Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: The Godfather by Mario Puzo

Title: The Godfather
Author: Mario Puzo
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Source: Audible
Content Alert: Lots of drugs, swearing, some sex

You know the story already, right? The move is one of your favorites, right? For the uninitiated, Michael Corleone is the youngest of Don Corleone's three sons. The Don is the head of the largest crime family in New York, having risen up the ranks from being an unemployed orphan immigrant. Michael is the golden child, the war hero who chose the Ivy League over the mob. And The Godfather is the story (among other things) of Michael breaking bad. He seems (mostly) motivated by love and loyalty, with a healthy dose of hubris thrown in (in the best Shakespearean tragedy sort of sense). But The Godfather is more than just Michael's story-- we learn about the intimate details of everyone from a godson living in Hollywood to Don Vito's oldest son's former mistress's fiance. All of the stories are told well and are compelling, and, of course, I feel a movie marathon in my future.

One of the greatest pleasures in my day is getting the Audible Daily Deal email. It's always there when I check my email first thing in the morning, and I love seeing what could occupy my brain for 10 or 12 hours for just $1.95 or $3.95. I believe that's how The Godfather fell into my Audible queue. Of course, I've heard of The Godfather a lot over the years, but I've never seen the movies, and until a few weeks ago, had never read the book. As a result, I wasn't aware of the pivotal role The Godfather plays in our cultural stew. I mean, I've watched every episode of The Sopranos, and so many of the situations and characters obviously have their roots in The Godfather. Or maybe they both have their roots in the same New York/New Jersey crime syndicates, but either way, The Godfather must have influenced The Sopranos, because I can't imagine that David Chase isn't familiar with the book.

As an added bonus, the audiobook is expertly narrated by Joe Mantegna, and worth listening to just for that fact.

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