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on 8 August 2001
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.
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on 3 November 2011
This was bought for me as a birthday present one year and books aren't normally my thing, so I was slightly sceptical at first about bothering to read it. Seen as though I'm a big fan of the films I thought I'd give it a go, an maybe read through the first 20 pages. After the first 20 i really started to get into it and I couldn't put the book down, totally hooked.

The book itself covers the film The Godfather I and Michael's story from the Godfather II. With the large list of characters involved in story, I felt the book helped me to understand how some of the some of the secondary characters fit into the story. Giving me a better overall understanding of the films.

Very enjoyable even for someone that wasn't a book person before this.
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on 18 May 2012
I'd been itching to watch the films for ages and decided I'd read the book first of all. I'm glad I did. Without a doubt this is a masterpiece of epic proportions. Take a bow Mario Puzo. I've grew up seeing this Don Corleone as a cultural icon and never really understanding why. I get it now. Without a shadow of a doubt one of the greatest characters ever created.

"What manner of men are we then, if we do not have reason. We are all no better than beasts in the jungle if that were the case."

Enough said. I'll read this book until the pages fall out. Absolutley Awesome!!!
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on 10 February 1998
I have always had a strange, obsession, if you will, with the Mafioso. When I saw the movies "The Godfather" parts 1, 2, and 3, I knew that I had to read the book! It left me speechless. Although there were many parts in the book that weren't in the movies, I felt that I had just fallen into the latter 1940's in New York! Mario Puzo is the master at telling stories, I have never read anything better than this. I do recommend, however, that if you do intend on reading the book AND seeing the movies, that you see the movies first, because like moet movies based on books, there are SO many details in the book that aren't in the movies. If you are as fascinated with the Cosa Nostra as I am, this book is an absolute MUST READ, and I do think that you'll enjoy it a lot!
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on 8 October 2011
From the first pages to the last I struggled to put this down, just one more page then I'll turn the light off, ok, one more, well I might as well finish this chapter.

The way Mario Puzo matures Michael Corleone is extraordinary. My interest in Michael's 'destiny' correlated perfectly with his progress towards becoming a Don. Whilst Michael follows his path, the other character's stories play out intriguingly, keeping me interested and connected throughout.

If you haven't read this, read it now!
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The Godfather was originally published in 1969 and the film of the same name was released shortly after in 1972.

The novel is based on the day to day life of a fictional crime family, Italian origin, based in New York.

Don Corleone is the boss, The Don, of two families; his own and his extended crime family. The lines are blurred between the two and a similar code of honour, loyalty and devotion running through both bonds them together until it's hard to distinguish the hierarchy of the characters on both sides. There's good and bad in all of them.

Corleone is a very dangerous man. He's dangerous in the most chilling of ways. He's completely devoted to his wife and his children but equally committed to 'family business' which reaches out to kill and extort. There's some great contrast worked into the novel from those angles. Family celebrations are no excuse not to hold court and deal with 'family business' in fact they can be the ideal cover. Sunshine on the outside but a heart of darkness within and there's some powerful scenery which opens up the novel to it's real theme; the story of a young man, Michael Corleone, and his battle with his father 'The Don'.

It's time for the old King to move aside and the young Prince to take over the throne. That's going to be one nasty fight and the repercussions will travel far and wide.

Despite their obvious respect and adoration there has to be an end to the family conflict and when it comes it's breathtaking. Michael has much to learn from an older, much wiser teacher.

I originally read this book in the 1970s and having just read it again I enjoyed it so much more second time around. Classic piece of writing. More than happy to recommend.
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on 1 June 2016
OK, many people think this is a classic book and they love it; that's fine. I'm not one of them. It's always difficult going against the flow, so let me explain why.

I came to the book having watched the films many times over the decades. The films - well, certainly the first two films, the third doesn't quite reach the same heights of excellence - are classics. Perhaps they led me to expect that the book would be a little different than it was, the classic book that the cover proclaims it to be. Having read it, I think the tale is terrific; just as it is in the films, a compelling story that keeps you drawn in. But the way the tale is told, and the standard of the writing, oh dear; that's where the problems lie for me.

Because the films are classy as well as classic I hoped for the same in the book. What i got was a standard of writing that wasn't very good, a few soft-porn style sex scenes that didn't add to the tale, a lot about one character, Johnny Fontane, that was omitted from the films for good reason, other characters that were tissue-thin and had nothing that made me believe in them, a lot of actions without foundation and always that pulp fiction-style writing. I was glad to finish it.

But, it works; and it works because the tale is a terrific one. It's told better in the films than on the page, I think, and when next I need a Godfather fix I'll go to the films rather than turn to the book which in truth, I'll probably never read again. If you love it then that's terrific; unfortunately, I'm not so keen.
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on 30 November 1998
I read three books recently, two were by Louis LaAmour an the third was by Mario Puzo. The books by Louis LaAmour were, Heller With A Gun and Man From The Broken Hills. The Godfather was the book by Mario Puzo.At first thought, it doesn't seem like the two authors would have much in common. LaAmour writes western and Puzo's book is about the Mafia. This was not the case, the two authors actually had a lot of things in common. Although only the stories by LaAmour took place in the same time period, all three books portrayed one common theme. Power. Who has it and how to obtain it. In Man from the broken hills, powerful cattle ranches are fighting over a range and stolen cattle. In the Godfather, Powerful families are fighting for power of the Mafia underworld in the United States. In the books by LaAmour, he tunes in on about four characters and there is one hero. Puzo prefers to show all of his characters. LaAmour made his charaters seem almost in human, they could do wrong. Puzo on the otherhand, made his characters very life like. As I said before, the stories were about power and the ways that men obtain it. In the old west, a man won his battle when he killed his enemy, the same was true with the Mafia, they won when the opponent was dead. The only difference is the who did the killings. The guys in the west would do it themselves and the Mafia bosses would have their employees do it. The similarity is that both kinds of executions would be done in public where peole would see and hear about them. This was a display of power. Both writers have a problem getting to the point, they beat around the bush until you get bored, then BAM! they wake you up with a sudden twist. They both also have a habit of leaving a charater for awhile and making you wonder what happens to that person. The books by LaAmour are shorter than that of Puzo, but they do not suffer. LaAmour didn't spend the time on side stories like Puzo did, if had, they would have equal length. Both authors posess the ability to attract your attention and for the most part keep it. They are both Worthwhile authors to read.
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on 24 April 2012
Mario Puzo's control and development of character is what sets him apart from other authors and what has lead to The Godfather becoming the stand out novel of its generation. The development of Michael Corleone is astounding, and something that has not been replicated by any other author of this generation. Michael progresses and culminates in one of the most imposing and powerful character profiles in history.

I wholeheartedly recommend this novel to anyone as it is the only book I have finished and then turned to the front page and started again!
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on 28 March 2016
Plot was very detailed. Kept me interested but I don't feel a burning desire to read this author's other books immediately (but I mostly likely will in the future). Satisfying read but not addictive.
Since there are so many characters involved, you don't get the deep character development you might in other books, but the authors does clearly portray the traits of each character.
For people who aren't familiar with mafia structure, a brief explanation could be provided separately in the book. I was fine as I really like mafia fiction.
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