The Family
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The Family

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  5,601 ratings  ·  278 reviews
What is a family? Mario Puzo first answered that question, unforgettably, in his landmark bestseller The Godfather; with the creation of the Corleones he forever redefined the concept of blood loyalty. Now, thirty years later, Puzo enriches us all with his ultimate vision of the subject, in a masterpiece that crowns his remarkable career: the story of the greatest crime fa...more
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published October 2nd 2001 by William Morrow (first published 2001)
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This book was on its way to being a 4 or even 5 star book for me when I first began and while I still enjoyed The Family overall, by the end, I could not shake a distinct sense of dissatisfaction.

In the beginning, the book fulfilled all it promised the reader it would be. It was lush with grandeur and decadence. The characters were intricate and detailed, with the specific sort of nuances only Mario Puzo could provide, the nuances that made a reader invest in a character, love them, in spite of...more
This book makes you want to know everything about the Borgias. It is really well narrated, and the story becomes so intriguing that it is impossible to stop reading. Just as The Godfather, the head of the family (Rodrigo Borgia, later Pope Alexandre VI) is an ambicious and powerful man, who doesnt have any doubts to get rid of anybody who dares to stand on his way. But, after all, he is a family man. He loves his children, specially Lucretia and Giovanni, who seems to be his weak point. Anyway i...more
With the start of the new Showtime series The Borgias, I had to read one of the few remaining books on the Borgias that I own but hadn't read. Mario Puzo was fascinated by the Borgias all his life, and this was his chance to show his own interpretations of each Borgia personality, usually different from the standard views. His descriptions didn't give me the feeling of being there or knowing the characters; Puzo looked at the characters from an over-all viewpoint for decades, and didn't seem abl...more
Mario Puzo describes the Borgias as the original mafia family. I have long made it known that Alexander VI is my favorite pope* due to sheer badassery and a reminder of the heyday that was the papacy of yore.

I am torn about a reviewing system that compares books like The Family with The Hunger games and Cloud Atlas. What I'm trying to say is that while books in all three categories are rated on the same five point scale, they really aren't, as Puzo will never (in my opinion) be comparable to Mi...more
Andrew Breslin
I've read most of Mario Puzo's books, and this does not, in my opinion, compare favorably with the others. It's not bad, but, unlike The Godfather, it didn't fill me with ambitions to become a ruthless gangster, or, in this case, a scheming Pope.

Not that we can really judge Puzo too harshly. He died before finishing this, and I can personally attest to how hard it is to finish writing a book even if you are still alive. I can only imagine it's even tougher when you're dead.

He worked on it for...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Sulzby
I noticed a number of other reviewers thought this book was not as good as his other books. I found it fully as good (I read his pre-Godfather plus Godfather books) but I was reading it for a different purpose. After reading The Dark History of Christianity and an account of the Vatican papers, I was interested in the Borgias. Since SHOtime has started the cable series The Borgias there are many fictional or historical fictional accounts of this family which included two popes. Puzo's book begin...more
Lou Robinson
I love a bit of historical fiction and this is a book based on the Borgias and life in renaissance Italy. It was a "James's pick", we have decided to choose a book for each other every couple of months. The genre and setting alone probably bumped up the score to 3, as I did enjoy reading The Family. got tedious as the pages went on. A lot of...he killed him and then travelled to the next town and then killed him. Interspersed with some incest and rape. And a bit more killing. You guess...more
Puzo me uvijek asocira na mafijoze o kojima je pisao pod nazivom Corleone ali da mi netko nije prišapnuo da se ovdje radi o obitelji Borgias, ja bih opet brijala da je to neki nastavak onih prvih likova. Kako sam tražila da mi dođe pod ruku neka priča koja će mi otčepiti krizu ili me primiriti na par sati, meni osobno ime Borgias je dovoljno da probam.
Pročitala sam ju u dan i pol i nemam pojma kaj sam radila u nedjelju, osim da sam se udubila u svijet kakav je bio u 15. stoljeću u Italiji. Rana...more
Mar 24, 2007 Kathy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not for everyone
I'll say it again. Not everyone loves Mario Puzo, but I do. His tales of Italian life and Mafia are intriguing and I've never been able to put one of his books down -- except The Fortunate Pilgrim.
Mario Puzo has such a knack for putting you "in" the story. You really feel as if you're a fly on the wall. He worked on, and researched this book off and on for twenty years, and as much as it reads as fiction, the research paid off because it's completely believable. Incredibly disturbing, but believable nonetheless. At his death, the novel was not quite finished, so his longtime partner, Carol Gino, finished it. It's a testament to her skill that I could not tell where Puzo left off and Gino...more
Directo de mi blog:

Mario Puzo, escribió la novela de "El Padrino" que fue llevada a la pantalla grande como una de las mejores películas de la historia sobre la mafia italiana. Puzo tenía una fijación sobre la historia de la mafia y escribió el libro titulado "Los Borgia" en lo que se narraba el inicio de la mafia como tal, personificado por el papa Alejandro VI, que era el cardenal Rodrigo Borgia de Valencia.

