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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Dana
  • New Haven, CT
  • 10-04-13

Huge fan of the movie, loved this audiobook!

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!

62 of 62 people found this review helpful

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One of a kind. A masterpiece.

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.

78 of 82 people found this review helpful

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What an enjoyable journey.

What made the experience of listening to The Godfather the most enjoyable?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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."

What about Joe Mantegna’s performance did you like?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Simply a classic!

One of the best! A truly moving saga that was fantastic even though I had seen the movie. Much better than any of the sequels or imitations.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding!!!!

There is not one single aspect about this that I didn't enjoy. I bought the book many years ago but because of busy everyday mom life, I haven't been able to really dive into it. This gave me the chance to do so and I couldn't be happier. The narrator, the story, all of it. Sublime. A thousand times better than the movie and the movie is one of my favorites.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jt1976
  • South Roxana, IL, United States
  • 09-29-13

wow

What made the experience of listening to The Godfather the most enjoyable?

Its like having a movie in your head as you listen made days at work fly by

What did you like best about this story?

Narrator

What about Joe Mantegna’s performance did you like?

The accents and inflections of his voice for different character

Who was the most memorable character of The Godfather and why?

The Don of course

Any additional comments?

More

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Good read, great narrator

I was surprised at how much I liked this story since I am not usually interested in gangster stories. However, this was so good I found myself taking a whole new look at the genre.

Joe Mantegna's voice matches perfectly to the story. His character inflections are especially good. He doesn't overdo the accents and yet each character sounds distinctly different which is impressive considering how many characters are in this book.

I found I liked the complexity of the book and felt more sympathy for the characters than I have ever felt for them in the movies.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Solid.

What did you love best about The Godfather?

Having seen the movie first, I came away from the book very impressed with how well Coppola treated the story. Anyone taking the time for the book will come away with greater insight of the characters and setting and will view the theatrical version with greater perspective. A solid story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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As good as you'd expect

What can you say about this book that hasn't been said?

Joe Mantegna brings this classic to life. It's flawless and wonderful!

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Perfect Narration For An American Classic!

"I'll make you an offer you can't refuse." An excellent story only improved via a talented narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful