- Publisher: Random House Inc (T) (Jan. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375505687
- ISBN-13: 978-0375505683
- Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.7 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,323,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Omerta Hardcover – Jan 2000
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More About the Author
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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).
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.
If you have had the pleasure of reading any of Puzo's other fictional books, you'll notice the word Omerta is used on several occasions. This book explains the importance of Omerta in the Mafia underground, which brings a little understanding to some of Puzo's other works.
This is a great read filled with the usual Puzo twists and turns that keep you on your toes and prevents you from putting the book down. I really like the short chapters that develop different characters simultaneously.
If you like the Godfather, you'll enjoy this.
We are supposed to marvel at the Sicilian loyalty and tradition stuff but in truth everyone seems to be shafting everyone else.
From about half way it all gets a bit small scale with the story limited to only a few protagonists and the shootout - with a one-eyed sex bomb cop and an FBI hotshot (whose car is parked illegally!) - takes place appropriately in a macaroni factory.
The final few pages are pure schmalz with our hero and his bride rolling around the Sicilian hills together.
She's an enigma all right. "High maintenance" doesn't really do the lady credit!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not quite Puzo at his best. Lively but seems to wander about as if he is not sure where he is taking us.Published 3 months ago by Mr. D. A. Isaacs
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 morePublished 18 months ago by Mike
This writer has what you would call a handle on all things about the old Italy, great stuff and film material.Published 19 months ago by Viza
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 itPublished 21 months ago by Ben Bainbridge
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 morePublished 23 months ago by Luke Malpass
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 on 19 Jan. 2014 by maureen