all female characters are identically one-dimensional, major problems get solved by conveniently freshly introduced characters and history, ...

The book reads more like a simple listing of facts than as a novel. This makes it `interesting', but not `good'. Two stars is a fairly low rating, but I don't believe this book deserves more. ( )
  bbbart | May 30, 2015 |
The Godfather is probably one of the most interesting books I have ever read. I loved its descriptive nature, masterful storytelling and each character's history. I feel like I know them all, and, worst of all, understand them all - their reasoning for doing terrible things, their beliefs and their choices.

For me, the most interesting parts were the Don's biography and Michael's "coming of age" of sorts.

But what surprised me the most was that The Godfather is not about shooting guns, killing people and executing acts of revenge. These are not nearly the most important things. This is just background. What is it about is family, pride and loyaly, which really strikes home.

It is a very intense story, and I wish it did not end so soon, even though the conclusion was logical, in a coming-a-full-circle sort of way. ( )
  v_allery | Apr 19, 2015 |
I didn't bat an eyelid during the film, but when Sonny dies in the book I cried my eyes out. I can't remember ever crying over a book before. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
one if the best books i have ever read.
the whole plot..so brilliantly executed without even a single loose moment..
the rising tension which u can feel and the cold bloodiness of michael..
a fantastic read ( )
  abhidd1687 | Mar 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 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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Behind every great fortune there is a crime. - Balzac
For Anthony Cleri
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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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