The Godfather is a powerful story not just of the mafia underworld, but of family, of power and the corruption that so often follows it, and of a great, yet dangerous man, Don Corleone. The mafia dealings are not a vital component of the story, often just referred to as "family business", but all that isn't necessary to understand the workings of the Corleone family. It is very difficult not to admire the power of the Godfather as well as his devotion to his family, and one can but sympathise with Michael as he tries to step into his father's shoes, finding that they simply do not fit. The story shows a great knowledge of the American mafia without glorifying it, with an ending to prove this point. Not only Puzo's finest novel by far, but fiction's finest gangster story, and undoubtedly among the finest works of fiction of the twentieth century.