Alejandro tuvo cuatro hijos reconocidos, César, Juan, Lucrecia y Jofre Borgia que como...more
Liza Lawler
This was my second Mario Puzo book, and I think this novel may have cemented an obsession with his books.

"The Family" is a book about a 15th century Roman family headed by the newly-crowned Pope Alexander, who uses his family as pawns in a game of power. However, the story is juxtaposed with what it means to be a family, what love is (in all it's twisted forms), and how one finds his destiny in a world defined by alliances, power, revenge, and loyalty.

This is the original Mafia family.

Though I w...more
What do I think about this book?
I love it!
I fell in love with it for the very first time I read it, back when I was 17. I cried, I sighed, I got mad, I gasped... I love it so much I had the Spanish version and the English one (now I have none since I lost the first one, God only knows where and when, and I lent the other one to a friend of mine, whom I haven’t seen in two years, therefore he hasn’t returned it to me. Yet. So know I’m Borgia-less)… I digress
What do I love about The Family?
1.- M...more
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
I've been on a bit of a Borgia family high. Season two of the Showtime series ended a little while ago, and I picked up this book to see how much I'd like it considering how much I'm in love with the TV show. And I really liked this book! Obviously, the show and this book are two separate things---as well as the actual history of the family. Some things are similar. Some things are not. And I've not read much factual information about the real Borgia family to form an opinion on which is the mor...more
Now I want to read the second part, but there is no second part. Bummer.

It gives you this feeling of a series, you know what I mean? That feeling that there is more behind that character, and that there are more plots and more betrayals and more of everything in this field, and that it could go on forever and ever in telling you how corrupt and how mean could the Borgia Family be.. but it ends at 400something pages. Bummer!!!!!

It's really well written, and what I like the most about it were ho...more
The book's blurb said "Set in Rome in the last few years of the 15th century..". That should have put me off, but I picked it up since it was by Mario Puzo, the Mario Puzo.. One who has enthralled me for years with his 'The Godfather', 'The Sicilian' & of course, 'Fools Die'.

But what a disappointment this one turned out to be! The story goes slower than a snail's place & the same stuff keep getting repeated at regular intervals. The same rivalry within the Catholic Church, the same sche...more
Althea Ann
The topic - the Borgia family - is great, however I just couldn't get into the writing style of this book.
I don't believe I've read anything else by Puzo (just seen the movie!), so I'm not sure if this is his usual style, or if it's because he passed away without finishing the novel. I thought the bulk of it read more like research notes than like a completed story. Events and background material were laid out in a very didactic way, almost like reading a non-fiction history text. That wouldn't...more
Dave Turner
This book is a real insight into the life and times of the infamous Borgia's, being a mixture of fact and fiction(the events did happen 500 years ago so it needs a certain amount of fiction to stop it simply resembling a Wikipedia entry)

The book features lots of little anecdotes that follow a rough timeline, but for all that it's amazingly easy to read and get deeply involved in. Puzo also seems to paint these people (whom history seems to remember as extremely evil) in quite a human and almost...more
Jeffrey Wienckowski
May 29, 2008 Jeffrey Wienckowski rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction/The Godfather
I started to listen to this as a book on tape a while ago, and really couldn't follow it. I didn't get very far into it at all.

I don't know why, but I decided to give it another go, but in printed for this time. Taking my time with it, allowed me to more fully appreciated it.

Some of the writing was still a little silly and filled with Puzo's pulpy, prosaic style, but the characters and story really grabbed me. I must admit, it begins kind of slow moving and meandering, but really picks up at ab...more
"The Family" is set in Renaissance Italy and features numerous historical characters such as King Charles VIII, Queen Isabella I, Leonardo da Vinci and of course the Borgias.
Puzzo starts by introducing the Rodrigo Borgia's family and immediately makes the reader feel invested in the ambitious Rodrigo, the passionate Cesare and the loving Lucrezia. The look into the live of the future pope feels authentic and unique, which lays a great foundation for the rest of the story and the first half of t...more
Brilliant! I didn't think I would find the Cesare/Lucrezia storyline as heartfelt & touching as it played out, but Puzo made it as though they were cursed to be the perfect soulmates if they were not brother and sister. He did shed light on that factor -if you could read so within the lines.

