Book: The Godfather

Author: Mario Puzo

Rating: 5/5

The Godfather-Mario Puzo

The story is centered around the Corleons and the five famous New York mafia organizations. The Godfather, Vito Corleone, does not support Sollozzo, a New York gangster, in his business because he never dips his beak into drugs and narcotics. He is later crossed by one of the five rival families of NewYork along with Sollozzo. Sonny’s haughty and nasty temperament leads to the doom of the legacy established by his father. Michael wishes to create legitimacy, while Vito is bothered more about respect.  How far does this conflict take them, is worth reading. The plot thus moves up and down with changing temperament and shifting protagonists, And the ultimate suspense never fails to surprise. 

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Social/Historical context:

The godfather has a touch of reality of the Mafia-organization in New York which represents a classic Sicilian-American story. The novel was published in 1969 by Mario Puzo , and can be seen as a miniature representation of organized crime in New York. It recreates a terror every time the gangs collide heads and never fails to give goose-bumps to the readers. It is Puzo's fifth book and the one which he wrote strictly for the masses and the money.

Writing Style:

The vivid description, overflowing with detail, renders possible the fastening heart beat as we progress from lines to pages. Each event brings out the reality of the horror, painting a mental picture leading to a roller-coaster ride, taking us through experiences as varied as erotic to terrorizing. The author ingeniously injects Italian words to lend a sense of authentication and ethnicity. Also, the Mafiosi constantly keep referring to their work as “family business”. Such interplay of language puts forth the moral dilemma faced by a gangster, as it becomes necessary to constantly validate their profession in order to look at themselves in the mirror and keep their conscience intact. Thus Puzo’s simple yet intimidating style makes the reading both engrossing and titillating.

My Thoughts:

 A muse to a dozen movies and adaptations, The Godfather is my favourite novel. Terror seizes when the readers are horror struck by the way the Don’s silence makes him the Godfather to those who are loyal to him and a deadly gangster, straight out of a box office blockbuster, to those who try to cross him. From the author’s classy way of explaining in detail the gangster’s wild sensual moves to his typical way of outlining the quiet vulnerable plots of the Godfather where all the dons follow the Godfather’s words “to never let the enemy know what’s in their mind”, the plot never fails to entertain, making it worth reading over and over again and compelling you to wear the robe at least once in life - a black classy tuxedo and a rose on it.

Book Reviewed by Vikhyat Oberoi

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