Katie's Reviews > The Godfather

The Godfather by Mario Puzo
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's review
Sep 19, 11

Read in September, 2011

It was weird reading this having seen the movie a couple times before, because the movie version is SO faithful to the book. Sure, there are a couple subplots (wisely) left out, but all in all I'm not sure I've ever seen a movie represent the book so well. I think it improves the reading of the book too, since the movie is so good.

The writing style is interesting and was a little weird at first... I'm not sure how to describe it--formal? Melodramatic maybe? I got used to it, though. The subplots that were wisely left out of the movie (the oversized genetalia stuff, and the Nino and Johnny stuff) were tedious. But I enjoyed the meat of the book and can see that this is a seminal work in terms of defining people's view of the Mafia. What subsequent Mafia book or movie does not owe its existence to the Godfather?

I enjoyed the "gray areas" of people's characters, particularly Don Corleone and Michael Corleone, and especially how Kay Adams is the "everywoman" who I think represents us, the reader. She is the one saying "wait, this is crazy" about Michael contemplating joining in with his father on the Mafia life. Both Vito and Michael have good sides to themselves, which of course are somewhat (it's up to you to decide how much) overshadowed by the bad sides and their evil deeds. There's a lot of interesting discussion in this book about power (especially understated power), family vs. "Family", and the extent to which government and society can and should control your life. Really, Vito is the ultimate anarchist--he has chosen to completely disavow himself of any involvement in his society and government, and has carved out his own society-within-a-society that completely plays by its own rules.
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