Mario Puzo spent the last three years of his life writing Omerta, the concluding installment in his saga about power and morality in America. In The Godfather, he introduced us to the Corleones. In The Last Don, he told the wicked tale of the Clericuzios. In Omerta, Puzo chronicles the affairs of the Apriles, a family on the brink of legitimacy in a world of criminals.
Don Raymonde Aprile is an old man wily enough to retire gracefully from organized crime after a lifetime of ruthless conquest. Having kept his three children at a distance, he's ensured that they are now respectable members of the establishment: Valerius is an army colonel who teaches at West Point, Marcantonio is an influential TV network executive, and Nicole is a corporate litigator with a weakness for pro bono cases to fight the death penalty. To protect them from harm, and to maintain his entrée into the legitimate world of international banking, Don Aprile has adopted a "nephew" from Sicily, Astorre Viola, whose legal guardian made the unfortunate decision to commit suicide in the trunk of a car. Astorre is an unlikely enforcer—a macaroni importer with a fondness for riding stallions and recording Italian ballads with his band.
Though Don Aprile's retirement is seen as a business opportunity by his last Mafia rival, Timmona Portella, it is viewed with suspicion by Kurt Cilke, the FBI's special agent in charge of investigating organized crime. Cilke has achieved remarkable success in breaking down the bonds between families, cultivating high-ranking sources who in return for federal protection have violated omerta—Sicilian for "code of silence", the vow among men of honor that, until recently, kept them from betraying their secrets to the authorities.
As Cilke and the FBI mount their campaign to wipe out the Mafia once and for all, Astorre Viola and the Apriles find themselves in the midst of one last war, a conflict in which it is hard to distinguish who, if anyone, is on the right side of the law, and whether mercy or vengeance is the best course of action.
Rich with suspense, dark humor, and the larger-than-life characters who have turned Mario Puzo's novels into modern myths, Omertais a powerful epitaph for the Mafia in a new century, and a final triumph for a great American storyteller.
©2000 Mario Puzo (P)2012 Random House
"[A] deft and passionate last novel by the Balzac of the Mafia." (Time)
"A splendid piece of crime fiction.... A fitting cap to a tremendous career.... Through it all, Puzo keeps the heat on and keeps the reader enthralled with his characters and his story." (The Denver Post)
I was deeply saddened when the story came to an end. I am surprised this wasn't turned into a movie. Woooow!
Michael Imperioli brings something nicely young to the character of Astoria. But overall, he reads too fast and this makes the sumptuousness of Puzo's storytelling seem like so much exposition. And then, ultimately, I missed his Puzo's long digressions into each character's world. He touches on these narrative flights, but doesn't lavish in them. This story lacks the historic plausibility of Godfather and the literary flourish of Fools Die. But none the less, it's Puzo and it's good.
I think I may be done with Puzo for a while, having read the Mafia trilogy. Each book is very similar and not particularly well written.
As for Michael Imperioli, I can't say I will be hunting down his other books, but I certainly won't avoid him. I was not totally impressed.
I found the FBI character interesting as well as Rosie's character. Both were fairly interesting.
The main plot was interesting at first but quickly lost steam towards the end of the book for me. Each mafia character was pretty uninteresting. As well as the lack of focus on the main family. Only two of the main family appeared regularly, and much like Fredo in The Godfather, are shooed off to go be busy somewhere else.
Numerous mistakes in punctuation, with the narrator ending sentences only to realize there was a comma, not a period that was noticeable. I particularly noticed it right in the first chapter but he seemed to have found his rhythm by the end.
One particular sex scene was kind of narrated in the least sexy way. Also, character voices were very similar.
I'd watch it on netflix, perhaps. I don't think it'd be very good.
Ignore unless you are particularly into crime novels.
Retired, housebound, dependent on Audiobooks for sanity.
Not written it.
A valiant try.
The reader did his best to make a long-winded book interesting.
There are lots of other great books to spend your money on.
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