The Godfather


The Godfather by Mario Puzo

“It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal as hell.” – Michael Corleone (pg. 125)

The Godfather is about the exchange of power from father to son, but it also shows the difference in leadership qualities between the Don’s three sons: Sonny, Fredo, and Michael.

Puzo tells this story with clips of backstory and he reveals a surprising detail then goes back to explain how it happened. He doesn’t always give the reader a hint as to what is going to happen and, instead, reveals things like a Scooby-Doo episode.

I was a little upset with my own vague familiarity with the movies. Throughout the book, all I kept thinking about was the part where Michael kisses Fredo and says, “I know it was you.” I waited and waited for that scene to come up but it never happened. This book used language that was  not entertaining, but the plot twists and great reputation of the movies kept me reading. I expected depictions of gangsters going around killing people not boring, but useful, backstory or a statement of facts such as, “So and So was found dead two hours later,” instead of epic scenes. I suppose it all goes over well to the screen because the film can add the excitement the book did not. Now, I have to watch the movies to make sense of the snippets I caught over the years.


“There are things that have to be done and you do them and you never talk about them. You don’t try to justify them. They can’t be justified. You just do them. Then you forget it.” – Michael Corleone (pg. 125)


Here is the summary from the back:

“The Godfather—the epic tale of crime and betrayal that became a global phenomenon.

“Almost fifty years ago, a classic was born. A searing portrayal of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduced readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and their powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor. The seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and the allegiance to family—these are the themes that have resonated with millions of readers around the world and made The Godfather the definitive novel of the violent subculture that, steeped in intrigue and controversy, remains indelibly etched in our collective consciousness.”

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