His make of Jofre, Sancha, Juan, as well as all the other character's were at best a distant second to Cesare and Lucrezia, but Pope Alexander overall seemed to be a master of puppets for this family's fa...more
Several years ago, I went on an improvised holiday. As they were improvised, I had not books to read during the holiday, so before leaving I went to a shop (similar to those airport ones) to get a couple of books. I bought two. The first one I read during the holiday and, although it wasn't the most marvelous thing, it was entertaining. The second one was this book, that I started reading, and I got bored so as soon as I got back from holiday I left it.
Now, this has happened to me before with go...more
Loved it. A great novel. Guess it's Puzo's master work, that's why he couldn't finish it through his life. As I read most of his work I came to a conclusion that he was always dreaming, working, investigating historical details to get it completely perfect. Loved it so much
Not the normal Puzo-book and definitely up to my expectations. If you are into history, like Puzo's descriptive style and want to see another view of the Borgias - read this book.
Rafał Urban
I have a big problem with that book. Up to maybe two-thirds of it I had a quite high opinion of it, I mean it was not bad, being based on a true story that fit so well with Puzo's love for Godfather-like stories and characters. Then the last part hit me, the rushed and screwed up ending, so abruptly cut off and unfulfilling. Again, it is based on historical events, but, while reading, I thought 'God, this is written so poorly'. I could not bear it. Compared to the Godfather, or even the Sicilian...more
Richard Sutton
Jul 12, 2012 Richard Sutton rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: European Historical Fiction readers
First off, since I enjoy quality narrative, the abundant sections of narrative didn't bother me much. If you expect a read to move like a screenplay, this probably wouldn't be the book for you. In that case, view the series Showtime made from it, The Borgias.

That said, I think despite the lulls, the book did more to colorfully illustrate Renaissance Europe and The Church than anything I've ever read. The characters eventually jump off the page, once you;ve absorbed the setting and their peculiar...more
This is the story of one of the most (in)famous families of all times - the Borgias.
The father of the family, Rodrigo Borgia, the Spaniard who has become a Pope of Rome, wants nothing more than to glorify Rome and arrange the future of his 3 favourite children - the smart and cunning Cesare; the impressionable Juan, who have always needed protection; and Lucrezia, beautiful, clever and vulnerable.
His children, though he loves them, are but a tool in his justified quest for power, for the much di...more
Joe Strong
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Q. Kelly
Borgia Yumminess

A couple of weeks ago, I finished watching my second 2011 TV show on the Borgias. Both TV shows presented dramatically different events and chronologies. Hmmm. I wanted to find out the real dealio (which TV show was right, or were they both wrong?) so I checked out “The Family” by Mario Puzo. Of course, I didn’t notice until a few days later this book was classified as fiction. No matter. Like the TV shows, “The Family” is soap-opera goodness.

The book presents yet a third chronol...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Godfather Returns
  • Madonna of the Seven Hills (Lucrezia Borgia, #1)
  • Cesare Borgia: His Life and Times
  • The Family Corleone
  • La ley de los varones (Los Reyes Malditos, #4)
  • The Life of Cesare Borgia
  • Virgins of Paradise
  • Sins of the House of Borgia
  • Rabbi
  • Pharaoh (Kleopatra, #2)
  • The Purple Shroud: A Novel of Empress Theodora
  • The Borgia Betrayal (The Poisoner Mysteries, #2)
  • Lucrezia Borgia
  • Antes y después de odiarte
Puzo was born in a poor family of Neapolitan immigrants living in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York. Many of his books draw heavily on this heritage. After graduating from the City College of New York, he joined the United States Army Air Forces in World War II. Due to his poor eyesight, the military did not let him undertake combat duties but made him a public relations officer statione...more
More about Mario Puzo...
The Godfather The Sicilian The Last Don Omerta Fools Die

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“We are a family, and the loyalty of the family must come before anything and everyone else. For if we honor that commitment, we will never be vanquished-but if we falter in that loyalty we will all be condemned.” 52 likes
“it was this young” 0 likes
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