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Omerta [Paperback]

Mario Puzo
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 May 2001
Omerta, the Sicilian code of silence, has been the cornerstone of the Mafia's sense of honour for centuries. Born in the Sicilian hills, omerta carried the Mafia through a century of change, but now at the century's end it is becoming a relic from a bygone age. Honour may be silent - but money talks. New York - a mob boss is assassinated and no one will talk. His nephew and the head of the city's FBI both launch investigations into the murder. But silence spreads like a contagion: the silence of rival gangs, the silence of crooked bankers; even the silence of the courts. However, the world of the Mafia is one without integrity, and riven with greed. And when money starts to talk...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; 1st Paperback Printing edition (3 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099296802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099296805
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 545,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Mario Puzo, author of eight novels, will eternally be known for one book: The Godfather. It's true that this is no mean legacy but it should be remembered that Puzo's output has included some considerable novels, notably The Sicilian and The Last Don. His new book, Omertà is unquestionably the finest of his latter-day work, a sweeping, violent epic with brilliantly precise characterisations.

Omertàis the Sicilian code of silence, the essential element by which the Mafia has maintained its power over the centuries. Puzo is interested in the way in which changing times have forced organised crime to adapt, however painful the process. The code is tested when a mob boss, Don Aprile, is brutally murdered in New York. Both Astorre, Aprile's nephew, and Cilke, the New York FBI chief, launch investigations into the killing. It soon becomes clear to both men that a grim conspiracy has spread its tentacles across rival gangs, corrupt bankers and even the courts. Much blood must be spilled before the killers are found--there are many (on both sides of the law) who will do their best to stop this happening.

Puzo's favourite theme--the interchangeability of big business and organised crime--is handled with his customary panache. However much we may disapprove of the horrifically violent Mafiosi, we remain riveted by their implacable cold-bloodedness. Astorre has all the complexity of Michael Corleone (even if we've been here before) but Cilke is a new departure for the author--a lawman who is quite as powerfully characterised as Puzo's criminal protagonists.

It goes without saying that the grisly set-pieces are handled with the usual élan:

The car sped up and stopped as the Don reached the last step. Stace jumped out of the back seat--in one quick move he rested his gun on the roof. He shot two-handed. He only shot twice. The first bullet hit the Don square in the forehead. The second bullet tore out his throat. His blood spurted all over the sidewalk, showering yellow sunlight with pink drops.
--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘Keeps reader turning pages all the way to an explosive showdown’ -- Daily Mail

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I picked up Omerta while waiting for a delayed flight, not sure what to expect. The back cover is full of praise, but it's for the previous book (!).
This one tells a simple story about a Mafia heir who has been trained to look after the family and assets of a 'Don' after his death. There are interesting, if shallow, characters in abundance and the story is gripping enough to keep reading into the small hours.
The pace is fairly steady and the narrative very linear: you know who the culprits are fairly early on (so that's out of the way) and interest centres on how revenge will be exacted, rather than against whom. If it were a film script it would be described as: "good story but lousy editing". The reason for this is that Mr Puzzo may not have finished the book himself: the copyright is 2000, but he died in 1999.
Overall, this is not a great book. It does not have the epic qualities of the Godfather and certainly does not feel like part of a trilogy. Good for the beach this summer, but that's about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but disappointing after The Godfather 19 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I found this book an enjoyable way to pass the time, but it really does not hold a candle to The Godfather. It is a story of brutal relentless revenge with a very cold, uncaring main character who just doesn't seem to have the charisma and charm of a Corleone and therefore I really just did not care about one jot. The plot itself is fast moving with a lot of action but seems to lack the intrigue and drama of mafia politics, being more revenge based.

