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The Family Corleone Hardcover – May 8, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780446574624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446574624
  • ASIN: 0446574627
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Channels the original so well that readers will be vividly reminded of Puzo's strengths...His moments of blam-blam-blam are ace. Best of all, he supplies a grand set-piece finale--a parade--that will have readers dreaming of just one more movie."—Booklist

"If you have any knowledge of The Godfather you will love this book. It's a perfect addition to the Corleone saga...When you see this book, buy it. It is written with love for the characters and respect for Puzo. It is also a story that won't quit and I couldn't stop reading. Falco brought me back to a world I love and did it perfectly. As far as I'm concerned this is THE BOOK to buy in 2012."—Crime Spree Magazine

"A must summer read... Trust me. You'll enjoy."—New York Post

"What works well is Falco's depiction of Vito Corleone, which captures both the cool reserve of young Vito and the insight he demonstrates as Don....A worthy addition to the lurid world of the Five Families."—Kirkus

"Falco has captured Puzo's rich prose style and eye for detail...a solid piece of work."—The Washington Post

"Falco ably exploits the tension between civility and brutality. The result is good, messy fun."—The Guardian (UK)

"Puzo-worthy."—New York Daily News

"This early snapshot of the Corleone family is fascinating ...Ed Falco has done yeoman's work in The Family Corleone, meeting the American legend that is its subject matter head-on and creating a tale that demands to be read in one sitting. We already know how it turns out (at least most of it). But it's how Falco and Corleone get from beginning to end that makes this journey a riveting and twisting ride."—

About the Author

Ed Falco is the author of three novels, four story collections, and numerous plays, poems, essays, and critical reviews. Among his many awards and honors are an NEA fiction fellowship, and the Southern Review's Robert Penn Warren Prize. He is a professor of English at Virginia Tech, where he directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

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Customer Reviews

A Godfather book worthy of Puzo.
I picked this book up in a Waterstone's Book Store in the UK a week or so ago.
D. D. Montee
This book keeps you on edge from the get go.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M. Larose on June 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
With The Family Corleone Ed Falco becomes the third author to contribute to the Godfather series. He undoubtedly benefited from having a screenplay to work from by Mario Puzo, the man who started it all. It's a prequel that could serve as an excellent starting point for readers new to this crime saga. Specifically it details the formative events of the Corleone family business from Fall 1933 through the summer of 1935. According to Francis Ford Coppola, this is part of a time period that Puzo referred to as "the happy years when they killed everyone and no one killed them". And indeed the body count is quite high!

Patriarch Vito Corleone, his son Santino, and bodyguard Luca Brasi emerge as the most compelling subjects here. Fans of the film trilogy should be delighted with this novel as it deftly peels back the years and sheds light on the forces and circumstances that served to mold these pivotal characters. Falco hews closely to the formula and the general design of the Godfather world created by his predecessors. He even manages to faithfully mimic Puzo's writing style without slavishly relying on the source material. Care seems to have been taken to avoid episodic conflict with the cinematic and literary Godfather installments of the past. The glossary of Italian exclamations, curse words, and phrases in a nice bonus!

The Family Corleone "sticks to the script", brimming with names that are instantly recognizable to the Godfather faithful. Family, of course, is a loaded word in the vernacular of this nefarious realm; home and personal life regularly intersect with the mafia business that constitutes their occupation.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A&D on May 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."
Don Corleone

Do you still remember Puzo's great family saga of the Sicilian mafia family Corleone? This is book is about them. Mario Puzo had written a screenplay that was not included in the original family saga and now this screenplay has been turned to a new novel. It traces back Vito Corleone's earlier phases and his rise to become a powerful Don in New York in 1920s - 1930s.

Background of the saga:
Remember how the saga started: how Vito arrived to New York and was poor at first, married Carmela and had 4 children. Vito tried to be honest, help his neighbors while trying to keep his three sons - Michael, Fredo and Sonny - and his daughter Connie - out of trouble. In 1920 Vito Corleone assassinated Little Italy's Don, Fanucci, and took over his crime territory and became Don Corleone. He took over the selling of bootlegged liquor. 1920s was the time of the Great Depression and the illegal alcohol business was booming because of the Prohibition.
Tom Hagen is an important part of the Corleone family. In his early years (in Puzo's book), Sonny Corleone finds him on the street after he has fled from his alcoholic and abusive father, and takes him in to live with the Corleone family. Vito Corleone becomes a surrogate father to Hagen, but does not officially adopt him out of respect for the boy's father.Later on, Tom becomes the family's consigliere (legal advisor).

This book:
As mentioned earlier, this book tells the story of young Vito Corleone in New York, when he is not yet Don. The author of this book, Falco, concentrates on the early life and the players affecting Vito's rise and his competitors and future/current enemies.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By James Norwood on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For those who admired the writing of Mario Puzo, one can only welcome with enthusiasm a posthumous novel, based on a partial screenplay written by Puzo. In completing an unfinished work, Ed Falco faced a daunting task in remaining faithful to the spirit of Puzo's original concept of the Corleone family in a prequel to "The Godfather." Falco's novel "The Family Corleone" is a compelling saga that succeeds as an engaging narrative about the family fortunes of Vito Corleone, as he builds his empire of crime during the height of the Great Depression in the 1930s. At the same time, the novel is a disappointment when placed alongside "The Godfather."

"The Family Corleone" ultimately fails to achieve the distinctive literary style and depth psychology of Mario Puzo's original work. Whereas Puzo's style in describing an Italian-American meal offers the reader all of the savory scents of the spices and sauces, the cuisine as described by Ed Falco is closer to a mundane listing of the ingredients found in a cookbook. One could almost taste those mouth-watering meals in "The Godfather" without the necessity of a glossary of Italian slang words. Even the period details in "The Family Corleone" seem forced (baseball trivia, names of movie stars, Chicago gangsters Capone and Nitti). The single successful period detail was the touching moment when Michael asks his dad Vito to look into getting him an autograph of New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. All of the historical facts should have been the core of the fabric of the novel, as opposed to casual insertions.

More importantly, the themes of Puzo's "The Godfather" evoked an insightful vision of the American Dream.
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