Friday, February 13, 2015

Booknote: The Family Corleone

 Ed Falco, The Family Corleone. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2012. ISBN: 9780446574624.

As a fan of the film and the book, I am always curious when a new spinoff novel comes out, even though I know that quality can vary dramatically. Thus I found myself reading Ed Falco's The Family Corleone. This is a prequel to the Mario Puzo novel and film.

It is an intense time for the Corleones. Prohibition is about to end, and they need to figure out the future. Though the book deals with Vito Corleone's rise to power, this is clearly more the story of Sonny Corleone. Sonny is a rebellious teen who, in spite of his father's wishes, wants to really, really wants to join the family business. The novel is also very much the story of Luca Brasi, Vito Corleone's feared enforcer. If you really want to know how the the fearsome man came to work for Don Corleone,  you get it here. If memory serves me right, the story is mentioned in Mario Puzo's novel (but not in the film).

The story captures some of the original's feel, but clearly it is not Puzo's work. This one really feels like something is missing. It was an OK read, and like other books in this genre, a fairly light and quick read. The book does have some issues in terms of historical accuracy, so readers who are very aware of history, especially mob history of New York at the time, will notice the issues. I do mention this because the author does pull in a historical figure or two into the fiction. Fans of the original will probably want to look it over, mostly for the sake of curiosity. If nothing else, it will make you go back and reread the original.

In the end, 2 out of 5 stars as it was just OK.

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