Whilst it seems unfair to compare this work to The Godfather it is impossible to read and judge it any other way as it is always going to have to stand alongside it. However, it lacks the character and that epic feel to it which makes The Godfather such a special treat to read (or watch).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pure popcorn 5 Oct 2011
The one thing this novel has going for it is that it is a fairly effortless read likely to keep you turning the pages, though maybe not compulsively. In other words "Omerta" would be undemanding company for a long journey, or perhaps a stay with relatives you don't much like, but otherwise there is little to recommend it.
The basic idea is intriguing enough (no spoiler alert, all this is explained very early in the novel): the adopted son of a true, old school Sicilian Don (who has retired from crime) is raised secretly in the old Mafia ways so as to be one day capable of defending the family. The twist here is that the Don's three grownup biological kids, although quite capable and successful in their respective chosen careers, are respectable upright citizens almost entirely ignorant of their dad's "business". Could've been a great story, but sadly plot and characters are shallow and unconvincing, and inter-relationships between the main players are especially weakly drawn.
If you're unfamiliar with Puzo's work, I suggest you read "The Godfather" first, perhaps followed by "The Last Don". If you've already read those then ther's no earthly need to bother with "Omerta", it's a disappointing last bow from a great storyteller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A poor epitaph for a great storyteller 11 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This is not a book in the true Puzo - Godfather/Last Don - genre. The dialogue is unreal, the plots are bizarre, the characters are one-dimensional and lacking realism. There are odd moments when the real Puzo shines through but these are too infrequent for the book to be the good read one expects from this particular author. Anyone expecting a well-structured, gripping story of Mafia politics should steer clear of this one. It was a struggle to finish the book and it left me feeling sad that such a great writer should close his account with such a poor offering.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly fragmented story but a good read. 26 July 2000
By A Customer
This book has a lot to live up to with the other mafia stories that Puzo has given use. The characters are somewhat non-likable with it difficult to judge the main character Astorre. The story also keep jumping back and for and lacks continuaty, but did keep me interested in what would happen in the end. I would be very surprised if this story would make it to our TV screens as the Godfather(which I am a huge fan of) and the Last Don did.
So my final word is that a good read but only for true Puzo fans.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Upon reading this book i like any other Godfather fan had some severe reservations, how could Puzo even come close to his original masterpiece? Well the man is a true genius of writing on the mystic world of mafioso and he has managed to accomplish what i regard as an impossible task - a more interesting book than the Godfather. Before you all start to curse me though it is important for me to note that he takes heavily from previous work and it is quite clearly a Puzo gangster book rather than a new concept. Ultimately my belief is that the Godfather rules supreme, however Omerta is a quality read blighted only by the fact i thought it too short (it took me 3 hours to read it). I'd reccomend you go and buy it now if you have any interest in Puzo and his work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable without too many plot twists! 8 July 2000
By ch0pper
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This may not be as good as some of Puzo's previous books, but as a piece of crime fiction it stands the test of readability and plausibility.
I enjoyed it immensely on a flight from London to Helsinki - yes, it won't take long to read (it's not that deep a plot), but I climbed off the plane feeling satisfied by my purchase.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Excellent service, very pleased.
Published 6 days ago by Defarge
4.0 out of 5 stars Mafia, FBI, Children of Mafia Don
Very easy reading. family, revenge, violence, sex, it's all there. If you liked The Godfather this will be OK for you. Can't say more or I will give too much of the story away! Read more
Published 12 days ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars very involved yarn
This writer has what you would call a handle on all things about the old Italy, great stuff and film material.
Published 22 days ago by Peter wilford
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
Good story telling from puzo. Worth reading, but it is very safe and wish he could have been more creative! He is a legend and the godfather proves it
Published 2 months ago by Ben Bainbridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Puzo is still the Don!
As with most crime novels The Godfather is a league of its own. But Puzo again shows a new side of Sicilian history and a new understanding to the "men of honor. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Luke Malpass
5.0 out of 5 stars omerta
i couldn't put this down ,really made me think about the other side of belonging to the mafia not the way it's shown on film .will now read more of mario puzo's books.
Published 6 months ago by maureen brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope it will be good
Cannot review i have not read yet bought to add to kindle, Quite a few in the front off the que
Published 11 months ago by Jeremy D Haberman
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but far from a great one...
It is a typical Mario Piuzo book; interesting but not particularly well-written. I enjoyed it but would struggle to give it more than 3 1/2 stars.
Published 13 months ago by Mr. Peter M. Griggs
5.0 out of 5 stars OMERTA BY MARIO PUZO
Published 14 months ago by W A I JONES
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read .
A good read but its not in the same league as his classics. But it has to be difficult to top books like the Godfather. I enjoyed it
Published 17 months ago by pa0179
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