Author: Mario Puzo (Click to view interviews, videos, and more)
Who Should Read It: Everybody!
Best Part About This Book: The tough guy storyline, the fascinating characters
What’s Missing: This ain’t sweet and pretty if that’s your style
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
By Mario Puzo
Number One Bestseller: 67 weeks
I’m not gonna lie. I loved this book. I certainly didn’t expect to, despite its reputation as one of the most beloved movies of all time. Because I have a weak stomach when it comes to blood and gore. I can barely even chop up cooked meat. But I took this dose of tough Mafia tales with pleasure. Mario Puzo supposedly never even met a gangster, but the gangsters who read the book claimed to have loved it. Not only that, but they couldn’t believe Puzo hadn’t been involved underground. Puzo claims his writing is way below par in the book, but it’s the intelligent, gritty, and tough diction that really gives the right flavor for the telling. The characters are fascinating and all show aspects of the different sides of the “families” (leaders in crime) in New York.
The strangest thing about the book is that you can’t really tell who the good guys are. You identify with the main characters, but you come to realize that these people that you like are actually very capable, heartless killers. And they kill for money and revenge. And somehow, the violence feels justified.
The book does a good job of capturing a dark side of American history. Characters are based on real people from gangster Chicago and New York.