"The Godfather" tells the story of the inner workings of an Italian Mafia family. The main characters are the Corleone family and its patriarch, Don Vito. When the book was written, there was some concern that it would glorify the illegal activity described within. For me, it achieved this as it was hard to dislike the Corleone family. I would liken them to a modern day Robin Hood as Don Vito helped the needy and doled out justice in a seemingly fair manner. Everything they did had a reason, and even murder seemed justified.
The character development was excellent and Puzo gave an in depth back story for many. Don Vito's birth name was Vito Andolini. When his father was killed by the Sicilian mafia, his mother sent him to America to protect Vito from the inevitable attempt to end his life. In America, Vito changed his name to Corleone, which was the city in Sicily he was from. Vito was a soft spoken man and not prone to violence. However, during the great depression money was scarce and he turned to robbery with his neighbors Peter Clemenza and Salvatore Tessio. When the local extortionist, Don Fanucci, demanded a cut from the robbery, Vito made up his mind to kill him, thus beginning his criminal career and sealing his destiny.
Don Vito had three sons, the oldest named Santino but was called Sonny. Sonny Corleone was in line to take over the family business and was being tutored by his father. Sonny had a short and violent temper, which proved to be his fatal flaw. The middle son, Frederico, called Fredo, was an obedient son, never questioning his father or embarrassing him in public. Fredo, however, froze under pressure and could not be counted on to run the family business. The youngest son, Michael, was the black sheep of the family. Michael wanted no part of the family business and went out of his way to avoid it. Going against his father's wishes, he enlisted in the Army during World War II, in which he was wounded. Michael was the intellectual in the family and attended Dartmouth college. Destiny had plans for Michael and circumstances brought him back into the family business.
Despite all the violence and illegal activity, I found myself liking the Corleone family. When the mob war started, I found myself rooting for their success. In the end, revenge was exacted against those who betrayed the family and the Corleones doled out their unique brand of justice.
I found the book to be very interesting and hard to put down. The only negatives I found were that Puzo's back stories were sometimes a bit long and distracted my attention from the main story. Also, the writing was at times too abrupt and didn't appear to flow seamlessly. Other than that, I was caught up in the story and would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a Robin Hood type read and the ultimate brand of justice.
The full cast performances were simply superb. Not only were the characters easily recognizable, but also the emotions were excellently portrayed. This was just like watching the movie, only the action took place in my mind. I recommend this book without any reservations. It was awesome!
Like many, I was familiar with the story from the movie, although it was a bit foggy.
It took me a little while to get used to the narration and the full cast, but after the first or second section, I was really enjoying it. The main cast was very good. A few of the very minor characters weren't acted as well or over-acted, but were quickly gone.
The story was, of course, more fleshed out than the movie. Quite adult in tone and details. Not for the faint of heart!
We all know this is a great novel, but the narrator in this audible will put you too sleep at the best. The narration is awful - save your money and read the book.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
The movie is a classic and Puzo's book is just as brilliant if not even better as it's filled with tidbits and details of information that better help explain certain things that the movies do not. Meanwhile, the production is top-notch and the narration is superb!
I regretfully watched the movie (part I) while listening to this book. Although the movies are awesome and some of my favorites, they do not do any justice to this truly amazing book. I recommend this book to every soon to be father (as myself am) because of the depth of character that these men display.
I bought this version over the one narrated by Joe Mantegna because this one had a full cast voicing the various characters. What I didn't know when I purchased this book was that the narration and prose is much greater than the character dialogue. Characters don't speak as much as Puzo tells you what they are thinking.
The narrator is just a wrong match for this material. He sounds like he's narrating a National Geographic documentary. The way he reads is informative but not engaging. He doesn't pull you into the story. What you really want is a narrator that sounds like an aging goodfellla that is recollecting his thoughts, telling them to you, over a pint in a tavern. Instead, what you get is a very clean, sanitized narrator telling you the story as a newscaster reads the local news.
The difference in a narrator can make or break an audiobook, and in this case, I found myself wishing the book would end. I just didn't enjoy the book with this narrator. I bet I would have loved it with a different narrator.
In contrast to the narrator, all the voiced character parts were top notch and really added to the experience. I wish all audiobooks had different voice actors for the different characters. I can't stand it when an adult male narrator tries to make his voice sound like a female or a child. This book shows how much good character acting can add to the experience.
The narrator should be engaging. He should draw you in. He should sound like he's telling you a story--like one of those joes at the local pub who can tell a hell of a story. I think a narrator that could sound as if he was an old goodfella retelling events that he lived through would be best for this book. I haven't listened to it, but I bet Joe Mantegna's narration on this same book would be pretty good. I should have bought that version.
It's the Godfather! Great classic story (ruined for me by the narrator).
I wouldn't recommend buying this version of the audio book. Although I haven't heard it, I'd give Joe Mantegna's version, also unabridged, a try. It's to to be a better listen.
I didn't think it was possible for the book to compare to the movie....I was wrong. The book, as books often do, give you a much more complete vision of the characters, their motivations and the world they live in.
I read this year's ago and it's a great novel that in my opinion one of the few that was a better foundation for one of the best Movie's ever made. It is a good story as performed on the Audible release and we'll worth listening.
i love Sci-Fi, and i hate capitalizing the letter i. it should be done automatically in this day and age. i hate boring books.
I didn't read the print version, but i loved listening to a full cast.
Very authentic. This started it all, right?
Deeper, richer characterization
Aren't there already like a million of these?
worth the time, but there were sections that could have been cut out. i imagine they were cut out in the abridged version.
Its up there with my favorites. I will say I enjoyed it from the start and finished it a couple of days,
Great quality across all the characters.