Posted in Book Review

Book Review:003- The Godfather by Mario Puzo

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So, yeah I have been dead for a while. No actual reason except for me being lazy. I was just not motivated to do anything, so all I did was watch shows and read books. I had school till last Friday and now I have vacations, and we obviously have a lot of homework, projects. The pandemic probably motivated our school to give us more work.

More importantly, THERE’S A PERCY JACKSON SERIES COMING UP ON DISNEY+, UNCLE RICK SINGLE-HANDEDLY MADE THE YEAR BETTER.


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Title: The Godfather
Author: Mario Puzo
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Fiction
Page Count: 595


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“Tyrant, blackmailer, racketeer, murderer – his influence reaches every level of American society. Meet Don Corleone, a friendly man, a just man, a reasonable man. The deadliest lord of Cosa Nostra. The Godfather.”

The Godfather is a searing portrayal of the 1940s criminal underworld. It is also the intimate story of the Corleone family, at once drawn together and ripped apart by its unique position at the core of the American Mafia.


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The entire book is divided into 9 parts and 32 chapters. It is fairly easy to understand and is straightforward. It is written in a first person narrative, where the story is narrated by one character at a time. The locations and settings change according to who is narrating the story. The story will keep you involved and maintains high-levels of suspense.


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The novel includes many themes such as-

1) Family values:

The novel focuses on the members of the Corleone family. The members, even after settling in America are rooted to their Sicilian origins and still up hold those traditions. It showcases the importance of family and how they’ll always be there in desperate times. Michael Corleone, even when he stays aloof from the family business is always welcomed and never treated as an outsider. Sonny Corleone always stands up for his sister against her abusive husband. Even Tom Hagen, who was adopted by the Don and isn’t Sicilian isn’t treated any differently.

2) An inside look at the mafia:

The novel talks about the Cosa Nostra or the Sicilian mafia. It explains the wars between different clans, how they control their businesses, the amount of power they have over the public etc. The author also introduces and explains certain Sicilian terms used in the mafia such as Consigliori, Caporegime etc. It also gives a backstory so as to explain how many clans mentioned in the book came to power, this could be based off of real life mafias. It also shows the relations between different members of the mafia family as most of the narration is done by them, except Kay Adams who is the non-Sicilian narrator. It helps us understand what they go through as they are typically seen as unlawful and undesirable elements of the society.

3) Circumstances can change a person:

Throughout the events that take place in the book, we see that there are changes in the way many characters act or think. This is usually after any major event. Even in the Vito Corleone’s backstory, we see that he resorts to illegal activities mainly because he is unable to sustain his family, he even ends up murdering a person and a chain of events which lead him to becoming the Don or The Godfather.

4) People aren’t always who they say they are:

People can be deceptive, even the ones you trust the most. We see that many of the Don’s closest friends and even family members have deceived him. Even the most trust worthy people can leave their loved ones behind. Connie’s husband, who was a family member betrayed them. Even the Don’s right hand man sold them out.


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The novel is a portrayal of the 1940s Cosa Nostra or the criminal underworld. It is set right after the second world war, and is set over a period from 1945-1955. Most of the events take place in America, barring a few which include Michael and take place in Sicily.

I will mainly be focusing on 2 characters i.e Vito and Michael Corleone.

1) Vito Corleone- The novel provides a backstory for Vito, which shows how he came to power. He is the family patriarch and is respectfully called “The Godfather”. He is portrayed as a wise man, who does not make impulsive decisions and does what’s best for everyone. He is a reasonable man, as he prefers to reason with people rather than resort to violence. This is seen even when he is shot down and he advises everyone to not engage in warfare. He is also a kind man, he helps most people who come to him provided that they proclaim him as their godfather and maybe return his favour.

2) Michael Corleone- In the beginning of the novel we see that Michael is a war hero who has no interest in getting involved in the family business, attended college and he even has a girlfriend who isn’t Sicilian. Things begin to change when his father is shot down by members of the rival mafia. He goes on to punch a police officer to murdering two people and fleeing a country. After the death of his father, he assumes the role of the head of the family. He earns the respect of the members of the mafia and ultimately takes on the role of Don Corleone. It is fascinating to see this transition of Michael’s character from a college going, law abiding war hero to a ruthless crime lord.


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It is a very engaging book with many twists and an amazing storyline, even if it is a little slow-paced. All in all, it is a wonderful read and I would suggest everyone to read it.


 My rating: 

4.5/5


What did you think about the book? Let me know below.

Loggin’ off

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4 thoughts on “Book Review:003- The Godfather by Mario Puzo

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