Review: The Godfather by Mario Puzo

The Godfather
Mario Puzo
Genre: Adult Crime
Released: 2009 (first published 1969)
by Arrow Books
Source: Gifted
Rating: ★★★★★

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Tyrant, blackmailer, racketeer, murderer – his influence reaches every level of American Society. Meet Don Corleone, a friendly man, a just man, a reasonable man. The deadliest Lord of the Cosa Nostra. The Godfather.

A modern masterpiece, The Godfather is a searing portrayal of the 1940s criminal underworld. It is also the intimate story of thr Corleone family, at once drawn together and ripped apart by it’s unique position at the core of the American Mafia. Still shocking forty years after it was first published, this compelling tale of blackmail, murder and family values is truly a classic.

If you know me incredibly well, you’ll know that The Godfather is my favourite film of all time. So, I expected an awful lot from this book. I didn’t expect many Italian terns to be used since Mario Puzo didn’t speak a word of Italian. Or Sicilian dialect.

For someone who was born in America and didn’t speak a word of Italian, Puzo really knew his stuff. I really wish I’d read this book before watching the film, but the two are incredibly similar with very few differences.

I particularly liked how we are told about some of the minor characters of the novel, such as Amerigo Bonasera, Lucy Mancini and even Enzo the baker. Who would have thought that the girl James Caan was humping against a door at the beginning of the film was an important character? Not me! The descriptions are fantastic and the dialogue is very realistic. The characters speak like real people do. That’s always a plus in my book.

One of the very few negatives of this book is the length of the chapters. The first chapter is seventy-two chapters long. And the only chapter of Book III (the novel is set into books) is forty-five pages long. That’s just a bit too long for me when it comes to chapters.

Also, I wasn’t too fond of how Mama Corleone was written to speak (if that makes sense). She doesn’t speak English very well but the way she speaks is a little stereotypical. She doesn’t talk-a lik-a dis though. But it’s still a bit stereotypical of Italian women.

This was a really enjoyable book. The characters were constructed very well, the narration was good and everything was realistic. However, the long chapters can be a little overwhelming to get through and I didn’t like the portrayal of Mama Corleone.

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