One Chapter More book blog > Posts > The Godfather by Mario Puzo
September 13
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
The Godfather by Mario Puzo.jpg

This book was published in 1969, and is still probably the best book ever written on organised crime and the Mafia.

The book is set in America in the 1950’s when crime was organised in to “families “or “syndicates” and the mafia controlled the real power.

Set in the period of transition for the Corleone family, we see Don Corleone –the godfather- at his daughter’s wedding. He is a man of tradition and family values. Don is “reasonable” and has smoothed out many disputes amongst Sicilian families and is therefore The Godfather.

Don is nearing the end of his reign and a successor must be found, someone with the right sense of loyalty and justice.  Of the Don’s three sons, it is the unsuspecting Michael who finds himself in the role of chosen one. Michael’s transformation from good to bad is quite seamless.  It is amazing how Puzo manages to showcase the mafia as uber sleek with deep Sicilian principles.

The written style with high levels of gruesome violence is absolutely necessary to illustrate the mafia code. The narrative is gritty and fast, and the storyline revolves around power and brutality. The narrative is compelling, and storytelling at its best. Storytelling has always been vital to the Mafia community.

Each and all of the mafia-type character are colourful in their own way and oddly enough seem to exist in fantasy inside the family. This perhaps is one of the reasons the book was so popular- there was an absence of any moral judgement or verdict, so the reader can draw their own conclusions about what lengths they would go to for “the family”.

I found this a real joy to read, a kind of “offer you can’t refuse” in the Don’s words.


Submitted by Paula


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