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The Family Corleone

(Mario Puzo's Mafia)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  3,478 ratings  ·  357 reviews
New York, 1933. The city and the nation are in the depths of the Great Depression. The crime families of New York have prospered in this time, but with the coming end of Prohibition, a battle is looming that will determine which organizations will rise and which will face a violent end.
For Vito Corleone, nothing is more important that his family's future. While his younges
Hardcover, 437 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Grand Central Publishing
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None of Mark Winegardner's books!!!

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Family Corleone (Mario Puzo's Mafia), Edward Falco, Mario Puzo

The Family Corleone is a 2012 novel by Edward Falco, based on an unproduced screenplay by Mario Puzo, who died in 1999. It is the prequel to Puzo's The Godfather. It was published by Grand Central Publishing and released May 8, 2012.

In 1933 New York City, 17-year-old Sonny Corleone is aware that his father Vito Corleone's olive oil business is a cover for his Mafia activities. With prohibition ending, and tensions between the orga
Hasham Rasool
'The Family Corleone' was nearly good as 'The Godfather'. Alhamdulillah! ...more
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Madon'!, that was awesome. This book is not your garden variety franchise tie-in. This thing is the genuine article. The story was taken from an actual screenplay set down by Mario Puzo, so we know it has some authenticity. But Falco took it a step further and made one hell of a novel.

This is one of the best 5 books I've read this year, capisc'?

The Godfather is one of my favorite movies and novels of all time. The Godfather Part II is just behind it. This book, this genius of a captivating stor
Elizabeth B
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
There many different ways to try and review this novel but I suppose the easiest way is the way that Paramount approached it when they launched the lawsuit against the Puzo estate...either the book will be terrible and a black mark against the Godfather legacy or it's an installment that will do well as another movie in the series and they want to claim their stake in it early so the money will go to them. My take? It falls at neither end of the spectrum people were anticipating.

As a novel, the
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been trying to be stingy with my 5 star reviews, saving them for something really great like Borges, but less than five for this book wouldn't do it justice. Generally my attitude towards an author continuing the work of an earlier author is somewhat jaundiced. It just ain't nothing like the real thing, baby. Mike Winegardner's Godfather continuation made me cringe and I never read the second one he wrote. No interest whatsoever. Ed Falco, on the other hand, shows a real understanding of th ...more
Katie Bananas
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Was looking for the first book The Godfather but found this instead. It was almost 10 years ago since I seen the movies and was worried I wouldn't get much out of this book. Had a good time with the book either way and I really want to get my hands on the first books now. It's an compelling story with some really interesting characters and not like the books I usually read. ...more
Gary Schantz
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is spot-on as a prequel to The Godafather. So many characters are coming back to life with each can picture them vividly only younger.

Since its based on a screenplay that Mario Puzo had written, its no wonder the book seems to be a wonderful complement to the original. Not only does this book round out the original story (by filling in the pieces that the film The Godfather Part II did not), it also makes The Godfather's Return and Revenge seem even more awful because the wr
Bogdan Gavriliuc
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love the universe painted by Puzo's vision. Even if it romanticizes violence, it shows some interesting relationships. One of my favorite relationships in literature has to be the one between Don Vito and Luca Brasi.

I particularly liked making connections to the Godfather (this being a prequel, it was interesting to see how things got to where they are). I also loved how all of the separate plots come together to culminate for the Corleones. I liked how the don had an internal fight with hims
Michael Twist
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was hesitant to accept the notion of another writer trying to carry on Mario Puzo's work and constantly found myself looking for weakness in Falco's writing, characterization, and flow. This soon proved fruitless, as Falco swept me into his storyline, filling in natural gaps and backstories that remained in Puzo and Coppola's brilliant portrayals of the Corleone family. A true student of the genre, and the Corleones in particular, Falco captures even the minutest of mannerisms and speech patte ...more
Jul 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
I had picked this book as my first Summer 2012 reading because is The Godfather Saga and it was commissioned by the Puzo family. Big mistake. It was obviously written by an english teacher which is as tedious to read, as listening to a french teacher speaking french. The characters are limp and just silhouettes of the deep, interesting characters that Puzo and then Coppola created for our pleasure. Sonny is a slow witted, aggressive thug who hangs out with Irish punks. Luca is an animal ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed The Godfather. And while I can say that The Family Corleone isn't that, I still really liked this one. This one had a little different feel to it, but it worked for me. I loved the characters and the details not only regarding family life, but of loyalty and respect, whether it was right or wrong. That was the strongest link between the two books. I enjoyed this one.

I also listened to the audio and I loved the narrator. It was a fun 'listen'. So 4 stars.
Clark  Isaacs
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Mario Puzo wrote “The Godfather” which is a modern classic that sold 21 million copies and evolved into the first two “Godfather” films directed by Francis Ford Coppola. These movies are widely considered two of the best movies of all time.

A prequel is a book, which antedates the original book and brings to life the development of the characters that made up the original story. Ed Falco an award-winning author who has written four story collections and three novels writes “The Family Corleone”.
May 30, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Okay, but not great. This is the prequel to "The Godfather," which basically fills out the backstories that are given very short descriptions in the first book: how Vito Corleone and the Corleone family came to power; the war of "10 years ago" as described in the first book; how Sonny came into his father's business; and Luca Brasi's back story.

Apparently Mario Puzo wrote this as a screenplay, which Falco then turned into this novel. The first half of the book definitely reads like a screenplay:
Phillip III
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure what to expect with Edward Falco's The Family Corleone. Thing is, I have watched, and re-watched, and re-watched the trilogy, but have yet to read on of Puzo's novels. Why? No idea.

