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 t..Show More »he 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.
Sometimes referred as the second in a series by Puzo on the Corleone family, this is really more of a side story. The entire story takes place in Sici..Show More »ly. The main story is about a bandit Salvatore Guiliano who attempts to be a 1940's Robin Hood. It is also a history of Italy, Sicily and the Mafia. I always wondered how such an organization ever got started and this book explains in detail how and why. The book details how Italy throughout history was conquered, ill treated and terribly governed by the corrupt. Through reading this book you will easily see how the Mafia got started but also how the Mafia itself grew in power and became another corrupt government, so that the poor peasants of Italy had not one but two masters to answer too. I am glad I read this for the historical aspect alone. As far as entertainment value, it is a little boring for the first four chapters, picks up real well in the middle and then gets monotonous toward the end. The story about the bandit is riveting and a fun listen, but there are several parts of the book dedicated to dry history lessons and politics. This is no where near as entertaining as The Godfather, but I was glad I bought it. The Godfather is a hard value to beat.