Friday, August 03, 2018

Booknote: The Godfather

Mario Puzo, The Godfather. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Corporation, 1986.

Genre: fiction
Subgenre: audiobooks, crime, Mafia, Mob, organized crime
Format: online audio/audio cassette
Source: Found on YouTube randomly (I then tracked down the exact edition).

I recently finished rereading The Godfather. I checked this blog and my journals and realized I had never written a review of the book, so here we go.

This time I found an audio version. The Godfather is a favorite novel of mine, and rereading it reminded me of all the side stories Puzo has in the book. The movie, which I also love, is a great adaptation, but part of the reason the movie is great is that it distilled the essence of the book so well. The movie left a lot out from the book. Having said that, the book is still an entertaining read, and the additional stories add some more detail to the main plot line, some more than others. For instance, Johnny Fontane has a whole side story, and so does Lucy Mancini.

The novel is also very rich in details; Puzo has the ability to immerse the reader in the world of the Corleones. Granted it is very romanticized, but it is an alluring world, at least until you look
underneath the surface. Still it makes for great escapist fiction, which is why I find it comforting and enjoy rereading it every so often.

If all you know of The Godfather is the film, great as the film is, you really should read the book. It really expands and fleshes out the characters and adds richness of detail. On the other hand, if you have read the book but not seen the movie, what are you waiting for? There are reasons why the film is a big part of popular culture. Plus watching the film having read the book will give you a better appreciation of both works and how they tell and weave stories.

As for this audio version, the narrator had a nice, smooth reading voice. The audiobook dramatizes the story, so you get different voices as the characters speak. Overall, it was well done. For me, it was relaxing to have someone read the book for me. Note the edition is unabridged, so you get the full book.

Still, after all this time, 5 out of 5 stars.

P.S. Since I know Millennials and young people today can be impatient, and find something like reading a long book hard, and watching a long old movie is hard too, here is a quick video to help you guys out. I saw this recently, and I found it overall very amusing, even if not perfect:

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