Customer Reviews: The Sicilian
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on October 2, 2001
If you thought Mario Puzo was just about American-Italian goodfellas who kill people, drive around and eat good pasta in New York City, you will be pleasantly surprised. The plot is set in Sicily, and the author's love and understanding of the long-suffering land shines through.
Mario Puzo presents a captivating, page-turning story about the life of a post-war Sicilian outlaw, his climb to the top of criminal hierarchy and associated betrayals, cunning treacheries and loyalty that never should be taken for granted. At the same time, you get a deep insight into the mindset and culture of Sicily and its people who, through centuries of suffering at the crossroads of occupation and oppression, have learnt to trust no one. Historical and cultural background is presented so subtly, inobtrusively and with such writing skill that you will not realize that you, in fact, read a brilliant history book. Never before have I seen a crime thriller that would also be so educational.
And, as an added bonus, Puzo is a true master when painting the scenery - dusky mornings, lush Sicilian gardens with fragrant lemon trees, ancient ruins and heat of the Meditteranean night.
Read this book and you will see that you have got much, much more than you have bargained for.
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on October 27, 2004
I bought this book and had the entire thing read in a matter of days. And this was during a span of days where I was busy. My point basically is that is was so good, that I literally couldn't stop reading it. The first three chapters or so were a little slow but the book picks up fast and never looks back. All the characters were interesting and if have read or seen the Godfather then I suggest you read this book, because this story sort of blends with the other.

The story takes place while Michael Corleone is in excile in Sicily. If you know anything about the Godfather then you know what Im talking about.... I would tell the story line but Amazon can do that for you.

Overall this is one of the best books that I have read in a long time. The ending kinda made me mad, but it was a good way to end this book. If you are a fan of Puzo's work or a fan of the Godfather then I suggest you pick up this book, you won't be disappointed!!!
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on January 12, 2001
Not many have heard of this prequel/sequel to the Godfather. Set after Michael Corleone's two year stay in Sicily, he is sent on a final task which explains the changes his character experiences in the Godfather. From the Italian American focus of The Godfather, the novel reaches into the very heart of Sicily, the island that bore so many of the characters in American Crime literature. Rich and almost lyrical, Puzo describes the life of one Salvatore Guilliano, a Sicilian Robin Hood but with greater purpose and less fantasy. He seeks to reform the underground world that has sprung on him after he is shot and left for dead on account of stealing cheese for his family. This gem of a book is gifted with great storytelling and greater understanding of a world we don't know and Puzo beautifully explains. Even if you have never read the Godfather, you will love this book for its truthfulness and wisdom.
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on May 10, 2000
This novel is a brilliant depiction of Sicilian culture, and similarily a tremendous story replete with adventure, betrayal, revenge, and violence. Often overlooked, it is unfortunate that the film of this book was so execrable, but this is one of Puzo's best works that stands out on its own, and makes other mob fictions pale in comparison.
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on July 28, 2004
This is a book that Godfather lovers can't refuse! I'm rating this 5/5 because this is simply a great story. Whether you are interested in the Mafia or not, this book will capture you with its intrigue and wonderful prose. I have read all of Puzo's books and enjoying his wordplay and descriptions just as much as his plotting and pacing. I would rate this as his second best (right behind the big one) and will probably read it again in a few years -- I have read The Godfather three times. I read this during a trip to Florida, on the plane, on the beach, and sitting around in the airport. It's perfect. You'll get into it. It's easy to read. The characters are complicated...and sneaky! With a few of your favorite characters from Godfather (Michael Corleone, Peter Clemenza and others), and some real-life history, it takes place in Sicily after WWII and deals with old school Mafia, the kind the modern day New York Mafia wouldn't want to touch. This book is full of good stuff. Don't miss it!!

