David Cain's Reviews > The Sicilian

The Sicilian by Mario Puzo
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's review
Dec 02, 10

bookshelves: 2010
Read in December, 2010

This work is peripherally related to the characters and events of The Godfather, Puzo's best-known work. Michael Corleone, Vito Corleone, and Peter Clemenza all play minor (or very minor) roles in the story. The heart of the novel is a fictionalized re-telling of the life of Salvatore Giuliano, a Sicilian bandit and separatist who was active in the late 1940s (the spelling of whose name Puzo has changed to Guiliano in the book). I had not previously heard of this historical figure, but it seems that the places, events, and a few other main characters are identical to their real-life counterparts. Where Puzo utilizes the greatest creative license is in his depiction of Giuliano's dealings with the Mafia and corrupt government officials, relationships about which we can only guess. This is an engaging and entertaining novel that will please fans of The Godfather. Probably not the place to start in Puzo's canon, but it definitely adds depth and complexity to the more familiar events of the Corleone family history. The fact that it more properly fits in the historical fiction genre rather than crime drama is a bonus.
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