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The Godfather Paperback – March 1, 2002
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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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From Library Journal
Though not out of print, this 1969 gangster potboiler here makes the leap to trade paperback. Thanks to Francis Coppola's brilliant film adaptation, this story has achieved cult status with millions of fans, who continue to read it. In addition to its larger size, this incarnation offers a new introduction and afterword. How could you refuse?
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The story about the Corleone family. You could say it's also a coming of age novel about Michael. I like to view it as the arrival of the modern day mob story. The story switches between characters to provide alternate views of the family.
On a side note Mario wrote The Godfather to make money. Throughout the book there is a theme of doing what is needed without apology. It is this theme that is presented by Don Vito's actions many times in the book. What is business is business. The pulp writing background of Mario is demonstrated in the pace of each scene, but it is the overall story and deep character development that makes this book one of the greatest I have experienced.
Tom Hagen is one character I did not appreciate much. He seemed to be a replacement for a narrator to the story. While he felt shallow his place in the story was effective in moving it along. Some portions of the story did not have a clean path forward. Bring in Tom to give a little talking to it and move on to the next scene.
Kay, Johnny and Vito where the characters that I enjoyed the most. Each of them made me believe they were real. I could hear their voice and see their movements. I also felt their pain and understood their motives.
A strength of this book is how timeless the whole story is. While there are some differences today most of the story fits with today as well. The exception is some of the social norms, but I take that as a reflection on the culture of the families and not something that reduces the value of the story.
Characters that were minor in the movies play a much bigger role in the book, and makes you understand why they are characters in the first place.
I can't help picturing Don Corleone as anything but Marlon Brando. Luca Brasi is a much more brutal man than I could've guessed from the movie. Sonny, Tom, Johnny, the woman Sonny was screwing at Connie's wedding, and others are really fleshed out and so much more is explained.
Kay's interview with the FBI, Apollonia and her family, her being courted by Michael...
I can't describe how much I enjoyed this read
Even though I had seen the Movie ....book was hard to put down. I liked the fact that the book expanded the roles of minor character in the Movie
i.e Lucy the bridesmaid at Connie's(Sonny's Mistress) wedding had an expanded role in the book I would highly recommend the book even if you have seen the Movie.
What amazed me is how similar the book is to the movie...and how vastly different the book is compared to the movie. For example, I was shocked about how big a role Johnny Fontaine plays in the book...as he is only in the film briefly. I was thrilled to learn more about him, as well as his best friend (who was left out of the movie...Nino Valenti). I also got a kick learning more about Luca Brassi, Al Neri, and especially Lucy Mancini...and her future husband (post Sonny) Jules. Plus, the way Puzo spins Police Captain McKlusky's story, yet almost feel sad when Michael guns him down.
One thing that surprised me was the frank and gratuitous sex in the book...which is only brought up once during the film. Puzo's open and perhaps vile take on sex and sexually was much more shocking than the violence in the book.
As good as the novel is, I was surprised how little subtext was used in the dialogue. Instead, Puzo spells things out very clearly...perhaps too clearly. There's much more subtext, and depth in the screenplay Mario Puzo wrote with Francis Ford Coppola.
THE GODFATHER is the first ever electronic book I have ever read. Reading Puzo's novel on my Kindle Paperwhite...and my iPhone...was a truly great pleasure...sort of like the book itself. Mario Puzo's THE GODFATHER is a truly great pleasure.