More than 40 years ago, Mario Puzo wrote his iconic portrait of the Mafia underworld, as told through the fictional first family of American crime, the Corleones. The leader, Vito Corleone, is the Godfather. He is a benevolent despot who stops at nothing to gain and hold power. His command post is a fortress on Long Island from which he presides over a vast underground empire that includes the rackets, gambling, bookmaking, and unions. His influence runs through all levels of American society, from the cop on the beat to the nation's mighty.
Mario Puzo, a master storyteller, introduces us to unforgettable characters, and the elements of this world explode to life in this violent and impassioned chronicle.
©1969 Mario Puzo (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I have seen The Godfather movies too many times to count. It's part of the lexicon in my family, we quote lines from it all the time in regular conversation. So, I thought this book might be a little boring, just because I already knew the story so well. Not the case! The book adds so much detail to the story that I think I'll be watching the movie again soon in a whole new light. Joe Mantegna does such a wonderful job narrating this story and I'd absolutely recommend his version as opposed to the other full cast version that's out there, especially for people that are really in tune with the movie.
Give it a try!
Joe Mantegna was the perfect choice for the narrator for THE GODFATHER. The timbre of his voice, his varied accents were all the perfect additions for the audio version of this novel.
Just as it was when I read this novel as a young mother, Michael Corleone was my favorite character. However, at this point in my life, I found him in many ways to be the most dangerous of the Corleone family. His choices were made out drop grief and need for revenge, while his father made his choices out of a sense of "necessity" or "practicality."
Mr. Mantegna's performance was so enjoyable by his inflection and interpretation. He did not try to replicate the female voices, but he just softened his voice. This was much more believable than an attempt to use a higher pitch to his voice. I also was pleased that there was only one narrator. This helped the plot to flow naturally.
A good book is to be savored, not devoured. Especially since I was revisiting this book, I did not want to rush through any part of it.
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
The book upon which the movie was based, this is an astonishing feat of fiction writing. Most of us have seen the movie, I imagine, but listening to the marvelous Joe Mantegna tell the story lets us know that Mario Puzo wrote all those incredible scenes that Francis Ford Coppola turned into one of the greatest movies of the 20th century. Listening to the book gives us so much more detail about the Corleones and their fellow Mafia families. Of course Coppola had to leave out much of the book in order to make the movie(s). Even through the third movie in the cycle, there is still more enjoyable detail here. It is impossible not to see the faces of Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and the rest of the actors. In my view, the actors enrich the book. Even when you know what is coming, as in the scene where Michael shoots Solozzo and Captain McCluskey, the background and all the planning that lead up to the scene in the book will just grab your attention and hold it. Very few movies are a match for a great book. This book is so monumental in how it taught us the story of immigrant families and their struggles to adjust to life in the United States that it informs our understanding of many other immigrant stories. Joe Mantegna is so great at this that it is really hard to imagine any other narrator reading it. The feel of New York is also a wonder in Puzo's description of it. You see Don Corleone's opposition to joining the Solozzos and the other families in the drug trade, and you think, how principled he is, not what a monstrous gangster he is. This, again, is a feat of fiction writing that may never be surpassed. Sit back and enjoy one of the finest audiobooks you will ever experience.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
Like most of the reviewers of this audiobook, I had seen The Godfather 1 and 2 movies a few times, but I thought I would like to see how the book compared to the movies. I was blown away by the book! We all know that when a book is made into a movie or movies, some scenes or story lines have to be left out in the interest of time. So, listening to the book filled in some blanks for me and expanded certain storylines.
The book actually covers most of Godfather 1 and some of Godfather 2. For me, the best part about the book was that it explained a lot of things. It gave more complete information on the pasts of the characters (like Luca Brazzi, Don Corleone, Clemenza and others), and more important, it explained the reasoning behind the decisions made by The Godfather and then by Michael Corleone, the finer points of a bargaining process, and the ways to deal with people so that they will love you and be grateful rather than resentful. In the movies there was no time for that, so the viewer had to try to figure it out. I think that failing left the Corleone's looking more villainous and heavy-handed in the movie. In the book you were able to see the Godfather through the Family's eyes and realize that he was, in his own way, an honorable man given the rules of his culture that he lived by.
Joe Mantegna was the perfect narrator for this book, and did an absolutely superb job!
YES! I had always heard references to this book & never knew what they were talking about. I am so glad I read this book!
The description of the relationship of the family.
The main character by far. I expected blood & gore, but it was not that by any means. The language was not that bad either, which I was glad about.
This was a long book. I had to take breaks, but it had me thinking about the story in between sessions of listening.
Much better than I expected. Hint: the next two don't hold a candle to this book.
Its like having a movie in your head as you listen made days at work fly by
The accents and inflections of his voice for different character
The Don of course
I just achieved App Scholar!! 1000 hours in 1 yr 7 mo and 10 days!!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible
IF YOU KNOW THE MOVIES YOU KNOW HOW GREAT THEY ARE..THE BOOK IS BETTER..WOW..WOW.THIS BOOK GOES INTO A LOT MORE THAN THE MOVIE.FROM LUCA BRASI TO JOHNNY FONTANE..JOHNNY IS A BIG CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK,HE HAS A GREAT STORY.JOHNNY AND NENO ARE A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN.YOU GET THE REAL SCOOPE ON LUCA BRASI.YOU GET THE STORY ON SONNY'S GIRLFRIEND,CONNIE'S HUSBAND..IF YOU LOVE THE MOVIE THIS IS A MUST READ..ITS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE,YOUR GONE TO LOVE IT!!!!
Sometimes great screenplays are written from not so great books. I found it to be the case in this one. I am a huge fan of The Godfather movies, but this book gives too much of the story to a boring and weak character: Johnny F. the washed up singer. His story is vulgar, boring and long.
It's a truly great American novel which deserves more credit as a literary work than it normally gets, partly because the movie has overshadowed it.
The battle between the Corleones and Woltz is a fascinating commentary on power and America at mid-century.
JM does a great job, as all other reviewers say. It's hard to read this book out loud, because the voices of some of these characters are absolutely in our heads from the movies and can't be replaced. But JM's got the cred and the confidence to just sit back and do his thing. He never tries too hard: this is literally just "JM sits in a studio and reads The Godfather to you out loud, like he was just hanging out in your living room." Pretty cool. ***Do NOT be tempted to buy the full-cast version. It's a cringer!!***
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