Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Godfather: Family, Friends and Feuds

I started reading this book last week after a recommendation from a friend. At first, I was reluctant. But then I was offered to watch the film. I insisted (as usual) that I have to read the book before watching it on screen, so I started to read it as soon as I laid my hands on it.

Michael Corleone had no interest whatsoever to be in his father's business. His father had been one of the most respected Dons in the country. People called him “Godfather” in respectful tone, because it is what he was to them – their advisor and saviour. No problem is too big for the Don to solve. Yet he was not a saint at all. Don Vito Corleone led a huge mafia network, accompanied by his eldest son Sonny, and his adopted son and consigliore, Tom Hagen. But Michael wanted nothing to do with his father's business – that was before his father was shot.

A business problem led to his father's assassination attempts. The wilder part of Michael got the best of him, and before he knew it he had sunk deep in the business and was forced to fly to Italy. There he heard news that his eldest brother had been murdered and his second eldest brother was useless. He himself had barely escaped the fire. His car was bombed, killing his pregnant wife inside. Infuriated, he vowed to be “his father's son.”

The Godfather is one of the best (if not is the best) of mafia novels. It's story is almost legendary. Part of the credit goes to the trilogy films staring Al Pacino as Michael (yes, when he was young). The novel is very strong in its characterization and plot twist, whilst still sticking firmly to the main story. The people involved have their own stories, while their lives also partly unveil the vastness of the Don's business.

What I also like from the book is that it's so unpredictable. Puzo has no problem killing anyone in the way, even characters that we think deserve to live longer in the book. For those who love crime fictions, or any complicated fictions, or just looking for a modern classic, then The Godfather is a must-read for you. 

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