Joe Strong's Reviews > The Family

The Family by Mario Puzo
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Dec 21, 10

Read in January, 2007

** spoiler alert ** It has been a while since I read this, a few years, perhaps, if my memory serves me. However, my lasting memory of the book is perhaps summarised when considering how The Family became my first ‘favourite novel’, and remained in my mind all those years until I brought it a few months ago. In fact, I am unashamed to admit it was the first book I ever took out of the school library.
For me the novel was a page turner, a beguiling complex storyline made so simple by the artist that is Puzo. I failed to stop thinking about it; every time I put my bookmark in I felt a little part of me cry out so that before long I began reading until the early hours of the morning. Following a family can be difficult, each life connected yet separate, and many authors fall into the trap of getting lost within the complexities of each family member. Puzo, of course, having prior practice to, well, whatever word can be used to described ubersuccess, is able to handle this, and to control the story in such a fantastic way that just when you vow to dig up his grave and crucify his corpse if he dares switch characters, he does. The result, another hour of reading. Then again, and again. Until you realise that your bedside lamp has become redundant to the morning sun.
The themes, perhaps, were adult, and I relished the fact that incest, power, ambition and sex were being described with such love and delicacy, things so wrong made right. You feel as though you shouldn’t be allowed to read this by the powers that be, almost that you were an intruding onlooker, a remarkable feeling, one that few authors can invoke (of course, at 14, I REALLY shouldn’t have been read it). A true testament to Puzo’s craft and style as a writer. To follow the family, the children grow, the father achieve success and power, their rise, and ultimate fall, one falls into the world, becomes the secret ghost that watches over each of them and follows their lives, disapproving, laughing and eventually dying, with them.
The end however, annoyed me. After all those years, all those struggles, the blood and love shed, the ending pissed me off beyond imagine. Then I realise, this isn’t Puzo at all! It was not the style, the craft; I did not mind the ending not being written by the man himself, indeed the change was subtle. But it was so unsatisfying. SO unsatisfying. I wanted to follow that family forever. Apparently, his long time partner Carol Gino disagreed. Whatever Gino. I wrote a different ending.
And they all lived happily ever after.


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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Ashley great review!
loved the passion in your writing.. am going to have to pick this book up very soon

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