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Publisher's Summary

Mario Puzo first answered the question 'What is a family?' with the creation of the Corleones in his landmark best seller The Godfather. Now, 30 years later, Puzo enriches us all with his ultimate vision of the subject: the story of the greatest crime family in Italian history, the Borgias.

In The Family, this singular novelist transports his readers back to 15th century Rome, and reveals to us the extravagance and intrigue of the Vatican as surely as he once revealed the secrets of the Mafia. At the story's center is Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, a man whose lustful appetites were matched only by his consuming love of family. Surrounding him are his extraordinary children: simple, unloved Jofre; irascible, heartless Juan; beautiful, strong-willed Lucrezia; and passionate warrior Cesare, Machiavelli's friend and inspiration. Their stories constitute a symphony of human emotion and behavior, from pride to romance to jealousy to betrayal and murderous rage.

A labor of love two decades in the making, The Family marks the final triumph of one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

©2001 Estate of Mario Puzo and Carol Gino; (P)2001, 2003 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The saga is lush, full of detail, with characters who manage to be larger than life while seeming entirely realistic....The plot is appropriately epic in scope, mixing fact and fiction seamlessly." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • steve
  • kearny, NJ, United States
  • 06-16-11

Better than expected

I have to admit I didn't like to showtime series too much but this book was much better than I anticipated. Puzo is a great author and the narrator was excellent as well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • Spartanburg, SC, USA
  • 10-23-04

15th Century Godfather

The story of Pope Alexander VI and his family is truly amazing. Puzo took half a lifetime to research and write this book. Facinating look into the decatent life of one of the first crime families of the Western World. Did Puzo base the Godfather story around the characters of this story ? I THINK SO ! A must read for anyone that enjoys a rich theater experience that surrounds this period of history.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Quick "Wrap-Up" ending hurt and Epic Effort

Even though it is mentioned in the Audible Title, I did not realize that Mario Puzo did not finish this novel himself. It was completed in 2001 by his girlfriend, after his death in 1999.

I imagine when he started this book there had been little written about the Borgias, but since this book was finished, there have been a great many books on the Borgias, and of course the Showtime series, "The Borgias", which I highly recommend.

This book did bring to light a few interesting tidbits of History of which I was not aware. For example, in the Showtime series, they wrote out the younger brother Gioffre, so I was not aware he actually existed.

Overall I recommend the book and my only criticism (and it's a fairly big one for me) is that the book had an epic feel to it and it wrapped up far too quickly and in summary form. I can only assume that is because Carol Gino simply tried to finish it the best she could. I would be curious to know when she actually took over to assess my point as a valid one or not.

The narrator did a fine job and overall a slight thumbs up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Felt like I was there.

engaging. nice mix of history and entertainment. I don't like fiction. this is an exception

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Virginia
  • South Lake Tahoe, CA, United States
  • 05-28-12

Get another perspectives on the Borgias

Where does The Family rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

I had read this book years ago - before the Borgias on TV and became totally intrigued with this family. So now that we've seen one season of the Borgias I wanted to revisit Mario Puzo's version to see how they compare. The details of "family" life in the late 1400's are fascinating. Just the right blend of history and embellishment so it wasn't dry and boring.

What other book might you compare The Family to and why?

People often think of Mario Puzo as the author who wrote all about the Mafia. This book is very different and from what I've read, was an ongoing project of his for many years.

What does Philip Bosco bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

Philip Bosco's voice and pronunciation brought us to the different world of the Borgias. He was perfect for this book - he built suspense and excitement. The book is great!

Any additional comments?

If you want to see what life in the 15th century was like for one small section of the population - read "The Family".

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Fred
  • Dayton, NJ, United States
  • 03-05-12

Who are these people?

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I don't know if it was the delivery or the contents, but the portrayal of the Borgias make them seem rather dull. These were dynamic indiduals, but nowhere was shown Rodrigo's or Chasare' ruthlessness or Lucretia's impulsiveness. Juan Borgia and Julia Farnese were reduced to bit players.<br/><br/>

Would you be willing to try another book from Mario Puzo and completed by Carol Gino ? Why or why not?

No. Too many other choices.

What three words best describe Philip Bosco’s voice?

Stick to commercials

Did The Family inspire you to do anything?

Watch the two miniseries that we made last year. Each one had different interpretations of each character.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Annamarie
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 02-07-12

Great Drama

If you could sum up The Family in three words, what would they be?

Great historic fiction

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lucrecia Borgia,because she more devious than her male family members<br/>

What does Philip Bosco bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Yes he does. He does this by having rich characters.

If you could rename The Family, what would you call it?

Nothing

Any additional comments?

No

0 of 1 people found this review helpful