Mark McGinty, author of "Elvis and the Blue Moon Conspiracy"
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on February 28, 2003
The Sicilian by Mario Puzo
I really like historical fiction that spurs me on to seeking out fact from fiction and The Sicilian certainly did that. And it is no easy chore to do so in this case. In final analysis Salvatore Guiliano (Turi) and Salvatore Giuliano (Turridu) are so similar, especially in locations, such as Montelepre, and incidents, such as the massacre of Portella Della Ginestra, it becomes actually confusing. The betrayal and final end of the lives of both Guiliano and Gaspare Piscoitta (Aspanu) in the novel agree primarily with the reported accounts of reality, but the novel has led us to be emotionally invested with a much more loving Turi and a much more complex Aspanu than history presents. The fact that Giuliano remains a hero, the anti-communist pro-separation hero, of Sicily to this day encourages the more romantic approach taken in Puzo's story. History shows Giuliano to be a good deal more the politician and a good deal less the Robin Hood of the novel and his position with the Mafia a good deal less defined. But that is as it would be. After all, in the novel we are brought into the story through our old friend Michael Carleone and his faithful protector Peter Clemenza. And then there's characters that are so believable, like Hector Adonis who lives in more than one world and Don Dommonic Croce who lives in a world of his own making. These stories within the story are fascinating, worthy of novels all their own. All in all, I glad I read The Godfather first and had that detailed presentation of the core Sicilian mentality to fall back on before I came to this novel. Otherwise I might have been tempted to hate Don Corce and be disappointed by the novel ending. And it was a pleasure to see my wise old friend, Don Corleone, once again who could pick up all the pieces Michael had missed and complete the picture for us.
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on November 26, 2012
I wasn't quite halfway through The Sicilian by Mario Puzo when I was locked up, and it was nearly a decade of incarceration before I came across a copy of it. My expectations were up, and I was let down. The novel is about a young Sicilian revolutionary who fights against the mafioso establishment and police corruption that keeps his family and fellow countrymen perpetually indentured. I wanted to like this novel, but it was lackluster at best, and not even cameo-type appearances by the character Michael Corleone from Puzo's far superior novel The Godfather could save it from being a disappointment.
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on February 20, 2015
Ok, I know it's Puzo but still what a spectacular book that I'd failed to read before now. I've seen the Godfather movies dozens of times, but somehow did not read this book. The book sheds so much light on my own Sicilian ancestry and Puzo's pro-writing style, his depth of character development and research are what made him such a well-respected and legendary writer. If you, like me, saw the movies, but never read the books, you've missed out. Correct that huge error and read this book now.
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on January 8, 2013
Great Read:
The Sicilian is NOT, like some people think, a sequel to the Godfather. It does feature cameo appearances by Michael Corleone and Clemenza, but they are more to tie the story together than anything else. Personally, I found it distracting and unnecessary for them to have been in the book and I felt it would have been a far better book without them.

The unfortunate thing is that it detracted from the real story, and that is the tale of Salvatore Giuliano, the famous bandit of Sicily. (Btw, the other annoying thing was that they spelled Giuliano's name Guiliano, with the `u' coming before the `i'. That drove me nuts.) Salvatore or "Turi" Giuliano's story is one that deserves a full book dedicated to nothing but that story. It's a tale that not many people are familiar with and if you have any interest in Sicilian history, it's worth learning.

Puzo seems to have done a decent job of recounting the history of Sicily during that time period, and he is magnificent in how he tells it. He works his magic on each character, bringing them to life as only Puzo can. Salvatore "Turi" Giuliano, Gaspare "Aspanu" Pisciotta were true, bigger than life characters, and Puzo manages to not only show us their magnificence, but their faults in glorious perfection.

I loved this book, but I wish he had stuck to the true tale and not bothered with his cast from the Godfather.
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on June 23, 2015
could not read, very difficult to begin the book and could not get into a flow. was very disappointed, thought it would be as great as the other 2 books. very boring and choppy. will donate the book and hope someone else can enjoy reading this book.
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