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My Spring Break reading binge continues with The Godfather by Mario Puzo.  Although the movie version and its sequel are generally regarded as two of the greatest films of all time, the novel receives little attention.  This is a mistake.  Puzo is an excellent storyteller, building characters and relationships that jump off the page.  It is his story that drives the film version (although the acting and directing certainly make it one of the greatest).  Puzo is not one of the giants of modern fiction.  His books will never be read and studied in university courses outside of his impact on popular culture.  Puzo is, however, a master of pulp fiction.  The Godfather has all of the grit and seediness you would expect from the standard action book.  What makes his book so special is the epic quality Puzo gives to that grittiness.  This is not just another crime book.  This is a sweeping tale of men who refuse to be bound by codes of behavior that require them to submit their will to that of lesser men.  It is a story of greed, envy, violence, crime, and (of course) family.  Puzo’s image of the criminal underworld has become embedded in the popular consciousness.  The Godfather is a story about gangsters before such stories became clichés.  Any fan of the movie needs to read Puzo’s Godfather.  (Insert random mobster quote cliché of your choice)

The Current Count:

21 Read, 79 To Go

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