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Archive: Other Books > The Godfather/Puzo - 3 stars

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message 1: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6732 comments I may have been the only person left on the planet who hadn't seen the movie nor read the book. Glad I can no longer say that!

For me, this book is truly a family saga about a father and three sons. Puzo does a great job of bringing these characters to life and making them well rounded as opposed to characterizing them as these "all bad" criminals. He's definitely a good storyteller, and uses suspense to good effect. It does read as very commercial to me as opposed to a book with a lot of literary merit, but apparently that was intentional.

If I had to be critical, I do think Puzo lapses at times into narrating the story as opposed to showing it to the reader. I imagine the movie solves this issue completely and probably accounts for its unrivaled popularity. But in the book, there are passages where the reader is just being told what happens, and these passages are in stark contrast to the much better parts where the characters come to life on the page.

It also was hard for me to completely ignore how women are portrayed. It does make sense in the context of the book, and I get that in the machismo culture of the Mafia, it's perhaps how the women were treated and/or how they behaved. Normally, I'm not that sensitive to these types of things, but there wasn't one woman in the whole book that really seemed fully realized and most of the focus was on "women as objects of sexual gratification." It didn't really interfere with the storytelling, but it was distracting.

All in all, a fun romp of a book that says as much about family relationships as it reveals about inside Mafia baseball.


message 2: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8410 comments Anita wrote: "I may have been the only person left on the planet who hadn't seen the movie nor read the book. Glad I can no longer say that!

For me, this book is truly a family saga about a father and three son..."


I agree with your opinion of how the women were portrayed, but having grown(child of the baby boomers) up in a densely Polish/Italian neighborhood, it truly was how women in that group were treated. I clearly remember my German/French mother disgusted numerous times by what she witnessed at gatherings. I smile now and can hear her muttering "they are all mobbed up".


message 3: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Have you not seen the films Anita? They are true masterpieces.


message 4: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments Anita wrote: "I may have been the only person left on the planet who hadn't seen the movie nor read the book. Glad I can no longer say that!"

You are at last the second to last! I haven't read or seen them either.


message 5: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I should have mentioned that Godfather 3 is NOT a masterpiece. ;-)


message 6: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments Another one that haven’t seen or read them [shamefully... I always meant to see them]


message 7: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2097 comments Diddo Susie on both accounts.


message 8: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2666 comments You’re definitely not alone. I’ve never read the book either. I’ve probably seen all of the first film over the years (or maybe it’s just that my husband quotes it so often, lol) but I’ve never sat down to watch it all the way through ...


message 9: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6847 comments There are some books that are always tied to the time and place that you read them.

This is one of those books for me. Back in 1971, I spent the Summer on Cape Cod, camping out and working as a motel maid. I was with a bunch of friends and we had a great time. We went to the beach everyday and I read The Godfather lazing on the beach. I loved it.


message 10: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3099 comments I stole it from my brother's room and read it when I was 15. When the movie came out, my father decided that since I'd already read the book, it was fine for me to go see it with him. ( My mother refused.)


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Loved the movies!! In fact I have watched each one more times than I can even remember. I have not read he books but now I am tempted to.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Susie wrote: "I should have mentioned that Godfather 3 is NOT a masterpiece. ;-)"

Agreed. The first one was the best, although I also loved the second. The third I have seen many times as well because you just have to when you are watching the other two.:) But a masterpiece it is not.


message 13: by Ladyslott (last edited Jun 30, 2018 08:47PM) (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments If I'm flipping channels and any one the three Godfather movies comes on I watch it, even though #3 is the least favorite. I can quote way too many lines from the trilogy. (Leave the gun, take the cannoli). The scene where Sonny (James Caan) is shot is supposed to be the Jones Beach Causeway, which is about 5 miles from where I live. It was actually filmed at Fort Bennet Field, in Brooklyn, where I worked as a teenager.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Ladyslott wrote: "If I'm flipping channels and any one the three Godfather movies comes on I watch it, even though #3 is the least favorite. I can quote way too many lines from the trilogy. (Leave the gun, take the ..."

You made me laugh!! I also quote way too many lines. In fact my kids will sometimes finish the quotes they have heard them so often.


message 15: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments We quote it all the time too! ‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!’


message 16: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6732 comments Joanne wrote: "Anita wrote: "I may have been the only person left on the planet who hadn't seen the movie nor read the book. Glad I can no longer say that!

For me, this book is truly a family saga about a father..."


Thank you for sharing your mother's experience. I figured that the portrayal was probably accurate, but it's pretty depressing! I'm glad it wasn't just the author's male perspective.


message 17: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6732 comments Susie wrote: "Have you not seen the films Anita? They are true masterpieces."

I have not seen them, but my husband confirms that 1 and 2 are amazing. I want to see them now despite the fact I really am not a fan of movies.


message 18: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6732 comments Idit wrote: "Another one that haven’t seen or read them [shamefully... I always meant to see them]"

So glad I'm not alone, Idit! And KateNZ!


message 19: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6732 comments Booknblues wrote: "There are some books that are always tied to the time and place that you read them.

This is one of those books for me. Back in 1971, I spent the Summer on Cape Cod, camping out and working as a mo..."


I love when a book is tied to a memory like that . . .


message 20: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6732 comments Ladyslott wrote: "If I'm flipping channels and any one the three Godfather movies comes on I watch it, even though #3 is the least favorite. I can quote way too many lines from the trilogy. (Leave the gun, take the ..."

Ha ha, you are just like my husband. I've seen him watching these soooo many times!!


message 21: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6732 comments Jgrace wrote: "I stole it from my brother's room and read it when I was 15. When the movie came out, my father decided that since I'd already read the book, it was fine for me to go see it with him. ( My mother r..."

Ha ha, I used to always sneak and read my parents' reading material from the time I could read. Including Penthouse forum letters. Probably shouldn't admit that.


message 22: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I did too Jgrace! I remember reading Portnoy’s Complaint at quite a young age. That was an education!!


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