This, Falco's novel, being a prequel, seemed like a good place to start. It was my oldest son who read it first and handed it off to me. I am thrilled he did. I mean, eh-oh, oh-eh, this is my kind'a story. And I enjoyed every page.

It was cool seeing Sonny as a teenager, and Michael, and Fredo, and even b
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This, a prequel, is really a book about James Caan Sonny Corleone and Luca Brasi. There is no build-up of a mythic character like Vito Corleone, as there was in The Godfather. Vito is here, in this book, but if you read this before Godfather, you would not be impressed by him.

Sonny's character doesn't make for much of a story. He is just a hot-headed kid who fearlessly commits thefts and who wants to be part of the family business.

Luca Brasi makes the story interesting because he is so psychopa
Aug 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
Being a tremendous Godfather fan, both the book & movies, I figured this was a no brainier read for me. Almost from the beginning, I regretted starting it. All I kept thinking was that the author was trying too hard. Characters, details, dialog all seems stiff and contrived, almost to the point of boring. It all seemed to be a hopeful set up for a "prequel" movie. At times a hard read, as his style seems choppy at best. The ending fell short and the book was wrapped up almost like a bad ending o ...more
Corey Preston
Jun 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
A handful of nice, satisfying moments, but all are completely derivative of the films, prior novels--to the point where he's describing scenes from the films, shot for shot. Add to that the fact that any actual invention--origins of Luca Brasi, death of Tom's father--is weird and forced, and this is one-star "fan fiction." ...more
Ramon van Dam
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Oof, what a way to abuse someone else's characters. Mark Winegardner showed with his two entries in the saga that other writers besides Mario Puzo can do them justice, but Ed Falco missed the mark with this one in my opinion.

The Family Corleone definitely has its moments, but I was regularly put off by how characters we've gotten to know and love feel so different this time around. The story is a prequel to the original novel and tells us how the Corleones became a big family, as well as the mor
Jul 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
I began this book loving it. I am a huge Godfather fan. As a Bronx native, I loved the Arthur Ave and (especially) Tremont Ave mentions. However, it was soon apparent that this author has not the smooth storytelling ability of Puzo, and this book shouldn't have been sanctioned as part of the Godfather narrative.


I was curious at first that Luca Brasi had a personality. The film, of course, portrays him as a dimwit. Then, aha, his constant pill popping results in his brain damage.

Are you rea
Abib Jusufi
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I am writing this report for Ms. Orona's English IV class. The novel i read this six weeks is “The Family Corleone” by Ed Falco. It includes 431 pages and is published by Grand Central. The Reason i decided to read this book is because i'm fascinated by the era and i particularly picked this one because i love the concept of the Mafia subject and the family whose in it.
The main characters in this novel is Vito Corleone and his sons Sonny and Tom. They’re the main characters in the book because
Jevron McCrory
This really wasn't all that and I'm disappointed.

This read like a Sopranos fan turned loose into the far more subtle and restrained world of the Corleones (a first impression confirmed by the multiple Soprano character surnames that pop up throughout the novel) and while there's bloodshed and Italian idioms aplenty, there's none of Puzo's grandiose elegance, understated sentiment and luxurious prose.

Mario Puzo, Ed Falco is not.

I'd love to know just how much of Puzo's un-produced screenplay make
Lucas Bellator
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it

With that being said, The Family Corleone is a slow starter. The first few chapters take you on a ride into a land of a long time ago, to the Great Depression and Vito Corleone.

I have to say the author managed to reproduce that
vibe: it felt like 1934. A young Sonny racing around doing stuff was amazing. The characters had life on them.

It's not a perfect book, and the edition I read even had some spelling errors. Sometimes a character would be written when he couldn't be. Towards the en
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For anyone who loves reading about the Great Depression and has absorbed the stories of the Mafia, this book is the background of the Corleone crime family. From the hills of Sicily to the boroughs of the City of Immigrants during the 1920's and 30's, the Corleone family came into rule by outwitting the other families and becoming the strongest of 'the five families'. Page-turning historical (not quite reality) reading for those fascinated by the domination of those really in power, politically ...more
Dick Reynolds
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
The entire Corleone Family is here: Don Vito, his children Sonny, Michael, Fredo, Connie and adopted son, Tom Hagen. We also have the fearful Luca Brasi, Clemenza, Barzini, and a host of other "businessmen" who are trying to muscle in on the Don's turf, lurking in the shadows.
I'm giving up on this one after about 70 pages because it reads like a screenplay. Well, it should because the movie which I saw recently is so much like the book that there are no surprises. I'm giving it the benefit of th
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
Godfather fans - this is a must-read book! Takes place in the early '30s and describes how Don Corleone becomes the most powerful of the NY five families. Sonny is 18 years old, Michael is a boy and the Don schemes on behalf of his family and to expand his business. Based on a Mario Puzo screenplay, this fits between the DeNiro years and Godfather 1. The audio book is phenomenal as the reader really gets the voices right: Brando, James Caan, etc. Now to watch the movies - again! ...more
Nathaniel Rayestu
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a prequel to the Godfather, The Family Corleone really did Mario Puzo justice. It is a story about family as much as it is about crime or the Mafia. Tells the story about the young Santino, the early life of Luca Brasi, the Mafia War and all that. I enjoyed reading this just as much as I did the original novel and Puzo's quasi-sequel The Sicilian. This book is a must read for all Godfather fans. ...more
Ritvij Tiwari
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Uh... I really wanted to love this book, but... it's bad. Puzo is hard to imitate. #Meh ...more
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting, but falls far short of the Puzo novel.
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