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The Family Corleone Hardcover – May 8, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 175 customer reviews

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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."―BookReporter.com

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446574627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446574624
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. I was skeptical because it's always tricky when an author tinkers with such iconic characters. The Corleone Family is a prequel (sort of - since the time period is between 1933 and 1935, after the flashback of Vito as a child and before the post war period where the primary story takes place in the original Godfather).

Falco was apparently aided by a draft screenplay that Puzo was working on and it clearly helped him nail the tone perfectly. It was fascinating to see the pieces of the new story come together, fitting perfectly into the Godfather saga. Falco was clearly committed to make sure that his novel was consistent with the characters we all know so well and that this part of the story flowed seamlessly into the world Puzo created. In The Family Corleone we learn how Vito became the Godfather, how Luca became Vito's bodyguard, how Sonny got into the business and so on.

I liked that the novel wasn't afraid to make characters behave in ways that risked making them less likeable. Sonny, for example, has a very difficult task to perform near the end of the novel, a choice that is clearly `part of the life', but one that some authors wouldn't have him make for fear that it would make him unlikeable. Luca commits acts in this novel that are so horrific that it is hard to fathom an author being brave enough to portray such an ugly side to a character that previously had been well regarded for his slow-witted, but steadfast loyalty. There were actually moments when I was reading this novel that I thought incredulously `Falco's not really going to have Luca go through with this...he wouldn't....he couldn't....could he?...oooo...yeah, well, I guess he could...I guess he did.
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